Sony is driving the point home that the PlayStation 4 is a flexible console -- unlike the Xbox One, perhaps -- with its digital library.
Neil Brown, Sony’s senior team leader of R&D, said that the PS4's digital library will allow gamers to play their titles anywhere on any machine.
He added that the PS4's digital library won't make you wait hours and hours for a title to download. Instead, gamers can play sections of the game as they become available, even if they aren't fully downloaded.
"You can visit your friends house you can log into your account and play any game from your digital library, which is good," said Brown. "But how useful is that if it takes half a day to download the game you want to play? With Play As You Download you get much quicker access to at least the first section of the game so you can start playing quicker. So this makes a digital library a practical option in the real world.”
A similar system also works on Blu-ray, chunks are automatically copied to the hard drive in the background. This means that after the first few minutes your game can rely on having faster read speeds from the hard drive. Which provides a better experience for players, and this is a completely background process for the player. They don’t have to wait for anything to install before playing the game. The game will launch as soon as the disk has been put in the drive.”
Sony announced the PS4 last month, which is a $399 console featuring an 8-core 64-bit x86 Jaguar CPU built by AMD; a Radeon GPU comprised of 18 compute units (achieves 1.84 TFLOPS); a 6x Blu-ray drive; 8GB of GDDR5 of unified RAM; USB 3.0; Bluetooth 2.1; HDMI; optical out, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Sony also presented some of the upcoming PS4 games, such as "Elder Scrolls Online," which will launch next spring; "NBA 2K14"; "Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag"; "Killzone: Shadow Fall," which is due the first quarter of 2014; "Infamous: Second Son," which will be released the first quarter of 2014; "Final Fantasy Versus XIII," and "Kingdom Hearts III."
The PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One are being heavily compared right now, since they're two of the most popular gaming consoles around. But the Xbox One has received a lot of criticism for the restrictions it placed on gamers, such as the used games ban and the new "always-on" digital rights management (DRM) system, which posed a problem for many people who are either in rural areas with slow Internet connections, travelling or experience Internet issues with providers.
Despite the fact that Microsoft retracted these features after major complaints, it has still left a bad taste in some customers' mouths.