Sony coughs up additional PS4 details this week at GDC 2013.
Sony offered additional information about its upcoming PlayStation 4 console at GDC 2013, hinting that it will ship with a "very large hard drive" without spilling the capacity details. It will also provide a mono microphone/headset right out of the box – no additional purchase is necessary.
Sony Senior Staff Engineer Chris Norden provided a detailed demonstration during the conference, explaining that the eight cores in the 64-bit x86 AMD APU are capable or running eight hardware threads. Each core will use a 32 KiB L1 I-cache and D-cache, and each four-core group will share 2 MiB of L2 Cache. The APU will be able to handle atomics, threads, fibers, and ULTs, with out-of-order execution and advanced ISA.
This APU, the result of a collaboration between AMD and Sony, is based on what Sony calls an extended DirectX 11.1+ feature set. This will include extra debugging support that's not available on the PC, and provide more direct access to the shader pipeline than what was seen with the PlayStation 3. That means developers can do "a lot more cool things and have a lot more access to the power of the system".
According to Ars Technica, the development environment coders will use is based on Windows 7 and is fully integrated with Visual Studio 2010 and 2012, allowing developers to debug PS4 just like they do with PC code. Tools will include C and C++ front ends that are "largely compatible with most standard compilers, and various binary utilities, including CPU and GPU analyzers that can run in real time alongside games".
The report goes on to talk about the console's DualShock 4 controller, the PlayStation 4 Eye camera, and the new user interface. This latter feature will focus on providing users with up-to-date information on all their games from a central menu including DLC news, social recommendations and more without having to actually load a game. The default home screen will provide a digest view of everything that's going on in the social PlayStation space. Sony has even increased the number of friends console owners can have.
As for the PlayStation Eye camera, two are mounted inside the console, each capable of a 1280 × 800 resolution and 60 Hz at a color depth of 12 bits per pixel. The resolution can actually be turned down to increase the response rate. Sony said the Eye will identify where players are physically positioned in a split/screen multiplayer session, and shift the windows around to best suit that player's actual location in front of the TV.