In exactly 15 days, Sony's PlayStation 4 arrives. It's been a long wait, but the next-generation of console gaming is finally almost here. From general questions about hard drive replacement to external storage support to how gameplay sharing works, Sony's spared no expense in laying all the facts on the table for its $400 console.
The "Ultimate FAQ" is so thorough, you may not even have time to read it all until you've got a good break. Lucky for you, breaking down info is our specialty. We've read through the entire FAQ and cherry-picked out the details that we think you'll actually care about. Ready? Here we go!
1. PS4 hard drive is a 5400 RPM SATA II. You can swap the default 500GB hard drive with one that is at least 160GB and no thicker than 9.5mm. External hard drives can't be connected to the PS4 (But Nintendo's Wii U can).
2. The PS4's physical size is about the same as a second-generation PlayStation 3 (often called the PS3 "slim").
3. All PS4 games on Blu-ray need to be cached to the hard drive.
4. Blu-ray and DVD playback won't work immediately. You'll need to install a day-one patch or request a Blu-ray activation disc from Sony. Audio CDs won't work on PS4, either. PS4 won't play MP3s.
5. PS3 wireless headphones won't work at PS4 launch. It'll be patched later.
6. You can have 2,000 buddies listed on your PSN friend list.
7. Your existing PSN name can't be changed, but you can also choose to let friends see your real name instead.
8. Unlike the PS3 XMB user interface, the PS4's "Dynamic Menu" doesn't support custom themes.
9. You can't stream videos or movies from a home PC using DLNA or media servers like you can with PS3.
10. There will be 22 launch titles (five from Sony, 12 from third-parties, and five indie titles).
11. PS4 is not backwards compatible with any PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.
12. Game suspend won't be available at launch.
13. Games (digital or physical) are not region locked.
14. Software updates can be automatically downloaded. The same applies for game patches. For the latter, you'll be able to play games, even while the patch is downloading the background.
15. You can log into two PS4 consoles simultaneously, allowing you to access your content on two different machines.
16. Four users can be logged into one PS4 and they can all switch freely at any time.
17. PS4's web browser is faster than the PS3.
18. The DualShock 4 will take around two hours to charge and should last about as long as the PS3's DualShock 3 controller. Users will be able to charge the DualShock 4 via a micro USB cable, and it will (finally) be rechargeable while the console is off. Up to four DualShock 4 controllers can be connected to a single PS4. The light bar on the top of the controller can't be turned off.
19. Cross-game chat only supports text messages. PS4 users can record 15-second voice messages to send to other PS4 users.
20. Your PS3 fighting sticks and steering wheel controllers probably won't work with PS4. DualShock 3 controllers and the PS3 Blu-ray remote won't work with the new console, either. PlayStation Move controllers will work with PS4.
21. Remote Play with a PS Vita will work right out of the box using Gakai's cloud streaming tech over Wi-Fi.
22. A PlayStation Plus subscription is mandatory in order to access online multiplayer gaming. However, some free-to-play titles won't require a PlayStation Plus membership.
23. Most digital games will support "PlayAsYouDownload," which is exactly as it sounds: you'll be able to play games while they download instead of having to wait for it to completely finish downloading first.
24. PS4 constantly records video of your gameplay in the event you might press the "Share" button. When pressed, the PS4 will share the last 15 minutes of your gameplay. Livestreams can be streamed to Twitch or Ustream, but not YouTube. Videos can be uploaded to Facebook, though. External TV recording devices will be patched in a future firmware update.
If you made it all the way down here, give yourself a pat on the back. You can find all 160 questions and answers on Sony's PlayStation Blog if you just need to know every little detail. And afer that, go on and check out our hands-on from E3. Smell that? That's next-gen creeping in.
Via PlayStation Blog