On the 20th of February 2013 Sony held a massive press conference in New York to announce the latest installment of their games console, the Playstation 4 (PS4). The long awaited unveiling hardly came as a surprise, and neither did the list of features the console would boast: improved graphics, updated controller, new software and greater social networking integration.
For most non-gamers a new console is nothing to get excited about until you realise the implications that Sony’s latest hardware could have on the future of home entertainment and the future of video production. Sony have a history of innovation and revolution. The PS1 was the first games console to use a disc drive, the PS2 was, for many people, their first DVD player and 2006’s PS3 introduced a lot of consumers to HD video and blu-ray. By integrating these technological advances into their systems, Sony have often forced consumers to jump to the next stage of home entertainment, and the PS4 is no exception.
4K….it’s like HD…just bigger
Sony announced that with the PS4 will come the ability to show 4k video and images. For those of you who don’t know, HD video is 1080 pixels high (or 1K) so 4K is…4 times the size. This means you get 4 times the number of pixels on screen allowing for sharper images, more detail and a larger depth of colour.
It’ll be interesting to see what ramifications this has on home entertainment and video production. At 4 times the size, most films will be around 100gb in size and wouldn’t even fit onto a dual layer blu-ray whilst present 4K TVs cost anywhere between £15,000-£25,000 and are not readily available. But Sony have a history with driving the industry forward so prices will start to fall just as they did for 1080p HD screens.
Should this happen then we would certainly expect to see an increase in demand for 4K projects.
Well not exactly, but with Sony announcing that 3D is ‘…not a focus…’ for the gaming or electrical side of the business, does this spell the end for the often lamented gimmick? The technology is certainly still being used and improved and will always have a place in film, television and gaming but it seems it is no longer considered to be such a top priority.
We’re certainly interested to see what happens when the PS4 is released at the end of this year and the ramifications of Sony’s latest offering.