HistoryAccording to lead architect , development of Sony's fourth video game console began as early as 2008. Less than two years earlier, the had been launched after months of delays due to issues with production. The delay placed Sony almost a year behind Microsoft's , which was already approaching unit sales of 10million by the time the PS3 launched. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan said Sony wanted to avoid repeating the same mistake with PS3's successor. In designing the system, Sony worked with software developer , who offered their input on the controller and how to make it better for shooting games. In 2012, Sony began shipping development kits to game developers, consisting of a modified PC running the AMD Accelerated Processing Unit chipset. These development kits were known as "Orbis". In early 2013, Sony announced that an event known as PlayStation Meeting 2013 would be held in , U.S., on February 20, 2013, to cover the "future of PlayStation". Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 at the event. It revealed details about the console's hardware and discussed some of the new features it would introduce. Sony also showed off real-time footage of games in development, as well as some technical demonstrations. The design of the console was unveiled in June at , and the initial recommended retail prices of $399 (NA), €399 (Europe), and £349 (UK) given. Sony took advantage of problems that Microsoft had currently had with its positioning of their newly announced , which included its higher price point ($499 in North America), as well as strict regulations on how users could share game media. Besides its lower price point, Sony focused on the ease one would have in sharing media with the PS4. The company revealed release dates for North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and Australia, as well as final pieces of information, at a press event in , Germany, on August 20, 2013. The console was released on November 15, 2013, in the United States and , followed by further releases on November 29, 2013. By the end of 2013, the PS4 was launched in more European, Asian and South American countries. The PS4 was released in Japan at ¥39,980 on February 22, 2014. Sony finalized a deal with the Chinese government in May 2014 to sell its products in mainland China, and the PS4 will be the first product to be released. , chief executive officer of Sony, said in May: "The Chinese market, just given the size of it, is obviously potentially a very large market for video game products... I think that we will be able to replicate the kind of success we have had with PS4 in other parts of the world in ." In September 2015, Sony reduced the price of the PS4 in Japan to ¥34,980, with similar price drops in other Southeast Asian markets. The first official sub £300 PS4 bundle was the £299.99 "Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection 500GB", and was released in the UK on October 9, 2015; a 1 TB £329.99 version was offered at the same time. On October 9, 2015, the first official price cut of the PS4 in North America was announced: a reduction of $50 to $349.99 (US) and by $20 to $429.99 (Canada). An official price cut in Europe followed in late October 2015, reduced to €349.99/£299.99. On June 10, 2016, Sony confirmed that a hardware revision of the PlayStation 4, rumored to be codenamed "Neo", was under development. The new revision is a higher-end model that is meant to support gameplay in 4K. The new model will be sold alongside the existing model, and all existing software will be compatible between the two models. Layden stated that Sony has no plans to "bifurcate the market", only that gamers playing on the Neo will "have the same experience, but one will be delivered at a higher resolution, with an enhanced graphical experience, but everything else is going to be exactly as you'd expect". The high-end console was publicly revealed on September 7, 2016, as PlayStation 4 Pro. At the same time, Sony unveiled an updated version of the original PS4 model with a smaller form factor. In May 2018, during a presentation to investors, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO John Kodera stated that the PlayStation 4 was heading into the end of its lifecycle and that the company was anticipating decreasing year-over-year hardware sales. He explained that Sony would be countering the expected decline by focusing on "strengthen user engagement" including continued investments into new first-party games and other online services for PS4. "We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future," Kodera added in an interview with the press the following day. Following the launch of the in November 2020, Sony discontinued production in Japan of all but the 500GB Slim model of the PlayStation 4 on January 5, 2021, with the standard PS4 still being produced for western markets.
HardwareThe technology in the PlayStation 4 is similar to the hardware found in modern s. This familiarity is designed to make it easier and less expensive for game studios to develop games for the PS4.
Technical specificationsThe PlayStation 4 uses an (APU) developed by in cooperation with Sony. It combines a (CPU) and (GPU), as well as other components such as a and video decoder. The CPU consists of two 28 nm modules totaling 8 cores, 7 of which are available for game developers to use. The GPU consists of 18 compute units to produce a theoretical peak performance of 1.84 . The system's GDDR5 memory is capable of running at a maximum clock frequency of 2.75 GHz (5500 MT/s) and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 176 GB/s. The console contains 8 GB of memory, 16 times the amount of RAM found in the PS3 and is expected to give the console considerable longevity. It also includes secondary custom chips that handle tasks associated with downloading, uploading, and social gameplay. These tasks can be handled seamlessly in the background during gameplay or while the system is in . The console also contains an audio module, which can support in-game chat as well as "a very large number" of audio streams for use in-game. All PlayStation 4 models support (HDR) color profiles. Its read-only optical drive is capable of reading s at speeds of up to three times that of its predecessor. The console features a hardware on-the-fly decompression module. The original PS4 model supports up to and video standards, while the Pro model supports . The console includes a 500 gigabyte hard drive for additional storage, which can be upgraded by the user. System Software 4.50, which was released on March 9, 2017, enabled the use of external USB hard drives up to 8 TB for additional storage. The PlayStation 4 features and connectivity, , and two ports. An auxiliary port is also included for connection to the , a digital camera device first introduced on the PS3. A mono headset, which can be plugged into the DualShock 4, is bundled with the system. Audio/video output options include TV and audio. The console does not have an analog audio/video output. The PS4 features a " Rest mode" feature. This places the console in a low-power state, while allowing users to immediately resume their game or app once the console is awoken. The console also is able to download content such as game and OS updates while it is in this state.
ControllersThe DualShock 4 is PlayStation 4's primary controller; it maintains a similar design to previous iterations of the DualShock series, but with additional features and design refinements. Among other tweaks, the caps of the analog sticks were given a concave design (similar to the ), the shape of the triggers and shoulder buttons were refined, the D-pad buttons were given a steeper downward angle to provide a resting space in the center for the user's thumb, and the hand grips were made thicker and given microtexturing to improve their feel. A major addition to the DualShock 4 is a ; it is capable of detecting up to two simultaneous touch presses, and can also be pressed down as a button. The "Start" and "Select" buttons were replaced by "Options" and "Share" buttons; the latter is designed to allow access to the PlayStation 4's social features (including streaming, video recording, and screenshot tools). The DualShock 4 is powered by a non-removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can be charged using its connector. The controller also features an internal speaker, and a for headsets or headphones; the console is bundled with a pair of headset . The controller's motion tracking system is more sensitive than those of the PlayStation 3's controllers. An "light bar" was additionally added to the front of the controller; it is designed to allow the accessory to further track its motion, but can also be used to provide visual effects and feedback within games (such as, for instance, reflecting a player's low by turning red). Although the PS4 and DualShock 4 continue to use for wireless connectivity, the console is incompatible with PlayStation 3 controllers. An exception are the s originally released for PS3, which are officially supported for use with the PlayStation Camera. In October 2013, stated on that the DualShock 4 would support "basic functions" when attached to a PC. In August 2016, Sony unveiled an official USB wireless adapter for the DualShock 4, enabling use of all of the controller's functionality on PC. In December 2016, 's platform was updated to provide support and controller customization functionality for DualShock 4, through existing s for the . A revision of the DualShock 4 was released alongside the "Slim" and Pro models in 2016, and is bundled with these systems. It is largely identical to the original model, except that the touchpad now contains a "stripe" along the top which the light bar's LED can shine through, and the controller can communicate non-wirelessly when connected to the console over USB.
CameraThe PlayStation Camera is an optional and camera for the PlayStation 4, similar to on . It includes two 1280×800 pixel lenses operating with an of 2.0, with 30 cm focusing distance, and an 85° . The dual camera setup allows for different modes of operation, depending on the initiated and running application. The two cameras can be used together for depth-sensing of its surrounding objects in its field of vision. Alternatively, one of the cameras can be used for generating the video image, with the other used for motion tracking. PlayStation Camera also features a four-channel microphone array, which helps reduce unwanted background noise and can be used for voice commands. With the PlayStation Camera connected, different users can automatically log-on to the system via .
PlayStation VRPlayStation VR is a system for PlayStation 4; it consists of a headset, which features a display panel, LED lights on the headset that are used by PlayStation Camera to track its motion, and a control box that processes s, as well as video output to the external display (either simulcasting the player's VR perspective, or providing an asymmetrical secondary perspective). PlayStation VR can also be used with PlayStation Move motion controllers.
Software and services
PlayStation 4 system softwareThe PlayStation 4's is called "Orbis OS", based upon a customized 9. The console does not require an Internet connection for usage, although more functionality is available when connected. The PS4 is the first to include a -based web browser, which is a departure from its predecessor's NetFront browser; it is based on the same modern WebKit core as and , giving it high compatibility in compliance testing. The console introduces a customizable menu interface, the "PlayStation Dynamic Menu", featuring a variety of color schemes. The interface displays the player's profile, recent activity, notifications, and other details in addition to unlocked . It allows multiple user accounts, all with their own pass-codes. Each player account has the option to share their real name with friends, or use a nickname in other situations when anonymity is important. Facebook profiles can be connected to PlayStation Network accounts, making it easier to recognize friends. The default home screen features real time content from friends. The "What's New" activity feed includes shared media, recently played games, and other notifications. Services from third-party vendors, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, can be accessible within the interface. Computer multitasking, Multitasking is available during gameplay, such as opening the browser or managing party chat, and switching between applications is done by double-tapping the "PS" button. The PlayStation Camera or a microphone enables the user to control the system using Speech recognition, voice input. Players can command the interface to start a game, take screenshots, and save videos. Saying "PlayStation" initiates voice control, and "All Commands" displays a list of possible commands.
Multimedia featuresThe PlayStation 4 supports Blu-ray and DVD playback, including 3D Blu-ray. The playing of Compact disc, CD is no longer supported, as the console no longer has a infrared 780 nm laser. Custom music and video files can still be played from USB flash drive, USB drives and Digital Living Network Alliance, DLNA servers using the Media Player app.
PlayStation NetworkThe PlayStation 4 allows users to access a variety of free and premium PlayStation Network (PSN) services, including the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Network#PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Plus subscription service, PlayStation Music powered by Spotify, and the PlayStation Video subscription service, which allows owners to rent or buy TV shows and films ''à la carte''. A United States-exclusive cloud-based Video on demand, television-on-demand service known as PlayStation Vue began beta testing in late November 2014. Sony intends to expand and evolve the services it offers over the console's lifespan. Unlike PS3, a PlayStation Plus membership is required to access multiplayer in most games; this requirement does not apply to free-to-play or subscription-based games.
Second screen and remote playSmartphones and tablets can interact with the PlayStation 4 as second screen devices, and can also wake the console from sleep mode. A Sony Xperia smartphone, tablet or the can be used for streaming gameplay from the console to handheld, allowing supported games to be played remotely from around a household or away from home.Remote Play is available on the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3 series, as well as the Xperia Z4 tablet. High speed internet connection required. Sony has ambitions to make all PS4 games playable on PlayStation Vita. Developers can add Vita-specific controls for use via Remote Play. This feature was later expanded to enable PS4 Remote Play functionality on Microsoft Windows PCs and on OS X, Apple OS X Macs. The update, released in April 2016, allows for Remote Play functionality on computers running Windows 8.1, Windows 10, OS X Yosemite, and OS X El Capitan. Remote Play supports Display resolution, resolution options of 360p, 540p, and 720p (1080p is available on PS4 Pro), frame rate options of 30-60 FPS, and the DualShock 4 can be connected via USB. The PlayStation App allows iOS and Android (operating system), Android mobile devices to interact with the PlayStation 4 from their device. The user can use this application to purchase PS4 games from the console and have them remotely downloaded, watch live streams of other gamers, and/or view in-game maps while playing games.
Social featuresSony is focused on "social" aspects as a major feature of the console. Although the PS4 has improved social functionality, the features are optional and can be disabled.
Community creationUsers have the option to create or join community groups based upon personal interest. Communities include a discussion board, accomplishments and game clips shared by other members, plus the ability to join group chat and launch cooperative games. Sony stated that "communities are a good way to socialize with like-minded players", particularly when "you want to tackle a big multiplayer raid, but don't have enough friends available."Adam Westlake
Media sharingThe DualShock 4 controller includes a "SHARE" button, allowing the player to cycle through the last 60 minutes of recorded gameplay to select a screenshot or video clip appropriate for sharing. Media is uploaded seamlessly from the console to other PSN users or social networking sites such as Dailymotion, Facebook, and YouTube, or else users can copy media to a USB flash drive and upload to a social network or website of their preference. Players can also use a free video editing application named ShareFactory to cut and assemble their favorite video clips, add custom music or voice commentary with green screen effects. Subsequent updates have added options for picture-in-picture layouts, the ability to create photo collages and animated GIFs.
Live streamingGamers can either watch live gameplay of games which their friends are playing through the PS4 interface with cross-game camera and microphone input, spectate silently, or broadcast their own gameplay live via DailyMotion, Twitch (service), Twitch, Ustream, Niconico, or YouTube Gaming, allowing for friends and members of the public to view and comment upon them from other web browsers and devices. If a user is not screen-casting, a friend can send them a "Request to Watch" notification.
Share PlayShare Play allows users to invite an online friend to join their play session via streaming, even if they do not own a copy of the game. Users can pass control of the game entirely to the remote user or partake in Cooperative video game, cooperative multiplayer as if they were physically present. Mark Cerny says that remote assistance is particularly useful when confronted by a potentially game-defeating obstacle. "You can even see that your friend is in trouble and reach out through the network to take over the controller and assist them through some difficult portion of the game," he said. Share Play requires a PlayStation Plus subscription and can only be used for one hour at a time.Andrew Kelly
GamesPlayStation 4 games are distributed at retail on , and digitally as downloads through the PlayStation Network#PlayStation Store, PlayStation Store. Games are not region-locked, so games purchased in one region can be played on consoles in all regions, and players can sign-on to any PS4 console to access their entire digital game library. All PlayStation 4 games must be Installation (computer programs), installed to the console's storage. Additionally a system called "PlayGo" allows users to begin to play portions of a game (such as opening levels) once the installation or download reaches a specific point, while the remainder of the game is downloaded or installed in the background. Updates to games and system software are also downloaded in the background and while in standby. PS4 users will, in the future, be able to browse games and stream games via Gaikai to Game demo, demo them almost instantaneously. Sony says it is committed to releasing an ever-increasing number of List of PlayStation 4 free-to-play games, free-to-play games, including ''PlanetSide 2'' and ''War Thunder''.Shaikh Sehran
Backward compatibilityPlayStation 4 is not compatible with any game for older PlayStation consoles. Emulated versions of selected PS2 games are available for purchase via PlayStation Store, which are upscaled to high definition and have support for PS4 social features. Selected PS3 games are available for streaming via the subscription service PlayStation Now
PlayStation NowIn December 2013, Andrew House indicated that Sony was planning to launch a cloud gaming service for the PS4 in North America within the third quarter of 2014, with a European launch to follow in 2015. At Consumer Electronics Show on January 7, 2014, Sony unveiled PlayStation Now, a Digital distribution, digital distribution service which will initially allow users to access PlayStation 3 games on the PS4 via a cloud-based streaming system, purchasing games individually or via a subscription, as a solution of no backwards compatibility on the hardware of the console. The United States Open Beta went live on July 31, 2014. The official United States release of the service was on January 13, 2015. PlayStation Now was in closed beta in the United Kingdom.
Pre-releasePre-release reception to the console from developers and journalists was positive. Mark Rein of Epic Games praised the "enhanced" architecture of Sony's system, describing it as "a phenomenal piece of hardware". John Carmack, programmer and co-founder of id Software, also commended the design by saying "Sony made wise engineering choices", while Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software expressed satisfaction with the amount of high-speed memory in the console. Eurogamer also called the graphics technology in the PS4 "impressive" and an improvement from the difficulties developers experienced on the PlayStation 3. Numerous industry professionals have acknowledged the PlayStation 4's performance advantage over the Xbox One. Speaking to ''Edge (magazine), Edge'' magazine, multiple game developers have described the difference as "significant" and "obvious". ExtremeTech says the PS4's graphics processing unit offers a "serious advantage" over the competition, but due to the nature of cross-platform development, games that share the same assets will appear "very similar". In other scenarios, designers may tap some of PS4's additional power in a straightforward manner, to boost frame rate or output at a higher resolution, whereas games from Sony's own first-party studios that take full advantage of the hardware "will probably look significantly better than anything on the Xbox One." In response to concerns surrounding the possibility of digital rights management, DRM measures to hinder the resale of used games (and in particular, the initial DRM policies of , which did contain such restrictions), Jack Tretton explicitly stated during Sony's E3 press conference that there would be "no restrictions" on the resale and trading of PS4 games on physical media, while software product development head Scott Rohde specified that Sony was planning to disallow online passes as well, going on to say that the policies were designed to be "consumer-friendly, extremely retailer-friendly, and extremely publisher-friendly". After Sony's press conference, IGN responded positively to Sony's attitude towards indie developers and trading games, stating they thought "most gamers would agree" that "if you care about games like [Sony] do, you'll buy a PlayStation 4". PlayStation 4's removable and upgradable hard disk drive, hard drive also drew praise from IGN, with Scott Lowe commenting that the decision gave the console "another advantage" over the Xbox One, whose hard drive cannot be accessed. GameSpot called the PlayStation 4 "the gamer's choice for next-generation", citing its price, lack of restrictive , and most importantly, Sony's efforts to "acknowledge its consumers" and "respect its audience" as major factors.
Post-releaseThe PlayStation 4 has received very positive reviews by critics. Scott Lowe of IGN gave it an 8.2 rating out of 10 praising the console's DualShock 4 design and social integration features. He criticized the console's lack of software features and for underutilizing the DualShock 4's touch pad. ''The Gadget Show'' gave a similar review complimenting the DualShock 4's new triggers and control sticks, in addition to the new Remote Play feature, yet criticized the system's lack of media support at launch. IGN compared the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 over various categories, allowing their readers to vote for their preferred system. The PS4 won every category offered, and IGN awarded the PS4 with their People's Choice Award. Shortly following the launch, it became apparent that some games released on multiple platforms were available in higher resolutions on the PS4 as opposed to other video game consoles. Kirk Hamilton of ''Kotaku'' reported on the differences in early games such as ''Call of Duty: Ghosts'' and ''Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag'' which ran at 1080p on the PS4, but in 720p and 900p, respectively, on the .
SalesDemand for PlayStation 4 was strong. In August 2013, Sony announced the placement of over a million preorders for the console, while on the North American launch alone, one million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold. In the UK, the PlayStation 4 became the best-selling console at launch, with the sale of 250,000 consoles within a 48-hour period and 530,000 in the first five weeks. On January 7, 2014, Andrew House announced in his Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech that 4.2 million PS4 units had been sold-through by the end of 2013, with more than 9.7 million software units sold. On February 18, 2014, Sony announced that, as of February 8, it had sold over 5.3 million console units following the release of the PS4 onto the North American and Western/Central European markets. Within the first two days of release in Japan during the weekend of February 22, 2014, 322,083 consoles were sold. PS4 software unit sales surpassed 20.5 million on April 13, 2014. During Japan's 2013 fiscal year, heightened demand for the PS4 helped Sony top global console sales, beating Nintendo for the first time in eight years. According to data released by Nielsen Media Research, Nielsen in August 2014, nine months after the PS4 was released, thirty-one percent of its sales were to existing Wii and Xbox 360 owners, none of whom had by then owned a PS3. At 2014, it was announced that 10 million PS4 units had been sold-through to consumers worldwide, and on November 13, it was announced that the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the U.S. for the tenth consecutive month. In its first sales announcement of 2015, Sony confirmed on January 4 that it had sold-through 18.5 million PlayStation 4 units. Sony updated the sell-through figures for the system throughout 2015: over 20 million consoles , over 30 million , and over 35 million by the end of 2015. As of May 22, 2016, total worldwide sell-through reached 40 million. As of December 2018, over 91 million consoles and more than 876 million PlayStation 4 games have been sold worldwide. By October 2019, the PS4 had sold 102.8 million times, making it the second List of best-selling game consoles, best-selling home video game console of all time, behind the . The PlayStation 4 holds a market share of at least 70% within all European countries, .
Hardware revisionsThe PlayStation 4 has been produced in various models: the original, the Slim, and the Pro. Successive models have added or removed various features, and each model has variations of Limited Edition consoles.
PlayStation 4 SlimOn September 7, 2016, Sony announced a hardware revision of the PlayStation 4, model number CUH-2000, known colloquially as the PlayStation 4 Slim, which phased out the original model. It is a revision of the original PS4 hardware with a smaller form factor; it has a rounded body with a matte finish on the top of the console rather than a two-tone finish, and is 40% smaller in size than the original model. The two USB ports on the front have been updated to the newer USB 3.1 standard and have a larger gap between them, and the optical audio port was removed. This model also features support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi. It was released on September 15, 2016, with a 500 GB model at the same price as the original version of the PlayStation 4. On April 18, 2017, Sony announced that it had replaced this base model with a 1 TB version at the same MSRP.
PlayStation 4 ProThe PlayStation 4 Pro (codenamed Neo, model number CUH-7000) was announced on September 7, 2016, and launched worldwide on November 10, 2016. It is an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4 with improved hardware to enable 4K rendering and improved PlayStation VR performance, including an upgraded GPU with 4.198 teraflops of processing power and hardware support for checkerboard rendering, and a higher CPU clock. As with PS4 "Slim", this model also features support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi. The PS4 Pro also includes 1 GB of DDR3 memory that is used to swap out non-gaming applications that run in the background, allowing games to utilize an additional 512 MB of the console's GDDR5 memory. Although capable of streaming 4K video, the PS4 Pro does not support Ultra HD Blu-ray. Games marketed by Sony as ''PS4 Pro Enhanced'' have specific optimizations when played on this model, such as 4K resolution graphics and/or higher performance. For games not specifically optimized, an option known as "Boost Mode" was added on system software 4.5, which can be enabled to force higher CPU and GPU clock rates on existing games to possibly improve performance. Rendering games at 4K resolution is achieved through various rendering techniques and hardware features; PlayStation technical chief Mark Cerny explained that Sony could not "brute force" 4K without compromising form factor and cost, so the console was designed to support "streamlined rendering techniques" using custom hardware, "best-in-breed temporal and spatial anti-aliasing algorithms", and "many new features from the AMD Polaris architecture as well as several even beyond it". The most prominent technique used is checkerboard rendering, wherein the console only renders portions of a scene using a checkerboard pattern, and then uses algorithms to fill in the non-rendered segments. The checkerboarded screen can then be smoothed using an anti-aliasing filter. Hermen Hulst of Guerrilla Games explained that PS4 Pro could render something "perceptively so close [to 4K] that you wouldn't be able to see the difference". PS4 Pro supports Remote Play, Share Play, and streaming at up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, as well as capturing screenshots at 2160p, and 1080p video at 30 frames per second. In late 2017, Sony issued a new PS4 Pro revision (model number CUH-7100) that featured updated internal components. The actual hardware specifications and performance remained the same as the original model, although it was found that the revised console has a slightly quieter fan profile than the original (and as a result, operating at a slightly higher temperature under load than the CUH-7000). In October 2018, Sony quietly issued another revision (model number CUH-7200), initially as part of ''Red Dead Redemption 2'' hardware bundles. The revision has a different power supply which uses the same type of cord as the "Slim" model, and was shown to have further improvements to acoustics.