PlayStation 4

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PlayStation 4 

Official PlayStation 4 logo

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 with the first embodiment of the dual Hock-4 - gamepad , placed upright on a stand. Recognizable: the piano lacquer surface

Manufacturer Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Type stationary game console
JapanJapan February 22, 2014
United StatesUnited States 15th November 2013
EuropeEurope November 29, 2013
Main processor AMD Jaguar x86 ( AMD64 architecture) ( Octa-Core clocked at 1.6 GHz (2.1 GHz for the PS4 Pro))
Graphics processor AMD Radeon-based design called Graphics Core Next ( SoC )
Storage media DVD-ROM , Blu-ray Disc , cloud , hard drive , USB mass storage device
Controller Radio controller (Bluetooth): DualShock 4 , PlayStation Move , PlayStation Vita
Online service PlayStation Network (PSN)
Units sold 112.3 million (as of June 30, 2020)
Most successful game Grand Theft Auto V (18.8 million)
predecessor PlayStation 3
successor PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 4 (official abbreviation : PS4 ) is a stationary game console from Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (until April 2016: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.). It was presented as the successor to the PlayStation 3 on February 20, 2013 at a Sony press conference . The market launch took place on November 15, 2013 in North America and on November 29, 2013 in Europe , South America and Australia . As an eighth generation console, the PlayStation 4 is in direct competition with Microsoft's Xbox One as well as Nintendo's Wii U and Nintendo Switch . The PlayStation 4 is the sixth game console from the PlayStation brand , excluding hardware revisions. On October 8, 2019, the successor PlayStation 5 was announced.


The PlayStation 4 provides for an extensive exchange with social networks and is also aimed at increased interaction with other devices and services, which includes the possibility of playing stationary console games offline on the PlayStation Vita ("remote play") and the function to stream your gameplay online for friends (" Share Play "). For the first time, the controller of the PlayStation console series was given a new design and received numerous new functions, including improved control buttons, a "Share" button that enables players to take screenshots and gameplay recordings and an interactive touchpad, which in some Playing acts, for example, to zoom in on the map.

The reviews of the PlayStation 4 from the trade press were extremely positive, so Sony was praised above all for the numerous implementations of customer requests, the support of smaller third-party manufacturers and the less strict digital rights management compared to that of Microsoft.

On September 7, 2016, Sony announced that there would be two new versions of the PlayStation 4; a slimmer, more energy-saving, quieter and lighter version called the PlayStation 4 Slim ( PS4 Slim for short ), which is intended to replace the original PS4 model, was released on September 15, 2016 at a recommended retail price of 299.99 euros (100 euros less than the PS4). A more expensive and more powerful version of the PS4 or PS4 Slim called PlayStation 4 Pro (short: PS4 Pro ) released on November 10, 2016 which both stronger at a price of 399.99 euros, graphics processor and a higher clock rate of the CPU features which, in addition to other mostly visual features, also enables games to be played in UHD resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels ). According to Sony, the PS4 Pro should not replace the PS4 Slim, but merely expand the group's product range.

With over 106 million units sold worldwide (as of December 31, 2019) and 108.9 million units shipped (as of February 4, 2020), the PlayStation 4 is currently the console with the largest user base in the current generation of consoles.


Prehistory and Development

Development of the console with the official code name " Jedai" began in 2008. The role of lead architect was taken over by the American game developer and programmer Mark Cerny . Two years earlier, in 2006, Sony launched the PlayStation 3 with a year delay due to delivery problems compared to Microsoft's competing Xbox 360 . This resulted in a backlog of over ten million units sold at release. In an interview from 2011, Jim Ryan , CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, described the delayed market launch as a mistake and emphasized that he wanted to avoid such a scenario in the future. Overall, the PlayStation 3 was significantly less successful than the two previous consoles PlayStation and PlayStation 2 with 102.49 and 157.68 million units sold at the time the PlayStation 4 was announced in January 2013, despite over 77 million units sold.

The official presentation of the PlayStation 4 continued against the background that a slump in demand in the TV segment and a strong yen had caused Sony to suffer major losses since 2008. The group had reacted to this with several restructuring measures and layoffs, on April 1, 2012 the long-standing PlayStation director Kazuo Hirai succeeded the outgoing CEO Howard Stringer . Nevertheless, in November 2012 the rating agency Fitch lowered the company's credit rating to BB , a mark for speculative, possibly loss-making bond investments. The success of the new console was therefore given great importance for the future of the entire group.

Early 2013 came a leak the exact specification to the Internet. The data later largely proved to be true. The approximate appearance of the controller had also been known since February 14, 2013, whereby the images that appeared were the recording of a prototype that was not yet final. Before that, rumors about a successor to the PlayStation 3 had already increased.

Announcement and unveiling at E3

On January 31, 2013, Sony posted a teaser on the official PlayStation blog under the name "See the Future" online, which announced a PlayStation meeting for February 20, 2013. The conference took place in the Manhattan Center in New York City . Although the actual occasion of the event remained unknown until the beginning, the press was expecting the announcement of Sony's next home console. Sony and other third-party developers showed technology demos, which should prove the physics and graphics performance of the console, as well as future game titles. What many people found surprising was the announced use of 8  gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, which was expensive at the time . Such a scenario had previously been ruled out by experts for cost reasons. The DualShock 4 controller was shown, but not the design of the stationary hardware , as this was not yet completed at this point in time. The console release was announced for the fourth quarter of 2013.

After the announcement, Sony shares fell slightly by about 1.77 percent. The rating agency Fitch publicly doubted whether the console could change the company's current rating status. In the press there was particular criticism that Sony had not presented the housing of the PS4 and thus also not the actual console. In contrast, financial and advisory firm Wedbush Securities was impressed by the presentation and praised the focus on games. Overall, the idea received a lot of media attention. The official PS4 teaser became the most viewed video on the online platform YouTube in February, and a compilation of the conference even became the most viewed video of 2013.

The console case was unveiled at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles . Just hours after the performance of Microsoft was also the price of the console of 399.99 US dollars announced and thus their competitive home console, the Xbox One , undercut by 100 US dollars. Sony also took the opportunity to aggressively speak out in favor of offline operation and free trade in used games. At the time, both should not be possible or only to a very limited extent due to a DRM system on the Xbox One. However, Microsoft rejected these plans only a few weeks later due to massive criticism.

Launch and Success

The PlayStation 4 was finally first released in the US in mid-November 2013. Europe (end of November), large parts of Asia and Australia followed a few weeks later. Sony published it largely at the same time as Microsoft.

Two weeks after the market launch, sales were significantly higher than the previous console in the same period. In addition, the device was sold out in many places because Sony could not meet the high demand. Sony did not achieve full coverage across the board until early summer 2014. The initial sales success was mainly due to the comparatively low price and the long life cycle of the previous console.

Currently (as of July 2015), the PlayStation 4 is, according to estimates, with a global market share of over 50% the commercially most successful console of the eighth generation by far. In Europe, their market share is between 70 and 90 percent.


PlayStation 4

The recommended retail price of the PlayStation 4 was 399.99 euros (or $ 399.99 / £ 349.99) when it was launched and was 249.99 euros in 2017. A parallelepiped was chosen as the shape for the console , with a weight of 2.8 kg it was significantly lighter than the first generation of the PlayStation 3, which weighed around 5 kg. The system update 1.50 was immediately available when it was sold. B. enabled playback of movie Blu-rays or remote play. Since the system software update 1.75, which appeared on July 29, 2014, the PlayStation can also play 3D Blu-ray films. The current system software version is 7.55 (as of August 26, 2020).

Sony announced at Gamescom 2014 that the PlayStation 4 from the system software update 2.0 enables the uploading of gameplay videos to YouTube , brings extended functions for the friends list and comes with the so-called Share Play . Share Play allows PlayStation Plus members to invite other PlayStation Plus members to virtually give them the controller and take over the game. The invited player can take control of the game even if he does not own the title himself.

According to an estimate by the US company IHS, the production costs of the console produced by Foxconn amounted to 381 US dollars, which was 18 dollars below the introductory price in the US. Sony announced at the time that it would sell the console with a slight deficit. In the European market, profits were made across “the entire ecosystem” of the product from the start. In the meantime, the production costs of the console have been reduced.

The following values ​​result for temperature, power consumption and noise development:

Neutral Blu-ray Games
maximum surface temperature 40  ° C 41 ° C 44 ° C
Power consumption 82.5 W 103 W 145 W
Noise development 32 dB 33.5 dB 39.5 dB

The US environmental protection organization Natural Resources Defense Council has criticized the power consumption of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game consoles, according to which the two consoles in standby mode are said to cause electricity costs of 400 million US dollars per year in the USA alone. Compared to a standard Blu-ray player, the console needs five times more power to play a Blu-ray. The PlayStation 4 has been criticized for its inefficient controller charging , in which the USB ports are always activated, even when no device is connected to charge. In addition, the PlayStation 4 needs between 30 and 45 times more energy when streaming videos than streaming devices such as the Apple TV or the Google Chromecast . The PlayStation 4 is available in five versions: the first three still had a surface made of piano lacquer, in later versions this was removed due to the fact that it was often criticized for getting scratches.

On June 22, 2015, Sony confirmed the launch of a new, electronics-based PlayStation 4 model with the model designation CUH-12xx (x varies from country to country). This first revision of the original PlayStation 4 uses the same housing as the original version, but uses 8 percent less power and has a 10 percent lower overall weight. Instead of the original 16 GDDR5 memory modules with a memory capacity of 4 Gbit each, the CUH-12xx is now only equipped with eight 8 Gbit memory modules that are twice as large. The revised model also no longer has a hard drive cover in piano lacquer look. In addition, the LED status bar has been shortened and the touch-sensitive insertion and ejection buttons have been replaced by mechanical buttons with a clearer pressure point. The CUH-12xx model was initially only available in Asian countries from the end of June 2015.

PlayStation 4 Slim

PlayStation 4 Pro (left) and PlayStation 4 Slim (right) set up vertically

On September 15, 2016, the PlayStation 4 Slim (PS4 Slim) was introduced in Europe with the model name CUH-2xxx. The dimensions of the device are smaller than the original PlayStation 4, launched in 2013 (approx. 265 × 39 × 288 mm instead of approx. 275 × 53 × 305 mm) and, at 2.1 kg, weighs significantly less than the standard Version of the PS4. The PS4 Slim also has a significantly lower power consumption of 165 watts, which results from the conversion of the CPU, which is based on the AMD Jaguar processor architecture, from the 28 to the 16 nanometer manufacturing process. The new model also supports the 5 GHz WLAN band, the Toslink SPDIF audio output and the long LED light bar have been omitted, and the operating status is now displayed via a (multi-colored) illuminated power button. The PS4 Slim cost 299.99 euros when it was launched.

PlayStation 4 Pro

On June 10, 2016, Andrew House, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment , announced in the Financial Times for the first time a more powerful further development of the PlayStation 4. Previously there had already been rumors about a new, with more CPU and GPU performance, but software-compatible model variant called the PlayStation 4 Neo , which for the first time should be able to output existing games in UHD resolution (the PlayStation 4 already supports UHD resolution for the output of images and video streams, but according to Sony does not have enough computing power for the appealing output of games in UHD). Like the PS4 and PS4 Slim, the PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) has 8 GB of RAM of the GDDR5 type and 256 MB of the slower DDR3 type, but this has been expanded by a further 768 MB, so that the PS4 Pro now has a total of 1 GB DDR3- RAM for background applications are available, which among other things ensures that background applications and textures in games load faster. House named so-called “hardcore gamers” with very high demands on graphics as a target group. Unlike the competing consoles from Microsoft called Xbox One S and Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro does not offer a UHD-capable Blu-Ray drive. In another interview with the British daily The Guardian on June 15, 2016 , House described the new version of the PlayStation 4 as a high-end version of a PlayStation 4, which should not replace the still available, cheaper basic model, but rather expand the company's product range - not least to discourage the hardcore gamers mentioned from switching to a gaming computer.

On September 7, 2016, Sony officially presented the further development under the name PlayStation 4 Pro with the model number CUH-70xx. With an APU clocked at 2.1 GHz, i.e. an APU that is 0.5 GHz faster, as well as 18 additional, so a total of 36 graphics processor cores, the PlayStation 4 Pro offers both more computing power and better graphics capabilities than the original PlayStation 4. The computing power of the PlayStation 4 Pro has more than doubled compared to the previous models PS4 and PS4 Slim from 1.84 to 4.198 Tera FLOP / s . This enables, among other things, the output of PlayStation 4 games specially adapted via online update in - depending on the game - upscaled or native UHD resolution. PS4 Pro users benefit from higher visibility, more stable frame rates, anti-aliasing and / or other visual features, depending on whether the respective game has been adapted for the new console. The PlayStation 4 Pro is approx. 295 mm × 55 mm × 327 mm in size, weighs around 3.3 kg and has a power consumption of approx. 310 watts when playing. Unlike the PS4 and PS4 Slim, it is supplied with power via an IEC cable . The PlayStation 4 Pro was launched on November 10, 2016 with a recommended retail price of 399.99 euros.

With the release of firmware version 4.5 on March 9, 2017, the PlayStation 4 Pro also received a so-called "Boost Mode" to accelerate games that were originally programmed for the PlayStation 4. This measure is intended to enable owners of the PlayStation 4 Pro to use the more powerful hardware of their consoles even for titles that have not been optimized by the development studios for the new model variant. In particular, increasing the clock frequency of the APU would result in higher frame rates and faster loading times. However, the 18 additional graphics processor cores of the Playstation 4 Pro remain unused in boost mode. Since Boost Mode may cause compatibility issues with some games, its use is optional. In the first independent tests of the beta version of the firmware update 4.5 carried out by the online trade journals PC Games Hardware and Hardwareluxx until mid-February 2017, popular titles such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt , Project Cars , Bloodborne , Dark Souls III were found , Doom , Just Cause 3 , Assassin's Creed Unity and Final Fantasy XIV actually noticeable, albeit not always significant, performance improvements in the Boost mode of the PlayStation 4 Pro, while other bestsellers such as Grand Theft Auto V or Far Cry Primal did not notice any notable performance improvements .

Model overview


region Japan North America Australia Great Britain Europe / Middle East Korea Hong Kong / Singapore Taiwan Russia China South America North America Europe
number 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 11 15th 16


Model no. CUH-10xxA (PS4) CUH-11xxA (PS4) CUH-11xxB (PS4) CUH-12xxA (PS4) CUH-12xxB (PS4) CUH-20xxA
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Slim)
(PS4 Pro)
(PS4 Pro)
(PS4 Pro)
Initial release November 13, 2013 July 14, 2014 15th July 2015 15th July 2015 15th September 2015 16th September 2016 September 2017 July 2018 November 16, 2016 17th November 2017 November 2018
Hard drive size 500 GB 500 GB 1 TB 500 GB 1 TB 500 GB 1 TB 500 GB 1 TB 500 GB 1 TB 1 TB
maximum electr. Power consumption 250 W 230 W 165 W 310 W
Weight 2.8 kg 2.5 kg 2.1 kg 3.3 kg
Colors (not including special editions) black Black, white, gray black Black-and-white Black, white, silver, gold Black-and-white Black-and-white
finish Piano lacquer / matt Frosted
Power on / eject button Touch Mechanically
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth 4.0 ( LE )
WLAN standard 802.11 b / g / n 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
HDMI version 1.4a 2.0
still in production No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes
All models include Blu-ray / DVD drives and Gigabit Ethernet .

Sales figures

The sales success lasted months after the launch. Sony repeatedly announced new sales records, with which the company expanded its lead over the console of its competitor Microsoft , the Xbox One , which appeared almost at the same time . Even before the market launch in Japan (February 22, 2014) Sony reported approximately 5.3 million copies of the console sold. In connection with Sony's announcement in early March 2014 that it had already sold six million units, this meant sales of around 700,000 devices in just two weeks since the Japanese release. On April 17th, however, Sony officially announced that the PlayStation 4 had sold a total of seven million times; software sales at that time totaled around 20.5 million games. At a press conference during gamescom 2014 on August 12, Sony announced that more than ten million consoles have been sold since the launch. According to a study by the market research institute Nielsen in February 2015, most buyers of 8th generation consoles were already owners of a previous generation console. The most important reasons for buying the PS4 were the higher resolution, the function as a Blu-ray player, the game library, the faster processor and wishes within the family. 59% of all PlayStation 4 buyers were previously owners of an Xbox 360. In the case of the Xbox One, which at that time had significantly fewer units sold than the PlayStation 4, the share of platform changers was 43%.

In Germany, according to the Society for Consumer Research (GfK) in April 2015 , the console was well ahead of the Xbox One on sale. From the start of sales to the end of March 2015, Sony was able to sell 1.6 million consoles, about four times as many as the Xbox One in the same period (378,000 units). In the German market traditionally oriented towards the PlayStation, the sales ratio between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was 1: 5 at this point in time. The console made a profit from day one and thus contributed to the 50% market share of Sony platforms in the German games market.

In mid-May 2016, the total number of all PlayStation 4 copies sold worldwide exceeded the 40 million mark. At that time, an average of 6.8 games per console had been sold through retailers or online via the PlayStation Store . This corresponds to a total of 270.9 million titles. At the beginning of December 2016, sales of the PlayStation 4 exceeded the 50 million mark. At that time, Sony's device was for the first time ahead of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) , which was produced from 1990 to 1998, in twelfth place among the world's best-selling game consoles. By the end of April 2017, around 60 million copies of the console had been sold worldwide. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the number of copies sold was 76.6 million. By early January 2019, 91.6 million units had been sold worldwide. On July 30, 2019, it was announced that 100 million copies of the PlayStation 4 had been sold. The console needed a market presence of five years and seven months. The PlayStation 4 reached the 100 million mark two months faster than the PlayStation 2, the world's best-selling game console at the time.

Accessories and peripherals


DualShock 4 controller that came with the original PS4 model. A revised controller is supplied with the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.

The console comes with the DualShock-4 controller , which looks largely the same as its predecessor, the PlayStation 3's DualShock-3 controller. Despite the identical data transmission technology from the controller to the console (Bluetooth and USB cable), the DualShock 3 controller is not compatible with the PlayStation 4. However, since the PS3 was updated, this is now possible. The latency has been reduced compared to the previous DualShock 3 and the rumble function has been strengthened. In addition, the new controller has a touchpad as well as an audio output for headphones and a mono speaker for music and noises. In addition, the Select and Start buttons have been removed in favor of an option button. In addition, the two analog sticks have been curved inwards for better grip. The shoulder buttons are now also curved inward. A luminous area, the so-called light bar , is used with the help of the PlayStation camera to precisely determine the controller in the room, similar to the concept of the PlayStation Move . Several controllers can be distinguished from one another by different colors. The Sixaxis motion sensing system , consisting of a 3-axis gyroscope and acceleration sensor , was adopted from the DualShock 3 for motion detection . The so-called Share button allows you to publish recorded gameplay online. The console has an additional computer chip for video recording and delivery. In addition to the DualShock 4 as the standard controller, PlayStation Move or the PlayStation Vita , Sony's current mobile console , can also be used as control devices. The PlayStation 3 Move controllers are still supported.

With the release of the PlayStation 4 Slim in autumn 2016, a revised version of the DualShock 4 controller appeared. In addition to a slightly different color scheme and material surface, the new version also features the light bar on the upper edge of the touchpad. The new controller can now also transmit the input signals directly to the console via the USB cable, which reduces the latency compared to the wireless Bluetooth connection. This redesigned controller is included with the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.

PlayStation Camera

PlayStation Camera (first generation)

The PlayStation Camera is a further development of the PlayStation Eye for the PS3. A dual camera system, similar to Microsoft's Kinect, allows depth perception of the surroundings. Alternatively, the two cameras can be used for different tasks. For example, a sensor can be used for motion detection and the second camera can simultaneously record a video recording.

PlayStation VR

Sony presented their virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in November 2014 . The prototype, called Project Morpheus, offered full 1080p resolution with a 90-degree viewing angle. Sony also wants to equip its VR system with acceleration and position sensors and combine them with a PlayStation camera. The device currently only works with a cable and Sony is not currently planning a wireless version. The equipment should also include 3D sound technology. The name was officially changed from Project Morpheus to PlayStation VR at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2015 . In March 2016, Sony announced that PlayStation VR would be released in October 2016. It is controlled using the DualShock 4 controller or the motion-sensitive PlayStation Move controller . The PlayStation VR has a 5.7-inch full HD OLED panel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is not supported for every game. The official launch of PlayStation VR was on October 13, 2016 and the RRP was 399.99 euros without the camera, but was later reduced to 299.99 euros. Sony announced that the PlayStation VR has now sold over 3 million times. On the PS4 Pro, some PS VR titles offer higher visibility, more stable frame rates, higher resolutions, anti-aliasing and / or other visual features.

Expansion functions

Remote play

The Vita PS4 games can be displayed and controlled via the feature called “Remote Play” by Sony. The PlayStation 3 already supports the streaming of some games to the Vita, but according to Shuhei Yoshida , President of SCE Worldwide Studios , this should work with more games on the PS4 . With the acquisition of Gaikai , Sony developed a new method with which the transmission of the content is possible with a significantly lower latency than is the case with the PS3.

Remote play allows all games that do not require the PlayStation camera to be played on the Vita. With remote play, the PlayStation Vita connects either via a direct WLAN connection, the WLAN connection of the home network ( access point ) or via the Internet with the PlayStation 4. After the connection, the full content of the signal displayed on the screen can be viewed on the Vita to be seen. Exceptions are media applications or the playback of Blu-rays. In addition, the PlayStation 4 can be controlled via the Vita. Since the Vita lacks two buttons and the pressure-sensitive analog sticks of the DualShock-4 controller, these functions are mapped onto the Vita touchpad on the back. Some games also offer their own control for remote play, which is specially designed for the Vita.

PlayStation app

The PlayStation app enables the connection to mobile platforms (such as smartphones or tablets ) and their use as a second screen . Both Android and iOS devices are supported. You can also draw something with the app and then play it back on the PlayStation.


Operating systems

The operating system preinstalled natively on the PlayStation 4 should be the OrbisOS developed by Sony itself . It is believed that, similar to the PlayStation 3, it is a FreeBSD 9 based unix-like system .

On January 12, 2017, it was announced that Sony had completed the beta version of a firmware update with version number 4.5 for the PlayStation 4 and released it for testing. The test version of the firmware update developed under the company's internal code name " Sasuke " includes the possibility of connecting external hard drives with a storage capacity of up to 8 TB via the USB interface, the possibility of playing 3D Blu-rays via the head Mounted display PlayStation VR and changes in the menu navigation as well as the possibility of using your own background images. On March 9, 2017, the final version of the firmware update 4.5 was released by Sony for download. In addition to the additional functions already mentioned, it includes other new options. For example, the final version allows the use of different refresh rates in the cinema mode of PlayStation VR depending on the selected screen size. When the remote play function is activated, the firmware update 4.5 now also enables voice chats under Windows 10 , macOS and on Sony Xperia devices.

At the end of May 2018 it was announced that Linux would be installed on the PlayStation 4 with firmware versions 5.01 and 5.05, exploiting a vulnerability in the original kernel, using a special boot loader .

Launch title

The following games were available on PlayStation 4 launch day:

In addition, other games appeared exclusively as downloads on the launch day, including Contrast , Flower , Resogun and Sound Shapes . In addition, the free-to-play titles Blacklight: Retribution , War Thunder and Warframe were offered free of charge or at a low price.

PlayStation 4 games can be played worldwide. As with the previous console, there are no regional restrictions.

user interface

The design of the user interface is based on the appearance of the PSN store at the time of the PS4 announcement. In return, all elements of the earlier XrossMediaBar were removed. The OS also allows multitasking. For example, it is possible to call up the Internet browser without having to end a current game. This also includes the integration of a cross-game chat , which, despite great demand, was not supported by the previous console. No PS Plus subscription is required for cross-game chat. The majority of the interface is implemented with WebGL and represented by a rendering engine based on the WebKit engine.

Backward Compatibility

The PlayStation 4 is not able to play PlayStation 3 games natively, that is, they run directly on the hardware. Instead, plans to Sony, both PS1, PS2 and PS3 software over the Internet service " PlayStation Now " to stream. The technology required for this is to be provided by Gaikai , a cloud computing company that was acquired by Sony in 2012. The service was not yet available when the console was released. The service will start in the USA for the first time in early 2014. The service has been available in Germany since August 24, 2017. During CES 2014 Sony introduced the service called “PlayStation Now” and confirmed the first two games, The Last of Us by Naughty Dog and Beyond: Two Souls by Quantic Dream . Since December 2015, some PlayStation 2 games have been made public in the PlayStation Store, such as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas , Grand Theft Auto Vice City or Grand Theft Auto III .

Information on the use of used games

When it became known in May 2013 that the competing Xbox One had a system that restricted the use of used games, a Twitter campaign was started with great public participation . This should inform Sony that the players themselves strictly reject such restrictions. Individual Sony employees reacted positively to this campaign, but initially there was no official statement from the company.

In June, Sony used the E3 computer games fair in Los Angeles to make it clear to the public that the PlayStation 4 would not have any used game locks. The online use of used software is an exception. At this point, Sony leaves it up to the individual publishers to decide whether a game that has already been purchased as used can be used again, for example in online multiplayer. However, according to Scott Rohde, head of the software development department at Sony, Sony does not allow implementation via online passports, since users already have to pay for online functions via PlayStationPlus and double payment should be prevented. At the same time, however, he also admitted that it was very difficult to tell the big publishers how to handle these things exactly, even if he personally found it difficult to imagine that any big publisher would use such systems because of the corresponding negative effects.

Although high-ranking Sony employees had already confirmed the general possibility of reselling used games before the online campaign, this is said to have influenced the company's decision.

Programming interfaces and development environment

Two different APIs are used , which are to be merged into a single one in the future:

  • GNM (Low Level)
  • GNMX (High Level)

GNM allows hardware-related programming of the console. At the high-level level, however, GNMX is used, which literally encloses GNM (hence the name wrapper API) and on which it is easier to develop. The feature set is comparable to OpenGL 4.4 and DirectX 11.2 and goes even further in places. A special shader language called PSSL was developed for the graphics processor , which is also intended to enable significantly more direct access to the hardware than with the computer.

Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 under Windows 7 are used as the development environment . Various tools are integrated in advance, including for static and real-time analysis of CPU and GPU performance. For the compiler , Sony relies on LLVM , which, in addition to an open source community, is also regularly expanded by the company itself.


Technical specifications

The hardware was implemented by AMD in cooperation with Sony as an Accelerated Processing Unit ( APU ). The main - (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) are on a common The pooled. AMD describes the hardware as "semi-custom" and saw the PS4 as the most powerful APU that the company had developed until then.

The graphics unit consists of 18 (on the PS4 Pro 36) arithmetic units , the so-called compute units . Their 1.84 (4.198 for the PS4 Pro) TFLOPS computing power can be used freely for graphics, simulation tasks or a mixture of the two. A total of 20 compute units are built into the PlayStation 4, but two of them are deactivated for higher chip yield. The GPU clocks at 800 MHz (911 MHz for the PS4 Pro) and is based on a "DirectX 11.2+ Feature Set" , which has been expanded to include various custom features. The modifications add special intrinsics to the instruction set and in particular improve the use of the graphics processor for general purpose applications (GPGPU). Among other things, the number of compute commands under GCN has been increased from two to 64.

The main processor is based on AMD's Jaguar series with 1.6 (with the PS4 Pro 2.1) GHz clock rate in an eight-core processor. These are divided into two four-core groups, which each share 2 MiB L2 caches . Each core continues to have its own 32 KiB L1 I-Cache and -D cache. In addition to the use of 128-bit ALUs and several levels of jump prediction , the processor is primarily characterized by the use of an x86 architecture with 64-bit expansion . This replaces the RISC architectures previously used on the console, such as IBM Power . Six of the eight cores were initially available for games, the remaining processors were reserved by the operating system. At the end of November 2015, it was announced that Sony has recently started offering developers the option of using the seventh processor core for games.

In addition, the PS4 has a number of dedicated chips for installations , data uploads and downloads in the background or in sleep mode , as well as for recording gameplay videos. This also includes an audio processor based on AMD's TrueAudio technology , which can independently decompress and compress various sound formats. The main processor and graphics processor are not used for these tasks and are thus relieved.

8 GB of RAM of the type GDDR5 with 176 (with the PlayStation 4 Pro 218) GB / s bandwidth are used. The memory access is via a 256 bit wide bus at an effective clock rate of 5.5 GHz. CPU and GPU write data in a common address area and can read it out completely ( hUMA ). There is no need for copying between the two units, as in a conventional system with separate memory partitions. In addition, located on the main board 256 MB DDR3 - RAM and 32 MB flash memory for the low-power processor for network tasks. The PlayStation 4 Pro also has 1 GB DDR3 RAM, which is used for the intermediate storage of app data. This allows games on the PlayStation 4 Pro to use 512 MB more memory of the 8 GB main memory (5.5 GB in total).

The PlayStation 4 and 4 Slim have two USB 3.0 ports, the PlayStation 4 Pro has three USB 3.1 ports.

Camera - PlayStation Camera

  • Dimensions: 186 mm × 27 mm × 27 mm
    (width × height × depth)
  • Weight: 183 g
  • Video resolution: maximum 1280 × 800 pixels × 2
    (one image per camera, dual-cam technology)
  • Frame rate:
    • 1280 × 800 pixels at 060 FPS
    • 0640 × 400 pixels at 120 FPS
    • 0320 × 192 pixels at 240 FPS
  • Video formats: RAW , YUV (uncompressed)
  • Recording range: from 30 cm
  • Viewing angle: 85 °
  • Microphone: consists of 4 channels
  • Connection type: proprietary format (AUX)
  • Cable length: 2 m

Controller - DualShock 4

  • Dimensions: 162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm
    (width × height × depth)
  • Weight: 210 g
  • Data outputs: USB (Micro B), extension port, audio output
  • Wireless communication: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Battery: Built-in lithium-ion battery (1000 mAh, 3.7 V)
  • Action buttons: triangle, circle, cross, square
  • Directional Buttons: Up / Down / Left / Right
  • Other buttons: PS button, Share button, Option button and four shoulder buttons
  • Analog sticks: L (with L3 button) and R (with R3 button)
  • Touch pad: capacitive, click mechanism, up to two touches at the same time
  • Motion sensors: Six-Axis Motion Sensing System
    (3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis acceleration sensor)
  • further features: light bar, 2 vibration motors on the right and left, built-in mono loudspeaker

Image output

The PlayStation 4 supports a resolution of up to 3840 × 2160 pixels ( 4K Ultra HD ). Until the Playstation 4 Pro, this resolution was only used for pictures and videos. Until then, the console's performance was insufficient for games, according to Shuhei Yoshida .

Playback media and speeds

  • 6 × Blu-ray Disc (read only) with 27 MByte / s (maximum 50 GB dual-layer)
  • 8 × DVD- ROM with 11 MByte / s


I / O

  • Super-Speed USB (2 x USB 3.0 (PS4 and 4 Slim), 3 x USB 3.1 (Pro))
  • AUX (for the camera)


AV output


Web links

Commons : PlayStation 4  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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