Sony gives the ultimate PS4 lowdown with 160-question FAQ

Sony has posted a massive FAQ on its US blog to answer the most pressing questions fans have about the upcoming PlayStation 4 console.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
3 min read

Sony has posted a massive FAQ on its US blog to answer the most pressing questions fans have about the upcoming PlayStation 4 console.

(Credit: Sony)

Well, this is pretty great: people have a lot of questions about the PlayStation 4 and, rather than waiting for the console's launch to deliver answers, Sony has released them now in a massive, highly detailed FAQ.

There's a lot of reading there, but we did pick out what we felt were some of the more interesting ones.

Firstly, it seems that the hard drive will not be replaceable with a 12.5-millimetre SATA drive, as suspected by German website Computer Bild. The console ships with a 500GB 5400RPM SATA II drive, and you can install a new one so long as it is no higher than 9.5 millimetres and larger than 160GB. This doesn't mean you miss out on 1.5 terabytes, though — earlier this year, Western Digital's HGST released the Travelstar 5K1500, a 5400 RPM 1.5TB drive.

This will be a popular move, we suspect, since PS4 Blu-ray games will need to be cached to the hard drive, which will take up a lot of space. In order to play Blu-ray and DVD films and other media, you'll also need to install the day-one patch.

In the box, you'll receive a PlayStation 4 console with 500GB drive, a DualShock 4 controller, a micro-USB cable for charging the controller, a mono headset for voice chat, a power cable and HDMI cable. The PS3 does not come with an HDMI cable included.

Ports on the console are HDMI-out, digital-out, ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports and an auxiliary connecter for the PlayStation camera. The console also does not have the power brick required by the Xbox 360, as its power supply is internal.

The PS4 is not backwards compatible, so none of your current PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 2 games will run on the console. However, some PlayStation Store digital titles will work on the PS4, so if you purchased these titles for PS3 or PS2, you will be able to download them again on your PS4. Flower, flOw, Escape Plan and Sound Shapes will be available at launch. Other titles will be available for a US$9.99 digital upgrade.

Sony reiterated that used games and game lending are fully supported, and the console does not require always-online or intermittent connection in order to run. Games are not region-locked, and users will be able to log into any PS4 console to access their digital content.

You can have 2000 friends on your PS4 console, compared to 100 on the PS3.

Finally, the PS4 has 10 times the processing power of the PS3. It has 8GB of high-speed GDDR5 RAM, an eight core X86 CPU and a powerful graphics processor, which will enable developers to build larger, much more detailed worlds, more realistic lighting models, more complex physics and particle effects, more varied and realistic character animations, sharper environment and object textures, higher screen resolutions (up to 1080p), higher frame rates (up to 60 frames per second) and larger multiplayer matches.

For the rest of the FAQ, head over to the Sony PlayStation blog.