E3 2013 Hands-On: PlayStation 4 & Knack, Contrast

The new Sony device supports indie titles and AAA games

Given the importance that both Microsoft and Sony placed on their next-generation consoles during the run-up to E3 2013 and at their press conferences, it's weird to see that the devices were much less prominent on the show floor.

I got to play some of the PlayStation 4 titles that Sony was using to show off the possibilities of its new device, and I have not noticed a huge difference when compared to current-generation consoles.

Knack is the game created by Japan Studio with Mark Cerny, who leads hardware development for the PS4, and it was playable at E3 2013.

I went through a level and I liked the mix of exploration, instant character evolution, and combat the game offers, coupled with the bright colors and the overall upbeat attitude of the title.

Knack's abilities are cool, and it will be interesting to see how the development team explores interesting ideas in the rest of the game.

The game certainly has an edge in terms of graphics quality over any PS3 title that was present at the show.

I also played Contrast on the PlayStation 4, a platforming title from a smaller team that focuses on shadows for both gameplay and storytelling.

The experience shifts from 2D to 3D at the will of the player ,and the demo level had some impressive use of light and shadow that looked very good on the PlayStation 4.

The time spent at a trade show with a next generation console is not enough to make a purchase decision and the success of the new generation of platforms will be massively influenced by titles available on launch and by company policies.

The PlayStation 4 will be out in the fall, probably in time to catch the start of the big Christmas shopping season.

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