Sony unveiled the new PlayStation 4 at a press conference in New York City on Wednesday as gamers avidly count down the months until its holiday 2013 release. It is Sony’s “most powerful platform ever” said Andrew House, president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, promising it will allow “worlds to come alive with greater fidelity and intensity than ever before.”
Social connectivity is at the forefront of the design with partnerships through Facebook and UStream. The Dualshock controller lets gamers connect to social media and share live streams and screenshots as they play. While PlayStation’s DualShock 4 controller looks much the same as its predecessor, it also features a touchpad, enhanced rumble, and a Share button. “We wanted to make sure nothing would come between the player, the platform and play,” said lead system architect Mark Cerny. “Our goal was the architect the system as to support a breadth of experiences.”
The controller also has a Kinect-like camera depth-and-motion sensor that can read the player’s location, but they did not disclose how this camera will be used in games. Sony also touted the cross-platform capability of the PS4 on a tablet. The PSVita portable device can be used as a controller on the PS4, similar to the GamePad controller integrated with Nintendo Wii U.
Using “Driveclub” to show the system’s state of the art graphics processor, viewers glimpsed rich and vibrant close-ups, down to “microscopic metallic flakes of paint.” The next generation graphics are powered by an eight-core x86 processor and 8GB of RAM, reducing the lag time between content and player control. PS4 even has a “suspend mode” that will allow the system to lower power while not in use without losing game sessions.
While showcasing the enhanced graphics, mobile integration, and social media capabilities of the new system, the design of the console or hardware itself were not revealed. Sony confirm the PS4 will not be backwards compatible with other PS3 games but claims gamers will be able to stream PS1, 2, and 3 games from the Playstation Network. No word on whether gamers will have to re-purchase the older games they already own.