11:34 21st Feb, 2013
Sony Announces PS4 With DualShock 4 Controller, Watch Live Stream
Shows off superior graphics, social networking features, and ability to record and share gameplay clips at a New York event, but the PS4 itself was not shown.
Sony has finally announced the PlayStation 4, which is the successor to its PS3 gaming console, at an event held in New York. This comes a few weeks after the Japanese company had teased a PlayStation event to be held on 20th February. This launch comes over six years after the PS3 was launched in November 2006. The PS4 comes with new hardware for better graphics and also includes integration with social networking. Gamers will also have the ability to gloat about their achievements, thanks to the ability to record and share gameplay videos. Strangely, the PS4 unit itself was not shown, leaving you to wonder and speculate about its appearance. You can check out the Ustream live stream of the event below:
The PS4, which Sony described as being like a "supercharged PC", is powered by an x86-based CPU and a GPU that is also similar to what is found in gaming desktop computers. This should make it life easier for game developers who usually face an uphill task of porting games between PC and consoles. It comes with a DualShock 4 controller, which has a touchpad and a share button to make use of the aforementioned social networking and sharing features. It also has a horizontal bar of light that makes it easy for a camera to follow its movements.
Sony states that video compression has been taken care of by dedicated hardware, thus optimising its size and quality to be shared online. Gameplay clips of predetermined duration can be captured in the background to be uploaded later. Gamers can also get the help of an expert friend by relegating control of the PS4 over the internet to help get out of a tight spot. It is also possible for several friends to watch the live gameplay as spectators using the cloud-based Gaikai technology that was recently acquired by Sony.
Those of you who have invested a lot in PS3 games will be disappointed to learn that the PS4 is not backward compatible, meaning that it cannot run PS3 games at least for now. However, Sony is working on using Gaikai technology to bring this backward compatibility to the new console. This should hardly be surprising because not all PS3 consoles are backward compatible with the PS2 either.
Sony used this event to show off previews of some of the PS4 games such as Killzone Shadowfall (an FPS game), Driveclub (racing game), Infamous: Second Son (superhero game) and Diablo 3 (RPG). Ubisoft will also launch the highly anticipated WatchDogs that allows you to play a hacker who takes control of a city's smart systems.
The demos do seem to show impressive graphics that approach cinematic quality. Until now, the PC has had an edge over consoles as far as graphics is concerned, thanks to the ability to upgrade the hardware, but Sony seems to have done its homework with game developers and that is what the stunningly realistic visuals seen in the live demos proclaim.
With Sony firing the new salvo, thus renewing the console war, Microsoft will probably unveil its own successor to the Xbox 360 (Xbox 720?) during the E3 gaming expo in June this year. Sony has quite some time at hand to plan its strategy to gain gaming console market share before its competitor shows off its best gaming console; that strategy must start with the right pricing. Sony is yet to announce the cost of the PS4, so let's hope it doesn't make us wait for too long.
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