At a special event in New York City on Wednesday, Sony pulled back the curtain on its next-generation game console, PlayStation 4. Rumors leading up to the event pegged several key features of the system, including the new DualShock 4 controller, featuring a touch-sensitive pad, Share button, and built-in PlayStation Move support.
Sony didn’t announce detailed specifications for PlayStation 4, but did say it would have a “supercharged PC architecture” featuring an x86 processor and 8GB of system memory. These key components should make programming for the system easier than its predecessor, Sony said, which suffered from notoriously difficult development.
In addition, Sony introduced sweeping OS changes and new features. A running theme of the presentation was sharing, evident by the dedicated Share button found on the new controller. Among these features are dedicated live video streaming, video editing, and social sharing, all included at the OS level. These integrated features will allow gamers to share video from any PS4 title without extra work from developers.
PlayStation 4 won’t have any native backwards-compatibility, Sony announced, but players will be able to play games from every previous PlayStation generation using cloud streaming services provided by Gaikai, which Sony acquired in 2012. This same service will allow gamers to instantly demo games in real-time without the need to download to their console. Sony also aims to make every PS4 title playable on the PlayStation Vita using Gaikai’s streaming technology.
Along with the system itself, Sony announced a slew of new first- and third-party games for PlayStation 4 and a huge list of developers working on titles for the system. Among the new games announced were new entries in the Killzone and Infamous series. Existing titles announced officially for PS4 release included Watch_Dogs, Destiny, and The Witness, which indie developer Jonathan Blow announced as a timed PS4 exclusive. Sony also revealed the dozens of third-party developers they have on board for PS4 development, including EA, SQUARE ENIX, 2K Games, WB Games, SEGA, Capcom, and many more. Several of these partners took the stage with tech demo footage to show off the graphical capabilities of the new system.
Sony ended the event by announcing a holiday 2013 release window for PlayStation 4, but did not give any details about pricing and did not show off the console’s form factor. Gamers can expect more news and reveals about PS4 throughout the year at industry events like E3 and GDC.
Stay tuned to GIZORAMA for ongoing coverage of PlayStation 4 over the next several months leading up to its release.