Business Technology

Thursday 14 November 2019

Sony announces PlayStation 4 video game console

PlayStation 4's lead system architect Mark Cerny holds a gaming control device during the unveiling of the PlayStation 4 launch event in New York
PlayStation 4's lead system architect Mark Cerny holds a gaming control device during the unveiling of the PlayStation 4 launch event in New York
PlayStation 4's lead system architect Mark Cerny shows the new Dual Shock 4 controller
Mark Cerny speaks during the unveiling of the PlayStation 4
Irish video game developer David Perry speaks during the unveiling

Tom Hoggins

Sony, the Japanese technology giant, has unveiled its next generation video game console, the Sony Playstation 4, at an event in New York.

The new PlayStation 4 console will be powered by the X86 CPU, an enhanced PC GPU, and 8GB unified memory. It features a new controller called the Dual Shock 4, which has a front touchpad and sensor bar. The sensor bar will communicate with a motion-sensing camera to identify players and utilise motion control.

Though Sony did not say how much the console would cost, the company did reveal that it expects to launch the PS4 by "Holiday 2013".

Mark Cerny, lead system architect on the PlayStation 4, demoed the new platform’s graphical capabilities, calling it “supercharged PC architecture" and an “exponential improvement on its predecessors.”

The PlayStation 4 will be able to power itself down into a low power state, preserving game progress. A secondary chip will be able to take care of background downloads, allowing you to start playing games before they have finished downloading.

A new user interface will allow you to make video clips and watch what your friends are playing in real time streamed video, sending them messages or even taking control of their game to help them out. Cerny revealed that these features will also be available on companion applications for smartphones, tablets and PlayStation Vita.

The PlayStation 4’s connectivity will also be able to automatically personalise your dashboard to highlight content tailored to you, including pre-loading games that suits your tastes.

It was also announced that the cloud streaming game service Gaikai will integrate with the PlayStation 4, allowing players to choose a game on the PlayStation store and start playing immediately. With Gaikai, players can also broadcast their gameplay in real time and allow their friends to help.

Remote play has been built into the architecture of the PlayStation 4, which allows players to transfer their PlayStation 4 game remotely to the PlayStation Vita to play on the smaller device.

Sony revealed that the PlayStation 4 won’t be native backwards compatible, but hopes that eventually the Gaikai service will allow older games to be played on the system over the cloud. It was unclear whether your already owned discs will allow you to stream games, or if you would have to re-buy any games you wanted.

Sony also announced games for the PlayStation 4, including cartoon adventure Knack, FPS Killzone Shadowfall, racer Drive Club and superhero yarn Infamous Second Son.

As well as a host of third-party titles, such as Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Bungie and Activision's Destiny, Sony also announced a strategic partnership with World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment, the first time the developer has worked on console. Blizzard will release Diablo III for the PS4 and the PS3.

The PlayStation 4 follows the PlayStation 3, which was originally released in 2007 and has reportedly sold 77m units worldwide to date.

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