Sony Reveals Its Big Play For Next-Gen Gaming: The PlayStation 4

Saying that the gamer is the center of the gaming universe, and promising more connectivity between devices, Sony has revealed the first official glimpse of its next-gen console, the PlayStation 4.

Several leaks over recent days have hinted that today's Sony press event was going to be about its next-gen games console, and Sony has just revealed that it's all true and that the PlayStation 4—of course—is indeed on the way.

Sony's event began with a frank admission that the gaming console market needed radical innovation, and its previous effort, the PS3, didn't quite deliver. Console machines had been single purpose, with a game cartridge or CD to deliver access to new content—and the PS3 arrived when all this was in flux. Given the shifting sands, Sony says, there were natural limitations to what the PS3 could do. Instead it's promising its PS4 is a "shift from thinking of a box or console." Instead gamers will find that the PlayStation 4 is "the best place to play," in a highly personalized, powerful gaming environment.

As leaked photos had suggested, the PS4 will build in ideas from Sony's PSP handheld machine and its heritage: The controllers for the PS4 are a radical change (though less so than the Wii U's controllers) because they have a built-in track pad and 3-D positional sensing systems much like the earlier Xbox Kinect-rivaling PS Move system. The console hardware itself will be based on "supercharged" PC-like architecture, a little like the PS3, and Sony's moved to make programming the thing simpler: The company seems to have learned its lessons that the PS3's Cell chip was almost too innovative for games coders to master.

A key part of the PS4 is background processing for downloading content and other actions during play. And there's a big social angle, so players can share video of their play almost as soon as they've done it. There's also emphasis that this new social angle will reach smartphones and tablets via social networks like Facebook and companion apps. The console will also learn gamers' likes and dislikes, and may even pre-load content, and games, that will appeal to a user.

Sony is playing a difficult game here, with the rise of casual gaming on smartphones and tablets seriously eating into the console gaming market. A former MS executive has even intimated that Apple could "kill" Sony's, Microsoft's, and Nintendo's market by adding apps to the Apple TV.

Controversially, Sony's saying that PS3 games won't be available on the PS4 at first.

Does Sony stand a chance with its PS4? Will it be too late? Is it innovative enough?

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4 Comments

  • Jason

    Coming from an Xbox owner, get over it.  Same horrible controller? It has worked since PS1 guy. Cheap engaging games? Crazy guy.

  • Guest

    Are they innovative enough? Did they innovate at all? It's the SAME horrible controler design that was bad in 1997, why the hell don't they improve it? It feel so bad in the hand it's not even a joke. And that left stick should be at the same place as the xbox controler. What else: "we added social media, ability to share videos and a easy way for programmer to code on our machine. Seriously? Did you need 10 comittees to come to that conclusion? Welcome to 2008, Sony.  When you see companies like Sony and Blackberry stopping to innovate and living in the past, it's time to fire all manager and refresh it with new blood, new ideas. The only thing they're doing is a slightly better version of a bad console. I'd had an Xbox 360 and a Wii in the last few year, mostly for some unique games that each of them had (wii = all nintendo games, Xbox = microsoft live, gears of war, etc) and i though that even though they weren't the best powerhouse, they delivered on the one thing that truly matters: content, games, fun factor. It doesnt matter how good looking the game is, if they are 4 levels or has many bugs/flaws nobody gonna play. Right now, the most exciting console that's coming out is not the xbox, playstation or wii u.... but the OUYA, because it's simple, cheap, fun and open to anyone who want to code for it. So anybody that has a great idea for a game but a little team (so they wont waste large amount of time on graphics) will be able to create amazing cheap, engaging games. Now that's innovation