On Wednesday February 20 in New York City, Sony introduced its successor to its PlayStation 3 and from the looks of it, it may help Sony regain some of the lost ground it has given up to Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game consoles in the past few years.
For starters those who attended the press conference was told the new PS4 was similar to a “supercharged PC.” These words were not uttered in hyperbole as the PlayStation 4 sports an eight-core processor. That’s right, eight cores.
With this much power, you could probably calculate the next probe launch trajectory to the moon and back. But one thing is certain, that extra power under the hood will definitely mean a boost in performance in processing graphics and other game tasks with ease.
Oddly enough, with all the game demos and talk of the PS4, the actual physical machine did not make a public appearance, nor were there any photos or images of the video game console at the event. The reason for this strange no-show was due to the PS4 still being under development, according to Sony; the insides work, but no casing for the developing electronics has been finalized.
The PS4 will have an emphasis on Cloud-based computing for playing video games. Gamers will not only have the ability to play the latest games on the Cloud, but go "back in time" to play old titles made for the PS1, PS2, and PS3.
In addition to the crazy power of the device, the game console will also have a new controller that will work in tandem with a stereo camera that will be able to “see” its environment and perceive depth. Dubbed the DualShock 4, the controller may bring new dimensions in gameplay.
A new era
Sony has its hopes set high for its new PlayStation console and believes it will be a groundbreaker for a novel gaming experience.
Andrew House, Sony’s chief executive for the Computer Entertainment Division said:
“Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation. [This] represents a significant shift of thinking of PlayStation as merely a box or console to thinking as a leading authority on play.”
Whether Sony can recapture the imagination of gamers is still up for grabs and won’t be apparent until the PlayStation 4 finally ships. But if the initial reactions from PlayStation fans are an indication of how popular it may be, the news seems to be good.
The finalized version of the PS4 is expected to be shown at the next E3 video game convention held in Los Angeles. Industry watchers expect the PS4 to go on sale by the end of the year. No price points have been announced as of yet, but some expect it to launch in the $400-$500 price range. The last iteration of the PlayStation, the PS3 which was released in 2006, sold for $600.
Stay tuned for more details as they come in!
Frank Ling is the National Technology Examiner for Examiner.com. He is a writer, professional photographer, and video editor. One of his all-time favorite jobs was working at a large video game publisher as a QA trainer for testing game software.