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Sony Finally Unwraps the PS4

February 20, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 8:19 PM

Sony unveils PlayStation 4.After a long wait for gamers everywhere, Sony has finally lifted the curtain on its next generation game console, the PlayStation 4 (PS4).

The press event is still marching on, so these updates will be a bit fragmented, but we can tell you that much of the recent rumors around the new console are, for the most part, right on the mark. One of the biggest, the fact that the PS4 will have absolutely zero boot-up time. When you hit the switch, it’s on, and you’re at the home screen. Any game downloads will occur in the background, and gamers will be allowed to play while downloads are happening.

The logic behind game downloads is extensive – the PS4 will actually be able to hedge a guess at the types of games that you like to play, and suggest downloading sequels or next versions for you.

Sharing and social networking capability is a big push for Sony and the PS4 at this announcement. Gamers will be able to instantly capture, edit and upload footage of their gameplay from within the game itself. When you have a friend purchase a game that you are interested in, or that the systems thinks you would enjoy, you’ll be notified, and invited to play along with them.

“PlayStation 4 will unleash imaginations to create next-gen experiences that surpass gamers’ wildest expectations, while also allowing developers to explore other business models,” said Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment at the NYC launch event.

Rumored specs are pretty much on target - The PS4 will have an x86 processor under the hood, with an enhanced PC GPU. It will also be outfitted with 8GB of high-speed unified memory, as well as system memory backed with local storage.

The revamped controller, called the DualShock 4, will have an enhanced feel for the joystick as well as the trigger button, which should offer better control over in-game actions. Rumble capabilities have been upgraded, and controller latency has also been addressed.

Some new features are on the DualShock4, namely a touchpad, share button, headphone jack, and lightbar. The share feature on the controller will allow players to broadcast their games to Facebook in real time – your friends will basically be able to look over your shoulders and interact as you go through the game, and friends can post comments that show up on the screen. Here’s the kicker with social sharing – if  you’re stuck at a level or need help during gameplay, a friend can actually take over the controller from you, remotely, and guide you through. Sony is building this sharing functionality into the PS Network, so your circle of PS friends will become integral to your gaming experience.

As of posting time, price hasn’t been announced, and the actual physical console hasn’t yet been shown to the audience at the launch event – stay tuned for another post from us when that happens.

Update: Sony will not have the price or the console to display today. That will come in June at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.