Sony finally announced its PlayStation 4 home console yesterday after months of speculation and rumours and the company is promising to change the face of gaming forever. We never actually got to see the PS4, but over the course of a long press event Sony did explain in-depth what we can expect to see and have when the PlayStation 4 launches sometime later this year.
Maybe for the first time, simply having much improved graphics was not enough for a new console, this time the console needs to compete with tablets that can deliver quality gaming, with social media that can distract, and with the idea that home entertainment is becoming irrelevant.
Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will arrive in time for Christmas and the remit of the device is to create a gaming ecosystem that moves from console to smartphone to tablet to the handheld PS Vita gaming device. This means you will be able to access PlayStation Network features via a tablet or smartphone, while seamless remote gaming will be possible thanks to the super-fast remote syncing with the PS Vita.
One bit of bad news is that the PlayStation 4 will not have native backward compatibility, so if you have some PS3 games lying around you are better off trading them in. However, that does not mean you cannot play PS3 games on the new console, you can, you just cannot use physical copies. Instead Sony is planning a cloud streaming service that lets players download and play old back catalogue PlayStation games in real time thanks to live streaming. The upside to this Sony says is that you can have the entire PlayStation catalogue stretching right back to the PlayStation 1.
Another key feature is the immersive social options that allow players to watch friends live playing their games and to even jump into the action and help them complete difficult tasks, even from another continent. Under the hood Sony is painting the PlayStation 4 as a PC gaming console thanks to a x86 architecture and comes with an advanced PC GPU that boasts “almost 2 teraflops of performance,” and 8GB of GDDR5 system memory.