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PlayStation 4 announced

Thursday 21 Feb 2013 11:45 a.m.

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Sony has unveiled its next-generation gaming system, the PlayStation 4, at a New York event.

The event focused on the new console's social and remote features and games that are being developed for it. It wrapped without Sony showing off the actual device, or announcing its price, although they did say it will be released before the end of the year.

The next-gen console will be called the PS4, with hardware confirmed as:

  • Super Charged PC Architecture
  • XB6 CPU
  • Enhanced PC GPU
  • 8 GB unified RAM

In a media release, Sony elaborated on the processing power of the new console:

“PS4 is centered around a powerful custom chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and a state of the art graphics processor.

“The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has been enhanced in a number of ways, principally to allow for easier use of the GPU for general purpose computing (GPGPU) such as physics simulation. The GPU contains a unified array of 18 compute units, which collectively generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power that can freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two.

“PS4 is equipped with 8 GB of unified system memory, easing game creation and increasing the richness of content achievable on the platform. GDDR5 is used for this memory, giving the system 176 GB/second of bandwidth and providing a further boost to graphics performance.”

The new controller - the DualShock 4 - was unveiled. It has a touch pad on the top, reduced controller latency, a share button, headphone jack and light bar. Designed in tandem with new stereo camera, it can track position of controller in 3D space.

The PS4 will support suspend / resume with the press of a button, letting players go back to their exact spot with minimal delay.

The custom chip will manage background downloads so players can play download games before they've finished downloading. Dedicated video decompression hardware will let players record and upload gameplay and allow reviewing of previous gameplay sequences and upload video of that, too.

Remote play will allow users to play PS4 games on the Vita. PS3 games will not be natively supported on PS4, but the long-term goal is to make previous platforms (PS1-PS3) available on any platform (smartphones, etc, including PS4) via Gaikai (PlayStation Cloud Service).

New games announced at the show include KnackKillzone: Shadow Fall, Driveclub, Infamous: Second Son and Deep Down.

Other game announcements included Diablo 3 (coming to PS4 and PS3), The Witness and a new PS4 Final Fantasy. Sony also confirmed Bungie's Destiny and Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs are heading to the PS4.

Today’s console announcement gives Sony a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor.

The PlayStation 4 will be Sony's first major game console since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006. Microsoft is expected to unveil the next Xbox in June at the E3 videogame expo in Los Angeles.

Last year, Nintendo started selling the Wii U, though it plays catch-up in some respects in bringing the ability to play high-definition games.

Although the Xbox 360 came out a year before PlayStation 3, Microsoft's game machine has been more popular, largely because of its robust online service, Xbox Live, which allows people to play games with others online. The original Wii has sold more units since its launch than both its rivals, but it lost momentum as the novelty of its motion controller faded. Sales of the new Wii U have been slow.

Underscoring the importance of a new PlayStation and the US market, Sony is holding its announcement event in New York rather than in Japan, as it had in the past. The event is taking place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan.

AP / NZGamer.com

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