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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sony officially unveils PS4; coming this holiday but no price announced

To no one's surprise, Sony officially announced the PS4, their next home console releasing this holiday, during an event in New York City. The conference was filled with all kinds information from specs to game footage. The funny thing about it is they didn't actually show what the console looks like, but I'm sure it's going to look like a thin box of some sort.

Killzone: Shadow Fall
The powerful system will feature 8 gigabytes of  GDDR5 RAM; a DualShock 4 controller with a touch pad that will also interact with a PlayStation Eye device; the ability to resume a game when turning on the system; and being able to play a game even while it's still downloading off the PlayStation Network. A share button lets a player upload video game footage to social media networks. What is most likely an effort to boost struggling PS Vita sales, Sony plans to have PS4 games be playable on the handheld. I don't see that catching on since someone would have to shell out $250-$300 for a PS Vita, unless Sony finally decides to cut the price.

Gaikai will play a big role in PS4's future by allowing all PS1, PS2 and PS3 games to be streamed via cloud technology. I assume this will take a while to implement and will not be available at launch, and will also cost some money to use. If it works out as Sony hopes it does, this could be huge incentive to purchase the system.

Game footage included "Knack," an action platformer starring a charming little robot; "Killzone: Shadow Fall," a colorful new shooter; "Drive Club," a racing game that focuses heavy on social features; "Infamous: Second Son," another game in the popular action series from Sucker Punch; "Deep Down," an impressive looking fantasy game from Capcom; "The Witness," a 3D puzzle video game by Jonathan Blow, the maker of "Braid"; "Watch Dogs," the much-hyped open-world Ubisoft title shown at E3 last year; another Final Fantasy game from Square Enix; "Diablo III" is releasing on both the PS3 and PS4 (will anyone still care by then?); and the new Bungie game titled "Destiny" will feature exclusive content.

The Witness
Besides what the console looks like, one important thing we don't know is the price. I wasn't expecting it to be announced this early since Sony doesn't want Microsoft to know everything about their new competing console. We'll probably know the price at E3 later this year, but with all the tech and features Sony is delivering, I bet the PS4 will cost at least $400. I don't know if Sony can afford to take a big hit on hardware losses since the whole company has been struggling financially.

It's going to be fun times leading up to the holiday season. Now it's time to see what Microsoft has in store for their new console.

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