Sony unveils PlayStation 4

8:16 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
A screen capture from the introductory presentation for the PlayStation 4 on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in New York.
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NEW YORK (NBC) -- Sony has just revealed its new game machine -- the PlayStation 4 -- as well as a new controller with a touch pad, a "share" button and light bar.

"Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation as a company," said Andrew House, president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, as he took the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. "Today we will give you a glimpse into the future of play."

House told a room packed full of journalists that the new machine -- the successor to the PlayStation 3 -- would take the moniker PlayStation 4. Sony then revealed the new touch-sensing DualShock controller as well as a new camera that works in conjunction with the controller.

Mark Cerny, the PS4's lead system architect, went on to reveal the powerful guts of the machine explaining, "The architecture we chose is like PC in many ways." He said the PlayStation 4 will have an X86 CPU and 8 gigabytes of unified system memory.

David Perry - CEO and founder of Gaikai - also took the stage. Sony bought his game streaming company last year. He said the integration of the streaming game service Gaikai in the PlayStation store will allow gamers to instantly try games before they buy them.

He said with the "share" button on the controller you can broadcast your live gameplay to your PlayStation Network friends. He said your friends will not only be able to watch your gameplay, but can post comments to your screen. You'll also be able to allow friends to take over your game to assist you in a difficult area or interact in other helpful ways.

"What we're creating is the fastest, most powerful network for gaming the world," Perry said. Our vision is to create the first social gaming network with meaning."

Perry also revealed Remote Play -- which will allow gamers to take their PS4 gaming to Sony's smaller game screen. If you're in the middle of a game on your PS4, you can use Remote Play to instantly transfer your it to Sony's handheld Vita, he said. And their ultimate goal is to make it so all PS4 games will be playable on the Vita.

So what games will be coming to the PlayStation 4? Hermen Hulst, co-founder of Guerrilla Games, took to the stage to introduce "Killzone: Shadowfall" a stunning looking futuristic shooter. And Matt Southern from Evolution Studios showed off the ultra-realistic "Drive Club" racing game.

"We've gone borderline insane with the real-world details," he said, showing off the ultra fine details that can be seen on the cars in the game.

Meanwhile, Sucker Punch's Nate Fox revealed the new game from the studio that brought us the "InFamous" series. He said "Second Son" will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Sony has long been rumored to be working on the PlayStation 4. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been duking it out for years, vying to be the prime purveyor of home video games and, in recent years, other home entertainment as well. But Sony's news today is the opening shot in an all new console war.

It's been six years since Sony launched the PlayStation 3 and seven years since Microsoft launched its competing Xbox 360. Late last year, Nintendo revealed the Wii U -- its new home game machine and the successor to the Wii. But so far, the Wii U's lackluster sales and technical specs that make it seem more on par with the current generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 suggest this machine is more of an interim step in the three-way gaming battle.

With Microsoft rumored to be working on its own new home game console (which it will reportedly unveil in the coming weeks), it is Sony and Microsoft who are widely expected to offer up powerful new game machines that leverage the Internet in new ways. And so they are expect to go head-to-head in the coming years, vying for the same demographic and to become the all-important entertainment hub in your household.

(NBC News)

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