PS4 console announced by Sony
Sony has officially announced the PS4 at an event in New York, revealing the new Dual Shock 4 controller and several games, but no console
The Sony PS4 next-gen games console has finally been announced at a New York event late last night, along with some of the games that will launch on the new hardware and a redesigned Dual Shock 4 controller.
Although the console itself wasn't on show, we now know what hardware it will contain - a 64-bit, x86 AMD APU with eight cores, codenamed "Jaguar", Radeon-based graphics capable of 1.84 TFLOPS of rendering power, and 8GB of GDDR5 memory, as well as an unspecified amount of hard disk storage and a Blu-ray optical drive.
In the absence of the main unit, the new DualShock 4 was the star of the show
Sony did reveal the revised DualShock 4 controller, which has an integrated touchpad, microphone jack, dedicated share button and a light bar which copies some limited functionality from the PlayStation Move motion controllers - which were confirmed to work with the PS4 despite being designed for the now-previous generation PS3.
The new light bar appears to some replicate Move functionality, above it you can see the dedicated Share button
The Share button forms a major part of Sony's revised user interface, which is heavily integrated with FaceBook and Ustream for finding friends and sharing video. It looks very similar to the redesigned PlayStation Store, with a stronger focus on finding the content you'll personally enjoy - it even uses your Trophy data to pre-load game demos and videos based on what it thinks you'll be interested in - much like the Tivo TV system.
Remote Play will play a bigger part in the PlayStation future, with new game Knack confirmed to stream gameplay from the PS4 to Sony's Vita handheld. The long term goal is to apparently make every PS4 game stream in this way, although it sounds like it won't be a requirement at launch.
The PS4 has powerful cloud gaming features, with constant video compression hardware, allowing for instant social sharing of gameplay and remote play options
Finally, the PS4 reveal confirmed the reason behind Sony's purchase of cloud company Gaikai - the new console will allow gamers to play streamed demos straight off the PlayStation Store without having to wait to download them, share gameplay clips with friends and even jump into other people's games to help them through challenging areas.
When asked why the company didn't show off the console itself, Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told Kotaku "When we planned for this event, obviously we discussed what we should show and talk about. "As far as the DualShock 4 is concerned we wanted to do the live demo."
It's awkward not to show the controller when someone is doing a demo. And also the feature that the DualShock 4 has, the share button, is a very key idea behind the design of the PS4... We really wanted to explain what we've done with the DualShock 4, but as far as the system itself we have to keep something new for later. Otherwise you'd get bored."
It's widely expected that the final console will be revealed at E3 in June, but gamers will still have to wait until the vague "Holiday 2013" release window to actually get their hands on the new console - and the UK release date. We also still have yet to learn what one will cost.