In a live steamed press conference tonight, Sony lifted the curtain on its plans for the successor to the PlayStation 3 console; the aptly named PlayStation 4.
Rumor and speculation have been circulating the web, especially the past few weeks, around exactly what Sony would show off, as well as with the timing of the announcement, months ahead of E3 in Los Angeles, where high caliber gaming announcements are often saved for. Instead, Sony beat Microsoft to the punch, detailing its vision for the future of the PlayStation brand.
The PS4's specs will include a X86 CPU, enhanced GPU, 8GB of high-speed RAM, and a local HDD. The system will use a new controller, the Dual Shock 4, which lined up with previous rumors, and includes a touch screen, a share button, as well as a light sensor that feels very similar to PS Move technology.
New system features include a suspend/resume feature, which allows players to put the system in a low power mode, pause a game, and pick it back up, very similar to PC sleep functions. Digital titles will be able to be played while the game downloads in the background, allowing players to jump right into playing a title.
The new social features include being able to automatically capture in-game videos and post them while playing. The social features will also expand to tablets, phones, and other devices, allowing you to still keep track of PS4 videos or other content.
David Perry, CEO of Gaikai - which was recently bought by Sony - showed off Sony's hopes of integrating social gaming and the PlayStation Network. Using the Share button, players will be able to broadcast live feeds to other PS4 friends, and friends will be able to watch and interact with you,all in real time, while you are playing. They can even jump into the game to help you if you get stuck.
Sony's handheld, the PlayStation Vita, will also be able to be used with a Remote Play feature, which will allow you to play PS4 games on the Vita. The long term goal is to make all PS4 titles playable on the Vita.
On the games front, new titles shown included "Knack," "Killzone: Shadow Fall," "Drive Club," "Infamous: Second Son," "The Witness," a PS Move art/building sculpting game by Media Molecule, "Deep Down" (Capcom), an entry in the "Final Fantasy" series (Square Enix), "Watch Dogs" (Ubisoft), "Diablo III," (Blizzard), and "Destiny" (Activision/Bungie).
However, Sony still left many questions unanswered, including the price and release date for the system, and what the system actually looks like.
But, some of the mystery is gone. What do you think about the PS4 so far? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments, and we'll have more on the PS4, including whatever happens at E3, as news continues to break.