Sony may have officially unveiled the PS4 last month at an event in NYC, but that hasn't stopped company officials and even game studio heads from hyping the next-gen console.
Indeed, Avalanche CTO Linus Blomberg recently said the PS4 will not only be a very powerful gaming machine from a hardware perspective, but also a social tool and integrated marketplace more akin to successful mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
"It’s always very exciting with a new console cycle, for a number of reasons. The consoles desperately need a boost since having been overtaken in terms of performance by PC’s several years ago, and also losing market share to mobile platforms," he told GamingBolt.
"It’s the best of all worlds in a way; great performance for demanding high-end gaming, good social ecosystem and connectivity, and integrated business marketplace."
According to Blomberg, the PS4 is likely to bring open-world gaming to a "whole new" level.
"I’m glad Sony decided to go with 8gb RAM because it means that the PS4 will out-power most PC’s for years to come," he said.
"The off-the-shelf philosophy behind the architecture makes sense from a pricing and heating point of view, but it also means that Sony more easily can make incremental improvements of their system. If that’s actually their plan I don’t know, but it could help preventing the inevitable loss of market shares that the long console cycles entails.”
As TG Daily previously reported, Sony is describing its upcoming console as a "platform by game creators for game creators." Indeed, the PS4 is equipped with "supercharged" PC architecture, including an x86 processor, enhanced GPU, unified high-speed memory, a massive hard drive and support for suspend/resume mode.
As expected, the Playstation 4 is also packaged with a redesigned controller that features a touchpad on the front, a share button, a headphone jack, a light bar for player identification and tech to sense a player's depth and 3D position.
The Playstation 4 is capable of downloading games in the background, even when put into suspend mode. Meanwhile, the entire Sony Playstation UI has been redesigned, with a special emphasis on social features and integration, as users can even watch games being played (via the controller's "share" button) and discuss in-game events via a chat window. Interestingly, friends can take over another player's controller, if they are given permission to do so.
Sony also described the Vita as the "ultimate companion device" for the PS4, as remote play is support for the portable console via Gakai.
"Our long term goal is to make every PS4 title playable on the Vita," Sony execs explained. "To make remote play on the PS4 and Vita feel good. So we've integrated Gaikai into the PS4, effectively making it a game server."
Unfortunately, the Japanese corporation has yet to reveal the console's price, although Inside Network analyst Billy Pidgeon says he believes Sony will need to price its upcoming PlayStation 4 console at $299 for the system to rack up high sales this holiday season.
"I'd like to see maybe two models, one under $300 and one under $400 would be ideal," Pidgeon explained.
"$299 is the magic price point. I think this current generation took way too long to get there. It has to be under $400 and honestly if they could subsidize it further and take more of a hit, it might be worth their while in the long run."
According to Pidgeon, sales in the first 12 months will be slower - for both Microsoft and Sony - than the previous generation of consoles as more people now play games on devices like tablets and smartphones.
"Uptake during the first year is going to be slower than people expect. And to keep a viable business in terms of profit margins, they're going to have to do their best to keep their current-gen platforms viable as they're perhaps moving into next-gen more slowly than they did last time.
"Historically, we've seen generational transitions where the previous generation just dropped off a cliff when the new console came out, but that would really hurt either Sony or Microsoft if that happened," he added.