THE PLAYSTATION 4 is expected to be unveiled at a Sony press conference in New York at 11pm (UK time) tonight.
It will be the first new home console from the Japanese giants in six years, and rumours are rife over the specs, style and cost of the new console. Here’s our round-up of what to expect from Sony’s announcement tonight.
It is almost inconceivable that Sony will move away from the Playstation brand with the new machine, which is codenamed ‘Orbis’. The Dreamcast was at one point known as the Katana, and the Xbox 360 as the Xenon, so don’t expect to be waiting in line to pick up a Sony Orbis on release day.
According to multiple reports, the PS4 will feature the same CPU, or central processor, as the upcoming Xbox 720. Sony’s machine will, however, have better graphical capability. It’s thought the machine will be able to display images in Full HD, but not in the higher 4K format.
Rumours abound that tablet control will be available on the PS4. Using mobile devices to download games to the console or chat with friends are both widely reported, as is the presence of an built-in camera and the possibility of watching friends’ games live on your TV.
One feature which looks set in stone is technology to stop the trade in second-hand games. Sony filed a patent in the US last year for “a game playing system [including] a use permission tag provided for use in a game disk for a user of a game, a disk drive, and a reproduction device for reproducing the game.” In basic terms, this would be a tag on the disc that would tie a game to a particular console.
Pictures have surfaced of prototypes of the PS4 control pad. It has a touchpad, much like the portable PSVita, and will reportedly feature a ‘share’ button allowing players to record their gaming exploits and upload them online.
Interestingly, one common rumour is that multiple players will be able to log in to one machine at the same time. This would bring the PS4 in line with the Xbox 360, and would be achieved by linking individual controllers with user accounts. Speakers and a headphone socket built into the handset are also rumoured additions.
Rumoured to be around $400 for the US launch, so expect the UK price to be around £299.
We may have to wait a while to find out a lot of the details of the PS4, if past Sony launches are anything to go by. Expect June’s E3 trade show to bring more information about the user interface and the overall design of the system, but for many just knowing that the PS4 is on the way will make tonight’s announcement worth watching.