PlayStation Wants to Win Following an impressive light show, at 6pm Eastern Time, Andrew House - Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment - took the stage in a New York held event to discuss the future of the PlayStation brand. Of course, what we already knew, that is the PlayStation 4 - with a little help from its friends but it was not officially announced before a bit of a tease. Sony are never an organisation to underplay anything, House spoke in hyperbole such as, the stakes are high and, the moment of truth but given the central role Sony expects the PS4 to play in the evolution of their entertainments ecosystem, such rhetoric was probably justified. It was clear from the outset that, as expected, the PS4 is going to play heavy on the ideas of sharing and multi-device integration. Sony proclaimed the PlayStation wants to win and it clearly intends to do this by fighting its battles on multiple fronts. Whether thats by firing up the console to simply play a game, badgering your mates over Facebook or by utilising the, planned for, play everything on PS Vita will be up to you. The PS4 is created for the modern gamer, not just the living room. Clearly as a riposte to all the developer unfriendly accusations levelled at the PS3, Sony were keen to stress the lengths to which theyve gone to when developing the PS4 for ease of games creation. The architecture is built upon the X86 platform but the most exciting hardware news came with the confirmation the PS4 will ship with 8GB of fast, GDR RAM which should future-proof it somewhat. Other than that, there were no real surprises in the hardware announcements and the new controller was exactly as the rumours suggested a slightly bulkier design with a touchpad and an in-built share facility that integrates instantly with social networking partners, UStream and Facebook. Sony not only intends that you can spectate your friends gaming but also wants to allow you to jump in and help, if needed. The PS4 is, by decree, consumercentric and developer-led. Before the ultimate confirmation that the PS4 was indeed a reality, Sony teased further that the handheld PS Vita would see a renewed push later in the year; the consoles potential is to be unleashed in the living room clearly with an assistive hand from its big brother. Following Houses presentation industry stalwart, Marc Cerny, took the stage to further the ideas of interoperability but Cerny is also a programmer and developer and was rather excited to show off his own project, Knack, which if the visuals displayed during the demo can be matched looks like an astonishing 3rd person 3D platformer. Weve seen many unfulfilled tech demos in the past but Cerny seemed confident that what was shown is fully attainable in the PS4 hardware. Cerny further went on to outline the seamlessness of the PS4 experience. All games will have a demo; all digital downloads are to be (almost) instantly playable with background downloading; a new recommendation engine will download games based on user history and he also showed off the revamped GUI which looked slick and sharp with an emphasis on the share mentality. Next up, Gaikais David Perry took the stage. For those that dont know, Gaikai was launched as a cloud-based gaming service that allows users to play high-end PC and console video games from the cloud. It would seem that Sony is betting heavily on Gaikais prowess by allowing the recently acquired company to take control of the PSN. Perrys vision is to create the first gaming social network with true meaning and new features such as a broadcasting your gaming, real-time, to your friends should further that goal. The, much rumoured, facility to provide the complete PS3 portfolio as a streamed service was confirmed although we get the impression that much work is needed to make that a reality. Perry went on to reiterate the Everything Everywhere message of the PS4 and wed assume a certain UK 4G telecoms provider has taken due note. From there on in Sony was keen to show off the possibilities for a spot of serious console gaming by drawing in a number of its development partners. We saw Guerilla show off Killzone 4, Media Molecule tease the next instalment of the Play, Create, Share franchise, Little Big Planet, and Heavy Rains creators, Quantic Dream, before the audience all sharing their visions of what the new hardware can bring to the table. Naturally all those demos looked stunning as did Evolution Studios driving sim, Drive Club, which looks like it might deliver on the promise of what GT5 wanted to be. In Sonys own rhetoric, the PS4 isnt just any old BOX they stopped short of prefixing it with the 24th letter in the English alphabet but they were obviously keen to get Microsofts former favourite studio on stage. Bungie, developers of the Xboxs most popular platform exclusive, Halo, were brought on to announce that their new, Shared World Shooter', Destiny would release on PS4 as well as Xbox 360 and PS3. Bungie perhaps, unwittingly, gave the biggest clue as to the release date of the PS4 by saying it would have a simultaneous release across the platforms. Considering Activision, the publishers, has slated Destiny for Q3/Q4 of 2013 we should be expecting a pre-Christmas release, at least for Japan and the USA. Specifications Column 1 Column 2 0 Main Processor Single-chip custom processor 1 CPU : x86-64 AMD gJaguarh, 8 cores 2 GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon. based graphics engine 3 Memory GDDR5 8GB 4 Hard Disk Drive Built-in 5 Optical Drive (read only) BD 6xCAV 6 DVD 8xCAV 7 I/O Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) AAUX 8 Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) 9 IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 10 BluetoothR 2.1 (EDR) 11 AV output HDMI 12 Analog-AV out 13 Digital Output (optical) So there we have it; AV fans might be a touch disappointed at no mention of Ultra High Definition movie delivery but we wouldnt despair, theres plenty of time and other/better opportunities to announce that. Sony clearly wanted to focus the attention of this particular event on the games and social interaction and we cant blame them for that. Were certainly excited for the next generation of PlayStation gaming are you? Our PS4 forums are already buzzing with the news.