Sony tonight announced its much-rumored next video game console, the PlayStation 4. Sony Computer Entertainment prez and CEO Andrew House announced the console with little more than a logo and a handful of concepts, though he did say it's coming in holiday 2013. We're sure to hear more as the night goes on, and we'll be updating this post as we learn more.
Lead system architect Mark Cerny -- legendary game dev and, to us, creator ofMarble Madness -- came up next. He said that development of the PS4 started five years ago. Cerny said he's been exploring how to evolve "the PlayStation ecosystem," and he started by speaking to the limitations of PlayStation 3. Cerny said he's been aiming to make sure "nothing gets between the platform and the game." An image of an old-timey hunter shooting space invaders in the sky is used as an example -- here's hoping the PS4 doesn't mean we'll be taking plastic guns and shooting pixels in the sky.
"We were able to create in PlayStation 4 a system by game creators, for game creators," Cerny said. As far as specs, he said it runs on x86 architecture, a "highly enhanced" PC GPU (with "almost 2 teraflops of performance," he added), an unknown amount of local HDD storage, and 8GB of GDDR5 system memory. Cerny next unveiled the DualShock 4, which looks an awful lot like the leaks we saw recently -- it features a touchpad, a light bar, and what looks like rubberized grips. Otherwise, it looks an awful lot like a DualShock 3 with some new bells and whistles.
Cerny's talking software now -- the PS4 can pause and resume mid-game, allowing players to multitask at any point. There's also a second chip dedicated to managing uploads and downloads, meaning you can download games in the background or when the system's off. More importantly, however, you can start downloading a game and begin playing it as the download goes -- pretty great! As far as sharing goes, PS4 is heavy on social interactivity; Cerny said its social network will extend beyond the console to mobile and Vita. He's ambiguous about which platforms that'll mean, but it sounds like Sony's aiming to make it platform agnostic. There's also a Pinterest-esque social app for friends to share screens and video, which Cerny said applies to the PS4's "personalization" angle. "You'll see real pictures of your real friends," he said.