Sony sort of unveiled its new PlayStation 4 video game console at a big press event yesterday.We say “sort of” because Sony only gave us a taste of what the PS4 will be able to do. We don’t even know what the hardware will look like.
Still, we did learn about some interesting features coming to the PS4 when it launches later this year.
Keep in mind Sony didn’t demonstrate most of these features, so we’re not sure how everything will work quite yet. (And we suspect Sony doesn’t either).
Anyway, here’s what we do know so far:
Sony owns a company called Gaikai that lets you stream games over the Internet. It wasn’t entirely clear from Sony’s presentation how this would work, but it sounds like you’ll be able to play older PS3 games this way. No disc necessary.
Test a game before you buy
Using Gaikai’s streaming technology, you’ll be able to test a game over the Internet before you buy it.
Sony briefly mentioned you’ll be able to stream content from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant.
The new controller
It’s called the DualShock 4 and looks very similar to the current PS3 controller, except it has a touchpad in the middle and a coloured light at the top.
Beam games to a handheld system
The PS4 can act as a “hub” for your games and beam them to Sony’s handheld console, the PlayStation Vita.
Smartphone and tablet apps
Sony will have PS4 apps for Android and iOS devices that display extra content to help you out with your games. Sony didn’t demo this on stage, but its description of the apps says you’ll be able to stream videos of your friends playing games, purchase new titles, and interact with games on your TV.
Share your screen in real time
The PS4’s social features will let your friends watch you play from their own consoles in real time. They can also interact with your game by sending you messages or adding items.
Share video clips of your games
The PS4 controller will have a special “Share” button that lets you upload clips of your gameplay to social networks like Facebook and UStream.
The graphics chip in the PS4 is pretty impressive. The game demos we saw, especially the racing game Driveclub, had insanely realistic graphics. This will be huge for hardcore gamers.
Sony spent the bulk of its presentation showing off new games coming to the PS4. But the two biggest announcements came from the studios Blizzard and Bungie. Blizzard says it will bring the popular “Diablo III” game to the PS4. Bungie, which has traditionally developed games only for the Xbox, will launch its new game “Destiny” on the PS4.
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