Long Live the PS4

Prepare to be wowed, gamers, because Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 on Feb. 20 for release in Fall 2013. While they’re still finalizing the design, Sony told the world about the new system’s completed hardware, which will be similar to a PC to make games easier to develop.

The DualShock 4, the PS4’s new controller, isn’t finished yet but it was close enough to be shown during the conference. It is similar to the DualShock 3 but boasts new features including a touchpad, headset jack, micro USB port and speaker. The button layout is the same as the previous DualShock controllers, though the start and select buttons have been merged into a single “options” button while a new “share” button allows players to upload gameplay videos.

The PlayStation Move can also be used with the PS4, using an improved PlayStation Eye that features a camera with greater tracking precision. The PlayStation Vita can stream video from the PS4 and allow games to be played remotely. With the PlayStation App, players can purchase games, download them on the PS4 system and watch other gamers’ streams. Players can also view in-game maps on mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets.

While the PS4 will not have traditional backwards compatibility, a cloud service may be used to render old games and stream them, resulting in digital backwards compatibility. The two games expected to be launch titles for the PS4 are Killzone: Shadow Fall and Watch Dogs, though there will surely be more revealed as the launch approaches. Sony has stated that the most expensive PS4 games will be $60, meaning there will be no price increase.

There are still many questions about the PlayStation 4, but new info is sure to surface. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, which always shows off new video games, will probably reveal more about the system in June. Until then, Sony’s Feb. 20 conference will suffice, since it got gamers everywhere excited for the Playstation’s future.