After nearly seven years, Sony finally learned to count to the number four. At a special event in New York City on Wednesday, the PlayStation 4 was boldly introduced to the world.
Well, kind of.
The Japanese electronics giant didn't actually show off the hardware during the two-hour show. They also didn't say how much the system would cost or when exactly it would hit store shelves.
So, what exactly do we know then about this super-powered mystery machine? Here's a breakdown:
Scoping Out the Hardware
The PlayStation 4's guts will resemble that of a top-of-the-line PC, with a high-powered eight-core X86 AMD Jaguar CPU and a 1.84-teraflop AMD Radeon graphics engine processor and eight gigabytes of RAM. We'll translate that for you: it's pretty damn fast.
The PS4 will also have a “massive hard drive,” according to designer Mark Cerny, who took the stage first to talk about the console's insides. "It is a powerful and accessible system," he said. "And it has a deep feature set to support the ongoing evolution of gaming itself."
You will also be able to suspend and resume the PS4 almost instantaneously by pressing the power button. A secondary chip will deal with downloads and uploads so you can grab games even when it's turned off. You can also play games while they're being downloaded, Cerny said.
The biggest disappointment, as previously mentioned, was that the actual system was nowhere to be found, but there's an excellent chance it will make its debut at E3. Our prediction: it will be black.
A DualShock Makeover
Sony didn't reinvent the wheel with the fourth edition of its sleek controller, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. There's a smallish touchpad located in the middle of the controller and a 3.5-mm headphone jack used for connecting a headset. Along the top is a glowing LED light strip used to identify a player (a new account system will allow multiple people to log into the same console at once.)
Sharing Is Caring
Gone are the traditional “Start” and “Select” buttons on the controller -- replaced with the so-called “Share” button. When pressing it, players can upload video clips of the game they are playing to UStream or Facebook and even broadcast their game to friends in real time. Sony even hinted that players could let their friends take over their games remotely if they get stuck on a level.
PS4 will also analyze your game choices and recommend downloading games and other media in the same way that Amazon or iTunes makes recommendations. Users will also have the ability to log into their PlayStation profiles on PCs, phones, and tablets.
I Turn My Camera On
Once a separate accessory, the PlayStation Eye will now come standard with the PS4. “Visor” might be a more appropriate description because it's a bar-shaped attachment that packs dual cameras for 3D tracking, motion control and facial-recognition software. For audio, the Eye has four integrated mics that promise to make voice commands even more accurate. In other words, the new Eye might as well be called Xbox Kinect 2.0.
One of the more exciting prospects of the PS4 is so-called “cloud gaming,” which might allow players hooked up the PlayStation Network to play every game possible streamed from remote servers. Think Netflix or Hulu Plus, but with games (we can already feel GameStop shaking in their boots).
Sony also announced that players will be able to stream PS4 games to the handheld PS Vita and possible second-screen gaming on the Vita, meaning the Vita could be to the PS4 what the Wii U's GamePad does for Nintendo's new system.
A summary of the games announced for the PS4 (No dates announced):
'Killzone: Shadow Fall'
The PS4 came out swinging first with 'Killzone: Shadow Fall,' the fourth in the first-person shooter series. At a glance, it didn't look head and shoulders better than its little PS3 brother 'Killzone 3' but the vast futuristic cityscape scene was breathtaking in its clarity and resolution.
'DriveClub' is described as a “socially-connected” racing game that emphasizes team-based racing and challenging your friends in races. The trailer reveals some pretty outstanding graphics, branded vehicles and realistic sound.
Former 'Halo' developer Bungie announced 'Destiny' for PS4, a project that had been kept under wraps since Bungie left Microsoft in 2007 and partnered with 'Call of Duty' publisher Activision in 2010. In 'Destiny,' players suit up as one of many Guardians of the last city of a post-apocalyptic Earth (set in an undefined future). The Guardians must defend mankind across the solar system, in environments that range from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus.
'inFAMOUS: Second Son'
Goodbye Cole McGrath, hello Delsin Rowe -- the star of PS4's 'inFAMOUS: Second Son.' In the two-minute trailer seen at the Sony show, the new hero showed off some of his unique whirlwind-like powers, which you can witness below.
With what appeared to be a spiritual successor to 'Dragon's Dogma,' Capcom showed a gorgeously rendered video of 'Deep Down' and a fiery fight against a dragon in a dark cavern.
Initially shown at last summer's E3 Expo in Los Angeles, this open world sci-fi action game will be available on PlayStation 4, said developer Ubisoft.
A cartoonish game that resembles Sony's beloved 'Rachet and Clank,' Knack is about a tiny hero who can transform into a gigantic fighting machine with the help of mysterious ancient relics.
Sony didn't reveal a firm release date for the PS4 aside from “Holiday 2013.” That makes a November ship date very likely.