Sony announces Playstation 4

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Deciding not to wait until June for the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Sony announced today, Feb. 20 at 3:00 p.m. for those in Los Angeles, that the Playstation 4 is coming.  Broadcasting live from New York, Andrew House the president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment took the stage first.  He quickly defended the struggling Vita and touted Sony’s efforts in mobile gaming before moving on to explain their thoughts on what the next generation needed.  Though the web stream had technical issues, the announcement of the Playstation 4 wasn’t long in the coming.

Sony also announced that the Vita will have a role to play with the new Playstation 4.  An action adventure game named “Knack,” announced for the new system was demonstrated utilizing the second screen of the Vita.  It is not clear what percentage of games on the platform will work in this way.  Also mentioned was the fact that the PS4 will not be backwards compatible with the Playstation 3 although, they are currently working on a universal Sony compatibility that will utilize the cloud.

Rumors have been circulating wildly since Sony set the date for their announcement.  Pictures have circulated of an alleged Playstation Orbis (PS4) development kit and new controller.  The new DualShock 4 is the PS4′s new wireless controller and features enhanced analog sticks, improved rumble, lower latency, a new touchpad, headphone jack, and light bar to be used in conjunction with new camera peripheral.  The controller seems to have borrowed quite a bit from the Xbox 360 controller.  The camera integration was expected considering it is widely believed that the new Xbox system will include the motion sensing Kinect feature.

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Home console sales for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all down at the start of 2013.  Nintendo got the jump on the next generation by releasing the Wii U last year, though their new console has not yet proved to be the runaway hit the original Wii was.  The Nintendo Wii was released over the holidays in 2006 and quickly outpaced Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3.  The hardware sales however were unable to translate into software sales allowing the slightly older Xbox 360 to become the default platform for gaming.

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