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February 20th 2013 1:34 pm

The PlayStation 4 is coming tonight, what can we expect?

With the Game Developer's Conference coming up next month, Sony's got a big event tonight, and the odds are good that what they'll be announcing is the next PlayStation home console, be it the "PlayStation 4" or the "Orbis" or whatever.

The details/rumor have been flying fast over the past year, and with Sony being notoriously tight-lipped about the system (even denying they were planning the next generation of system and stating they were just fine sticking with the PlayStation 3 brand), not much has changed since the initial speculation. Some of the major points:
  • The system will not be backwards compatible.
If this is true, it wouldn't be a surprise. While the original PlayStation 3 (the one where they wrote the name in ALL CAPS) was backwards compatible, the slim and superslim models are not.
  • The system will not play used games.
Given the size and popularity of the used market, this would be a terrible idea since it would make cheaper users less likely to upgrade, but the size and popularity are business arguments for Sony to make this move, since publishers have been very vocal about their distaste for used product. They don't see a cut of the sales, and feel that it cuts into new game sales (a dubious proposition at best). Some publishers have already taken steps on their own to curtail used games, though, by creating one-time codes for extra content that are tied to the disc, or even disabling features like multiplayer for used games (forcing the player to pay an extra fee for what used to be a basic feature).
  • The system might not play discs at all.
Okay, I'm just making that one up. Sony finally won the format war with Blu-ray discs, I don't see them giving that up now.

But is the system still a complete mystery since that initial speculation? Well, no. There have been a few major leaks/reveals, and even if not officially confirmed, there's some evidence to back them up. What do we know?
  • The system will incorporate cloud gaming in some way.
Sony bought cloud-gaming service Gaikai last year; why spend the money if you aren't going to use your pretty new toy? They've also recently registered domain names for "PlayStation Cloud".
  • The controllers will probably look like this.

So, the classic bone controller shape with some kind of... screen? Touchpad? I guess we'll find out tonight.
  • They'll probably show some games tonight.
Because you can't have a console reveal without at least showing off some software. Kotaku thinks that The Witcher 3, Battlefield 4, and The Phantom Pain are likely. Regardless, they'll show off some games because in the end, it still is all about the games.







Also, did you get a $10 PSN credit?


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5 replies

I am kind of excited for the announcement, but I won't venture to make any predictions.

I need to go check if I got my PS3 got the credit, after work.

That controller seems a lot more reasonable than the one rumoured before the PS3 announcement

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We're not going to see the final console tonight, but we'll see some kind of black box. We'll definitely see some games, but teasers for games may be available 12 months before the game is finalized so that's nothing to be too excited about since the games are not finished or being released soon. Personally, I think most of your predictions are short sighted.

I hope we see a new controller and see people playing, because we may not. They'll certainly talk about cloud gaming and I really hope they say that games will be available for streaming, though they likely won't mention much about it further than that.

Prices and backwards compatibility will not be mentioned. Nor will used games or discs. This is not a question and answer conference so why in the hell would Sony bring up used games?

In some ways I think the PS4 will house a projector or be a tablet in some sort of way and connect to your tv with a HDMI stick a la the newest Roku. Another black box in the living room that has the same graphics capability of the PS3 is not going to sell at $400 prices.

I also think that the Vita will get a lot of attention as being a way to stream games, hopefully to be used as a controller and get some major software updates for new features similar to the Wii U gamepad. This last point is what I am most hoping for, along with a price drop for Vita memory cards and finally the Vita itself.

Sony needs to shit on iOS gaming and show people just how much better the Vita experience is than playing Infinity Blade or Fruit Ninja on your iPhone/iPad. They won't mention the competition, but maybe they'll have some innuendo.
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Well, in all fairness, they're not my predictions; this just a rundown of current rumors plus a few of the confirmed (or close to confirmed facts).

If I had to make a prediction, I would say that they'll definitely play up connectivity between devices - PS3 and PS4, PS4 and Vita, PS4 and PlayStation Mobile devices. The "second screen" trend isn't slowing down just yet, especially if Sony perceives any kind of threat from the Wii U or mobile gaming.
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They did mention backwards compatibility.

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Price point is going to make or break them. The reason it took so long for the PS3 to be widely adopted was the price was too high when it first came out. Another factor will be if Microsoft can get their system into stores, before Sony.
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