The long wait that Sony fans have been anticipating coming to an end for quite awhile now may finally be over, according to speculation from the Wall Street Journal and a promising tweet on the official PlayStation Twitter account. Sony has tweeted on its official PlayStation account linking to a video announcing a PlayStation event on February 20th with a cryptic comment inviting users to “see the future,” which almost certainly indicates Sony wants to use this event to finally reveal the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 console.
According to inside sources, the idea behind the announcement being so early in the year is because rival Microsoft also wants to reveal its own next-generation console successor and aim for a holiday release. By holding an early event in February, Sony can announce the PlayStation 4 ahead of Microsoft and keep gamers talking all the way until E3 — and E3 is certain to have more detailed information about its launch games and any additional specs not covered during the PlayStation conference.
The PlayStation 4 is expected to release in Japan and the United States before the holidays while appearing in the European markets early next year. Rumors also expect Sony will release a new version of the PlayStation Eye that will remain fully compatible with the already existing PlayStation Move controllers.
Inside sources also indicated that Sony wants to look even more into the aspect of social gaming by incorporating more social media features within the upcoming console. This could include further integration of Twitter and Facebook while allowing better interactivity with other users on the PlayStation Network. This can also include adding more YouTube freedom as indicated by a rumor on GameSpot that states the console will constantly record and remember 15 minutes of gameplay at a time for users to share; this number coincides with YouTube's default video limit.
Sony also may not be putting much focus on improving how PlayStation games run aesthetically as it puts this focus on interactivity. However, the PlayStation 3 hardware is already quite powerful and would likely not need too much of an improvement to make future games run even better on them. Inside sources stated the PlayStation 4 console will sport 4 to 8 GB of RAM and may be able to move data at a rate of 176 GB per second. This would make the upcoming console nothing short of being a powerful beast of a gaming platform.
Earlier in the year, sources revealed design plans surrounding the PlayStation 4 and the use of a new AMD chip, which would definitely change the way the console is designed. This is because the PlayStation 3 uses an entirely different chip — the Cell chip by Toshiba and IBM. Using a different chip in the PlayStation 4 would raise concerns about backwards compatibility issues with PlayStation 3 games; not having this feature would not sit well with gamers who would want the option of playing older games on the new console.
Other design concerns in the past included Sony toying with the idea of removing the optical drive altogether. Much like the Vita, this would force players to download all of their games before enjoying them, and it would absolutely hinder most backwards compatibility with disc-only PlayStation 3 games. In addition to this, the company also apparently acknowledged the varying speeds of Internet in various countries, meaning that players in some countries would have too difficult a time downloading their games to play. Sony seems to have scrapped these plans, so the PlayStation 4 should remain with an optical disc drive, fortunately.
In addition to the almost transparent invitation Sony released for its PlayStation event, now seems like the perfect time for the company to introduce something new to the market. Retail sales of video game consoles, games and accessories for the same old console that has been out for nearly seven years declined 22 percent last year compared to 2011, according to the NPD research group. Electronic Arts have also come out and stated that its sales for packaged goods dropped a full 20 percent in 2012.
At the end of the day, gamers are looking for something new, refreshing and exciting, and the PlayStation 4 is just the right remedy for that. Whether the February 20th event will be the official announcement remains to be seen, but all signs seem to be pointing to yes.
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 2/3/2013
March 21st, 2013 Update -- What's Next For The PS4?
February 20th has come and gone and, just like we predicted, the PlayStation 4 was officially announced. With the system finally announced, what's next for Sony?
Even though Sony revealed the existence system and many of its features, there are a few things Sony did not reveal, such as the price, date and look of the system. It is likely they are saving this for a future date, most likely the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. E3 is the industry's largest convention and is where the highest profile announcements occur, so it's a good bet Sony will announce more details during its annual E3 press conference.
E3 2013 is set to take place from June 11th to June 13th. Currently, there is no date or time for Sony's press conference but keep an eye on our site for new information!
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 3/21/2013
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