Since 2007, there has been little in the way of development in the console market. The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have, until now, remained more than adequate platforms for the highest quality games, from original creations such as Dishonored to great sequels like Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City. Promising upcoming games such as Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us show that there’s plenty of life left in them yet, but technology is now in a position to go one step further.
Following the release of the Wii U last Christmas and the announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox 720 console, Sony formally announced the release of their next console, the Playstation 4, at 11pm GMT last night, in a press conference broadcast on Ustream for the world to see. Following months of rumours, hoaxes and speculation, details were finally confirmed, and this article serves to bring you a summary of the key developments and announcements, without a giant enemy crab in sight.
One of the first things that Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House cleared up was the name of the console. Given that Sony’s last release was eventually named the Vita, as opposed to the PSP2, there has been much speculation over whether Sony would use the Playstation 4 name for their new console or utilise a similar Latin suffix in the vein of Vita (which means ‘Life’). The Orbis (which means ‘Disk’ in the same language) was frequently suggested as a possible name, but ultimately the company have elected for the numerical option, which makes sense for marketing purposes, even if it is unoriginal.
In addition to this, a release date was announced – Christmas 2013, though it wasn’t stated if this would be a worldwide release or limited to Japan and/or North America. This shows that Sony has learned from the mistakes it made with the launch of the PS3, which was pre-empted by a whole year (including a Christmas period, the industry’s most lucrative time of year) by the Xbox 360.
Its a fairly ambitious release date, to be sure, but if Sony can succeed in shipping consoles before Christmas, it will have obvious benefits to both their profits and their market share.
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