“Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation,” Andrew House, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, told the audience at the Manhattan Center. He said the new device “represents a significant shift of thinking of PlayStation as merely a box or console to thinking as a leading authority on play.”
The new console wasn't shown, the price wasn't announced, and the release was set for "Holiday 2013." Aside from "supercharged" specs, many watchers were disappointed. Critics agreed that the graphics on the new PS4 were good, noting that developers spent more time showing off suede textures and realist blood spatter than an innovative and multipurpose system.
The key new technology will be the live streaming of games. After acquiring game-streaming pioneer Gakai, Sony is leading the way and making live streaming a big part of the player experience. Sony has built game spectating into the hardware. The console will continuously encode a video stream of your game footage while you play. A "share" button on the new controller makes it easy to pass the video along to friends, who may be able to jump in to lend a hand, take temporary control, or drop items and resources into your game.
Microsoft's Xbox is moving toward home entertainment center as dedicated consoles become less appealing. Some analysts believe that without other types of content and services, like video conferencing, third-party apps and a TV service, Sony won't be able to create a deeper relationship with gamers.
Apple's array of digital content including apps, music, movies and e-books make people come back for more Apple hardware every year. Microsoft, Google and Amazon all plan to create such integrated product offerings.