• Earlier today Sony held a press conference in New York to officially unveil the PlayStation 4.  Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. officially announced PS4 and presented the broader vision for PlayStation evolving from a console in the living room into the best place to play wherever gamers are: “Our vision for the future is consumer-centric, developer-inspired, and characterized by an unwavering commitment to phenomenal play experiences,” House remarked. “Today we are revealing the genesis of an expanding ‘idea’ about the future of play – an idea with enough potential to satisfy the insatiable appetites of our creative community of developers and gamers.”

    Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for PS4, talked about some of the components of the system including five key principles guiding the design of the consumer experience that will surround all games: simple, immediate, social, integrated and personalized.

    “We wanted to ensure that nothing would come between the platform and the joy of play,” Cerny said. “We also wanted to be sure that the system architecture could fluidly connect the player to a larger world of experiences, and provide easy access to everything PlayStation has to offer – across the console and mobile spaces, and PlayStation Network. And we were able to create, in PS4, a platform by game creators for game creators.”

    David Perry, noted developer and CEO of Gaikai Inc., which joined SCE group last year, announced the ambitions for PlayStation Network and how PS4 will leverage Gaikai’s cloud technology to deliver a sea change in how consumers discover, access, share and enjoy games. Whether that’s connecting PSN more deeply into social networks or broadcasting the game a user is playing in real time or getting help from friends in new ways, the gaming experience on PS4 is rooted in social interaction. Perry also discussed the company’s goal to make free exploration possible for various games, a concept he described as, “Try it for free, share it if you like it, only pay for games you fall in love with.”

    PS4 integrates second screens, including PS Vita, smartphones and tablets, to wrap gamers in their favorite content wherever they are. SCE’s long-term goal is to make almost every PS4 title playable on PS Vita by using Remote Play over Wi-Fi networks. “PS Vita is the ultimate companion device for PS4, enabling gamers to pull their games from their beautiful HDTVs to PS Vita’s beautiful 5-inch screen,” Perry noted.

    Along with hardware announcements came some software titles as well.  Some of them were more concept then actual game while others were games that gamers can look forward to playing once the PlayStation 4 is released later this year.  Evolution Studios’ Matt Southern was on hand and had this to say about their upcoming PS4 title:

    “‘Next Generation’ no longer just means ‘more powerful hardware,'” Southern said. “We’re a next generation of gamer, we want to play great looking games but in new ways that fit our permanently-connected lives. To us, that means driving in a team. It’s such a thrill for a studio to be asked to help define new PlayStation technology, so that we can bring our vision for team based racing to life.”

    David Cage also made an appearance showing off some software that the PS4 is capable of doing but he didn’t have any new game announcements nor did he mention anything about Beyond Two Souls.

    “We can concentrate on what amazing stories we want to tell and what incredible worlds we want to create,” Cage said. “We can take you to places you have never seen before and make you feel emotions that you have never felt in real life, without having to wonder if we will have the horsepower to do so. We are now only limited by our imagination.”

    One of the surprises of the show was when Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard, officially announced that Diablo III will be hitting the PlayStation 4.  The interface for Diablo III will be adapted for PS4 (and presumably the “other” next gen console) with an interface custom-designed to work naturally on controllers.

    Activision was also in the house and showed off a little bit more of Bungie’s new franchise, Destiny.  It was revealed during the press conference that Destiny will make an appearance on the PlayStation 4 and that there will be some content that will be exclusive for PlayStation gamers.

    Other companies and developers made an appearance at the event as well with the lineup of PS4 games shown including:

    • Driveclub (WWS Evolution Studios)
    • inFamous Second Son (WWS Sucker Punch Productions)
    • Killzone: Shadow Fall (WWS Guerrilla Games)
    • Knack (WWS Japan Studio)
    • Deep Down (working title) (Capcom)
    • Destiny (Activision/Bungie)
    • Diablo III (Blizzard)
    • The Witness (Jonathan Blow)
    • Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)

    “The arrival of PS4 is a critical initiative that presents an enormous opportunity to dramatically evolve the game play experience into something far grander than ever imagined,” House said, as he concluded the event. “From enhanced social capabilities to intensified power to realizing bigger, better, and more immersive game play, to the evolution of our ecosystem to meet the requirements for a simpler, more adaptive interface, we believe PS4 proves we have more to offer than ever before.”

    We’ll be sure to have more stories up in the near future regarding everything concerning the PlayStation 4.  What are your initial impressions?

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