Sony says its next-generation video game console, the PlayStation 4, will be so powerful that it will let users play games that look so realistic that they will feel like they are manipulating a movie. The new gaming system will also have a greater emphasis on getting games via download and getting mobile devices to work with the console.
Perhaps the biggest change revealed so far concerns alterations to the now-legendary PlayStation controllers.
"We added a few new features -- a touchpad as a new form of input, a share button and a headphone jack to enhance social interactions," says Mark Cerny of Sony PlayStation 4. "This new controller was developed in tandem with a second peripheral, a stereo camera that can sense the depth of the environment in front of it and track the 3-D position of the controller via the light bar."
That social aspect is something Sony continually hit upon during its recent presentation in Chelsea, that users can easily play with others and share with others. For example, by hitting the "share" button, users can edit and save cool footage from the games they just played, and can then email it out, upload it to Facebook, or treat it just like any other video.
The hardware is impressive but one of the biggest questions that remains is what it will look like. In a two-hour press conference, Sony never actually showed the PlayStation 4
"If what they're presenting to us and the rumors combine into what we're expecting, I think they're in a really, really good position to have a great gaming system. Now, if a great gaming system is going to be enough at this point, that's the question," says Eric Patterson of Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Gaming consoles and their $50 games may need to offer other capabilities, as they face an all-out assault from smartphones and tablets with their free to $5 titles.
Though many questions about the PS4 will likely have to wait until the big E3 video game convention this summer, Sony says the system will hit shelves by the end of this year.