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During a live event hosted at the Manhattan Center in New York, Sony announced the next generation of its gaming console franchise, the PlayStation 4.
According to lead system architect Mark Cerny, development on the console began about five years ago and included in its goals to create a system that was both “by game creators for game creators” and that “[freed] developers from technological barriers.”
In his words, the new console would feature framework “like a PC, but supercharged,” incorporating the X86 CPU, 8GB of memory, and a local hard drive as well as the same APU technology and GDDR5 memory typically seen in high-end graphics cards.
But beyond simply providing an upgraded technical experience where the goal is to provoke ‘oohs and aahs’ from gamers through increasingly better graphics or smoother performance, the PS4 seeks to expand on one of the key human factors involved in gaming: emotion.
It intends to do so by not only by captivating the gamer’s attention and imagination through the aforementioned realism generated by the new hardware, but through its relationship and increased involvement with the gamer and their lives.
The PS4 intends to build on its five pillars (Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated, and Personalized) and takes the immediacy of the gaming experience quite literally by including a secondary chip for uploading and downloading in the background, meaning a game can be played as it’s being downloaded. But perhaps the most important change to the console is its aim to further socialize the experience through Facebook-like profile pages and the ability to watch and comment on friends’ sessions in real time likely beyond games that already support it.
As more and more aspects of our daily lives become shareable and gaming becomes more prevalent than it has ever been, it remains to be seen how Sony will integrate with existing social media technologies to connect users and how the actual dynamics of gaming will evolve. Naturally, in a very sly move to further build anticipation, Sony did not unveil the actual console itself, but did announce that the PlayStation 4 would launch this holiday season.