Monday, May 20, 2013

Sony teases PS4 look ahead of June 10 E3 unveiling

When Sony launched the PlayStation 4 (PS4) in February, the event was missing one thing. There were no PS4s or even images of PS4s around. While Sony says it will not unveil the look of the PlayStation 4 console until their E3 press conference on June 10 (starting at 6 p.m. Pacific Time), on Monday the company teased gamers with a sneak peek teaser video.

The video was, of course, annoyingly vague. It showed pieces of the PS4, but only a extremely blurry overall view of the next-generation Sony gaming console.

We would assert that someone with super-fast vision, like The Flash or Superman -- or maybe even a slower speedster, like QuickSilver -- could piece together the design of the PS4. Really, though, the key points are not how it looks. Many gamers would be fine if it looked like a breadboard as long as it played well.

Oh, and of course, as long as there are enough compelling games, as well.

It's those innards -- and a few game demos -- that Sony outlined in February.

Unlike the PS3, which used its famous "Cell" processor, the PS4 will be powered by a more standard eight-core x86 CPU, similar to Windows PCs. It will sport what Sony called a "standard" -- though customized -- GPU and 8GB of GDDR5 memory. The eight-core processor and GPU are unified on the same die, providing 170GPBS bandwidth. The console will include a Blu-ray drive, as well as USB 3.0, Ethernet, 802.11n wi-fi, and Bluetooth.

In addition, its new DualShock 4 controller features a touchpad, share button, lightbar and headphone jack. The lightbar mates with a camera system on the PS4 that allows the console to track the player's distance from the console.

Using a secondary processor that allows for background work while the main processor is handling gameplay, the PS4 can play digital titles while they are being downloaded. It can also handle a big complaint of the PS3: the console can update game and system items even when the main system power is off. That means that unlike the PS3, folks won't fire up the PS4 only to wait and wait while the console updates.

A finalized date for the PS4's release to retail has yet to be confirmed by Sony, but the company said that it will be available in time for the "2013 holiday season."

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