Sony on Monday provided the world the first look at its new PlayStation 4 console, promising to combine its film, music, television and game strengths in a powerhouse home entertainment box. Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House touted the next-generation videogame consoles as being built for the future while, at the same time, saying the company was remaining true to the new console’s predecessor, the PlayStation 3.
“This is a completely new platform and, in many ways, represents a completely new PlayStation. We are more than ever capitalising on the vast network of Sony divisions and the reputation of one of the biggest and most powerful entertainment brands in the world”, House said during a press event here on the eve of the premier E3 videogame expo.
The PS4 will launch with beefed up offerings at the Sony Unlimited cloud-based movie and music services, as the console moves to expand into a complete home entertainment centre while remaining true to hardcore gamers.
House said that PS4 will be available in the United States and Europe by the year-end holiday season for a price of US$399, £349 in Britain, and 399 euros in Europe.
Microsoft will be hitting the market with a rival Xbox One console about the same time, but it will be priced higher at US$499 in the United States, £429 in Britain and 499 euros in Europe.
Sony will use the technology of recently acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai to launch a service next year that lets people use PS3 or PS4 consoles to play blockbuster games in the Internet “cloud” in real time. “That means game play access to console quality content available across a range of devices”, House said, noting that the goal was to put PS4 at the heart of a gaming ‘ecosystem’ that includes popular mobile devices.
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Action-packed, cinematic game trailers showed on colossal screens during the Sony event included “Batman: Arkham Origins” featuring the Dark Knight of comic book fame, and an “Assassin’s Creed” sequel starring a seafaring pirate. More than 140 games are in development for the PS4, with at least 100 of the titles due out in the year following the consoles release, according to Sony Computer Entertainment of America president Jack Tretton
“It is clear that the best studios in the world are creating games for the PlayStation 4”, Tretton said.