Sony introduced their first video game console, the PlayStation, in 1995. They followed this up in 2000 with the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3 in 2006. The PlayStation 4, which will be released near the end of this year, was announced in New York last week.
The console has a few new features that I think are pretty interesting. The new controller looks like the standard PlayStation controller, but with a few additions. A touchpad can be found on the front of the controller, right in the center. Along with that, there is a new “share” button. This button lets you quickly broadcast your gameplay out to the internet, so you can show your friends exactly what you are playing, and even ask them to join in and help you through a tough spot. It will also allow you to upload clips of gameplay to the internet to share with friends that don’t happen to be online.
The back of the controller has a colored light on it – when used with the PlayStation 4’s included 3D camera, this light allows the PS4 to see where you are sitting in relation to anyone else you might be playing with, and to allow for motion control.
You don’t always have to use that controller, though – Sony also announced that you can connect the portable PlayStation Vita to the PS4 wirelessly, and play many games using the Vita as controller and screen. You could start playing on the PS4, then transfer the game to your Vita and continue playing in another room.
And although it wasn’t the focus of the announcement like the sharing features were... yes, the PlayStation 4’s graphics are amazing, and the console was designed to make it easier for developers to take advantage of the hardware, so I’d expect to see some fantastic-looking games once the PS4 is finally on sale.