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What you need to know about the PlayStation 4

PS4 logo

Last night in New York, Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4.

Due to go on sale this autumn, it will be a full seven years since the PlayStation 3 first appeared in our living rooms.

While we don’t know what it looks like or what it will cost yet – Sony showed off peripherals and games but no actual designs for the box itself – we do know a great deal about it.

1. It’s more like a PC than ever
Traditionally, Sony has used custom built chips in the PlayStation consoles dedicated to doing one thing well. PlayStation 4, however, is based around an AMD x86-64 processor with built-in graphics controller.

That’s a lot of technical jargon for saying this is a PC chip, just like the ones in desktops and laptops around the world, except that it has a massive eight cores to play around with. What does that mean? PlayStation certainly won’t ship with Windows, but it should mean Sony can keep the price down and developers won’t have to struggle with a new and unfamiliar type of hardware in order to get the most from their games.

2. It’s going to have a Kinect-like camera

PS4 controller

The new joypad includes a touchpad.

PlayStation 4 Eye is a small sensor bar with two cameras built in that are capable of working out player movements. They can also recognise players’ faces, apparently, and can be used to log into the console in a manner similar to Face Unlock on Android phones.

3. It works with phones and tablets
Nintendo has its Wii U Gamepad tablet, and Microsoft’s Xbox has SmartGlass. Now, Sony, has revealed that a forthcoming PlayStation app will allow your phone or tablet to work as a second screen for PS4 games.

That means you could watch in-game chat on a second screen, or have it display key stats or mini-maps, leaving the TV free for the full game.

4. There’s a new PS4 controller
The new joypad for the PlayStation 4 looks very similar to the old six-axis one for PlayStation, but includes a touchpad for getting around various interfaces more easily. Combined with what we know about the specs, it could be that Sony is planning on introducing some sort of mouse-like control for extra features like navigating dashboards and chat.

5. There are going to be loads of great games
Sony has already revealed some of the launch games, and it’s an impressive list. A new KillZone is in there, there’s a title called Watch Dogs and PC developer Blizzard is bringing it’s smash hit Diablo III to the console too. Plus, Sony’s subsidiary Gaikai has announced that the PS4 will be able to stream games from the internet – which means no purchase necessary, instant play so long as you have enough bandwidth.

Watch the team from CVG as they dissect the latest on Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4 console and give you their initial reaction and analysis:

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