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PS4 Launch: What we expect to see

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Sony PS4 Controller
Sony PS4 Controller

After months, nay years of PS4 rumours and much speculation about the PS3 follow-on, Sony is set to formally unveil the PlayStation 4 console at a New York based conference later today.

Set to bring the console market firmly into the digital age, tonight’s PS4 launch event has been tipped to see the console line up with a bevy of new features and functions, all tasked with helping Sony topple the recently released Nintendo Wii U and keep ahead of the heavily rumoured Xbox 720, a console also mooted for an imminent arrival.

With the long overdue PS4 launch event to kick off at 11pm GMT, we bring you a roundup of what we expect to see from this evening’s PS4 launch event, from how the PS4 controller will turn out to what PS4 games will be the first to enter the realms of reality.

PS4 Features
With Sony reportedly having “two models planned for the new machine,” according to insider sources, we expected that this evening’s PS4 launch will see a flagship, premium Sony PlayStation 4 console line up alongside a lower specced, reduced storage sibling that will eventually land with a slightly reduced price tag.

Whilst graphically improvements will be a key area of development for the Sony PS4 over its predecessors, we do not believe that this will be Sony’s key area of focus for its next-gen gamer, instead focusing on other advancements such as cloud-based gaming, smartphone and tablet compatibility and motion gaming options. What’s more, we believe the console will be more than a simple gamer, instead gaining added focus from Sony to become a hub for a home’s entire entertainment systems.

On a hardware side of things, with an integrated 3D Blu-ray a sure-fire inclusion, repeated rumours of 8GB of RAM and a potential eight-core processor are hard to ignore with claims that the PS4 will be more powerful that Microsoft’s next-gen gamer a tantalising prospect.

Although we find it hard to pinpoint exactly what specs the PS4 will run, it has been suggested that the console will play host to an AMD CPU and GPU. Adding further backing to these claims, analysts have predicted that the PS3 replacement could be based largely around PC architectures.

"Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from 'off the shelf' high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing and broad multi-media capabilities," analysts predicted recently. "Moreover, a PC-based architecture should have a number of advantages over custom-developed silicon: for one,.

Introducing more integrated motion gaming options, as well as eerily futuristic user awareness capabilities, it is widely believed that the PS4 features list will see the console touch down boxed with a new ‘dual-camera’ peripheral that is believed to be an advancement on the current PlayStation Eye, a feature we predict will come to fruition.

According to recent reports, the newly reworked camera with rival Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral with a collection of four 48 Khz microphones incorporated to make Apple Siri-esque voice commands a new possibility. What’s more, with a wide angle of view and HD recording capabilities, the integrated camera could pair improved motion gaming with the ability to activate specific user profiles without the need to touch a button.

“In the gaming field it supports head and hand tracking as new game inputs,” latest reports on the newly leaked PS4 ‘dual camera’ have suggested. “Currently it’s not clear if this device will support body tracking in the future as Kinect, but it’s almost sure that it will be bundled with every Orbis (PS4) system.”

PS4 Controller

Building on Sony’s much loved and now classic Dual-Shock offering, the PS4 controller looks set to introduce a flurry of new technology to the gaming industry’s most integral peripheral.

Based on a selection of leaked PS4 controller images, it is hard to argue against a number of dramatic design changes being introduced to the add-on. With prematurely unveiled snaps suggesting the PS4 controller will feature a new touchpad interface in place of the current ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons, Sony looks set to bring some PS Vita features to its location locked device.

Offering further insight in to the PS4 controller, recent leaks have cited “industry sources familiar with the new system” in suggesting that the “PS4 will ship with a redesigned controller which is the same size as an existing DualShock but features a small touchpad in place of the existing Select, Start and PS buttons.”

Further reports have added that whilst the PS4 controller will host “a two-point multi-touch capable “pad” similar to the one on the back of the Vita,” alongside “a combination of motion control, touch and traditional analogue buttons,” the “L2 and R2 buttons have been remodelled for the better.”

On top of this, the leaked images have shown the controller will feature a light on the top panel, hinting at PlayStation Move compatibility inbuilt, a feature we expect to feature and one that has been rumoured on by commentators.

According to CVG, “on the PS4 controller, Move's orb has spread into a LED strip placed across the top of the pad. Incorporating Move functionality into every single PlayStation 4 controller will, hopefully, put an end to its mass-market neglect, with developers able to take advantage of its standardisation by incorporating motion support into every single game.”

With the PS4 controller all but guaranteed to feature a new touchpad panel and Move compatibility, a less likely inclusion is an inbuilt ‘Share’ button that allows users to instantly share in-game recordings with friends or online.

Whilst we can’t see this being built into the console’s controller, instead featuring as an option in the software menus, recent reports suggested: “A new Share button on the controller will, when pressed, launch a new feature that will allow screenshots and video to be distributed online.”

The reports added. “The PS4 hardware will continually record the most recent 15 minutes of onscreen action (with no processing penalty, claims our source), which users will then be able to edit and broadcast via the Internet.”

Read on for all the PS4 release date, games and price expectations...

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