PlayStation 4: What You Need To Know

Sony were late to the game with the PlayStation 3 when it launched in 2007, as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 had launched one and two years before respectively.

However Sony managed to cram a lot more features into its console and following a slow start, the PS3 is now, following a slimming down in 2009,  arguably the best console on the market. But as we all know, technology does not remain stagnant for long and so people are already looking forward to the PlayStation 4.

Keeping on top of all the developments, news and rumours surrounding Sony’s next-gen console is tough and so we have decided to do the tough work for you and bring together everything you need to know in one place.

We’ll be updating this page in the coming weeks and months (and possibly years) so that you’ll always be up to date with the latest on the PlayStation 4.

PlayStation 4: Release Date

Back in August a Sony vice president said that the company felt there was no need for a PlayStation 4 yet. The reason given was that the company feels developers have still not done everything they can with the PS3.

That aside, there is no doubt that Sony will be looking at what its next-gen console will be able to do as it won’t want to trail the Xbox 720 or Wii U by too long.

Despite the statement from Sony, sources within supply chains in Taiwan are claiming that the PS4 could be ready for release as soon as next year. We feel this is a little ambitious but we would hope for some more information at E3 in June next year before a launch in 2013 or 2014.

PlayStation 4: More Power

The PlayStation 3 took the brave step of doing away withx86-based chips and using the newly developed Cell Broadband Engine CPU running at 3.2GHz. While the chip caused a lot of problems for developers initially, it is now proving its worth – which is just as well considering Sony reportedly spent $3billion developing it.

Therefore it is likely that the PS4 will stick with the multi-core Cell processor (or some version of it) for the PlayStation 4. There are two main elements to the Cell chip, the Power Processing Element (PPE) and the Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs) and the new chip inside the PS4 is rumoured to have double the SPEs of the original, with 16.

As well as the investment Sony has put into getting the Cell processor up-and-running another reason to stick with it will be that developers are now used to the platform and it will also help with backward compatibility with PS3 titles.

Another option which has been quietly whispered since it was unveiled last January, is Project Denver – which will see an Nvidia-designed, high performance core, based on ARM architecture developed which can be used in high-end computers, supercomputers, servers, cloud computing – and maybe consoles. Though we have to admit that this option is highly unlikely.

PlayStation 4: Features

The PlayStation 3 scored a major win by including a Blu-ray drive and this is something we hope to see once again in the new PS4. However we could be seeing the delivery of content in the form of Flash drives, or from online services such as Steam with the option of Blu-ray remaining for movies rather than games.

Another area where the PlayStation 3 won out was in terms of access to on-demand streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Lovefilm and of course YouTube. All these aspects of the system should remain and we expect that the PS4 will become even more of an entertainment hub in your living room.

One area where we feel the PS4 could improve on the current system is in terms of its community and social networking. While PSN is not a bad effort, the services offered by Xbox Live are superior and if Sony can get more people engaged with its Network, then it could win over a lot of gamers.

PlayStation 4: Pricing

When the PlayStation 3 launched, it was seen as over priced at well over the £400 mark, expecially when compared to the Xbox 360 (£280) and Nintendo Wii (£180). However as the PS3 offered a lot more in terms of features, we would expect to pay some premium.

With the PS3 now competing on price, we would expect that Sony will get the pricing of the PS4 a little closer to the next generation consoles from Microsoft (Xbox 720) and Nintendo (Wii U). Anything under £300 would be a bargain, but under £400 might be more realistic.

Do let us know in the comments what you think we’ll see from Sony in the PlayStation 4 and whether you think we’ll be playing FIFA 13, FIFA 14 or FIFA 15 on it.