Sony takes a page from the PC for its next-gen gaming system.
As expected, Sony used its PlayStation 'See the Future' event to show off the next generation of PlayStation, also known as the PlayStation 4. In a radical departure from the rather "unique" system designs that Sony's employed in the past, PS4 seems to be largely designed around existing PC technology.
Sony says that the PS4 has been in development for five years, which is a bit surprising as the PS4 is based on x86 architecture with 8 cores, an integrated GPU, and 8GB of shared GDDR5 RAM. Sony used the word APU, which gives us pretty good confirmation that it's AMD inside. The graphical portion of the APU is said to deliver almost 2 TFLOPS of performance. The 8GB of unified memory is shared between the CPU and GPU and supplies over 170GB/s of bandwidth.
For storage, Sony is relying on a "large" local HDD, so it seems that capacity is preferred over an SSD's speed. There's also a brand new DualShock 4 controller with a curvier shape, enhanced rumble capabilities, a touchpad, a share button, and a headphone jack.
UPDATE2: AMD has published a blog talking a little bit more about its involvement with the PS4. Details are very light, but we'll let you know when we have more.
UPDATE1: More hardware specs:
Single-chip custom processor
CPU : x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine
Hard Disk Drive
Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) 、AUX
Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
Digital Output (optical)
<Wireless Controller for PlayStation®4 (DUALSHOCK®4)>
Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm (width x height x depth)
(tentative, excludes largest projection)
Approx. 210g (tentative)
Keys / Switches
PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button,
Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right),
Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square),
R1/L1/R2/L2 button, Left stick / L3 button, Right stick / R3 button, Pad Button
2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker
USB (Micro B), Extension Port, Stereo Headset Jack
Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery
Approx. 186mm x 27mm x 27mm (width x height x depth)
Approx. 183g (tentative)
(Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2
Video Frame Rate
1280x800 pixel @ 60fps
640x400 pixel @ 120fps
320x192 pixel @ 240fps
RAW, YUV (uncompressed)
Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus
4 Channel Microphone Array
PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)
Approx. 2m (tentative)
Console hardware and controller aside, PS4 is going to be a pretty different experience compared to the PS3. For one, users will be able to broadcast their gaming to their friends who can post comments and offer help on how to get past particularly challenging portions of the game. PS4 will also allow you to play games as you download them and a feature called Remote Play will enable PS4 games on PS Vita (Sony this evening demonstrated Knack on PS4 and streamed to PS Vita). PS1, PS2, and PS3 games will be supported in that they'll be streamed from the cloud.
No pricing yet, and the only word in availability is "Holiday 2013." We don't even know what the console itself looks like, so there's still plenty more to come.