Sony unveils PlayStation 4: New controller, new games, where's the console?

playstation-4-sony.jpg
Well, it happened. Sony unveiled the next generation of gaming, the PlayStation 4. At least, we think they did. After a two hour session, during which they paraded out a bunch of game developers to talk about how great the console is, while showing off footage from new games that looked astounding, Sony's press briefing simply ended.

While they spoke of what makes the console run, as well as what games to expect from it, there was no peak at the console. There could be a few reasons for that. The most obvious being, they haven't settled on a final design for the system, so they didn't have one to show off. Another possibility is they're waiting for E3, so they've got something to show during the press briefing at the annual video game trade show.

That's not to say there wasn't some big news revealed during the session, though. One of the bigger highlights was the introduction of the PS4's new gamepad, Dual Shock 4. The controller resembles Sony's classic gamepad, with some new additions. They've added a share button, to start a live stream of your gameplay, a headphone jack, and a camera. The camera isn't to take photos of the player, though. Instead =, it tracks the controller's movement, for motion gaming purposes. 

ps4-dual-shock-4-sony.jpg
Another new addition to the controller is a touchpad, adding another input source, as well as a blue light bar. The light bar serves the dual purpose of being a player indicator, and helping Dual Shock 4 to become a motion controller.

Sony is also looking to heavily integrate social aspects into the gaming experience. In the past you've been able to play games online with your friends, but the company is taking that to the next level. There's a level of a game you just cannot beat? Now you can pass control of your game over to a friend on another system, and they can play through it for you. Maybe they don't want to play, they just want to watch you game, as an audience. That can happen now too, as you will be able to live stream gameplay to another PS4.

Sony is also creating a relationship between the PS4 and their handheld system, the PS Vita. Now you'll be able to transfer an in-progress PS4 game to the Vita, freeing up the television. There's no information on how, exactly, that works, or what your internet capabilities will need to be. 

killzone-screenshot-ps2-sony.jpg
While none of the games shown off were officially mentioned specifically as launch titles, what was presented looked pretty amazing. Announced were new sequels to PlayStation-exclusive franchises "Killzone," and "InFamous," as well as new titles "Watch Dogs," in which you player some kind of hacker/vigilante, and "Destiny," the first Bungie Studios game in over ten years to not be a Microsoft console exclusive.

No price point was announced for the system, but online speculation has it pegged between $430 and $530. The company did announce that the new system will be released in time for the 2013 holiday season.
Photo/Video credit: Sony