Sony bills PS4 console as gaming’s future



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Friday 22 February 2013

Last update 22 February 2013 4:04 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW YORK: Sony has unveiled a new generation PlayStation 4 system and laid out its vision for the "future of gaming" in a world rich with mobile gadgets and play streamed from the Internet cloud.
At a press event in New York, computer entertainment unit chief Andrew House said PS4 "represents a significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as a box or console to thinking of the PlayStation 4 as a leading place for play."
Absent from the Sony event was mention of what plans the company had regarding films, music, television shows and other digital content offered on the PS4.
In a move that was not lost on observers, there was no glimpse of a PlayStation 4 at the launch event.
"It was odd that Sony did not show a physical device," said Gartner consumer technologies research director Brian Blau.
"These days, people love beautiful devices, especially because of Apple."
Sony spoke ambiguously about the device, leaving much to the imagination during a two-hour presentation aimed primarily at gamemakers and players.
"They don't want to give it all away, which is the nature of the industry," Blau said.
"Sony was really trying to get developers excited about what is going on."
PS4 was designed to get to know players, ideally to the point of being able to predict which games people will buy and have them preloaded and ready to play.
It also allows to gameplay to be broadcast in real time, letting friends virtually peer over one another's shoulders and gamemakers act as "directors" guiding players along.
Sony has also given a green light to building "the most powerful network for gaming in the world," according to David Perry, chief of the Gaikai cloud gaming company that Sony purchased last year.
Gaikai specializes in letting people play videogames streamed from the Internet "cloud" instead of buying titles on disks popped into consoles or computers.
"By combining PlayStation 4, PlayStation Network and social platforms, our vision is to create the first social network with meaning dedicated to games," Perry said during the event.
He spoke of letting people access and play videogames on the Internet using PS4, smartphones, tablets or PS Vita handheld devices.
"We are exploring opportunity enabled by cloud technology with a long-term vision of making PlayStation technology available on any device," Perry said.
"This would fundamentally change the concept of game longevity, making any game new or old available to get up and running on any device, anywhere."
Sony needs to adapt to changing lifestyles while not alienating videogame lovers devoted to its hardware.
Low-cost or free games on smartphones or tablet computers are increasing the pressure on videogame companies to deliver experiences worth players' time and money.
A PlaySation App will let iPhones, iPads or Android-powered smartphones or tablets be used as "second screens" augmenting play taking place on televisions connected to PS4 consoles, according to Sony.
Sony said the PS4 would hit the market in time for the year-end holiday season but did not provide details.
New-generation consoles are typically priced in the $400 to $500 range, and blockbuster game titles hit the market at $60 each.
Using Gaikai streaming technology to let people play PlayStation 3 titles on PS4 hardware was likely aimed at calming worries that fans switching to the new system would be forced to give up beloved older games, according to Blau.
He was unimpressed by word the PS4 would integrate with Facebook, saying that "pretty much everyone else" already has hopped on the trend of syncing with the leading social network.
"I'm a little worried about their integration of social," Blau said. "You would think that a company like Sony would have lots of experience in exposing users to social mechanisms, and I didn't see that today."
He referred to the PS4 as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
"Sony believes the future will be like the past and has built the game console to prove it," Forrester analyst James McQuivey said in a blog post.


"While the technology that goes into the console is definitely of the future, the idea behind the PS4 is rooted firmly in the past," McQuivey continued. "Specifically, the PS4 yearns for a glory day of gaming."
Sony shares fell in the wake of the presentation, ending down 1.77 percent at 1,331 yen on Tokyo's Nikkei index.
Ratings agency Fitch meanwhile warned the new gadget was unlikely to turn the firm's fortunes around.
It was "unlikely to be Sony's savior," Fitch Ratings said, noting the company lost money on the PS3 for the first several years after its launch until production costs fell.
"The competitive nature of the market may also constrain profitability," the agency said in a note Thursday.
"The key to the product's success will be price, timing, content and how it compares with the yet-to-be-announced next generation Xbox. None of these details are currently available."

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...
JEDDAH: Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times.Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, s...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia joined the rest of the world in intensifying public awareness on cancer with activities spread over the week supporting the global cause that aims to save millions of lives every year by raising awareness and education about the...
RIYADH: Chairman of ACWA Power International Mohammed Abu Nayyan thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for personally inaugurating Morocco’s first solar power plant, Noor1, built by an international consortium led by his company.“We were extremely priv...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health is considering imposing an asset declaration as well as an absence of interest conflict testimony on its employees as a measure in fighting corruption.Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih made the announcement at a one-day f...
DAMMAM: Abdussalam Kanniyan, chairman of the International Indian School in Dammam (IISD), has been honored with the “Person of the Year 2015” award by Vatakara NRI Forum, a community group in the Eastern Province.The award was based on his outstandi...
RIYADH: Andrej Plenkovic, the leader of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee delegation, on Tuesday hailed Saudi Arabia for its yeoman services in looking after the displaced Syrians in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.“We fu...

Stay Connected

Facebook