Posted by Matt Egan 09 July 2013
PS4 preview: Sony's next-generation PlayStation looks to smash Xbox One
Gamers and home-entertainment mavens are in for a treat this Christmas with the launch of two next-generation games consoles. Slugging it out are Microsoft's Xbox One device, and the Sony PlayStation 4. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One offer much more than just gaming, being fully integrated connected home entertainment systems.
Take a trawl around social media and you'll see that the PS4 is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of Joe Public. It is cheaper, and hasn't had the same PR disaster surround the Xbox One's proposed requirement to connect to the web every day. But we are a long way from a definitive verdict. For one thing neither console has yet been seen in the wild. And for another it is likely to be the availability of games and other media that drives sales in one direction or the other.
On this page we preview the PS4, telling you everything we know right now. (See also: the five best Sony Xperia smartphones.)
PS4: design and look
The new PlayStation is made from black plastic. It has an angular design and is slimmer than the Xbox One.
PS4: input and controls
The PS4 will track both the controller in a gamer's hand, as well as their face, using the PlayStation Eye and the new PlayStation controller.
PS4: price in UK
The PS4 will cost £349 in the UK, making it only £50 more expensive than was the PlayStation 3 when it launched in 2007. The PS4 is, after all, a very highly-specified home-entertainment device.
Of course the public will want to compare the relative price of the PS4 and the rival Xbox One. The Xbox will cost £429 when it launches at roughly the same time as the PS4. It's not quite a fair comparison, however. The Xbox One comes bundled with Kinect - the motion sensor input device that allows you to gesture in games and during any interaction witht the console. With the PS4 you have to purchase the similar but inferior PlayStation Eye device. It will still be cheaper to buy the PS4 than the Xbox One, however.
PS4: UK release date
The PS4 will launch in the UK 'this year' according to Sony. It will of course launch in time for the run up to Christmas. I'd put money on the PS4 being in store by late October. Not a lot of money, but some actual pence.
Taking a slightly more conservative view two European retailers are promising a PS4 release date of 13 November, but that doesn't mean the UK date will be that late. More likely they are confident that is the latest they will be able to fulfil orders. We'll keep you posted.
PS4: pre-owned games, backwards compatibility
Unlike the Xbox One the PS4 makes no restrictions on playing pre-owned games. It won't be backwards compatible with PS3 games, however.
Here are the confirmed specs for the PS4:
AMD x86-based 8-core CPU and an enhanced GPU
Blu-ray, DVD and HDMI output
8GB of GDDR5 RAM
'Instant On' capability
PS4 won't be backwards compatible with old games
PS4 users will be able to stream PS3 and older generation games online
PlayStation App" will enable iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets to become second screens
PlayStation 4 Eye - 1280 x 800 camera (Xbox Kinect style feature)
Some of the mentioned games for the PS4 include: Killzone: Shadowfall (Guerrilla Games), Drive Club (Evolution Studios), Infamous 3 (Sucker Punch), Deep Down (Capcom), Watch Dogs (Ubisoft), Diablo III (Blizzard) and Bungie's Destiny (Activision).
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