Last night at the E3 show Sony unveiled its next-generation PlayStation 4 console. Here's a first look at the Sony PS4.

The PS4 will launch in the UK in time for Christmas 2013, and will cost £349. See also: PS4 price in UK; how much will the PlayStation 4 cost?

The PS4 will replace Sony's PlayStation 3 that  launched seven years ago. It faces strong competition from Microsoft's Xbox One console.

"There's no better way to show the strength of a platform than with the upcoming line up [of games]," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America at the event.

"If you enjoy single player offline, then you can do that and it won't stop working after 24 hours," he added.

"Sony is hard at work with a unique programming plan with content that will be available exclusively on PlayStation Network and PlayStation 4," said Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment.

"Sony Pictures will do everything in our power to drive the success of PlayStation 4," he said.

The PlayStation 4 will support Blu-ray, DVD and HDMI output, and it is of course web conntected. This is important because Sony's consoles are multimedia devices. The PlayStation 4 will be a set-top box for the digital home. More than simply games it will offer access to movies, TV and music as well as the web. That means Sony could charge more in store, of course, but more likely it opens up a whole set of revenue streams that will reduce the initial cost of the console. Sony doesn't have to make its profit on the device itself.