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Let’s Make it Official – Playstation 4 Formally Announced by Sony Computer Entertainment, Set for Release During Holiday Season 2013

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In my opinion…. today is a  great day for video gaming as we get a glimpse at what to expect from next-generation gaming. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today took to the stage and introduced to the world the PlayStation 4 – its next generation gaming platform for the home. With a greater focus on social capabilities alongside even more power and instant accessibility – the Playstation 4 has been designed to allow game creators to unleash their imaginations and deliver new play experiences that were never before possible.

Andrew House | President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. officially announced the console and presented the broader vision for PlayStation evolving from a console in the living room into the best place to play wherever gamers are:

Our vision for the future is consumer-centric, developer-inspired, and characterized by an unwavering commitment to phenomenal play experiences. Today we are revealing the genesis of an expanding ‘idea’ about the future of play – an idea with enough potential to satisfy the insatiable appetites of our creative community of developers and gamers.

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Following the announcement, game designer and industry veteran Mark Cerny took to the stage to discuss the console in more detail, including the powerful system components which they claim will give developers the canvas to fully express their creative ideas and deliver more immersive gaming that transcends even todays high standards. Cerny, the lead system architect for PS4, also talked about the five key principles guiding the design of the consumer experience that will surround all games: simple, immediate, social, integrated, and personalized.

We wanted to ensure that nothing would come between the platform and the joy of play. We also wanted to be sure that the system architecture could fluidly connect the player to a larger world of experiences, and provide easy access to everything PlayStation has to offer – across the console and mobile spaces, and PlayStation Network. And we were able to create, in PS4, a platform by game creators for game creators.

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Next to the stage was David Perry, a noted developer and CEO of Gaikai Inc which was acquired by the SCE group last year. He announced the ambitions for PlayStation Network and how PS4 will leverage Gaikai’s cloud technology to deliver a sea change in how consumers discover, access, share and enjoy games. Whether that’s connecting PSN more deeply into social networks or broadcasting the game a user is playing in real time or getting help from friends in new ways, the gaming experience on PS4 is rooted in social interaction. Perry also discussed the company’s goal to make free exploration possible for various games, a concept he described as:

Try it for free, share it if you like it, only pay for games you fall in love with.

Perry also stated:

PS Vita is the ultimate companion device for PS4, enabling gamers to pull their games from their beautiful HDTVs to PS Vita’s beautiful 5-inch screen.

The spotlight moved toward some of the most creative individuals in the development and publishing community, highlighting how PS4 brings a new synergy between hardware and software to enable new emotional states of play never before possible. On this issue, Michael Denny | SVP of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios stated:

The future of PlayStation is about great games – inspiring, new experiences from the imaginations of the world’s best creators.

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Denny introduced developers behind some of the first-party titles being created exclusively for the new platform, including Guerrilla Games’ Hermen Hulst, Sucker Punch Productions’ Nate Fox, and Evolution Studios’ Matt Southern.Independent developer Jonathan Blow also showcased his title ‘The Witness’. Matt Southern of Evolution Studios had the following to say:

‘Next Generation’ no longer just means ‘more powerful hardware. We’re a next generation of gamer, we want to play great looking games but in new ways that fit our permanently-connected lives. To us, that means driving in a team. It’s such a thrill for a studio to be asked to help define new PlayStation technology, so that we can bring our vision for team based racing to life.

PlayStation Meeting 2013 also featured two of the gaming industry’s most talented creators providing a glimpse into the future of what’s possible on PS4. David Cage from Quantic Dream explored narrative-driven gaming and how PS4’s powerful hardware lets developers forget about technology and focus on creating experiences that trigger emotions.

We can concentrate on what amazing stories we want to tell and what incredible worlds we want to create. We can take you to places you have never seen before and make you feel emotions that you have never felt in real life, without having to wonder if we will have the horsepower to do so. We are now only limited by our imagination.

Alex Evans from Media Molecule then re-imagined the concept of user-generated content and creativity. Armed with a PlayStation Move motion controller, he demonstrated the freedom of expression that PS4 offers to creators, whether they’re professional developers or gamers of all levels. Evans remarked:

PS4, in our eyes, should be ‘the creative console’. It’s the place you go to be inspired; It’s the place to experience other’s dreams, or make your own: it’s the place you go, to make. With PS4, with the creative console, we want to change making in every way: from music to gaming to story-telling

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But it was not just the first-party studios getting all the attention, with representatives from companies like Capcom, Epic Games, Havok, Square Enix, Ubisoft and Bungie all bringing previews of upcoming titles currently in development for the console:

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UBISOFT

Ubisoft Entertainment Co-Founder and CEO Yves Guillemot announced that Watch_Dogs, introduced at E3 2012 to critical acclaim, will launch with PS4.

Today, with PS4, Sony Computer Entertainment is introducing an amazing new platform. It will let developers like ours deliver games that surpass anything previously possible on a home console. PS4 will also help us deliver on what we believe to be the future of gaming.

BLIZZARD

Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., unveiled that the award-winning Diablo franchise would make its console debut with PlayStation. Diablo III will be adapted for PS4 with an interface custom-designed to work naturally on controllers.

ACTIVISION / BUNGIE

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc., announced full support from its developers for PS4. Hirshberg then introduced Bungie, Inc., which is working on “the next great video game franchise – Destiny.”

Harold Ryan, President of Bungie, Inc., announced that Destiny will have exclusive content for PlayStation gamers.

Like PS4, Destiny is an online, connected experience. Like PS4, Destiny lets you access the content you love from multiple devices. And like PS4, Destiny is designed to entertain you for years to come.

SQUARE ENIX

A brand new Final Fantasy game will be announced at E3. Will this be a console exclusive or a multiplatform title? We have yet to find out. No word on Final Fantasy Versus XIII and if that will remain for the Playstation 3 or development will be focused for the Playstation 4.

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ISA

The lineup of PS4 games currently announced at the meeting, with potentially many more in the works include:

  • Driveclub (WWS Evolution Studios) 
  • inFAMOUS Second Son (WWS Sucker Punch Productions) 
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall (WWS Guerrilla Games) 
  • Knack (WWS Japan Studio) 
  • Deep Down (working title) (CAPCOM) 
  • Destiny (Activision Publishing, Inc./ Bungie, Inc.) 
  • Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.) 
  • The Witness (Jonathan Blow) 
  • Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft Entertainment)

Andrew House | President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

The arrival of PS4 is a critical initiative that presents an enormous opportunity to dramatically evolve the game play experience into something far grander than ever imagined. From enhanced social capabilities to intensified power to  realizing bigger, better, and more immersive game play, to the evolution of our ecosystem to meet the requirements for a simpler, more adaptive interface, we believe PS4 proves we have more to offer than ever before.

Sam
Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.
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