Sony announced the PlayStation 4 on Wednesday in New York. While there are some very exciting developments and plans for the PS4, there are still plenty of questions. Sony discussed the PS4 further on Thursday and said the specs, as well as the price of the system, have yet to be finalized.
One of the biggest selling points of the PS4 is the tech specs that will be the engine of the new system. The technology inside is important because it allows Sony to use the PS4 as a social hub, seamlessly uploading gameplay or achievements to Facebook or YouTube or watching a friend play a game, and will allow developers to make great games and implement some interesting features.
The tech specs announced for the PS4 include 8GB of RAM, a 64-bit x86 CPU built by AMD and a GPU that was developed by Radeon. This core includes a dedicated video-processing chip which will let PS4 users watch a friend play a videogame remotely and the tech specs also include dedicated processing power to boost download speeds and enable games to start “instantly” from sleep mode.
Speaking to AllThingsD, Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said the PS4’s tech specs still could change and nothing about the system has been finalized. The main reason why the PS4 was announced and there was no physical system unveiled was because Sony is still working out the details on how the system will look.
The focus was on what the PS4 could do and in the interview Tretton said, “We wanted to show people the screen. There will be multiple opportunities to share the look of the console between now and the launch. We don’t have a mass-production box that we can bring out and pull out. That’s still in development in terms of final specs and design.”
The PlayStation 3 was released in two versions, at $499 and $599, and Tretton hopes that the PS4 will be introduced at a much lower price. Speaking about the PS3 to AllThingsD, Tretton said the system’s initial price made it hard for consumers to get behind and he hopes the PS4 will cost less than $599 when it is released. With heavy competition from Microsoft and the Xbox 720, codename Durango, the PS4 needs to perform well at the start. A great set of games will entice some people, but a $599 videogame system may not be the easiest purchase to make. With the PS4 and the Xbox 720 set to be released around the same time, the system’s price is crucial for an early lead.
Tretton said, “I think our goal with this is to debut at a more consumer-friendly price. But we haven’t made any final decisions about what the price will be at launch.”
The PS4 will still be about the games, notes Tretton, but the additional features, such as cloud gaming and the social components, are part of the changing landscape of consumer technology. Many gamers will simply use the PS4 in their living room to play games, or stream games from PlayStation Cloud, but others may want to use it much like their smartphone, where they will interact with the PS4 remotely and on a daily basis.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.