In just a few hours we’ll hear from Sony and get official news on what a PlayStation 4 console should look like. To prepare yourself adequately we’ve assembled a quick list of major clues we can watch for…
1) The name
Sony are expected to unveil the new console as PlayStation 4, although alternative names have been suggested such as Orbis. This may just be a codename but does fit with PSP’s switch over to Vita.
2) The controller
Leaked photos of prototype PlayStation 4 controllers show a DualShock-like design but feature an integrated PlayStation Move lightbulb panel, touchpad and microphone/speaker inlets.
3) Social Sharing
Some reports suggest a ‘Share’ button will be added to the PlayStation 4 control pad for allowing instant access to sharing in-game progress via Twitter, Facebook etc.
4) Backward Compatibility
It will use cloud-based Gaikai streaming technology to provide backward compatibility with PS3 titles. This service may be called PlayStation Cloud. The PlayStation 4 system itself won’t read PS3 discs.
5) PlayStation Eyepad?
A new peripheral dubbed PlayStation Eyepad has had a patent application placed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is a 3D scanner tablet that could operate as a virtual controller. Think of a nextgen NES U-Force and you have the gist.
6) Display capabilities
The PlayStation 4 could be capable of rendering at 240 frames per second and could be built to go beyond 1080p HD, potentially with a view to 4k resolution.
7) Chip butty
PlayStation 4 will have 4GB RAM (with 3.5 GB available to games) and a processing unit consisting of 8 AMD Jaguar cores each operating at 1.6Ghz.
Launch PlayStation 4 machines will ship with an internal 500 GB Hard Disk Drive, with a Flash drive option possibly arriving later.
PlayStation 4 will retain the ability to read optical discs and will sport a high speed Blu-ray drive.
Significant games could include a revised platform release for The Last Guardian, while Square Enix’s Final Fantasy tech demo Agni’s Philosophy could be a teaser for how the series will look across PlayStation 4.
11) Release date
Speculation is that the PlayStation 4 will be available in November this year but this could relate to just Japan and the US. Unless we get a worldwide release, which would be tough to supply, European customers will likely need to wait until early 2014.
Rumours are Sony wants to keep the PlayStation 4 launch price below $300 but don’t expect much clarity on what the system will cost at tonight’s briefing.
Be sure to follow the PlayStation event live from 11pm UK time via the official stream. Oh yeah and tell us what features you’re most excited about below…