In a live streamed conference this evening Sony announced the PlayStation 4, their next video game platform.
The new system was revealed with a heavy focus on social features, including the ability to stream gameplay to your friends as you play and tune in to watch your friends play, as well as the ability to "take control" of a friend's game over the internet to help them out. Some sort of connectivity was promised with tablets, smartphones, and PCs.
The company was also revealed to be making heavy use of their partnership with Gaikai, but the details of a lot of this were vague. Gaikai will be responsible for much of the new PlayStation Network, but will also be using its technology to allow some form of backwards compatibility to PS3 games, which are otherwise unplayable on the PS4 due to the awkard Cell architecture. It will also be used to allow local streaming of PS4 games to the PSVita.
The technical specs of the PlayStation 4 are impressive, running at "almost" 2 teraflops with 8GB of ram. This is in-line with recent technical spec leaks, which placed the GPU at 1.84 teraflops and the CPU at 1.9 GHz. On a pure processing power level this puts the PS4's GPU around a mid-high end current PC GPU, similar to nVidia's GTX 660 card, but it's hard to gauge true performance from raw power. Actual performance is based on many unknown factors like width and speed of the bus.
The new dualshock controller is also much like the leaked image from a couple weeks back. It features a touchpad (not screen) on the front and an infrared light on the top to interact with the PS4's new camera.
A number of games were revealed with the platform, including a new Killzone and InFamous. Look for more on the PlayStation 4 and its games in further news articles.