Playstaton 4 announcement
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Sony's Playstation 4 announcement and what it means for Microsoft and Xbox

Here at Windows Phone Central, we are focused on Windows Phone and other Microsoft platforms. We also like to keep our eyes on the competition, such as the upcoming HTC One Android smartphone. To that extent, the Xbox 360 and its successor will have a new competing videogame console later this year in the form of the Playstation 4. Last night, Sony officially announced the console, which is due for a holiday 2013 release.

Read on for our impressions of the Playstation 4 and how it will affect Microsoft's next Xbox console!

Sony’s new social focus

Playstation 4 social streaming

The PS4’s social features are arguably its most impressive innovation. Some people just don’t get social stuff – generally the same individuals who play online games without a headset and think the free Playstation Network is somehow equivalent in quality to Xbox Live, if you ask me. But most gamers like playing and sharing games and content with their friends, which is an area that PS4 could potentially have a leg up on over Microsoft’s next console.

The new Share button on the PS4 controller acts as the gateway to the console’s expanded social functions.  One such function is enhanced friends list support. PS4 will allow users to add friends via social networks like Facebook. Those friends will appear with their real names and profile images, which should be handy for people like me who often forget just who many of the people on their Xbox Live friends lists are.

If you’re a Windows Phone 8 user who finds the ability to take screenshots exciting (I sure love it), the PS4 will blow your mind. Users can share gameplay clips online and even stream videos during gameplay, which others players can then view and discuss together. Apparently friends will even be able to take control from another player and help him or her through difficult situations. That sounds a bit too farfetched to be universally supported across all games, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if it ended up ubiquitous.

Some PS4 features will also be accessible from phones and tablets, such as buying games and messaging friends. Xbox Live users have enjoyed those benefits from PC for years now, but virtually all Playstation Network features have been locked to the PS3 console itself. This smartphone and tablet integration seems to borrow from Microsoft’s SmartGlass concept, though the extent of in-game integration has yet to be revealed.

A next generation controller

DualShock 4 front bottom

In the current generation, each console’s controller has its strengths and weaknesses. The Xbox 360’s d-pad is the worst of the three consoles. The transforming controller’s d-pad shows some improvement, but a design flaw makes that same d-pad snap off after extended use. As for the Playstation 3 controller, its d-pad is better but somewhat rigid on the thumbs, its trigger buttons work better for racers than shooting games, and the analog sticks are convex for no apparent reason.

The DualShock 4 sports a smoother d-pad as well as twin analog sticks with a raised outer section that should increase their grip and comfort. All four shoulder buttons have been redesigned and look downright cozy to use. Home, Start, and Select have been replaced by PS, Share, and Options buttons. Following Microsoft’s lead, the controller now offers a headset jack and a more Nintendo-ish speaker so that folks without headsets will still be able to hear other players.

Most uniquely, a Touch Pad occupies the middle of the controller. The Touch Pad could well prove useful for menu navigation and web browsing. It should also allow certain smartphone games to show up on PS4 without radically altered control schemes. We’ll have to see whether developers embrace the Touch Pad, but I’m sure of its potential.

Kinect competitor

Playstation 4 Eye camera

The new Playstation Eye will make use of dual cameras contained within a single strip in order to better sense the position of multiple players within a room. The camera functions at 1280 x 800 at 60 FPS, and lower resolutions at increased FPS. Instead of requiring a separate Move controller, the Eye now detects the positions of standard DualShock 4 controllers via their built-in color-coded lights.

The tracking of regular controllers should make motion-control and camera support much more common than it was on the PS3. However, Sony didn’t actually confirm whether the Eye will be included with all PS4 systems. Packing in the camera is the only way to ensure its long-term success – especially since the next Xbox console is rumored to include the Kinect 2.0 as a standard feature.

Specs check

DualShock 4 top

The Playstation 4 specs fall in line with previous rumors:

Main Processor

  • Single-chip custom processor
  • CPU : x86-64 AMD ‘Jaguar,’ 8 cores
  • GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine

Memory

  • GDDR5 8GB (shared between system and graphics)

Hard Disk Drive

  • Built-in

Optical Drive (read only)

  • BD 6xCAV
  • DVD 8xCAV

I/O

  • Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX

Communication

  • Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

AV output

  • HDMI
  • Analog-AV out
  • Digital Output (optical)

Interestingly, Sony didn’t list the clock speed of the CPU. Still, the hardware should be a significant leap past today’s consoles in several key areas.

Consider RAM: the PS3 has 256 MB of system RAM and 256 MB of video RAM; Xbox 360 has 512 MB of shared RAM, and the Wii U has 2 GB of RAM with 1 GB dedicated to system functions. PS4 sports 16 times the RAM of the 360 and PS3 and four times as much as the Wii U (but likely more than 4x in practice thanks to that 1 GB reserved for system functions). We expect the new generation Xbox will also have 8 GBs of RAM.

Games

The bulk of PS4 games, including its launch lineup, will be announced at E3 this year. But Sony and its partners did announce several titles.

Exclusives

  • Drive Club (Sony and Evolution Studios)
  • Infamous: Second Son (Sony and Sucker Punch)
  • Killzone Shadowfall (Sony and Guerilla Games)
  • Knack (Sony Japan)
  • The Witness (Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid)

Non-exclusives

  • Destiny (Bungie, creators of Halo)
  • Deep Down (Capcom)
  • Diablo III (Activision and Blizzard)
  • Final Fantasy (Square-Enix’s unnamed title, no new footage shown)
  • Watchdogs (Ubisoft)
  • The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt Red)

We’ll learn more about what games will come to PS4 and the next Xbox in June. The bulk of both consoles’ launch titles will be multiplatform, much like the Wii U’s launch games last year.

Unanswered questions

Playstation 4 dashboard
The PS4 dashboard

Sony neglected to announce the PS4’s release date or price – not surprising given how early in the year it is. Nor did they explainwhether the system’s ability to stream PS1, PS2, and PS3 games from the cloud will require users to rebuy older games in order to play them. Plenty of time for all that down the line.

The real surprise/letdown is that the Playstation 4 console itself wasn’t shown at all during the presentation. I understand the desire to focus on the new controller and system features, but refusing to reveal what the console looks like is downright unusual. Could it be the look of the hardware hasn't been finalized yet? Because we can't put an image to it, the PS4 remains nebulous and ethereal in most gamers’ minds.

Microsoft’s court

Major Nelson tweets about Playstation 4

Xbox spokesman Major Nelson’s response to the announcement
 

We only have rumored specs of Microsoft’s next console to go by at the moment, but it will likely be on-par with the Playstation 4 in most ways. The PS4’s camera and motion controls will likely lag far behind the new Kinect in the area of body tracking, but I suspect they will work much better for actual gaming than the historically imprecise Kinect. Hopefully the Kinect 2.0 allows a combination of motion control while holding a regular controller, which would greatly expand the new Xbox’s motion gaming capabilities.

After Sony’s announcement, the area I’m most concerned about Microsoft falling behind is social features. Yes, the Xbox 360 has always excelled over PS3 as far as communication goes, but Sony will be making some serious strides with the PS4. The DualShock 4’s built-in speaker alone is a big advancement as far as enabling headset-less players to understand their teammates during gameplay (Xbox 360 chat is largely inaudible when piped through TV and surround speakers). I expect the new Xbox will allow for some form of screenshot or video sharing online, but who knows if it will allow group chat while watching gameplay?

Sony has fired the first shots in the next generation console war. Now it’s Microsoft’s turn to act. Will the big MS wait until E3 to announce the next Xbox and try to steal the thunder from whatever Sony has in store for the Expo? I hope not, as that would afford Sony several months to hype the Playstation 4 without competition. Perhaps Microsoft will announce its own next generation reveal event within the next month or so. As Xbox enthusiasts, we’re all eager to know what’s in store for us next.

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Reader comments

Sony's Playstation 4 announcement and what it means for Microsoft and Xbox

188 Comments

Pfft, what is a new console without a new version of dynasty warriors?

anyways, looking good! I have both a Lumia 920 and psvita, so I really don't know what do pick

I have two ps3s, two 360's, PS vita, 2 psp's, win 7 and a win 8 phone. No need to choose, get both platforms and enjoy what each has to offer.

i own ps3 xbox win8 winphone kinect surface and have been a huge halo fan since the original xbox, ill probably get both but the xbox will deffinately be my preferred console. i dont need any social aspects on my console besides group chat which ps3 failed miserably on.

Some of us choose for the sake of continuity. I honestly don't want a PlayStation AND an Xbox, as I like having all of my friends and Achievements in one place, and I'm backed up on Xbox games to play as it is. That, and the PlayStation's exclusives aren't in the genres I like, at least the better ones (like Infamous and Uncharted).
 
It's not worth it for me to spend ANOTHER $500 or so simply to see if I even LIKE The Show and to maybe play a couple of other games. It's not for everyone, especially people who don't have loads of time to play games--or those who want to stick to a single multipalyer game at a time.

I made this mistake last gen. I had an xbox 360 first, and bought a PS3 for a couple exclusives. I think, in total, I've played 3 games to completion on my PS3, it is pretty much a glorified blu-ray player / media streamer. Everyone I know plays on an Xbox, so there is no draw to the PS3 anymore. I will probably end up getting the PS4, but it won't be anywhere near launch.

We can't afford that. I had to save 3 months to afford a 360 when they were released. I will be doing the same again so multiple platforms is not an option moneybags.

You can always buy the alternate console down the line, after the price has dropped. They needn't all be bought at launch.

I know what you guys are saying that is true. I have only beaten two games on my ps3 and halos exclusive to Xbox I will be getting that. Maybe if its worth it down the line I'll get a ps4 but as it stands if specs are on par I'll stick with Xbox for the simple reason that I prefer stable online gaming much better socializing on the Xbox.

I love my gaming. I am super excited for both ps4 and the new Xbox. Sony was very smart with the social integration.

And for those who struggle with a 1~2 mbps connection like here in Egypt will never buy such a console... :)
BTW Egypt was the biggest PS3 market in the middle east, they're just loosing lots of sales by such thing !

Just because the console has great online features, that doesn't mean you can't still buy disc games and enjoy them like with previous consoles.

I definitely don't play games with a headset or care to play online or don't care for achievements and I fancy myself very knowledgeable about social media.

And I don't know if MS has much to be worried about right now being, as was pointed out, there was no actual console shown. I say that as really no diehard fan of either brand (though I do own a 360). Its amusing to see fancy new social features and graphics. But I want to see actual hardware (aside from the controller).

The actual console is literally the less important thing. It's going to be a box with ports for a bunch of accessories, with a Blu-Ray drive and an on/off button. You aren't going to take it arround with you so who cares if it looks great or not so great. The good stuff is inside and that was already shown yesterday. Games, social features and online features, new controller, etc... We even know that it's going to be released this year. We have the most important stuff that we need for now. The rest was saved for E3.

As a long time gamer, I've always looked forward to the look of a console. Sure, what's under the hood is obviously more important. But the controller did nothing to excite me. The social features did nothing for me (maybe because I don't game online very much and I do enough social media outside of gaming). The graphics are nice (though I am more about great gameplay in the end). It just would have been nice to have seen the actual console

I'm with you on this.  I'll never be able to un-see the PS3 George Foreman grill comparison or that god-awful boomerang/banana controller.

Microsoft definitely have the leg up. Seeing what Sony did. Plus the unified underbelly being Windows 8 across the board will be unmatched.

Well you say that but MS are failing in many ways. Just look at WP and how they've completely botched their ties to the Xbox brand with weeks and weeks without releases and only casual games on offer that iOS and Android had for aged. On the console side, devs are finding it more and more difficult to work with MS, especially smaller dev studios and they lack any draw for exclusive games with only Halo, Gears of War and Forza. MS are moving away from gaming. The Xbox is now a Netflix box that plays games sometimes and it's been apparent where they were going since they showed of the Kinect and every E3 since.

I'll gladly take Halo, Gears, Fable, Forza, Dance Central over that boring generic Killzone, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet DriveClub crap that Sony demoed yesterday. 99% of Sony first party games are garbage.
As far as Indie devs running away... Minecraft has sold over 5 million copies on XBLA already. That game is going to make more money than most boxed games. XBLA is where the money is at for Indie devs. Look at the huge success of Castle Crashers too.

Minecraft has sold like hotcakes, but there is actually a growing contingent of indie devs who are either displeased with XBLA and Xbox Live or have openly moved away from it. It's a real problem that Microsoft doesn't seem to have acknowledged as of yet.

Oh yes, I completely forgot about Fable because those past couple of games were complete shit and I couldn't care less about the Dance Central games because I don't want to spend over £100 on a camera for 1 game although you're welcome to enjoy the likes of DBZ, Seseme Street and Steel Batallion for exclusives. The most generic game you listed there has to be Killzone but Halo 4 didn't exactly raise the bar either. InFamous is actually a pretty fun game with a really interesting story and to call LBP generic, you're just crazy.
I clearly like Windows Phone otherwise I wouldn't be on this site but you need to remove those bias glasses man, they're not good for you. MS did very well for XBLA for the first few years but now that they dominate, devs aren't happy with all the certification BS they have to go through. Just see what Phil Fish, Brad Muir or Jonathon Blow have to say on the matter.

Hey man, I'd gladly take Halo, Gears & Forza too.
But you are 99% wrong, because SONY's first party titles are far from garbage. Sounds like you haven't even played them. Your missing out.

I think Microsoft will be the better of the two this time. Not that last time the Ps3 was better of course. The xbox has always been easier to program and I don't see that changing. Xbox live should be free though.

Xbox Live Gold will never be free. But MS does need to remove the Live Gold restriction for Netflix and other apps.

I'm inclined to agree, thinking a Silver account should be sufficient...but then perhaps they should just mitigate the console purchase with a mandatory Gold subscription..? Like that $99 purchase deal at Microsoft stores...no? =[

I don't really care about it not being free for games, but I hate having to pay to be able to play my music in my living room since I'm already paying for the Xbox Music Pass! So I never listen to music in my living room instead, grrrr. So that need to be free! Right now, for the price of two years of Gold to get music on my TV I could instead buy new speakers where I could plug in my phone and play music from there, and it'd probably sound better than on my tv anyway... But... Anyway... I don't want to buy new speakers, I just want to access my damn music on my Xbox!

But Sony admitted yesterday that the cell chip really didn't work out for them and for the PS4 have switched to a more traditional x86 structure that'll be much easier for devs to use. Onto XBL however, don't ever expect it to be free. MS have seen good success with the subscription model offered in their stores and I'd likely see them do it from day one with Durango and millions of people are willing to pay for XBL even though I don't really see the value in it as a Steam user.

Yeah, that's going to be decisive to me. If the Xbox doesn't run used games, I'll be buying a PS4. 

I doubt the PS3 got "Osborned" by this announcement. If Sony notices a dip in PS3 sales, they can bring the price down to convince people the PS3 is still worth buying.

i think the new xbox will have win 8 or RT or something like that which will use the NT kernel and hence have a lot of social features and apps to go to but it might prove a hinderance in backward compatibility for xbox 360 games but then again sony ps4 also doesn't have it

I'm impressed with ps4, but as my ps3 gathers dust and my family all enjoy the Xbox, I'm not sold as an early adopter

i have to say me either i just got a ps3 and planning on selling it for the new xbox if only to take the price down just a little. prolly sell my 360 but my game portfolio is huge.

All rumors indicate the next Xbox will be very similar to the PS4 in specs, so they'd really need some amazing new features to blow it out of the water.

Which is good. The move to x86 in the PS4 is going to make games in general higher quality because porting across platforms will become easier. 

Actually no, I think the PS will beat the Xbox. Spec wise the rumours for the Playstation have been on the money. Which means that the Xbox is a fair bit behind. I think the Xbox runs the risk of looking dated much sooner.

I just found it odd that a company promoting all their new streaming services, couldnt live stream one event without issues.  The audio dropped and at one point the stream became unawatchable.  I checked my home networking settings and my my bandwidth was open at 13mbs, nothing taking up my bandwidth, then I read everyone was having the same issue.  If you goal is to promise streaming games, I would think this is a major issue.

Sigh, once upon a time this would have had me jumping for joy but I just can't get that excited. I was a huge fan of the PS1 and 2 but the PS3 ruined it for me. Now I'm looking forward to the next Xbox more than this, which is funny because I hated the original Xbox and the massive controller that I couldn't get my hands around. Also, I have to disagree about the d-pad for the 360, I love it far more than my chintzy-feeling PS3 one.

We'll have to agree to disagree then. The 360's d-pad is extremely inaccurate, making it wholly inappropriate for fighting games or anything that requires precision directional presses.

The d-pad on the 'pro' controller (the one that flips between 8-way and 4-way) is much better, hopefully they will adopt that as standard for the next xbox.

Problem is that d-pad lacks durability. I've had two break off already. The shape is good but the engineering needs work.

Underwhelming. Move did very well for Sony...riiight. Sony is blowing smoke.
$5 says MS new system is called XBOX. Also the 360 has proven it didn't need a bluray player and charged for online content. The social share isn't a new concept. EA has done this with Madden and Burnout. I'm sure there are others. In terms of a friend helping through a rough spot, I would have to see how this is done. Pause, friend signs in, has to have the game too, obviously, they unpause, get me killed. I don't think it will take off. I'd use it to troll and hop in holes and such.

I'm a W8 and WP8 supporter, having a W8 PC and a Lumia 920. I don't like Apple but I've an iPad4 (because it's the tablet on the market that gives me all the apps and a stable experience). I don't like Google or Android but I have a Gmail account. When it comes to gaming I'm all for PlayStation because in my opinion it is the console with more and better exclusives. PS4 is looking amazing and I really want to play the new Killzone.
 
Yesterday when Sony talked about integration with tablets and smartphones they actually showed images of their Android tablets and smartphones but also of their W8 tablet, so I hope there is going to be a PS4 app for W8 and maybe even WP8 but that's probably asking for too much. Anyway, if there isn't any support for Windows I will be ok because I still have my iPad. It's the advantage of having a bit of every world.

You nailed it! I do hope they make a nice app for Windows 8/Rt since I can use my laptop with Windows 8.

By the way, having a Windows 8 Pro tablet is like having a bit of every world. There is an Android emulator (BlueStacks I think...) so you can run over 750 000 Android apps on a Win8 tablet, but you can install the millions of apps available for Win7. I don't see how the iPad has more apps. Your way to see it is that it's better to have a little of every company. Personally I think it's easier to choose your company and stick with it. That way you're sure your phone talks to you computer and to you tablet and gaming console. And one app you buy for the Tablet can also be used for the PC...

Same here. Windows and Windows Phone, but when it comes to gaming I'm all PlayStation. Microsoft just has a lackluster offering when it comes to actual games, which is what most people buy a console for... Microsoft needs to learn to allow creative freedom to developers instead of forcing them to make a sequel to whatever will sell the most.

So far I'm expecting MS to win this one. I'm not amazed by the social features and they didn't show any exclusives that would make me want to get one.

From what I heard, The Witness isn't exclusive in the sense that it's never coming to other platforms.  It's exclusive in the game's launch window, similar to how COD map packs are exclusive to Xbox for the first month.  I fully imagine this game will end up on PC/Xbox at  some point (possibly Wii U - if Watch Dogs is why not?)
The other things I found interesting...
-It plays used games, but we don't know what this means exactly.  Will online activation codes be required?
-No backwards compatibility out of box.  Not a dealbreaker, but this sucks.  Also PSN games will not transfer.  Ouch.
-8GB DDR5 RAM (!) is huge, but shared.
-Games looked "meh" to me.  They were nice graphically, but Killzone and Infamous just don't get me excited.  The Square-Enix reveal of a plan to start development of a Final Fantasy game was silly.
-Social features look like they could be pretty cool, although a lot of it looked very early and I doubt much of it is "real" at this point.  The Gaikai streaming/backwards compatibility thing made this clear...they'll roll things out in phases.
Overall, I was a bit letdown by the conference.  I'm an Xbox guy at heart, but have and enjoy a few exclusives on the Playstation consoles (and came from the PSOne/2).  I wanted more because I want Sony to push Microsoft to innovate and bring it.  I'm interested to see how Microsoft responds to this and how Nintendo can position themselves with a weaker system (again) that doesn't have a sure-fire sales gimmick.

There won't be any for the Xbox (720) either, unless they build an emulator or stream online, which I highly doubt. The next Xbox will probably move to x86 architecture too and the games on console talk almost completely to the hardware. The APIs will most probably be much of the WinRT, making them even more different.

That's a lot of speculation with so little info to go on.

Let's just be patient and see what Ms brings to the table.

it looks pretty cool but my only problem is the entire share contorls with a friend, if they go with trophys still, it would ruin the entire system as oh I can't beat this part going for the trophy just get my friend to do it or I need todo this speed run get my friend to do it kinda sucks

Well they can just make it so that the trophy is only unlocked if YOU do it. Just like hoe you can't edit a document someone shared with you on SkyDrive unless you sign in. Permissions and access controls

I just hope the new Xbox is released as a subscription model. Imagine brand new next Gen console for $200. With you being locked into Xbox live for 3 years. Microsoft wouldn't be able to keep up with demand!

I have no problem with paid Xbox live because servers do cost money to maintain and they tend to keep up with their security. You get what you pay for which is why the free online on the PS3 doesn't appeal to me, the outage of a couple years past was largely in part from them not upgrading their security. That said, Netflix really shouldn't require gold to use.

Got to admit when that guy was talking about creation with the playstation move and was explaining it he sounded more intelligent and that part was more entertaining then anything apple has ever done or anyone else that was the best part of the show

Paul is right. The d pad was abysmal for fighting games. However I agree with you on being less than enthused with the ps4 announcement.

Man I am excited. I have been a PlayStation fan ever since I got the original Playstation(and PS2) and loved them. Thought I never did get the PS3, I did however buy a PC and got the free Xbox 360 just over a year ago :) and it has grown on me! Now time to wait to see what MS brings to the table. They never fail to impress. This is what I love... Two tech giants (technically 3, Nintendo) battling out to make the better console and reinvent gaming once again...

Don't see the need for that. If they have a more robust DLNA feature (both PS3 and 360 have DLNA) then it will allow virtually any WiFi device to share content on the same network and not be limited to Windows devices (even though I really like MS stuff).

From the rumors the next Xbox will be pretty much matched hardware wise with the ps4. If MS announces some great features, exclusives, and dispels any of the bad rumors that have been going around then they'll be fine. Also if they announce backwards compatibility that would give them a huge edge.

The social features sound really cool but truth be told, nobody gives a hoot. At least my friends don't. They'd be like "ugh get this playstation stuff off my feed." XBox tried that social FB stuff and you could share achievements to FB but it's either gone now or I just don't use it anymore.
The cool thing I do like is being able to see the picture and real name of your friends. That would be better than seeing some fruity avatar with a weird name like it is now on Xbox for sure.

It would be nice if they would simply merge our people list on Win8 and WP8 with our Xbox live friends list. That way some people would only be strange avatars, but your real friends would also be connected with their email and phone and Facebook account. It would also allow us to message our Xbox friends right from our Phone or PC's people list without having to go through the Games app.

You can still share achievements on fb. You have to go to the achievement and share it.

Usually that's a good topic started for my.friends on fb.

If the next Xbox launch is anything like Windows Phone or Surface launches, expect 3 consoles to be shipped to each major US city. All to be bought by employees of the stores and sold on ebay for a 500% profit.
 
They need to get their supply moving.

Now I can finally afford a PS3 when this launches. Always a console behind. I just got a 360 two years ago.

I don't trust Sony too much, if they move to secure online and consistent monitoring that would be best.

That's news to me. If that's then case I will just roll with steam on my PC. But I will really miss some of those sweet exclusives.

Yup.  I'm not paying twice to use netflix.  I pay netflix, I'm not paying microsoft too.  If Sony wants to charge me for it I will continue to game on my PC rig and use it for streaming too.  The PS3 was a superior streaming device and had blu ray; the Xbox seemed to perform better with rendering and load times for gaming.  No interest in xbox gold.  

haters gonna hate :D lol jk its understandable if you dont wanna pay dude, but as someone who also owns both i use the xbox much more consistently especially since smartglass and it works tremendously better for me. playstation load times are horrendous.

I was considering the PS3 for a console as well as a blu ray but I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people say the bluray on it sucks and skips, stutters, etc. (Worked in home theatre in Best Buy as a rep for Panasonic and sold many blu rays to ppl telling me this stuff and it was surprising to say the least.)

PS3 uses a first-gen Blu-Ray drive. Newer Blu-Ray players are much faster and better all around. PS4 and the next Xbox will use faster drives too.

MS better show up soon. You don't let a competitor get a big head jump. The smart idea would be like how they started last year offer a subscription base model to reel the kids in just like the Wii. Then if PS4 is being more social with its features then you combat it with your media functions (SmartGlass, Hulu+, Netflix and other products) also with your media services that one up the competition. Lastly, dont knock the use of used games, don't make it to where you have be online to play games and don't alienate backwards compatibility. Those are the three main issues.

I have no issue with Xbox Gold Price but as an incentive offer a discount for people buying the subscription. $60 a year is not that bad compared to the fact people half of that per month just to go to the gym. Xbox Live is the superior online system and you get a lot of content for $12 a month.

Honestly, I am fairly disappointed with the PS4 announcement.  Rumors have been floating around in the industry that it will not be able to match current gaming PC specs, and their lack of annoucing specifics in regard to the CPU and GPU make me think that may be right.
I was hoping the next generation of consoles would be a leap forward, maybe Microsoft's annoucment at E3 will be more compelling.  At least I know one thing they announce will take most by surprise :)

Not really true.  The GPU for the XBOX 360 was not matched on PCs until 2 years after launch.

8GB of RAM is a huge leap forward and on par with mid-range PCs, though consoles can use far less powerful hardware to create comparable game quality to most high end PCs at the time of launch. Pretty impressive I say.

Lol I'm not here to talk down Xbox, but my primary console is Sony. When the XBox whatever comes out, I'll determine if I want it and buy it too, but I'm not a fan of the Xbox controllers today. It's Just my preference. I'm certain Microsoft will bring something solid.

I was always a sony fan, had the ps1 and 2.  Most of my friends got the xbox.  I got the xbox.  I then got the 360 along with them and have never picked up a sony controller since.  Sony was the best option when there was only a n64, and the sort, but when MS released the xbox, no brainer.

Hmm ... Not a gamer myself, I know quite a few gamers that avoid social sharing like the plague. Yet, they might wear headphones as they're considerate individuals that don't want to disturb the other people nearby.
Why am I writing this? I didn't like how the article suggest that social media avoiders automatically are inconsiderate persons who don't know how to behave. Which is an utterly stupid thing to think, imho.
And when seing people sitting together for a nice dinner and some seem more interested in what's going on on their smartphone screens than in the persons they are current with, I find such a behavior quite rude and ask myself who's more social/happy here: the persons who follow their need to tweet this and Facebook that or the ones that are fully concentrating on what they're doing while not feeling that need?

Umm, I don't think I implied that people who dislike social media are rude. My point was that people who don't socialize often chose to ignore wearing headsets, which are essential for communication in online console games. Some people don't enjoy communicating with other people. That doesn't apply to everyone; it's just something I've observed.

Ah, I misunderstood then, sorry!! For me,wearing a headset mostly implies "Do not disturb" (either the wearer doesn't want to disturb or doesn't want to be disturbed). When it comes to gaming combined with social interaction, I guess it depends what kind of games you play. My gamer colleagues prefer complex games that require a high level of concentration, and interruptions while gaming are unwanted by them.

Are most gamers playing coop or vs other people online?  I really don't know.  I play casually and have few friends that play coop games, so I prefer single player games and there little value to me to get massacred by a foul mouthed 10 year old.  I tried MMOs for a while but obnoxious little griefers made that a miserable waste of time.  In that respect PS is a much better value, since I'm not going to pay to stream content I can get without a charge on PSN.  
I am curious whether the data shows a majority of gamers are now playing games that involve online interaction.  

The huge sales success of games with online components: Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, Gears of War, etc. proves that online multiplayer is an important feature in today's gaming world. Co-op is also increasingly important, especially to older gamers who don't have the time to practice and remain competitive against younger players. Also, even versus games usually have team-vs-team modes. Coordination between teammates is just as important there as it is in cooperative games.

IDK, I got the same thought when you mentioned that.

I don't use headset much because the majority of the time, there are annoying kids screaming in the background. Well, I guess that's the only time I plug in my headset, so I won't have to hear them on my big ass tv.

But the majority of the time, no one has anything relevant to say about the actual.gameplay. It's mostly gibberish and how awesome their weed is.

If it wasn't for RE5 and Xbox 360, I'd never have become a MS enthusiast. They made everything with intuitiveness and simplicity in mind. What I look forward to now Xbox 720 being gesture based. No more scrolling with joystick and tapping buttons to select options.

Maybe we've partnered before. Mercenary reunion prison has always been my fav. I want to be #1 worldwide!! Haven't achived it yet.

If Xbox still requires an annual fee to use Netflix, I'm ditching Microsoft here. It was an understandable business strategy when Netflix was brand new on consoles, but makes no sense now especially with the Xbox transitionning to more media-centric activities.
It's bad enough that users have lost control of the dashboard and have to search through countless ad tiles to find their content - enough is enough.

Huh? 50-60$ one year subscription to enjoy the best contents ever. Come on! Ain't gona break your bank. Not enough even to buy potato chips and mcDs you buy for a month. Adds are not that intruding, seriously.

that is seriously a good point we waste more money than that on garbage every week. why not pay for something your gonna get your moneys worth from?

It doesn't make sense if you don't play online games very often though, which I don't. There are plenty of ways to offer perks that are worth 60$ a year to players that really care about that aspect of the console while making the basic access free to more casual users.
And note, by limiting multiplayer components to a set of players that need to pay a yearly subscriptions, it makes it harder for game developers to produce games that take advantage of the multiplayer component in unique ways, as they have to keep in mind that a subset of players will not have access to those multiplayer capabilities. 
And the ads are terrible. They need to go. I'm not saying that the dashboard isn't usable, it is, and it's very well done. But you can't honestly tell me that you wouldn't be happy if the ads left (or at least were minimized) and "Pinning" actually meant pinning your own tiles around.

Content discovery isn't the same thing as ads, and I don't have to search through anything to find the stuff I own.  It's in the same place every time.  Not that there isn't always room for dashboard improvement, but even if pinning everything was an option, I wouldn't use it. I know what content I already own, I don't know what sales are going on.

I won't say they're irrelevant, but the Wii U is so close in power to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (it has more RAM but the CPU is actually weaker!)  that I can't consider it a next-gen console. I did include it in this article's specs comparison though.

I understand your logic, but it is literally the next generation of a Nintendo series console. So, regardless of its barely-over-current-Gen specs, its still next Gen. But as you implied it is not console war material.

The PS3 is not so far behind the Xbox 360 that the PS4 couldn't overtake the next Xbox. Microsoft did win this generation, but they will still need to fight hard to win the next one.

The year head start had less to do with it and more to do with the PS3 being phenomenally and prohibitively expensive and Sony being arrogant. MS courted developers and gave them all nice complete dev kits that would allow them to start building games out of the box. Sony on the other hand sent out kits, didn't bother to translate them out of Japanese so the companies then needed to hire a translator and they had to learn to program for Sony's new proprietary hardware. Sony screwed the pooch at the PS3 launch.

You lost my attention as soon as you said that you love taking screen shots on your phone.  I've used that feature exactly TWICE, each time just to send a picture of a problem while beta testing an app.  I have yet to see a compelling need for screen shots aside from troubleshooting.

Shoot, it must be tough finding sites to enjoy if you only read authors whose every opinion you agree with. An awfully self-centered viewpoint there.

You can't see the need for taking screenshots? Look at virtually every review we've posted since Windows Phone 8 debuted. We can now use our own shots that apply to the content we've written instead of using stock images. That's just one use, but it's extremely important for some of us.

I have not consoled gamed since 2000 and I can say that I am amazed how console GPU's caught up to pc. Really close to my MSI spec wise my GPU is gtx680M wonder how it will stack up

How was Sony cheating(legit question, I'm not trying to be snarky)?

I mean they tried to "mimic" the awesome 360, but they failed miserably.

One of the biggest pet peeve on chat while playing is the screaming g kids/babies in the background.

I can't make it any clearer than this, if you have kids and can't wait to play online after your kids have gone to sleep, then don't connect your motherfucking headset.

All I hear is high pitch, annoying and uber distracting gibberish.

Just mute people like that. Also, when playing with friends you can stay in party chat and never hear people you don't know.

It's easier when games provide fast ways to do it as with Halo and Gears. But in any game, just press the Guide button, select Friends, then scroll right to Recent Players. From there, you can mute anyone in the current game or past games.

That's the first place I go to, it dowsn't work. But also, when I'm in the middle of an intensely epic battle, I don't want to screw up my score by going into the main screen and having to select mute. So I just plug in my headphones and done.

11.ac is not an approved standard. Its still beta. Not worth the extra cost added to the console as well.

Well these consoles don't come every year, and 802.11ac is the future, so it would have been good. It still is capable of a/g/b/n though. Like when the PS3 had blu-ray and Xbox 360 didn't, that was huge for some. Hope the Xbox 720 will have 802.11ac. :)

Not showing the console itself is bizarre...really don't understand that move.
 
Also, I think the touchpad on the controller is an interesting concept, I can see that being used for different gaming applications. For example, I hate the way you "type" with the controller on the Xbox 360...with something like the touchpad, it would be more like a phone and more tolerable.
 
I have mixed feelings about the letting someone else play for you feature. I can see someone hacking that. Also, just the concept itself is dumb, if you can't do something in a game, why should you allow someone else to do it for you. Seems like cheating.
 
The Killzone game looks nice but I didn't see anything special with that trailer.
 
Also, I must have been living under a rock, did not realize that they finally pulled the trigger and will release Diablo to the consoles.

Na i just sticking to xbox this time ps3 was disappointing. It sounds like an impressive console taking what wiiu done and Microsoft and improving on it. But i still have faith that ms will trump Sony. I cant wait xbox will be awsome

I actually reckon the Xbox will be a fair bit behind in the spec department. I think it will show too. Possibly not year 1, but then the Playstation will dwarf it with the better specs.

I don't want it to, honest. I love my Xbox, and the Playstation controller is just so uncomfortable. The new one may be a little better (actually appears to be morphing into the Xbox shape), but not for me.

when you look at the specs though, based on rumours for the xbox, they are behind. Now I honestly don't know a ton about tech specs, but on paper the Sony wins so far. I think that the Xbox was easier to develop for which gave it the edge. This time I am not sure they have the same advantage.

Cheers! Fingers crossed MS are using this time to tweak the specs. So many have mentioned the advantage of "going first"... I actually think Sony have messed up. For them to truely take advantage they would need to actually release ot first. Announcing first counts for very little. Yes you get mindshare, but it will be the one that puts them on sale first that gets the edge, especially if specs are not to far apart. Offering a great thing, but having it available is a disaster. The Lumia 920 launch fiasco was a prime example.

As it stands, MS potentially has a stack of time to add extra features and improve upon what they already have planned. Sadly, I think the hardware side will already be locked down though.

LOL @ Sony. Showing anything special more of the same... shooters shooters, graphicsssss graphicssss... look we are copying kinect, here are some tech demos that dont exist!
its just sony, ps4 fuck it. Microsoft better have a good console or im not buying any of them.

"Perhaps Microsoft will announce its own next generation reveal event within the next month or so" NO, NO, NO! MS please don't do what Sony just did. Let them have this useless hype. Sony announcement was like giving your teacher a ripped paper and saying "MY DOG ATE THE REST". DON'T ANNOUNCE ANYTHING UNTIL EVERYTHING IS READY.

"I’m most concerned about Microsoft falling behind is social features."
I definitely do not want random people seeing my real name when I'm online so I'm not concerned about that... "social features" are the last thing I'm thinking about when I power on a console.

"The DualShock 4’s built-in speaker alone is a big advancement as far as enabling headset-less players to understand their teammates during gameplay"
Speaker on the controller would probably be annoying. If I want to hear people I would put on my $5 headset. Thankfully with Xbox Live I can start a party and be in it by myself so I don't have to hear ANYONE lol...

I agree about the social features. I don't use Facebook or Twitter or any social network. My only online presence is the Xbox and the odd few forums. I am worried that MS may insist you join damn Facebook or something to link to some of the features.

Guys this is a Windows Phone site, so why did none of you ask if the PS4 Gaika system will be able to stream games to a Windows Phone in the future? Or will Sony only support Android Mobile gaming?

Alas, I see the same situation happening where Microsoft rushes to release their new gaming console due to all the hype about the Playstation 4 that the next-gen Xbox will have some sort of fatal flaw upon release.
 
That's the problem with Microsoft. They're so caught up in the business market that the consumer market is left unnoticed and only when their position in business is affected by the lack of participation in the other market that they decide to take drastic action, and their "drastic action" tends to have that "rushed in a hurry" vibe going into it.
 
Remember the old Xbox 360 models that suffered from RROD's due to poor hardware and a half-arsed cooling system with little to no ventilation to allow heat to escape? Microsoft rushed to release their upcoming product in order to beat the PS3 at release date at the price of overall quality. Even though it came later, the latter console suffered little to no fatal problems.
 
If Microsoft wants to survive in the markets they're currently competing in, they need to step it up.

Sony strikes first!!!(okay, maybe Nintendo did)...but still, Sony showed enough of their hand to get people excited.
Here's hoping MS doesn't bluff with their hand and screw over the consumer by not allowing used games/always online connection/Kinect 2.0 hookup required/unable to transfer 360 arcade games and dlc content to the next system *crosses fingers*

I use to own an Xbox 360 and I loved it! But I think I'm going for the ps4 this year if it actually comes out this holiday.

Get both or in reality all 4 consoles coming out and is out. Wii U, PS4, Steam Box, and my personal favorite and also the first one I get, the new XBOX. The online experience is #1 and social integration as is, is top notch. My PS3 is a Bluray player and my Wii is in the box never unpacked since I moved over a year and half ago. On the real though if I never got the PS4 I don't think I would really care since the new Xbox will be packing Bluray.

I thought Sony really rocked the house for the most part.  Some things have come out since the presentation that have me a little weary, but overall I'm definitely excited for the PS4.  I'm excited to see what MS brings to the table, and I hope they scale back the emphasis on Kinect.  

Of course it's a new console. And all three console makers borrow/steal ideas from each other. Sony's no more guilty of it than anybody else. Not to mention that the original Playstation Eye came out well before the Kinect.