Sony announces PlayStation 4

Ground-up build promises richer content; cloud, mobile play key roles in expanded ecosystem

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Sony announces PlayStation 4 The PS4 controller includes a 'Share' button that allows players to upload video of their exploits to the cloud.
By Staff Writer Published  February 21, 2013

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) today introduced its next-generation PlayStation 4 (PS4) system at a press conference in New York City, US.

Combined with PlayStation Network (PSN) and cloud technology, PS4 will represent an expanded gaming ecosystem for Sony, at a time when the gaming landscape makes continuing strides towards the mobility sector.

PS4 will be available this holiday season and game titles and content and service information will be announced in the interim period as it becomes available.

The PS4 constitutes a complete redesign, as Sony seeks to connect players to a range of products and services spread across the console and mobile spaces.

"The PS4 system architecture is distinguished by its high performance and ease of development," said Sony. 

The system build is based on a custom chip that folds in eight x86-64 cores and a new graphics processor. According to Sony the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has been enhanced in a number of ways, principally to allow for easier use of the GPU for general purpose computing (GPGPU) such as physics simulation.  The GPU contains a unified array of 18 compute units, which collectively generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power that can freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two.

PS4 is equipped with 8 GB of unified system memory, which is intended to ease game creation and increase the richness of content achievable on the platform.  GDDR5 (Graphics Double Data Rate - a memory standard for graphics processing designed to balance power consumption with performance) is used for the memory, giving the system 176 GB/second of bandwidth and providing a further boost to graphics performance, Sony said.

Social interaction also plays a significant part in the PS4 platform. New features have been built into the architecture to provide always-on video compression and decompression systems that enable seamless uploading of game play. For the first time ever, gamers can share their exploits with the press of a single "share" button on the controller, scan through the last few minutes of game play, tag it and return to the game. The video uploads as the gamer plays.  Gamers can share their images and videos to their friends on social networking services such as Facebook.

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