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PS4 Preview

There have been reports that Sony insiders have hinted that a PS4 may be available as soon as Christmas this year. While this may seem a little premature since the PS3 came out just over year ago, it may be a reaction to disappointing sales and the lost of market share to competitors Xbox and Nintendo due to the PS3’s high price and limited game titles. What can we expect from the next gaming console from Sony?

Price: One of the main criticism of the PS3 is that at $500-$600, it is too expensive. Can we expect the PS4 to be a little cheaper for the frugal gamer?

Probably not. Since production costs on the PS3 were actually over the retail price and Sony reps have indicated that the PS4 would have the same chipset as the PS3, I would expect the PS4 to be roughly the same price if not a little cheaper to increase demand. In defense of the price, Sony has pointed out the longevity of their systems and the “ahead-of-its-time” network processor, the latter of which is also their defense for the next topic: lack of games.

Games: How does Sony plan on creating more viable games for the new system?

The PS4 will continue with what they have created in the PS3, namely, network-based gaming. The lack of quality titles has been attributed to the advanced nature of the processors in the Playstations and game engineers have been slow to keep up. But as network-gaming technologies advance, game engineers may feel the need to make their games network compatible, possibly making new Playstation platforms the most viable to accommodate them. Also, I’m guessing the PS4 will make full use of the network capabilities, by making all games network compatible. That way a gaming partner is always available. And this might be a stretch, but I think it would be nice for the PS4 to utilize social profiles (like Myspace of Facebook) for users to join groups and network gaming friends across the globe.

Other concerns:

Compatibility:

Since the PS3 was released not too long ago, perhaps Sony will make it possible to upgrade your PS3 to the PS4 capabilities for what I would hope would be a very reasonable price. This would ensure that Sony does not irk customers who shelled out $500 buck only to get outdated a few years later. I also imagine Sony to continue compatibility of older games on newer systems.

Versatility:

Sony systems have always had high hopes as far as versatility. The original Playstation plays music and the PS2 added DVD capabilities. Look for the PS4 to continue this trend, perhaps incorporating more amateur-friendly games (like the Wii) and advancing it’s movie and music modes. In fact, Sony has made it’s ambitions clear and they claimed that the future of the Playstation platform is as a home media hub, where gaming, movies, music and tv can all be downloaded or accessed through their network.

While it is true that rumors about a 2008 release are abound, other reports claim Sony is not looking to release the PS4 until 2010. Whenever the next system comes out, there’s no doubt that Sony has something to prove with it.

About Nick Wheeler

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