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IDG News Service - Seven years after the release of the PlayStation 3, Sony has disclosed details about its new PlayStation 4 gaming console, which it said will be out by the end of this year.
Sony introduced its latest console at an event in New York City on Wednesday evening. The PS4 will focus on "multidimensional" gaming and has superior hardware to improve the player experience, said Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.
The new console will be out in time for the holiday shopping season, Sony said. It did not announce any pricing.
The goal is to put the PS4 at the center of the living room by offering the latest in console design, connected gaming and services, House said.
The PS4 runs on an eight-core x86 CPU and an improved graphics processor, delivering a combined 2 teraflops of performance. The console includes 8GB of memory and a local hard drive. Sony also introduced a new DualShock 4 gaming controller with a range of tracking and connectivity features to improve gaming quality on PS4.
The PS4 now effectively carries the system architecture of gaming desktop PCs, which are largely based on x86 chips. The x86 CPU is a big change from IBM's Cell processor used in the PS3. That should close the gap between PCs and gaming consoles, which for a long time have been incompatible as Playstation games could not be run on PCs. Sony did not announce the chip supplier for the PS4, but it is rumored to be Advanced Micro Devices.
The PS4 console succeeds the PlayStation 3, which started shipping in 2006. Sony introduced a new PS3 model with a slimmer design and new hardware in 2009.
Sony's other flagship console, the handheld PlayStation Vita, has struggled since its worldwide launch last year. Earlier this month, the company slashed its sales target for portable games by 30 percent, to 7 million, and has announced it will soon cut the price of the device by a third in Japan.
The PS4 will also carry a specialized processor that speeds up the delivery of online games. It will also have a new social networking interface and be able to interact with tablets and smartphones. A remote play feature allows games to be transferred to the PlayStation Vita console, and Sony said it wants to make every PS4 game compatible with Vita in the future.
Games that will be available for the device include a new "Final Fantasy" from Square Enix and "Watch Dogs" from Ubisoft. Blizzard Entertainment, known for PC games, said it will make a version of "Diablo" for the PS4 and the PS3. Games from other big makers are also expected.
In the PlayStation Network (PSN), users will be able to try games before they download them. Facebook and Ustream are also being integrated into the network, which Sony executives said will make PSN the most social gaming network available. Gameplay can be broadcast through Ustream, and a broadcast button on the controller will allow users to interact with PSN friends, who can assist or even take over gaming.
Sony will deliver movies and music through its Sony Entertainment Network, and is working with online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to stream movies and other content to the PS4.