By Jimmie Geddes email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 20, 2013 04:50 PM EST
The last time Sony launched a PlayStation console was in November 2006. Seven years is a pretty long time to wait for some fresh new gaming hardware.
It is also the biggest gap Sony has put between the releases of new PlayStation consoles. If the wording of Sony's invitation is any indiction as to what the company has up its sleeve, we'll be witnessing no less than the "Future of PlayStation." Sony has beaten Microsoft to the punch in announcing its next-generation gaming console and more than likely will beat Microsoft by releasing the PS4 before Microsoft releases its next-generation console. It appears Sony has learned that giving your competition a head start is not a good idea. Sony won't make that mistake again.
When Sony released the PS3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 had already been on the market for a year. It gave Microsoft the head start it needed in building up a great game catalog and also provided gamers only one choice for a next-generation gaming console. It's hard to get gamers to switch platforms at any point, but Microsoft was able to take the lead because of its planning and execution in launching the Xbox 360 a full year before Sony's PS3 would see the light of day.
Many in the gaming world are expecting Sony to follow the trend of movement-recognition hardware with the PS4. Microsoft's Kinect has been a huge success for the company in changing the way people play games and control different aspects of features Microsoft has built into the Xbox 360 and Kinect hardware. Sony is expected to add a touchpad feature to the PS4's controller, similar to the back touchpad of Sony's mobile gaming system, the PS Vita. Get ready to have a more motion/gesture-based way of doing things on the PS4.
Sony is also expected to follow Microsoft's Smart Glass feature by allowing the PS4 to be controlled by a tablet or smartphone. Allegedly users will be able to work their mobile devices as a remote control for games, multimedia features of the PS4, and use the smartphone or tablet as a second screen (similar to the Wii U's Gamepad).
Analysts are waiting to see if Sony not only debuts impressive hardware but also integrates services such as its portfolio of games, movies, music and TV shows. Some are expecting Sony to launch some kind of remote streaming gaming feature for tablets and smartphones as well.
As to release date and price, rumors are pointing to a November release, just in time for the holidays. Where pricing is concerned, rumor has it that Sony will announce two PS4 configurations with pricing at $429 and $529.
Sony's PS4 event will kick off at 6 p.m. Eastern time (3 p.m. Pacific time) and we'll be covering the news as it happens. What are you hoping to see in the PS4? Let us know in the comments.