playstation-4-concept-001The first three generations of PlayStation sold more than 300 million units, pioneered a new style of serious video games and produced hefty profits. PlayStation 4, introduced by Sony Wednesday evening, is a bold bid to recapture those long-ago glory days.

The first new PlayStation in seven years was promoted by Sony as being like a “supercharged PC.” It has a souped-up eight-core processor to juggle more complex tasks simultaneously, enhanced graphics, the ability to play games even as they are being downloaded, and a new controller designed in tandem with a stereo camera that can sense the depth of the environment in front of it. Now if that’s not the future of Gaming, then what is?

All of that should make for more compelling play for the hard-core gamers at the heart of the PlayStation market. The blood effects in Killzone: Shadow Fall, shown to a preview audience of 1,200 at the Hammerstein at Manhattan Center Wednesday night, looked chillingly real.

The console itself was never shown during the two-hour presentation. No release date was given, although before the Christmas holidays is a good possibility. No price was  even mentioned.

With PlayStation 4, serious games are about to become much more social. A player can broadcast his game play in real time, and his friend can peek into his game and hop in to help. Also, players will now be able to upload recordings of themselves playing and send them to their friends. This not only changes the concept of gaming, but also makes it much more interactive.

“Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation,” Andrew House, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, told the crowd. He said the new device “represents a significant shift of thinking of PlayStation as merely a box or console to thinking as a leading authority on play.”

Credit: NYTIMES