Japanese electronics giant Sony introduced its next-generation PlayStation 4 video game console Wednesday, the latest salvo in a new war for gaming supremacy with Microsoft and Nintendo.
PlayStation 4 is the company's newest attempt to regain the lead in the $8-billion-a-year market, which has seen declines in the past year because of waning sales of games and hardware.
The new PS4 will sport the same architecture used in desktop personal computers, including a separate CPU, a graphics processor and a hard drive. In the future, the system also will be capable of playing older PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 games by streaming the video of the game to the player from a distant server instead of from the console.
With the new graphical power, the system will be capable of generating gaming worlds that are richer and more realistic than its previous Sony models.
The console is set to be released this holiday season, although an exact date or price was not announced. Executives also did not show the console, likely because the system's form factor is still being designed.
In a media presentation in New York City, Sony executives also announced that the new console will have a completely redesigned user interface and the ability to suspend and resume a game so the player doesn't have to wait for it to load. The company also is building a new online gaming network for the PlayStation 4 that will allow players to take video of their game playing and share it with others, as well as use smartphones and tablets to interact with players even when they are away from home.
Sony also showed off the new DualShock controller that will come with the PS4. Although similar to the dual-joystick gamepad of the earlier systems, the controller also will include a touchpad on the top, as well as dual cameras for motion control similar to its PlayStation Move wand for the PlayStation 3.
"The future of PlayStation is about great games," said game developer Michael Denny of Worldwide Studios. "PlayStation will bring a new synergy between hardware, software and the fastest, most powerful gaming network in the world, unlocking a new canvas in creativity."
Game developers introduced titles that will be made for the console, including the first-person shooter "Killzone: Shadow Fall," a shooting game from the makers of "Halo" called "Destiny," and a new racing game, "Drive Club."
Nearly seven years have passed since Sony and Microsoft have released new gaming consoles. It has been speculated that that Microsoft will announce a follow up to its Xbox 360 system later this year, perhaps this summer at the annual E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles.
Nintendo introduced its next-generation Wii U gaming console just before Christmas, although the technology of that system is more on par with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. So far, sales of the Wii U have been lower than Nintendo expected.
As the companies waited to jump into the next era in gaming, sales of gaming hardware fell 27 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to the NPD Group, while sales of game discs fell 23 percent.
Google+: +Vincent Horiuchi