Sony today unveiled the PlayStation 4 hardware design at its annual E3 Media & Business Summit press conference, where the company also announced its next-generation platform will launch in the United States for $399 this holiday season.
“We are proud to unveil today the most advanced gaming system ever created, PlayStation 4, which demonstrates everything PlayStation stands for — a relentless focus on the gamer, an inspired community of developers equipped with the most powerful technology, and the long-standing legacy to building worlds without boundaries through one-of-a-kind gaming experiences,” said Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA. “What’s equally exciting for us, however, is transforming the PlayStation ecosystem into a stronger, more vibrant destination that enables gamers to engage, share, play, and connect on their terms.”
SCE World Wide Studios is currently developing more than 30 PS4 exclusive titles, 20 of them, including 12 new IPs, are planned to release within a year of the launch of the PS4 system. SCE WWS President Shuhei Yoshida provided an update on PS4 exclusive titles, #DRIVECLUB, Killzone Shadow Fall, KNACK, which will be available at launch, and inFAMOUS Second Son, available first quarter 2014.
Proving PlayStation’s commitment and support for indie developers, SCEA Vice President of Developer and Publisher Relations Adam Boyes introduced a lineup of titles that will be making their console debut on the PS4 system, including: Transistor by Super Giant, Don’t Starve by Klei Entertainment, Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games, Octodad: Deadliest Catch by Young Horses, Secret Ponchos by SwitchBlade Monkeys, Outlast by Red Barrels, Oddworld: New N Tasty by Oddworld Inhabitants and Galak-Z by 17-bit.
Boyes also unveiled blockbuster content from key publishing partners, including KINGDOM HEARTS III and FINAL FANTASY XV from SQUARE ENIX, Ubisoft Entertainment’ Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and Watch_Dogs, 2K Sports’s NBA 2K14, Bethesda Game Studios’ The Elder Scrolls Online, and the world exclusive unveil of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Mad Max.
Bungie, the original creators of Halo and one of the most important Xbox developers, was also on stage to introduce the world gameplay premiere of Destiny. SCEA announced a long-term exclusive partnership with Bungie and Activision.
SCEA also unveiled new details for PS Plus. With a single PS Plus membership, gamers will enjoy all of the program benefits across the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita systems. PS Plus benefits include exclusive game discounts, cloud game saves, early access to beta programs and content, and access to the Instant Game Collection.
The Instant Game Collection, which provides PS Plus members immediate access to a library of games — “including blockbuster hits, innovative indie games, and classic titles” — will extend to gamers on the PS4 system along with online gameplay, ensuring that gamers always have a selection of games to discover and enjoy with other members of the PS Plus community.
To celebrate the support of PS Plus on the PS4 system, SCEA will offer the #DRIVECLUB PS Plus Edition to PS Plus members in the Instant Game Collection. In addition, one digital title will be rotated each month, including three of the new digital games introduced during the PlayStation E3 press conference, Don’t Starve, Outlast, and Secret Ponchos. These three titles will be available at no extra cost via the Instant Game Collection during the first year following the launch of the PS4 system.
PS Plus membership can be purchased through PlayStation Store and is available as a one-year membership for $49.99, a three-month membership for $17.99, and a new a one-month membership option for $9.99.
SCEA also announced that PlayStation’s cloud gaming services will be available in 2014 beginning in the United States. The cloud gaming services will provide gamers on the PS4 and PS3 systems, followed by gamers on the PS Vita system, with immediate access to a catalog of PS3’s most acclaimed titles. These games will be streamed using Gaikai’s proprietary network technology.
More than 85 additional titles are slated to launch for the PS Vita system by the end of 2013, expanding the current library of more than 125 PS Vita-dedicated games and more than 400 classic titles from the PSP and PS one Classics catalogs.
Featured titles mentioned at the press conference include Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, CounterSpy, Destiny of Spirits, Doki Doki Universe, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway. In addition, SCEA announced that God of War HD 1 and 2, Flower, and Dead Nation, as well as Square Enix’s FINAL FANTASY X and X-2 and Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead are coming soon to the platform.
The Walking Dead on PS Vita will feature a new control scheme that gives players the option to use the dual analog sticks and buttons or touch controls unique to the platform. To celebrate the title’s debut on PS Vita, SCEA will offer a limited-edition bundle that includes a 3G/Wi-Fi PS Vita, the complete first season of The Walking Dead game series (including the newly announced Season One episode, 400 Days) and great bonus content.
Sony promised to support PlayStation 3 with a lineup of blockbuster titles, unique indie games, and exclusive “only on” PlayStation content this year, including Puppeteer, Rain, Gran Turismo 6, BEYOND: Two Souls, The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Origins and Grand Theft Auto V.
Make sure to check out the PlayStation 4 hardware photos in the gallery.