Gamers speculated about what Sony would announce during their big event in late February. Rumors swirled around. There were talks of a new Playstation or something as extreme as Sony dropping out of the console wars — just like Atari and Sega did years before.

The announcement was a new console: the Playstation 4.

Hardware Features

The expensive and new processing architecture of the Playstation 3 proved to be a decisive first misstep. It caused Sony to lose the industry lead to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Leaks about the new Playstation revolved around the Western division of Sony taking the lead in designing this new console.

One of the architects, Mark Cerny, showed off Sony’s approach of appealing to core gamers and developers. The Playstation 4 is ostensibly a high-end PC. It’s mostly important for developers, but some features will benefit consumers, like low power state — the system will turn off and on in an instant.

The iconic controller has been adapted to the latest paradigm: touch. A little touch pad rests in the middle of the controller. A new button, the share button, rests on top of the directional pad. The player will be able to take a screenshot, capture a video or broadcast their screen to their friends or the Internet with just a touch of said button. The Internet will be flooded with even more crazy glitch videos.

Social and Network Features

Gone are the days of having an hour to play but only playing for 30 minutes because of updates. Players will be able to simultaneously play and download updates.  For those who are interested in downloading full games from the revamped Playstation Store, games are now playable as soon as you hit “download.” Demos on the store can be streamed — you don’t even have to download anything to try a game. Full games are unavailable for streaming, but Sony says that this is a feature they’re planning to release as soon as possible.

Social networking is now natively integrated into the Playstation 4. Friends’ statuses, games and messages will be displayed on the homescreen. Of course, all of this is optional for anyone who hates people.

Games

A new videogame console without new games is like having a year at Trinity without a hazing scandal. Fortunately, the Playstation event showcased plenty of games to be excited about.

“Watch Dogs” from Ubisoft, a game previously announced, garnered the most rave for its deep and dynamic gameplay in an open-world environment. Imagine “Assassin’s Creed” set in the near future.

“Deep Down” from Capcom was the most visually stunning game ever shown. The trailer started off with a few people beside a campfire. At first, it seems that the whole cutscene was pre-rendered, but then the camera pans and an HUD pops up. The whole trailer was done in-game.

There were a few other games shown but they didn’t stand out as much. The news that Bungie’s next game, “Destiny,” was coming out on the Playstation 4 was big. The last announcement was a partnership between Blizzard and Sony — the release of “Diablo 3” on a Sony console is the first product from the relationship.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is only a few months away so it isn’t entirely out of the question that some of the big games and features coming to the Playstation 4 are being kept as a surprise for the conference. Tune in to that for more news.