What to expect from PS4 reveal on February 20, predictions and insight

We could stick “rumour” at the beginning of the headline above but we’d just be teasing you because it’s now common knowledge in the gaming world that New York City on February 20, 2012 is set to be the platform for Sony to reveal its next-generation console to the world. What we don’t know is to what extent PlayStation 4, PlayStation Orbis, or whatever name Sony has conjured up, will be shown.

           

The naming ceremony

First up, we’re almost certainly going to hear what Sony has named its new console. PlayStation 4 seems the most logical name but in Japan the number four is pronounced the same as the word for death and is considered bad luck. It’s widely believed then that Sony will instead come up with a brand new name to accompany the PlayStation brand, with most signals pointing to PlayStation Orbis, known to be the internal codename for the console for some time.

Personally, we think Sony won’t be bothered in the slightest about this superstition, and neither will the millions of Japanese gamers who will buy PlayStation 4. Sony doesn't need to come with anything fancy. PlayStation 4 is the best branding for the console and we’d be surprised if it’s called anything else.

However, some members of the PSU team believe Sony may brand its next-gen console slightly differently across territories. How about PlayStation Orbis in Japan and PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe, or even PlayStation 4 Orbis?

The launch date

PSU has learned that PS4 will be released in November and we believe that Sony will reveal the launch date window at the New York City event. It’ll probably hedge its bets by stating that PS4 will be released in Q4 2013. What we don’t know is whether we’ll see a worldwide release or a staggered release. It’s seems certain that Japan will be among the first territories to get the new console, but there’s also a good chance that North America will enjoy the PS4 this year. As usual, we predict that European gamers will have to wait a little longer. Expect a Q1 2014 release date for PS4 in PAL territories.

The specifications

There’s been a lot of rumours about the specifications for the PS4 and it’s likely we’ll get to hear about some of them at the NYC press conference, though Sony may hold some stats back until later this year, most likely for its big E3 press conference.

The latest specs, unearthed via Kotaku, are said to be from the PS4 development kits, and seem to tally pretty much with what we’re expecting, confirming that PC heavyweight AMD is Sony’s hardware partner. Of course, for the retail console we can expect some of these specs to change…

System Memory: 8GB
Video Memory: 2.2 GB
CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 "Bulldozer" (so, 8x cores)
GPU: AMD R10xx
Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet
Drive: Blu-Ray
HDD: 160GB
Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1 & 7.1 channels

It's going to be interesting to see whether Sony reels off a set of specifications for the PS4 at this event, or whether it simply shows some of the games in action to emphasise its power.

The games

Developers have been working on PS4 games for some time, so it makes sense that Sony will show some of the titles in an attempt to blow us away with the graphics and power of its new console. This could be via a brief videogame montage that reveals some of the games that will be available at PS4 launch, or we may see individual presentations of certain games, though this is something we usually see at E3.

Either way, Sony will almost certainly want to reveal the PS4 by showing us what it can do. What we don't know is what games will be shown. Check out our feature on the "PS4 launch games - the titles that will blow us away" to see our predictions.

The controller

Much has been made out of the rumour that Sony could be ditching the design of the DualShock controller in favour of a design that features a capacitive touch pad similar to that found on the back of PS Vita. It’s also heavily rumoured that the controller will feature a SHARE button giving access to a variety of ... (continued on next page) ----

A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again.
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