Sony Will Announce The PlayStation 4 Today: Everything We Know So Far

Assuming Sony hasn't just been screwing with us for the past few weeks, this is it: today, we'll get our first look at the next PlayStation.

At 6pm EST (10am AEDT), Sony will hold a big event in New York City to announce the highly anticipated PlayStation 4. Kotaku will be in attendance, and we'll be reporting everything that happens as it happens.

But for now, what should expect from the next next-generation? Let's look back at everything we've heard about Sony's next console.

It's codenamed Orbis.

At least internally. Developers and publishers all across the world refer to Sony's new machine by the codename Orbis, a Latin word meaning circle, ring, or orbit. Combine that with Vita — the name of Sony's handheld — and you have Orbis Vita: the circle of life.

Though we don't know what Sony is officially calling the next PlayStation, some have theorised that it might not be called the PlayStation 4, as four is an unlucky number in Japan. So maybe they'll stick with Orbis? It does have a nice ring to it.

Some other suggestions: PlayStation U, Pl4yst4tion, Return Of PlayStation, PlayStation 5, PlayStation: The Next Generation, 2 Play 2 Station, Xbox.

It's probably out this Christmas.

Yesterday we heard from a reliable source that the next PlayStation will be out this November. This matches up with what we've been hearing since last year: a holiday 2013 release for the new machine.

Although a few rumours suggested that the PS4 could be pushed back to early 2014, recent rumours — reported by Kotaku, Edge and the Wall Street Journal, among others — all point to this year.

We probably won't hear every detail today.

Sony would be insane to play all of their cards on a random weekday in February. Expect them to reserve at least a few major details — final release date, pricing, launch lineup — for E3 this June and possibly another big event later in the year.

Maybe history can shed some light on what will be revealed tonight? Check out our full rundown on what Sony announced at past hardware events.

The prototype controllers look like this.

Leaked from various sources, here are photos of the prototype PS4 controller that developers have been playing around with:

We don't know if the final controller will look exactly like the prototype, but it's safe to expect that it will be similar. The middle touchpad — not a touchscreen, but a touchpad — matches up with rumours we've heard and reported. We can't see any "share" button, but...

The console will support sharing in some way.

Orbis documentation seen by Kotaku suggested that the PS4's controller will have a "share" button, and Edge took our reports one step further, saying they've heard that the PS4 will automatically record gameplay so you can share it with all of your Twitter followers or Facebook friends or other denizens of the internet.

While it's possible Sony has changed their plans, it's likely that Sony's next console will allow you to share videos and screenshots of your games in some fashion. Maybe you'll be able to upload video footage directly to YouTube? Maybe you'll be able to watch 12-year-olds call you racial slurs in real time? Anything's possible with PlayStation™!

The console will feature cloud gaming.

Last year, when Sony bought the cloud gaming company Gaikai, everyone assumed that they would incorporate cloud gaming in some fashion. And sure enough, Sony recently registered domains for something called PlayStation Cloud.

So what does all of that mean? One report says you'll be able to stream PS3 games. Likely you'll be able to store save files and downloadable games on the cloud as well.

Some of the games are already announced.

Gamers aren't the only ones twiddling their thumbs and waiting impatiently for Sony and Microsoft to open up about their new consoles — even the people who make games can't seem to hold back. Ubisoft's Watch Dogs stole the show at E3 2012, and last week we showed you a poster that essentially identifies the open-world cyberpunk game as a next-gen title. Maybe we'll see more footage of that game tonight.

Polish developer CD Projekt Red announced The Witcher 3 for a 2014 release on "all high-end platforms" — subtle, right? — and we expect to see some Battlefield 4 tonight as well.

Then of course there's the curious case of The Phantom Pain, the non-game game that stars a man who looks a lot like Solid Snake, and is developed by an enigmatic studio that may have ties to Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. (It's Metal Gear Solid 5.)

Tonight, the puzzles will finally end. Publishers can stop trying to find sneaky ways to announce their next-gen games. The PS4 is coming.

We're very excited to see what Sony reveals tonight, but it's worth keeping in mind that these shows are always packed full of sizzle reels that might not actually reflect reality. Smoke and mirrors. Still, we're about to enter the next next next next next generation. I say bring it on.


Comments

    I for one will be very disappointing if the play station doesn't come packaged with at least one train.

      I see what you did there lol

    Looking forward to seeing how many of the rumours were right and how much many where just BS. :)

    PS: "So maybe they’ll stick with Orbis? It does have a nice ring to it." - http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/002/144/fry.jpg

    The main things I'm looking for:

    Price - most likely it won't be mentioned (that might happen at E3) or it would be the Japanese price

    Backwards Compatabilty - Not too major but rumors are that it would be streamed

    Online Services - What will remain free, what will require subscription fee...The biggest selling point of the PS3 was free online gaming so people would like to know what Sony will do

    Used Game Sales: The hottest topic going around at the moment...What are Sony going to say or do about this...a full digital distrubtion method is fine in theory but most people don't have the bandwidth to download them...I suspect that it will be a EA Sports style that you get a one-time online pass and if you buy the game second-hand then you will need to purchase a online pass to play online (God if you need this to play singleplayer....then Sony will be shooting themselves in the foot)

      My feeling is that if they don't explicitly deny that they will be blocking used games today, then they will be. If it isn't true, they'll want to nip it in the butt.

        I am hoping for some backwards compatibility too this time round. Ps2 is so far the only console which was BC. Ps3 had it for a short while but then they removed it. If psn comes with a yearly subscription for this PScloud thing, fine I am happy to pay for it, but then please let me play my old games too. Discs would be ok, but I guess if you can authenticate your original ps1 2 and 3 discs then you could somehow download the game you already own itself, so you wont destroy your old disc in the long run?

        Anyway that's what I'm hoping for most. That and The Last Guardian. :)

    Why people want backwards compatibility? I play PS4 because I want to play PS4 games and want to move forward not backwards.

      Because a new consoles doesn't make the older games any less good or fun. There's also the fact that hardware isn't as reliable as it used to be, so we need backwards compatibility to play those older games.

      Backwards compatibility was one of the biggest selling points for the PS2 back in the day....It was good selling point when the PS3 came but it was too expensive to keep making (hence the high price tag originally)

      I agree, you want to move foward with games but there some games on the PS3 that you love playing and wouldn't mind playing again but on a new system

        Some games you just want to play again and again even if they are old and outdated,
        that's what makes gaming fun. You can keep your old consoles (it's best to do this anyway) but I would rather preserve them and use some new hardware, rather than break my old stuff and having to go on ebay to find another console which is also nearly broken

      Well it's a big selling point for a new console since people are still in the stage of not wanting to let go of the old games just yet. It's not like a new console instantly makes old games a lot less enjoyable anyway.

      Basically people want the opportunity to experience older games that they loved, but would rather not keep a console laying around that they might hardly use. At the very least I guess we know that they'll keep making PS3's for a while though.... lol

    I wouldn't be surprised if the PS4 blocks used games. I much rather buy new than used. The biggest thing for me will be the price.

    Not called the PS4 because 4 is apparently unlucky in Japan?

    I hope they do call it the playstation 4, just to show some leadership out of stupidity and superstition to Japanese people everywhere.

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    PlayStation Episode IV: A New Hope.

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