(Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
The PlayStation 4 has been unveiled by Sony at an event in New York on Feb. 20, with the company boasting about the new capabilities if its next generation gaming console, describing the console as "supercharged" PC.
The PS4 will offer new hardware, which the company says will give gamers superior graphics as well as new social features, including the ability to share recorded gameplay clips.
The company hopes that its PS4 will be able to win the battle against Microsoft's upcoming gaming machine, touted to be called the Xbox 720, as well as Nintendo's Wii U.
The PlayStation 3 was hugely successful since its launch in 2006, and it has gone on to sell about 75 million units since then. However, with the PS4 Sony hopes to move gaming up to a new level - especially with the social interaction abilities available.
Sony explained in its announcement that the new console would be "coming holiday 2013," which most have taken to mean it will be going on sale in or around December time later this year.
However, the company did not unveil the console's price, nor did it even unveil what the console will look like, indicating that the company wants to keep its eagerly anticipated console top secret until closer to the release date, or that some small fine tuning was still taking place.
Sony has indicated in numerous reports that it will reveal "at the appropriate moment" whether the console will support 4K - or ultra-high-definition - video.
The console will use an x86-based CPU, which is similar to what most desktop computers use. It will also use an "enhanced" PC GPU (graphics processing unit). Both have been designed by US company AMD.
The PS4 will come with a brand new DualShock 4 controller, which will include a touchpad, a share button, as well as a light-bar - which will allow a camera on the console to track its movement.
Brian Blau, an analyst at the tech consultancy Gartner, has said, "This is a complete controller upgrade with touch, share and better responsiveness. The new controller is the key to a better PS4 experience. It has the ability to share content easily, and brings in a component of touch that allows even more ways to interact with games."
Sony described that users will have a unique social interactive experience with the new console. They will be able to pause gameplay, and then choose a clip from their recent activity, which they can then upload to share with others. The upload will take place in the background while the gamer can continue on with the game.
Users will also be able to give access to friends to connect to their machine from externally - they will be able to take control of the game and help them progress if they are stuck on a certain part of a game.
Sony also unveiled that the PS4 will allow spectators - so users can invite friends to watch them live as they continue in their game, and potentially show them new tricks or how to progress past difficult levels in games without having to be with them.
One big news to come out of the announcement that may disappoint some fans is that the console will not be backwards compatible; meaning PS3 games will not work on the next generation PlayStation.
However, Sony also confirmed that a wide range of big name software for the PS4 is being prepared, including Bungie's upcoming "shared-world shooter" Destiny, which will include exclusive content for the PS4.