PlayStation 4: Everything You Need to Know

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A few hours ago at Sony's press conference at E3 we learned that the PlayStation 4 will go on sale before the end of the year at a cost of £349 (€400 roughly), which is significantly less than the Xbox One's £429, and that it will completely eschew any of the Draconian digital rights management (DRM) measures which Microsoft has implemented for the Xbox One, leaving PS4 owners just as free to sell or redistribute second-hand games as PS3 owners are now.

We also now know what the PS4 looks like. To quote James from KJBcast (Podcast) "Hey bro we hear you like the playstation 2 so we glued a playstation 2 to your playstation 2!". The whole design is pleasant enough, but it is rather boxy, and surprisingly small. The size thing isn't really an issue, to be honest I quite like it.

Games-wise, the PS4 certainly has plenty of support: according to Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton, there are currently over 140 games in development for it, of which 100 will launch in the first year of its existence – around 40 will be PS4 exclusives.

Sony focused a lot on digital content that will stream across the various Sony devices. Netflix and other service providers are available, as always. But as this was both a main talking point for Xbox: One and the PS4, It makes me question when gaming consoles became about movies and music. I have my iPhone for music and my Macbook Pro streams right to my TV. Anybody who is interested in the movies and music aspect of the consoles would already have devices to do such things. 

PlayStation 4 will not restrict games from other regions, Sony has announced, in another move that will be seen as an advantage for the company's next generation platform. It means you could buy a cheaper PlayStation 4 from Japan or North America and play European PS4 games on it with no problems. PlayStation exec Shuhei Yoshida confirmed the news via Twitter this morning, just hours after his appearance on stage at E3.

The DualShock 4 controller promises features and new innovations that will deliver more immersive gaming experiences, including a highly sensitive six-axis sensor as well as a touch pad located on the top of the controller which offers completely new ways to play and interact with games. The new Share button puts video streaming and sharing a tap away. 

The sharing feature is new to both the Xbox and PlayStation 4. You can now engage in endless personal challenges with your community, and share your epic triumphs with the press of a button. Simply hit the "SHARE button" on the controller, scan through the last few minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to the game - the video uploads as you play. The PS4 system also enhances social spectating by enabling you to broadcast your gameplay in real time. Obviously this requires an internet connection.

The "always-on" approach which appears to be the downfall of Microsoft at the moment, is no issue for Sony. You will not require an active internet connection to simply play games on your console. For other features like movies, music and sharing, obviously there will need to be a connection. 

The PS4's US price is $399, for example, about £256. That's a big saving on the system's £349 UK price, even including shipping fees, and a huge reduction on the Xbox One's £429. 

There is no word of a release date yet, but it won't be far off of a November release date, we're sure of that. It'll be out just in time for the holiday season, so start saving now!  To relive the moment of unveiling, check out the video below. Xbox: One or PS4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!