Today is the day Sony ushers in the next generation of console gaming. At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, the PlayStation 4 officially went on sale to consumers, beating Microsoft to retail by an entire week. We haven’t seen a new Sony console since 2006, and the company’s latest hardware promises to be a huge leap forward, not only in raw specs, but the overall gaming experience. This year, gaming is going to get a whole lot more social—and the graphics, well, they’re going to look pretty nice.
For Sony, it’s been a year of strategy, carefully planning its moves and capitalizing on Microsoft’s fumbled Xbox One announcement. Following the Redmond company’s PR Xbox nightmare, Sony executives pounced and dug its claws into Microsoft’s deteriorating reputation—Sony’s been riding that momentum ever since.
In terms of raw sales, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can arguably be considered the more successful console of last generation. But console gaming is evolving, and it’s not just about what’s under the hood; today, it’s about digital distribution, ecosystems, social media, and other entertainment apps. Companies no longer want to merely dominate your gaming habits, but your entire living room. Now, what you’re getting is a set-top box, console, social media machine and entertainment center all in one. Your life in the real world no longer exists.
When the PlayStationg 3 first became available seven years ago, people largely considered the launch a disaster. Sure, people lined up, units flew off shelves. But the PS3 was astronomically expensive, and Sony didn’t exactly handle consumer backlash with much grace. Here we are, though, off into the next generation. Sony’s new black box is a beautiful piece of hardware, angular and slanted, like it came straight off a future spaceship. It’s not huge, which is great considering the PS3 was a huge casket when it first came out.
Much, much more has been improved, but frankly we haven’t yet had the opportunity to dig too deeply. This is an unboxing after all. We’ll be rolling up our sleeves and forming more thorough impressions throughout the day, and we’ll definitely have more videos for you to peruse, including UI tours, tips, and in-depth look at the new PS4 controller and more. Stay tuned.