Games industry heavyweights gathered in New York yesterday for the PlayStation 4 launch event

Sony unveils Playstation 4 at event in New York

The eagerly-anticipated PlayStation 4 has been unveiled by Sony as a "bold step forward" for the gaming giant.

At an event in New York yesterday, which was streamed around the world, the Japanese electronics company confirmed widespread rumours of the next-generation console, with PS4 system architect Mark Cerny saying the new system will have 8GB of memory and an updated controller called the DualShock 4.

The controller has a touchpad, a headphone socket and a light bar which can be tracked by a camera to detect where the player is, which he said will give the gamer a "tighter sense of control".

It is the Japanese electronics giant's first major game machine since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006.

Andrew House, the group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, said: "Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation as a company.

"Today we'll show how we are strengthening the PlayStation ecosystem."

He spoke of "magical experiences" and worlds that will "come alive" in a computer games experience that had the the gamer at its heart before giving a glimpse into the "future of play".

Alex Simmons, the UK editor of gaming website IGN.com, said the announcement of the Playstation 4 with its "incredible cinematic visuals" was a warning to its rivals, adding that Sony's innovations could be "game-changing".

He said: "This was a show of strength from Sony and a powerful warning to its rivals about their next-generation gaming intentions.

"In the past, Sony has been guilty of making bold claims and not always delivering, but its vision of modern gaming against a backdrop of increased competition from smartphones and tablets with their cheaper games is exciting.

"Thanks to the machine's shared DNA with current high performance PC components, developers have an exciting new system to create their games.

"The PlayStation 4 can deliver incredible cinematic visuals, if what we saw from announced titles like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Driveclub was real, in-game content.

"Sony's innovations, such as the ability to share gameplay experiences with friends, and the rest of the world – and a planned archive of Sony's considerable back catalogue streamed over the Internet – could be game-changing."

Sony, which only displayed the controller but not the console, said on Wednesday the PlayStation 4 would be available for the year-end holiday season and flagged games from the likes of Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Activision Blizzard Inc, whose top executives also attended the glitzy launch event.

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