Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sony's new PlayStation 4 has head start on rivals

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NEW YORK -- Sony unveiled its next-generation gaming system, the PlayStation 4, at a New York event Wednesday evening.

The development gives the struggling Japanese electronics company a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor.

The PlayStation 4 will be Sony Corp.'s first major game console since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006. Microsoft Corp. is expected to unveil the next Xbox in June at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles.

Last fall, Nintendo started selling the Wii U, though it plays catch-up in some respects in bringing the ability to play high-definition games.

Although the Xbox 360 came out a year before PlayStation 3, Microsoft's game machine has been more popular, largely because of its robust online service, Xbox Live, which allows people to play games with others online.

The original Wii has sold more units since its launch than both its rivals, but it lost momentum as the novelty of its motion controller faded.

Sales of the new Wii U have been slow.

Underscoring the importance of a new PlayStation and the U.S. market, Sony held its announcement event in New York rather than in Japan, as it had in the past.

The event was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan.

 

-- The Associated Press

 

A virtual view

-- David Perry, co-founder of the Internet game company Gaikai, which Sony bought last year, says PlayStation 4 will allow for virtual spectating. With one button, you can broadcast your game play so friends can "look over your shoulder virtually." It will have a feature called remote play, in which you run the game on the PlayStation, which then sends the video to your handheld PlayStation Vita device over the Internet so you can play remotely.

-- The new PlayStation will have hardware compression so sharing video of game play will be easier. You can browse live game video of games your friends are playing.

Adopting Facebook's philosophy, Sony will transition to an online game network based on real names, even as people will also be able to keep their aliases.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 21, 2013 B7

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