The hype built to a peak this last week as Sony tried to drum up interest in their new console. The PS4 is apparently going to launch in time for next holiday season. Which means we are probably looking at an early November launch for the console. No news yet though if this is to be a global release or will the Japan market get their hands on the new device a year before the rest of the world as happened in the past.
But what of the actual console itself. Well the first big news was Sony dropping the Cell processor touted as the next big thing when the PS3 launched in favor of Intel x86 architecture! AMD will provide the graphics chip so does that mean it will basically be an 8 core PC with a mid ranged graphics card. While at first this may sound like madness and the PS4 coming onto the market well behind current generation gaming PC's its not as underpowered as you first might think.
The problem with PC architecture is the multitude of different configuration and hardware a game would be expected to work on. Add to the the already heavy work load being put on the processor and memory by Windows before the game has even loaded and you are looking at a substantial performance hit. With a console this is different. All consoles will be running the exact same hardware and a much more streamlined game os. This means much more bang for buck when it comes to developing games. Developers are able to squeeze much more out of a system like this (much like in the original retro home computer days) than a PC setup.
Another benefit is the already well established PC development chains that can now be used to create games directly for the PS4 when its launched hopefully later in the year.
To watch the whole announcement presentation click here
Very little said so far on the security measures that will be implemented in the new console but with the original PS3 jailbreak taking nearly three years from launch expectations will be high. Sony will no doubt keep someform of Hypervisor method that served them so well during this generation but a recent patent application by them details a DRM method that times the loading of games and compares the result to a bluray disk. A measure on its own which sounds quite simple to bypass. Especially with an ODE setup.