Is the PS4 Launch Imminent?
It has been a few months since Sony launched the PlayStation 4 and there are still a lot of questions about the new console that remain unanswered.
One of these pressing issues is the actual release of the PS4, because while Sony has been keen to claim that it will be out before the end of 2013, it has made no firm commitment to a particular date in any of the international markets that will inevitably receive it at some point.
There are of course plenty of rumours about the PS4’s release date and plenty of information about the features it will possess, although Sony has still not shown the console in the flesh.
Christmas Comes Early
In an ideal world the PS4 will land in the Japan, North America and Europe at the same time with one synchronised global rollout allowing Sony to cater to the needs of its three biggest markets.
This could happen just in time for Christmas, with a November release often rumoured as being the most likely window for its arrival.
However, Sony does not have a particularly solid track record for releasing its consoles in a particularly unified way. For example, the PS2 arrived in Japan in March of 2000, before heading to North America in October and Europe in November.
This means the initial release of the PS4 in Japan might take place several months before its debut in the UK. Hopefully Sony will realise that this could put it at a major competitive advantage, since Microsoft’s next Xbox will almost certainly be available in Western markets this Christmas.
One of the things that it is worth bearing in mind ahead of the PS4’s launch is that this console will not be backwards compatible with game discs for any of Sony’s older devices. This means even PS3 games will not work if you pop them into the PS4.
Backwards compatibility used to be one of Sony’s strong suits, although this trait has disappeared in recent years. The fact that the PS4 uses PC hardware rather than a proprietary chip means that playing PS3 games is a programming impossibility.
The good news is that Sony will also be looking to preserve its older games by offering them through a cloud streaming service. Remote servers will do the heavy lifting while players can simply enjoy the results in their living rooms.
This means that those who decide to sell PS3 games can still get access to classic titles on the PS4 even if the discs no longer function. Hopefully this should preserve the PlayStation back catalogue while allowing for new gaming experiences to develop.
Steve Jackson writes about videogames, technology and mobile phones for websites and print publications in a professional capacity. He has decided that selling PS3 games online is the best way for him to make way for the PS4.