Sony PlayStation 4 launch: all the big questions answered

In case you didn't already know, Sony launched the PlayStation 4 last night. However, the Japanese media giant didn't actually let that much slip at its exclusive event in New York, so while gamers across the land are practically bursting with excitement now, there's as much mystery surrounding the next-generation console as ever. Bearing that in mind, ITProPortal has sought to answer some of the pressing PS4 questions no doubt on your mind, so without further ado...

When will the PlayStation 4 go on sale?

Towards the end of its presentation, Sony announced that the PS4 would arrive in time for the 2013 holiday season. In non-American terms, that equates to a late-Q3 or early-Q4 release date - if you asked really nicely, we'd provisionally put our finger on some time in November. There's been nothing revealed about pre-ordering yet either, but Sony has said that June's E3 expo will feature more concrete news regarding the PlayStation 4's on-sale date.

How much will the PS4 cost?

As with the new PlayStation's release date, Sony is keeping mum about specifics regarding the PS4's pricing - for the time being. Again, the annual E3 showcase is when we expect the Japanese firm to break cover with further information, but in the meantime, speculation is pointing to a figure in the region of £300. Why? In the run-up to the launch of the PlayStation 4, reputable Japanese newspapers reported that the new console will retail from ¥40,000, which equates to roughly $400, €300, or £250. While we'd like to believe we'll be able to get our hands on the PS4 for that little, we think there will inevitably be a small premium added for international markets. But remember: these early price indications are intended as a rough guide rather than a gospel.

What games will be available for the PlayStation 4?

Sony's big PS4 launch event centred as much on the games that would showcase its next-gen system as on the hardware itself, and many of the titles on show looked like they were exported direct from gamers' dreams. Killzone Shadow Fall is likely to be an early-landmark title for the PS4, and looked more like a full PC FPS than a console game. Evolution Studios' Driveclub (pictured, below) also looked like a lot of fun especially with regards to collaborative gameplay, while Blizzard committed to bringing Diablo III to the party.

Capcom and Quantic Dream also demonstrated their latest game engines, with the former demonstrating another forthcoming title, Deep Down. Ubisoft's Watch Dogs stole the show at E3 last year and is still lined up to be a true genre-definer, while Bungie's Halo follow-up, Destiny, will surely prove irresistible and addictive in equal measure. There's also the latest installation of Rockstar's gangster saga, Grand Theft Auto V, to look forward to - surely the PS4 is the real reason behind its delayed release?

What does the PlayStation 4 look like?

We don't know. Sony risked the ire of gamers everywhere by apparently refusing to break cover with the actual PS4 box at the February soirée, though in reality this is more likely down to the hardware still being in a fairly nascent state. We'll get our first glimpse of the PlayStation 4 proper at E3 in June, but until then, the general consensus among concept designers is that the PS4 will have a curvaceous, ridged build, as in the render below.

Image credit: Joseph Dumay via Yanko Design

What do the PS4 controllers look like?

Sony confirmed that the PS4 will ship with one of these Dual-Shock 4 controllers, since you ask, and the headline feature of the new PlayStation controller is that it benefits from a touchpad set in the middle of the unit, between the D-Pad and the main controls.

What is PlayStation Eye and will it come bundled with the PS4?

In short, PlayStation Eye is Sony's answer to the Xbox's Kinect motion sensor. The Eye is expected to clip onto the top of your TV and works with a pair of 1,280 x 800 cameras with facial recognition, depth sensing, and 3D player positioning capabilities. How development studios incorporate the accessory into their titles remains to be seen, of course, and it's also far from clear how Sony plans to market the PlayStation Eye. For what it's worth, we'd expect Sony to bundle the new Eye camera bar as part of its pricier PS4 packages, but to also sell it separately. Watch this space, as we expect to learn more around - you guessed it - E3.

In the meantime, why not check out Stuart Andrews' blog on how the PS4 will put PlayStation back on top.