The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

February 21, 2013

Sony shows PlayStation 4 capabilities, but no box



NEW YORK (AP) — Sony showed off what the PlayStation 4 can do, but not what it will look like.

The Japanese electronics giant talked about its upcoming game console for the first time and said it will go on sale this holiday season.

But Sony didn't reveal the device itself. Presenters played games that were projected on screens in a converted opera house, but the PlayStations themselves were hidden backstage throughout Wednesday evening's two-hour event.

"I don't know that the box is going to be something that's going to have a dramatic impact on people's feelings about the game. It will be a color and a size fairly comparable to previous consoles," said Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, the U.S.-based arm of the PlayStation business.

"There's a big story to tell here, and it's going to take between now and the holiday season to get all the details out there," Tretton said in an interview.

Tretton said the price of the PS4 hasn't been decided yet, but hinted that it wouldn't be as high as the PlayStation 3 was initially. The PS3 debuted in 2006 with two models for $500 and $600. It now sells for about $300.

The PS4 will be jostling for attention this holiday season with Microsoft's successor to the Xbox. Details on that device are expected in June. Xbox 360 came out a year before PS3 and has been more popular, largely because of its robust online service, Xbox Live, which allows people to play games with others online. Having an event this early allows Sony to grab the spotlight for a few months, though the lack of an actual device was noted by many people on Twitter and elsewhere.

Sony did reveal that the insides of the PS4 will essentially be a "supercharged PC," much like an Xbox. That's a big departure from the old and idiosyncratic PlayStation design and should make it easier for developers to create games. Sony Corp. is using processing chips made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

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