We had the grand unveiling of the new Dual Shock 4 controller back in February, and last night it was Sony's time to uncover the console that the shiny new controller will be connecting to. The teaser preview video that aired before the Xbox One reveal event wasn't really enough to get a sense of how the console would look overall, but from what was seen there was a strong case that it would be an angular shaped console.
Last night's reveal of the PlayStation 4 confirmed that the console was indeed an angular shaped box with a large amount of cooling ports on the rear. Oh, and who wouldn't have ruled out that there was going to be a blue light either!
The PlayStation 4 console - Retailing at £349 this Christmas holiday period
The overall shape of the console brings back memories of the original PlayStation 2 console, with its indented lines, two-tone pitted textured plastic finish and vertical standing mount. It is also uncanny how both console manufacturers ended up with similar two-tone consoles this new generation. So lets look around Sony's new console, starting with the front...
The front of the PlayStation 4 console featuring a Blu-ray disk slot, 2x USB 3.0 ports, power and eject buttons
The font side of the PS4 console angles itself away from you. Only the upper left portion of the console houses a shinier black plastic, whilst the rest of the console surface has a textured, almost stone-like finish. Inside the 'creases' of the console you'll find the 6x Blu-ray/8x DVD slot loading disc drive and two USB 3.0 ports sit to the right side, allowing gamers to connect power/charge controllers and peripherals.
The left side of the PlayStation 4 console featuring nothing much but logos
Nothing to see here. Usually on the old console we'd see the port to get hands on with the removable HDD, but it looks like this will be underneath now. On the left side we have some standard logos for HDMI, DTS and Dolby audio brands.
The rear of the PlayStation 4 - Power, Optical Audio, HDMI, Ethernet and AUX ports
On the rear of the console you'll find a figure 8 power connector, which confirms a no brick power solution. Above the power socket you'll find an Optical digital audio connection port, HDMI, up to 1Gb Ethernet port (Wi-fi and Bluetooth is also standard) and an AUX IN port. Hopefully this AUX port will be used for the Eye camera and we don't need to send a lead around to the front USB ports. As you can see there are plenty of exit ventilation ports on the back of the PS4, so expect some efficient cooling and hopefully a virtually quite running console. My fingers are crossed!
The right side of the PlayStation 4 - more logos and copyright labels
Again, nothing to see here. Deep inside the crease of the console you'll find more brands, logos and copyright labels, all tucked away in a place that doesn't destroy the aesthetics of the console's design. There is no real sign of any hidden panels on this side either, which leads to more confirmation that the HDD compartment on the bottom side of the console...
The bottom side of the PlayStation 4 with a removable (HDD expandable) compartment
The underside of the PS4 houses the PlayStation brand logo and what looks to be compartment we are looking for. This looks like an area that will house the internal 500GB HardDisc Drive. The stand hasn't not been confirmed if it comes bundled with the console. Seeing as all the promotional shots show the console standing up, it looks likely that this stand will not be an additional accessory, but you never know.
The PlayStation Eye will come as a separate optional extra, retailing at £54
The new PlayStation Eye camera will not be bundled with the PS4, as the Kinect camera is for the Xbox One. The PlayStation Eye will be optional for consumers and developers, so this will no doubt lead to limited support in games for the console going forward. Features that work with the Dual Shock 4's light bar will certainly require the PlayStation Eye, however these features are not a deal breaker for gamers and it helps keep the price of the console down, for what will end up being a much unused or hated part of the console from a majority of games - especially the 'core.
The PlayStation EarSet is the bundled default 'headset' for the PS4
This generation, for Sony at least, headsets are out and earbuds are in. The PlayStation EarSet is a mono ear piece that looks like the old Apple earbuds that end up falling out of your ears. Featuring an on/off mute switch and mic on the cable, hopefully the Dual Shock 4 controller will contain the right socket so that you will be able to use your own, better, smartphone supported headphone or if preferred - stereo headset.
Confirmed bundled items: PlayStation 4 system, wireless controller (Dual Shock) x1, mono headset x1, AC power cord x1, HDMI cable x1, USB cable x1
Looking at the above bundled items, there is no sign whether the vertical stand will actually come separately or if it will come bundled with the console. This again keeps cost low and makes it an optional extra for anyone who desires to stand the console upright. Should it be sold extra I can't see it being that pricey, yet for what it is, a piece of plastic, it will no doubt be over priced and retail between £10-20.
Overall the PlayStation 4 console looks to be a well crafted console with a stunning line-up or first and third party titles set for launch and into 2014. On top of these stellar looking titles we have a growing community of self published indie games on their PlayStation Network. I for one cannot wait!
Let us know what you think of the PS4 console and its accessories in the comments below.