It's Friday, November 15. What does that mean to you and I, dear reader? The next generation has begun.
At midnight last night, Sony launched its PlayStation 4 console, ushering in the eighth generation of console gaming. Priced at $399, the PS4 undercuts its biggest rival, the Xbox One, by $100. Many outlets have stated that pre-orders for the console are outstripping Microsoft's console, though whether this will carry through to higher sales will be determined after the holiday season is over and the One has reached store shelves.
Interest in the launch last night was clearly high, with Sony staging a special event in New York that drew hundreds eager to purchase the console and win prizes. Joey Chiu, a Brooklyn native, became the first person in America to purchase the PS4 after queueing outside the Standard Line hotel for 20 hours. Speaking with CNET, Chiu said he was stunned by the whole experience. A similar event in San Francisco drew hundreds, eager to win one of the consoles the company was giving away.
The PS4 offers users an eight-core AMD processor, 8GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon graphics processor. What does this mean for gamers? Much improved games, with better graphics, richer gameplay and deeper immersion all possible with the power available on tap. Also arriving with the new PS4 is a new DualShock 4, offering more precise thumbsticks, revised triggers, flatter buttons, improved motion sensing and a lightbar, allowing for precise motion tracking using the $59 PlayStation Camera. That latter peripheral enables motion-gaming, voice control, and can be used as a webcam with Sony's game-sharing functionality. Users can press the share button on their controller and stream their sharing session to Twitch, Ustream and to other PS4 users -- live commenting and voice and video streaming are all possible.
Altogether, it's a substantial upgrade -- and a relative bargain at $399, especially when compared with the $599 price of the PS3 at launch. If you picked up a PS4 today or are still on the fence, we've gathered together the biggest launch titles here.