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Five Things We Still Don't Know About the PlayStation 4

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Sony held a big press event last week to unveil its next-generation console, the PlayStation 4. But, unfortunately for gamers, it didn't do much actual unveiling at all. In fact, we still know very little about what the next-gen console will actually be like.

Will it beat the Xbox? Will it put consoles back on top? How cool will it be? 

Here's what we do know about the PS4: it comes with "supercharged PC architecture" to make it fast and more like a computer than a gaming console. Its guts include an eight-core X86 processor and 8GB of GDDR5 unified high-speed memory. For those who don't speak geek, this means it has some serious performance capabilities built in -- and should be super-fast. 

The new controller is an update from the PS3 and includes some cool features like a share button, headphone jack and a light bar to help the console track your movements, sort of like Microsoft's Kinect.

The worst thing that we know about the PS4, however, is that it doesn't have "backward compatibility" - that means you can't play your old PS3, PS2 and PS1 games on the new console unless you buy new digital versions. 

But a lot of other questions went unanswered. Here are the top five things we still don't know about Sony's PS4:

  1. How much will it cost? -- This is obviously one of the most important questions. Given the PC-style guts of this new console, it could conceivably be priced in the $600-700 range. I doubt that will happen, because it would be suicide, but the question is, with such advanced architecture inside the device, will Sony be able to price it at the $300 level? I don't think so.
  2. What does the PS4 console look like? -- Sony showed off the new controller, but not the actual console. This isn't that big of a deal, after all, Nintendo didn't show the Wii U when it debuted at E3 in 2011. But still, it would be nice to see the new console that Sony is betting its future on.
  3. Will Sony charge for older games? -- The PS4 does not have native backward compatibility with the PS3. That means all those old PlayStation games you have are worthless if you upgrade. Sony is going to make its older titles available via the new PlayStation Cloud digital streaming platform - but how is Sony planning to charge us? Will it charge for each game, or offer a subscription service? We still don't know.
  4. Will it have great games? -- As far as we know, there are only five PS4 exclusives: Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son, Knack, Deep Down and DriveClub. Only two of these were actually played at the New York press event. Overall, these game titles aren't that impressive. The more interesting games that are coming on the PS4 are also available on other platforms, like Destiny, Watch_Dogs and The Witness. Where are the big game exclusives? We still don't know. 
  5. When will it be in stores? -- Sony has been vague on the release date. As far as we know, it will be out for "Holiday 2013." Does that mean September? November? 

The PlayStation 4 definitely looks promising, but until we get more answers from Sony, we'll have to temper our enthusiasm. What do you think? Did Sony share enough details about the next-gen console to make you want to buy one? Let us know in the comments section below.

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