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Sony pulls back curtain on new PS4 console

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Sony on Monday provided the world the first look at its new PlayStation 4 console, promising to combine its film, music, television and game strengths in a powerhouse home entertainment box.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House touted the next-generation videogame consoles as being built for the future while, at the same time, saying the company was remaining true to the new console's predecessor, the PlayStation 3.

"This is a completely new platform and, in many ways, represents a completely new PlayStation," House said during a press event here on the eve of the premier E3 videogame expo.

"We are more than ever capitalizing on the vast network of Sony divisions and the reputation of one of the biggest and most powerful entertainment brands in the world."

The PS4 will launch with beefed up offerings at the Sony Unlimited cloud-based movie and music services, as the console moves to expand into a complete home entertainment center while remaining true to hardcore gamers.

As Sony sets out to win fans for the PS4, it will continue to ramp up content for PS3.

House said that PS4 will be available in the United States and Europe by the year-end holiday season for a price of $399, £349 in Britain and 399 euros in Europe.

Microsoft will be hitting the market with a rival Xbox One console about the same time, but it will be priced higher at $499 in the United States, £429 in Britain and 499 euros in Europe.

After sharing its vision of PS4 as a stage for its films, music, and more, the Japan-based entertainment giant spotlighted what the console has in store for videogame lovers.

Sony will use the technology of recently acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai to launch a service next year that lets people use PS3 or PS4 consoles to play blockbuster games in the Internet "cloud" in real time.

"That means game play access to console quality content available across a range of devices," House said, noting that the goal was to put PS4 at the heart of a gaming 'ecosystem' that includes popular mobile devices.

Making it clear that the company did not intend to abandon the PS3, Sony said that nearly 300 new games including eagerly-anticipated "Beyond Two Souls" and "The Last of Us" will be released for the console by the end of this year.

"PS3 is heading to its seventh holiday season and our commitment is as strong as ever," said Sony Computer Entertainment of America president Jack Tretton.

Action-packed, cinematic game trailers showed on colossal screens during the Sony event included "Batman: Arkham Origins" featuring the Dark Knight of comic book fame, and an "Assassin's Creed" sequel starring a seafaring pirate.

"Big beards, rum drinking, swashbuckling and skullduggery," said Sony developer relations executive Adam Boyes. "Who doesn't want to play a game to be a pirate trained by assassins?"

More than 140 games are in development for the PS4, with at least 100 of the titles due out in the year following the consoles release, according to Tretton.

"It is clear that the best studios in the world are creating games for the PlayStation 4," Tretton said.

He brought cheers from the audience when he promised that Sony had no plans to stop people from being able to play used games, and that PS4 consoles did not need to be connected to the Internet if people preferred to go it solo.

"When a player buys a PS4 disk they have the right to use that game; trade it in; lend it to a friend, or keep it forever," Tretton said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130611/sony-pulls-back-curtain-new-ps4-console