Tonight is the big night for Sony, with a rather solid expectation of the PlayStation 4, a new set of controllers and functionality to with it, and a swath of new game announcements to boot. What we're going to do for you here and now is make it all real simple in a guide that'll get you pumped up and prepared for the event [6PM EST right here on SlashGear]. It all begins with what we're expecting the actual console to present - and yes, we are expecting a new console.
PlayStation 4: a whole new machine
The next-generation console from Sony is being tipped to be a lot of different things, so before you jump in here, know this: the lot of these tips are rumors. Unless it's written here specifically that we've got confirmation of anything, you'll want to follow the link back to the post where we first encounter each bit of information. Take everything here with a salt block. Also remember that Sony has promised commitment to the PlayStation 3 through the year 2015.
With Microsoft's own Xbox 720 hot on its heels, Sony will likely set a release date for sometime inside November. There you'll find a remote control for TV-related content and a new set of wireless controllers as well. You can also expect pricing on the PlayStation 3 to be slashed almost immediately after the announcement of the PlayStation 4 as well as surprisingly low prices coming with the PS4 itself.
Concept PS4 via Yanko Design (designer: Joseph Dumary)
We've seen more than one PlayStation 4 controller leak with a rather similar-looking overall body to the classic PlayStation controller design. The big differences will be in touchpad controls not unlike what we're using currently on the PS Vita which, also, has seen some price slashes as of late. This touchpad tip has come more than once.
Transparent PlayStation 4 concept via Tia Chiem
Also take note that the PlayStation 2 is now no longer being manufactured. The code-name for the PlayStation 4 has been tipped as "Orbis" several times over the past few months and has been suggested to be working with an AMD processor. We've also seen a rather unbelievable tip for a Sony PlayStation EyePad for 3D control of the PlayStation 4 - not to mention the Dual-Shock/Move hybrid that, once you see, you'll never be able to un-see.
You'll be seeing some backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4 that's entirely virtualized. In this case that means that you'll be able to play PlayStation 3 games and legacy games galore, but they'll all be downloaded from the cloud in one way or another. You can expect Gaikai technology to be in full effect for streaming content as Sony picked them up last year. PlayStation Home Arcade should give you some more clues on this futuristic universe - sort of like a microcosm.
The Sony Entertainment Network Online Store has been ramping up with games, movies, and more and will certainly be re-addressed at the event tonight. The PayPal bump for the PlayStation Store earlier this year also points toward larger anywhere-purchase strategies for Sony. There's also a rumor of a Sony online TV service launching soon.
The one-owner-only rumor for games on the PlayStation 4 rages on - that one's still a toss-up, mind you - see the discussion on this in the "Opinions" section below.
You will be seeing Destiny on the PlayStation 4 after it hits the PlayStation 3. That's all but confirmed by everyone and their mother now that a legal document was made public surrounding a case that involved Destiny content and the companies that will work with it. Have a peek at this Destiny trailer and freak out about it!
One game you can expect will not be optimized for PlayStation 4 is Grand Theft Auto V - its creators have specifically addressed the idea that they're waiting for the PS4 release and have said no way! You can expect The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt though in all its REDengine3 glory.
We've got a few opinions you should have a peek at before continuing on to the real deal as well, starting with Why Motion Gaming Should Be Left Out of the PlayStation 4 and continuing on with Why the Used Game Model Needs Fixing (But Not Banning). You should also read the column called PlayStation 4: What Sony Must Do for some pre-event anticipatory action and discussion - the chat rages on!
The event starts at 6PM Eastern Time - that's New York City time, if you did not know. If you're living in Minnesota like your humble narrator, you'll be tuning in at 5PM (CST), and if you're in England, you'll be tuning in at 11PM. Over in California you'll be seeing this event at 3PM (PST). We'll have the whole lot of announcements ready to rock as they pop up straight from Sony right here on SlashGear - don't miss it!