Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal: Five key takeaways

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Sony PS4It's about time we come down from the high of a new gaming console. Since Sony's reveal of the PlayStation 4, we've looked back on the major points that hopeful players should keep in mind. Make no mistake: It's OK, even expected, to get psyched about new hardware. But let these five key takeaways help your excitement grow a tad less ... ravenous? Yeah, that's the word.

Sony PS4 controllerSony listened well...

From the architecture of its new console to how it presented said console last night, Sony clearly looked back at the PS3, its reveal and opted to go in a different direction. By taking on a PC-like hardware design, developers should have an easier time than ever making games for a Sony system. To that end, Sony also realized that consumers would also watch this event, and tried not to get too lost in the GPUs, CPUs and RAMs.

... And took notes

Thinking about the console pragmatically, it's clear that Sony looked at what the Xbox 360 and Wii U offer and hopes to deliver on those fronts. It's tough to look at the PS4's Remote Play function and touch pad and not think of the Wii U. It's equally difficult to see the new PlayStation Eye and the PlayStation App and not have the Kinect and Microsoft's SmartGlass immediately come to mind. Will the PS4 merely be an amalgam of features aimed at maintaining relevance, or will those offerings work together to present something genuine?

A graphical (demi)god

Make no bones about it: The PS4 will be a graphics powerhouse, if early tech demos are any indication. Heavy Rain designer David Cage showed off the next step through the uncanny valley with a (seriously creepy) demo of an elderly man's head rendered and manipulated in real time. If developers can reach even close to that in a game filled with environments, AI and everything else in a game that competes for the CPU or GPU's attention, then wow. Regardless, PCs will continue to dominate here.

Sony PS4 Eye cameraSony done gone social

Just like the Wii U before it, the PS4 will have an immense focus on social. With a "Share" button featured prominently on the console's controller with deep Gaikai and Ustream integration, Sony wants to make sharing your gaming experience second nature. It's through third party tech that social looks to be one place in which Sony will differentiate its console ... at least until Microsoft's big day comes.

Aping the App Store

While every console provider is and will be guilty of this, that doesn't make it any less notable. With promises like predictive downloads for even faster digital purchases, streaming demos and the ability to play purchased games while they're downloading, Sony wants the PS4 to become the living room (gaming) App Store before Apple does it and better. But will Apple beat Sony to the punch? It is only February.

Watch the Sony PS4 announcement again here >

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