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Sony pulls back curtain on new PS4 console

AFP-JIJI

Sony Corp. has given 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 Inc. President Andrew House on Monday touted the next-generation video game consoles as having been built for the future, while at the same time saying the company was remaining true to the predecessor of the PS4, the PlayStation 3.

“This is a completely new platform and, in many ways, represents a completely new PlayStation,” House said during a press event in Los Angeles on the eve of the E3 premier video game 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 hard-core gamers.

As Sony sets out to win fans for the PS4, it will continue to ramp up content for PS3. House said the PS4 will be available in the United States by the yearend holiday season for $399, for €399 in the single European currency zone and for £349 in Britain.

Microsoft Corp. will launch a rival Xbox One console around the same time, but it will be priced higher at $499 in the United States, €499 in eurozone nations and £429 in Britain.

After sharing its vision of PS4 as a stage for its films, music and more, the entertainment giant spotlighted what the console has in store for video game 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 the goal is to put PS4 at the heart of a gaming “ecosystem,” including popular mobile devices.