Sony has officially announced its next-generation games console - the eagerly-anticipated PlayStation 4.
At an industry event in New York last night (February 20th), the firm confirmed that the console will have superior graphics to that of its predecessor the PlayStation 3.
Mobile broadband connectivity will be a more important feature than ever before, as new social features will allow gamers to share their virtual achievements with friends, family and loved ones over Facebook and Twitter.
Furthermore, PlayStation 3 games will not be compatible with the console - instead they are expected to be made available to download at a later date.
This is also likely to be the case with PSOne and PS2 games - and the digital content will probably be available at an additional cost.
UK editor-in-chief of gaming site IGN Alex Simmons told BBC News that this might turn some consumers off making the initial investment in the console.
"The decision to not make the PlayStation 4 backwards compatible is disappointing and means the 5.5 million plus people who own a PS3 in the UK will essentially have to start their gaming collection from scratch," he commented.
Cloud-based technology is a key inclusion in the new PS4 - and it is provided by Gaikai, a specialist service that Sony acquired last year for $380 million (£250 million).
This will make it possible for consumers to stream content from the console to a handheld PlayStation Vita device - and this could boost sales of that product.
Sony confirmed that it is exploring the possibility of taking advantage of this technology to allow PS3 games to be played on the PS4.
The standard PlayStation controller has also received an upgrade.
"The new controller is the key to a better PS4 experience," commented Gartner analyst Brian Blau.
"It has the ability to share content easily and brings in a component of touch that allows even more ways to interact with games," the expert continued.
Posted by Michael Silverstone