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Sony Playstation 4 Rumours

Sony's February 20 event in New York City will likely mark the announcement of the PlayStation 4 and simultaneously usher in the next generation of console gaming. 

Rumors mills are also churning out details confidently declaring that the Xbox 360 successor will also see the light of day before June's big E3 gaming show in Los Angeles. 

Perhaps the biggest news? Both consoles could make their debuts -- gasp -- this year. That's a hyperspeed acceleration in the gaming world, where a console's release is often 12 to 15 months after its initial coming out party.
You'll remember about six-and-a-half years ago Microsoft beat Sony to the punch by pushing out the albeit dead-on-arrival (see: red ring of death) Xbox 360 in November of 2005, while Sony followed suit a year later with the PlayStation 3. In a move akin to posting "first!" in the comments section of a new YouTube video, Sony has made sure the PlayStation 4 gets first crack in 2013.

Whether or not the gaming public is ready to embrace them, these next-generation consoles are coming. On February 20, Sony will cast the first stone in New York City, with an event that most likely give the world its very first glimpse of the next PlayStation.

So what do we already know?

Surprisingly, not a whole lot. Most recent reports point out that the PlayStation 4 will focus on "new playing options." What does that mean? Look for Sony to reinforce the idea of a multiscreen experience, be it through the PlayStation Vita or your tablet and mobile phone. The company has a history of struggling to implement that kind of device relationship -- PlayStation Certified, anyone? -- so it makes sense that the PlayStation 4 might provide a new chance to repair that bond.

Sony has also expressed a desire to instill the PS4 as the living room "nerve center" which opens the door for any number of possibilities. Could the PS4 be the beachhead of Sony's rumored online TV service, or possibly double as a DVR? With the addition of a long list of media apps -- Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Amazon Instant -- PlayStation 3 (and Xbox 360 for that matter) have done an impressive job at gradually monopolizing the living room's attention, so it'll be interesting to see how Sony plans to build upon that.

There's no doubt this next-gen machine will be able to pump out more beautifully rendered textures, calculate complex lighting situations, decipher chaotic physics, and other drool-worthy eye-candy, but will the jump in graphics be as dramatic as the last generation? Maybe not.

Of course it's silly to assume next generation graphics won't impress, but maybe it's a better idea not to put so much stock in the specs of these machines. Even though PlayStation 3 had an entire year of development in hand against Xbox 360, in addition to a clear advantage on paper, even the most discerning eyes couldn't tell much difference between the two systems side by side. In fact, there have been many instances from this generation where Xbox 360 has provided a superior graphical experience on a multiplatform title.

Will PlayStation 4 come with a Blu-ray drive? The safe bet is yes, simply because any desire to abandon physical media has been muddled by the fact that quick and reliable download times are not yet a reality everywhere in the world -- let alone in some areas of the U.S. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal's February 1 story more or less confirmed that going "all cloud" was just too premature for the marketplace. 

There has also been a healthy amount of speculation regarding what we can expect from the PS4's controller. The basic construction of the DualShock controller has been with us for three generations now, so don't be surprised to see some sort of alteration. Touch control dominated the Vita, so will we see touch implementation on the next DualShock? Some have hypothesized the removal of analog sticks altogether, while a few talented members of the gamer enthusiast NeoGAF forums have put together some impressive mock designs that feature a Vita-esque touch screen on the front of a controller. It's not too far fetched -- GameSpot has a story saying the next controller might include an LCD touch screen and biometric sensors. The most recent alleged leak -- and, amazingly, the first one to include any sort of credible photo -- seems to be an evolution of the DualShock with a touch pad on the front.

Then there's the notion of a date and price, which is really anyone's guess at this point. One would have to imagine a tough lesson was learned with the PS3's release and its jaw-dropping launch price of $600 for the 60GB model. I'd guess that Sony will keep the PS4's initial price as close to $400 as possible. Love it or hate it, there's also a chance for a tiered pricing model if there's a plan to release the PS4 in more than one flavor. All signs continue to point to a holiday 2013 release.

We can speculate all week until the big Sony event on February 20, but I think there's a definitive list of features that must be included in the PlayStation 4.

What must the PlayStation 4 do?

The PlayStation 3 has matured into a fantastic gaming system. At first, there weren't many exclusive titles for the system to brag about, but fast-forward nearly six years and it's the PS3 that's the one to beat. Sony must maintain this luxury into the next generation. For all the extracurricular bells and whistles this system will boast, gamers still want to play great games that you can't experience anywhere else. Exclusive games sell systems first.

There are a handful of yet-to-be released PS3 titles that don't even have definitive ship dates. Sure, some of these games may evolve into PS4 software, but there needs to be a seamless and smooth transition into the next generation. If the Vita's migration experience is any indication of what the PS4's will be, we all might be in for a bumpy honeymoon period. It should go without saying, but this PS3 release schedule almost makes backward compatibility an absolute necessity.

Game and system patches need to be streamlined for PlayStation 4. No one should have to wait 25 minutes to play a game. This also brings up the notion of installation the first time a game boots up. Some technological limitations force the need for the caching of data for games to operate appropriately, but I'd love to see this issue addressed in some capacity by the PS4.

It may sound trivial, but the PlayStation 4 is in direct need of an IR port. That's right, a simple infrared port located somewhere on the front of this box so that we can all program our universal remote controls. 

With the price of solid state drives plummeting, I'd love to see a high-capacity SSD jammed inside each PS4. Let's not make it an issue of needing to upgrade every three years. Just include a massive drive out of the gate and be done with it. Or, better yet, sell a "driveless" model for less and let me bring my own SSD. If this console is going to offer fully downloadable games, we're going to need bigtime capacity. If solid state is still too expensive, throw in a 2TB hard disk drive. And please, let's keep the ability for the user to manually upgrade the drives.

What happened to the PS3's USB ports? At launch there were four, now we're left with two (in the PS3 Slim models). Far be it from me to prolong the use of wired accessories, but I think it's fair to request at least four USB 3.0 connections.

The PlayStation 3 has become a solid all-around multimedia player. The PS4 could benefit by having an even more robust set of playback compatibility including  the MKV file format.

Samsung Galaxy S4 To Be Release on March 2013

March 15 or March 22 only suggest that Samsung's Galaxy S4 is coming to town a few weeks from now, and many are reviewing the list if the latest rumours about the flagship device would tally with the ones set for unwrapping next month.

Do we get to see jaws dropping by the time Samsung pulls down the veil covering its second 2013 handset masterpiece, the first one being the Galaxy Note 3 (which likely will debut earlier via the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona)? 

It's worth revisiting the specs that numerous reports said would practically make up the sleek look and powerful beast that is the Galaxy S4.

Is it quad-core or 8-core?

For some time, and experts agree, all reports about the latest Galaxy S smartphone point to a CPU upgrade that will see the S4 strutting the Exynos 5 Octa 8-core processor. Developed by Samsung, this replaces the Qualcomm CPU that came with the Galaxy S3 and is generating excitement for its apparent brute ability without gobbling too much battery juice.
But the storyline saw a twist this week when SamMobile reported that Samsung's premier handset will hum into its processing tasks with a maximum speed of 1.9GHz on a quad-core chip provided by Qualcomm again. It appears that some experts called it right in insisting that eight-core mobile computing will not be a reality until 2014.

What exactly are the display elements?

Earlier this year, the Galaxy S4 is said to sport a bendable screen, making the front portion of the device virtually unbreakable because the glass material covering its screen has been tempered for better flexibility. Samsung even showcased a prototype handset that bears the actual screen flavour.

It turned out, however, that the technology will only be ready for mass production by 2014, at the earliest so speculators trained their attention to the latest Corning Gorilla glass screen. There was even a suggestion that Samsung would wait out until June this year to launch the Galaxy S4 in order to make sure that phone rolls out with the best Corning technology to date.

Nothing is definite till now on the overall display attributes of the S4 except that it will have a better Super AMOLED rendering that is viewable on its 1080p 4.99-inch screen. Another possible addition, though remote by now, is on-screen gesture capability, with Samsung reportedly mulling the use of maXTouch S sensor that was first seen in a Sony Xperia handset.

Do we get to see real high-end camera offerings this time?

On S3, tech experts could only hand down decent remarks about the phone's 8MP rear-shooter. The euphemism also meant that Samsung could have done better because its snapper is easily beaten by the competition like HTC's One X, according to Gotta Be Mobile.

Hopefully, with leading smartphone brands fitting 13MP capturing tools with their products, Samsung would equal or raise the bar a bit higher. HTC has been bragging that it is jumping to the UltraPixel level via the HTC M7 (or HTC One), which maybe Samsung can replicate with last-minute adjustments prior to the Galaxy S4's launch time.

Will Samsung tweak the Wi-Fi signal?

This is crucial because as Gotta Be Mobile noted, all smartphones connect via Wi-Fi. And Samsung would further boost the Galaxy S4's appeal if owners can rely on faster and more stable wireless connection. This feature will be made possible if Samsung would use the new Broadcom 4335 5G Wi-Fi chip. When partnered with a compatible wireless router, S4 users will experience the best Wi-Fi technology there is, the same Gotta Be Mobile report said.

How much juice can be squeezed from the S4 battery?

From 2100mAh battery, the Galaxy S4 will reportedly pack a 2600mAh battery and paired with better chip components, the prospect of using the new Samsung smartphone longer in a single charge is much higher. And if Exynos 5 Octa CPU actually makes it to the handset, many owners should regale with the promise of 70 per cent less power requirement of Exynos. That means more gaming, media playing and communicating hours on the Galaxy S4 before users scramble to look for the nearest power outlet.

Will it be JellyBean or Key Lime Pie on S4?

The best bet, admittedly, is the latest JellyBean when the Galaxy S4 comes right out of the box. But many are hoping that Samsung would able to persuade Google into deploying Android 5.0 first via the S4. Tall order maybe but still possible. One can only imagine the smooth collaboration between the latest TouchWiz skin and Google's KLP, which later on this year skirmish with Apple's iOS 7.

We are so looking forward if all these questions or at least most of them will get the right answers in a few weeks' time.

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