"My role on the next generation development started about five years ago," Cerny said, detailing how Sony has been polling developers about the features since that time. The result? A "deeply consumer focused and developer centric approach to the design," per Cerny.
In a complete U-turn from the custom Cell processor in the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4 will feature Intel X86-based architecture for a familiar developer experience. "It's like a PC in many ways, but supercharged to bring out its full potential as a gaming platform," said Cerny. The system has an unspecified GPU and a hard drive as well.
The system will feature 8GB of RAM, a dedicated processor to manage the upload and download process -- allowing players to play games immediately as they download them. The console also offers the ability to suspend and resume games instantly, doing away with traditional save games, Cerny said.
Finally, the DualShock 4 controller -- a refined version of the prototype leaked on the web this week -- will feature Sony's familiar suite of sticks and buttons, as well as a touchpad, a "share button" that allows players to share gameplay video, and full PlayStation Move-like motion tracking capabilities for the stock controller using colored LEDs on its back, paired with a stereoscopic camera.
The Social and Online Vision
Cerny talked about the company's social vision for the console -- the new iteration of the PlayStation Network will be moving to a real identity system, similar to Facebook, though anonymity will be retained in some games. Players will be able to see what their friends are playing via a video stream and even "take over the controller and assist them," Cerny said.
The system will also track your likes and dislikes and automatically grab content based on your preferences, Cerny said. The system's social functions will also work with the PlayStation Vita, smartphones, and tablets via "companion applications," as well as the web.
The conference is still ongoing in New York City, and specifics such as the price and the hardware design have yet to be unveiled. Gamasutra's reporting on the PlayStation 4 announcement will continue throughout this evening.
UPDATE: Here are additional specs, straight from Sony. (More details in this PDF.)