PS4 officially announced, the next generation is here

Sony Computer Entertainment has finally unveiled the "Future of PlayStation" at its special press event in New York. Yep, the PS4 is here.

"The gamer is the focal point for our efforts," said Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. And the company has stuck to that doctrine with its next-generation console.

"It's designed to make access for gamers easier than ever,"  House added.

Sony explained that when it started to design the new PS4, it wanted nothing to be in the way of the gamer, and to offer a fluid connection to a bigger "larger" world.

"We wanted to ensure that nothing would come between the platform and the joy of play," said Mark Cerny, lead architect for the PS4, in introducing the latest console.

"We also wanted to be sure that the system architecture could fluidly connect the player to a larger world of experiences, and provide easy access to everything PlayStation has to offer - across the console and mobile spaces, and PlayStation Network. And we were able to create, in PS4, a platform by game creators for game creators."

Few details have been revealed so far, although much of the leaked specifications seem to be true. It has a PC-style architecture, with an eight-core x86 processor and 8GB of RAM. It is using a "highly advanced" PC-like graphics processor too. And there will be a hard drive on board.

The company also unveiled the new DualShock 4 controller and it is also much like the leaked pictures. It is bigger than the DualShock 3, thanks to the addition of a small touchscreen at the top of the joypad.

Boot times will be a thing of the past, said the company. There is a secondary custom chip that allows for an instant resume-play mode. The system will suspend when the power button is pressed, and start up again instantly when it's pressed again, with the game resuming from the same point you were at in the game.

It also allows you to play a digital (non-disc) game even while you're still downloading it from the online store. You might also find that the game is nigh-on instantly ready for you as there is a predictive function. The console learns about you and will promote games it thinks you will prefer and automatically download them for you to purchase on the spot.

Plus, through new social interaction features, you can watch clips of gameplay posted or watch a live stream, all posted through a "share button" on the new controller. You can also watch the stream on all manner of devices, including tablets, smartphones and the PS Vita.

And if you're struggling to complete a game, a friend can even jump in from their own home and take over. Remote play help. Stunning.

Speaking of which, Sony is finally implementing Remote Play on the PS Vita in a far better way than ever before. The architecture is built straight into the PS4, so you can continue to play any PlayStation 4 title on the PS Vita. Much like with the Wii U controller, if the living room is suddenly taken over by the kids, you can carry on playing in a different room on the Vita.

One less-welcome feature for the PS4 is the confirmation that it will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games. Instead, they will be available only via the cloud. However, your Move controller will still work, so that's something.

Sony also showed a select few PS4 titles at the New York press event, including Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub and Infamous: Second Son, and from our initial impressions there's certainly a lot going on on-screen. Naturally, it is yet to announce the actual launch titles and pricing, but Sony has revealed that the console is coming for the holiday season this year - that should mean November, in time for Christmas.

More will be announced at E3. Including what the console actually looks like as that's yet to be revealed.

UPDATE: Sony has now released some of the core specifications:

Main Processor
Single-chip custom processor
CPU : x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores 
GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine

Memory
GDDR5 8GB

Hard Disk Drive
Built-in (no word on size yet)

Optical Drive (read only)
BD 6xCAV 
DVD 8xCAV

I/O
Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX 
Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)

AV output
HDMI
Analog-AV out
Digital Output (optical)

Pocket-lint is on the scene covering the event live to bring you the latest. Check out our live stream.