What to Expect at Sony's #PlayStation201

February 24 [Sun], 2013, 4:21
Officially, Sony's not saying anything about what it's going to reveal at thehashtagged #PlayStation2013. All its video trailer shows is a date -- Feb. 20 -- and the floating symbols of the PlayStation logo.

Most people, however, are expecting the next PlayStation console, whether it's going to be called the PlayStation 4 or the Orbis. The staff of Edge Online even claims to have spoken withand recently wrote what they'd learned about the upcoming PlayStation.

You already know it's going to be more powerful than the PS3. Here's a look at some unexpected possible features, plus a preview of things to come for the PS Vita handheld console.

Built-in sharing

In an apparent attempt to be hip to the "social networking" thing people are doing these days, Sony's new PlayStation console will supposedly have "A new Share button on the controller," which will let you post screenshots and videos online straight from the console.

The PlayStation 3 could upload pictures from its Photo Gallery, but it could only send them to Facebook or Picasa, and most games lacked a built-in screenshot feature. In contrast, the new PlayStation console is said to keep a running video record of your last 15 minutes of activity, which you can edit and share parts of at any time.

No backwards compatibility

It was already a persistent rumor that the new PlayStation console wouldn't be able to run PlayStation 3 games. The Edge's articleThat Sony "made a mistake in creating such esoteric architecture for [the] PS3," meaning the PS3's Cell Processor was hard to develop games for. The new console is supposedly much easier for game developers to work with, but it may not support games written for earlier consoles.

Because of a similar situation, the PS3 needed to have the PS2's hardware chips inside it -- literally a console within a console -- in order to play PS2 discs. This was a large part of the reason why it cost so much at its launch, and why later (and cheaper) PS3 models dropped backwards compatibility. Sony may have decided to just start with a clean slate, rather than go through this all over again.

Vita price drop

sums up a Seeking Alpha report of Sony's recent earnings call, at which Sony CFO Masaru Kato talked about how "we have to do a better job" promoting the PS Vita. Much of what he said amounted to "needs more marketing," and "it's all the game developers' fault" (not his actual words). But he also talked about the "pricing of the product," and while he refused to commit to talking about specifics it's possible that the notoriously pricey PS Vita could see a permanent price drop.

No PSP-2000 style redesign was mentioned, however.

Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.

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