JAPANESE CONSOLE MAKER Sony has announced that it will launch its Playstation 4 (PS4) games console on 29 November in Europe and 15 November in North America.
Sony Computing Entertainment Europe group CEO and president Andrew House revealed the release dates at Sony's pre-Gamescom 2013 press conference in Cologne, Germany today, announcing that the black games console will retail across 32 countries worldwide, priced at £349 in the UK and $399 in the US.
As part of the announcement, House said that the 12GB PS3 will see a price cut to €199 in the European market and $199 in the US. However, he didn't mention the price cut in the UK.
What he did say, however, was that all markets will see an offer that allows gamers to swap a recently purchased PS3 version of an Activision, EA, Ubisoft or Warner Bros game also offered on the PS4 for a digital version on the next generation console for "a significantly reduced price". House said that this will reward PS3 gamers for their loyalty when transferring titles from the older Sony console to the PS4.
Before revealing the PS4 release date, House took the opportunity to have a pop at Microsoft for changing its mind about allowing developers to create and self publish titles for the Xbox One, after first saying that Sony will open development for all.
"While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining policies and a model that is fair and in tune with consumer desires," House jabbed during the Gamescon announcement.
As part of the release date announcement, Sony showed off a number of teaser trailers for upcoming games for the PS4, including Rime by Tequila, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture by UK studio The Chinese Room and Helldivers by Arrowhead, the team behind Magicka.
Grand Turismo 6 was also shown off, with Sony announcing that it will be released for the PS4 a week after launch in Europe, on 6 December. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, Minecraft and War Thunder will also be available at launch, Sony said.
The Japanese firm showed off its "remote play" feature with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, demonstrating on stage how a player can take control of a game being played on a Playstation Vita from the console, thus freeing up the TV so a friend or family member can watch something else, for example, without interrupting gameplay. The game appeared to run free of lag on the handheld system.
Sony's announcements included the news that it will enter into strategic broadband agreements with ISPs such as Orange and Virgin Media to ensure that some of their broadband resources are reserved and dedicated to gaming for faster, uninterrupted gameplay. Sony said that it will reveal more specific details about these partnerships in the future. µ
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