By Sean Hollister, Ross Miller, and David Pierce

Seven years is a technological eternity. Yet the PlayStation 3 has sold well for that long, ever since DJ Fatman Scoop and Ludacris hosted its blowout launch event in New York City in 2006. At launch, the PlayStation 3 was big, heavy, and expensive — it took nearly two revisions and almost a dozen SKUs of PS3 to get Sony to 2013. The console now starts under $200, the controller rumbles, Blu-ray is the dominant physical disc format, backwards compatibility is a moot point, and there's a large back catalog of titles both physical and digital. PlayStation Move exists now.

But even as the current generation continues to adapt and evolve, Sony has decided it’s time to start anew. Time to do something fresh, to create the console that will sate gamers for seven more years. Sony’s new PlayStation 4 reflects the company’s guess about the future of video games, and displays the many lessons Sony’s learned over the life of the PS3. It’s built a different kind of console for a different sort of purpose as it looks to 2014 and 2021 to see what we’ll want to buy.

The next generation of console is here, and it’s here to stay. But while Microsoft decided to use its next console generation to lay siege to your living room, Sony’s simply taken its formula to the next level — it’s attempted to build the game console of our dreams.