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Sony downplays 3D gaming and discusses supporting existing purchases on the PS4

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sony ps4 logo stock
sony ps4 logo stock

The day after announcing the PlayStation 4, Sony has been parceling out more information on the still-unseen console. Though the "final specs and design" are still being tweaked for a release at the end of 2013, we now have a long list of planned features and specifications, including answers to some of the most pressing pre-release questions. Sony initially focused on wowing audiences with connectivity and specs: it's touted a custom AMD Jaguar processor, 8GB of RAM, a 6x Blu-ray and 8x DVD drive, and screen- or controller-sharing features along with Gaikai-powered cloud gaming. But what have we learned since then?

Sony's 'trying to decide' whether the PlayStation 4 design will be shown at E3

The biggest question so far has been why the PlayStation 4 wasn't actually shown at the announcement. The short answer? It wasn't ready. When we went backstage at Sony's event, the backstage area was an impressive display of equipment, with racks and racks of gear to make sure the demos and presentations went smoothly. Sony CEO Jack Tretton has said that though the PS4 is ready to play games, there's no "mass-production box" he could have brought onstage. In fact, that box is likely months away at best: Sony's Shuhei Yoshida told Polygon that "we're still trying to decide" whether to show it at E3 in June. Price-wise, Tretton hopes to sell for less than the $599 point of the PS3 at launch, but we've gotten no promises.

While we remain in the dark for most things, Sony has done a little to reassure us that it's thinking about used and older titles. The company confirmed last night that it won't block used games on the PS4, and now Polygon has been told that existing digital purchases could theoretically work on next-generation hardware. Despite there being "no backwards compatibility" natively for PS3 games, Yoshida tentatively said that cloud services could let players get their existing PSN library on the console. "We could do so if we choose to. We know who purchased what as a record. But we are working on service plans and we haven't decided." Emulation — the sort that lets older games work on the PlayStation 3 — is also a possibility, though Yoshida declined to discuss it.

"All of the companies have shifted focus from 3D TV to something else."

Lastly, Sony has put another nail in the coffin of 3D as a killer feature. While discussing plans for 4K content on the new console, Yoshida downplayed the one-time fad: "3D was a big thing a couple of years ago," IGN quotes him as saying, "and we liked what we could do on PS3 using 3D stereoscopic. But now the consumer electronics side of Sony, or all of the companies have shifted focus from 3D TV to something else, so if they're not talking about it, why would we?"

Update: To clarify, while 3D isn't a focus of the console, it definitely will work with stereoscopic 3D.