The worst-kept secret in the world gets announced tomorrow night in the PlayStation 4, and you know that the entire internet will be watching in anticipation. However, Kotaku has an inside source that was spot-on in several other leaks, and this time around they are giving us a bit more solid information on the types of things we can expect to see out of Sony's next console. Out the gate, they show off new images for the prototype controller. There's nothing new here in terms of what we haven't already seen before. However, the PS4 is going to work hand-in-hand with smart devices to allow people to access and download games remotely (reportedly, this may be a future possibility with the Wii U as well, but time will tell).
Each console will come with a PlayStation Eye, and you can watch your friends while your gaming even if they aren't playing the same game as you. They are also apparently going to launch a new online system called PlayStation World and they will be going directly after Xbox Live - where most of the services are going to require a subscription. In addition, there will be an all new account system that allows multiple people to log in at the same time. What does this all mean?For Sony fans, it means a heck of a lot. There is a strong commitment here from Sony to try and not only rival the Xbox Live service, but effectively beat Microsoft at its own game. Being able to watch your friends while you game is neat, but I'm not sure we should really want that sort of friend stalking just yet. It's also important to note that the source claims there will be two SKUS, once launching at $429 and the other at $529. These are definitely reasonable for what we're getting.
For Wii U fans, this means you may have the only truly free online service among all consoles. While that is a nice advantage, unfortunately free usually comes at the cost of the quality of the online system, something Sony fans already learned the hard way. With SmartGlass and support for the PS4, it's even more imperative that Nintendo expands beyond just Miiverse on smart devices. Time will tell how this all plays out, but I am definitely looking forward to the PS4 announcement with rather lofty expectations. Can the PS4 take over my living room time from my Wii U? We may indeed find out tomorrow.
P.S. - Rumored launch date is in November.