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The PlayStation 4’s Big Unanswered Questions

We’ve learned a lot about the PlayStation 4 since Sony revealed the console yesterday. New details concerning the system’s Blu-ray player and compatibility with second-hand games continue to trickle in, but we’re still left with some big questions. The remaining mysteries include things like pricing, PSN ID transferal, and how big the built-in hard drive will be.

How much is it?

This is the one everyone wants to know. An anonymous source said the PlayStation 4 will be available in $429 and $529 models, but we can’t be certain. Sony’s consoles have always tended to be on the pricey side each generation, and we want to know how much to set aside for this holiday season. Which brings us to…

When does it launch?

Sony’s PS4 reveal concluded with a teaser that the system will arrive during this holiday season. Typically, the holiday season ranges anywhere from late November through December. Obviously Sony wants to have the PlayStation 4 available before Christmas, but how early could we reasonably expect the console to debut? The company has stated it wants the PS4 to release before Microsoft’s next system, which hopefully means it will be sooner rather than later.

Details about the console itself

Enthusiastic gamers want to know the color and aesthetics of Sony’s next box, but there’s more to it than that. How many USB ports will it have? How big is the internal hard drive? Does it have touch-enabled buttons like the original PS3, or traditional buttons like the slim model?

What does the DualShock 4 touchpad do?

We know a few concrete things about the DualShock 4 concerning its design and motion-sensing capabilities. We also know it has a touchpad smack-dab in the front of the controller that is similar to the one on the back of the Vita. What applications could this have that’s not already satisfied by the controller’s physical buttons?

Will any current hardware work with the PS4? 

Sony confirmed PlayStation Move controllers work with the PS4, but not DualShock 3s. Sony also isn't saying whether the PS4 will ship with a camera. Will users be able to use existing PlayStation Eyes with the PS4? Will plastic instruments from the PS3 era be compatible with possible future music games?

How will existing PSN accounts be managed?

We already know that PSN and PS3 save data is not transferrable to the PS4. In addition, PSN aren’t currently playable on the PS4 but may be in the future. We’re also unsure whether or not your existing PSN ID will make the leap to the PS4. What is going to happen to all our trophies and friends? Sony says the PS4 is deeply integrated with social media. Will our accounts on Twitter or Facebook replace PS4-specific IDs? 

How will the cross-play and remote-play functions be integrated?

Sony wants players to swap games between their PS4 and Vita for on-the-go gaming, as well as use their phones or tablets as a second game screen. We have some insight into how this works thanks to the PS3 and Vita’s cross-save/cross-play feature. Games like Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time allow players to upload save data to the cloud on one system in-game, and download it from another system later. With the new console, will this feature be activated in game or via the PS4 user interface? Sony promises all games will support this, but how certain can we be all developers will work to optimize their games for both a home console and a portable game?

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