Sony reignited the console wars with the introduction of the Sony Playstation 4 (PS4). Demonstrating extreme focus, perhaps Sony has learned from their failings with the Playstation 3 (PS3).

While Microsoft has taken an ambitious approach with the Xbox One expecting the system will become an entertainment hub, Sony has chosen to focus on the gamer instead of your home.

With the unveiling of the Sony Playstation 4 we have been reminded why we loved Sony in the 1990’s. The video game system is full of horsepower featuring a blazing-fast 8-core 64-bit AMD processor, 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, and a Radeon GPU with 1.84 TFLOPS of graphics power.

And while gaming has changed since 2006, Sony still believes in disc-based media. The PS4 will feature a Blu-ray drive as well as 801.11n WiFI, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, and optical out. Storage options are still unspecified, but we expect the PS4 will start with at least a 500 GB drive.

There are some questions if there is demand in the gaming community for Microsoft’s new features like voice command, Skype video calls while you’re watching the game, or running your TV service through the system.

The Sony PS3 is already the most popular device for streaming Netflix, and eschewed radical new features to focus on functionality that matters most.

Restrictions
Lets start with the biggest difference between the next generation consoles – restrictions. Sony was applauded at the Electronic Entertainment Expo because the Playstation 4 is region-free, free of used-game controversy, and will not require an always-on connection like the Microsoft Xbox One.

“In addition to creating an amazing library of new titles on PlayStation 4, we’re equally focused on delivering what gamers want most without imposing restrictions or devaluing their PS4 purchases,” Tretton said.

“For instance, PlayStation 4 won’t impose any new restrictions on the use of pre-owned games.”

Price Point
Perhaps more importantly, Sony’s lack of restrictions will be more cost-effective than the competition as the Playstation 4 will start at $399, a full $100 cheaper than the competition.

Unlike the $599 launch price of the Playstation 3 in 2006, Sony has learned that they need to be immediately competitive if they want to recapture market share.

On-Demand Gaming
The PS4 will allow games to be downloaded or updated in the background, or even in stand-by mode. Gamers will even be able to play digital titles as they are being downloaded.

Indie Gaming
Sony also received applause for reaffirming its dedication to delivering unique gaming experiences on the PS4. Adam Boyes, vice president of third-party relations at SCEA, said he hopes to develop “the world’s best indie games portfolio across all PlayStation platforms” by giving studios the freedom to self-publish.

Fast, sleek, and powerful. The Sony Playstation 4 ($399) is available for pre-order from Amazon and will arrive in time for the holiday season. We love the new system enough to officially add it as the first item on our Christmas wish list.