The PS4 makes an invisible debut

Plus new Nikons and the 4G auction draws to a close

PlayStation 4

Imagine if you went to the launch of the new Beyonce album and she showed you the cover, played a couple of drum loops, and let you hear some recordings of her mumbling.

"Is that it?" you'd ask. "Yes!" she'd reply. "It'll be finished in eight months and it'll be awesome!"

The PS4 launch was a bit like that.

We saw controllers, we saw games and we saw specs, but we didn't actually see the PS4 during the two-hour event. Maybe it's so horribly ugly they've locked it in a cupboard, or so pretty that if you look directly at it your eyes melt.

Or maybe they just haven't finished it yet. So what do we know? Lots! Michelle Fitzimmons has the facts: "The console owns an eight core, x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU," she writes. "It houses 8GB of GDDR5 unified high-speed memory, and a 'highly advanced' PC GPU with 'remarkable longterm potential.'

That processor, also made by AMD and referred to as a 'next-generation Radeon based graphics engine' in the press release, boasts 18 compute units that together produce 1.84 TFLOPS of processing power. We'll also see Blu-ray and DVD support in the PS4, along with HDMI, Analog-AV, and optical digital output."

There's a new controller too, the DualShock 4. As Michael Rougeau reports, "The PS4 DualShock 4 controller features two sticks, four triggers, a directional pad, plus triangle, cross, circle, and square buttons, just like a classic PlayStation controller. But it also has a touchpad across its face, and a PlayStation Move-like 'light bar' across the top." The PS4 also includes the PlayStation Eye, so you're getting Wii-style motion control and Kinect-style gestures.

What about the games? The PS4 won't be backwards compatible, but you'll be able to play older PlayStation games via the Gaikai network.

As far as new titles are concerned, Blizzard showed off Diablo III and Bungie promised to bring its hotly anticipated Destiny to the console too. Despite rumours, the PS4 won't block used games.

Our verdict? Sony's playing it safe, Michael Rougeau argues.

There was "nothing mind-blowing", although the announcement "wasn't exactly disappointing". Sadly "plenty of the things on our most-wanted list were notably absent" - like the actual console itself. "The PlayStation 4's price and specific launch dates were conspicuously left out, as well."

Sony does appear to be on the defensive here: it's just cut the price of its PS Vita in Japan and has reduced its sales predictions for the year.

While Sony kept the PS4 under wraps, Nikon was only too happy to show off its latest cameras. The bestselling Coolpix S3300 gets a significant update, with the new S3500 boasting a 20 million pixel CCD sensor, 7x optical zoom and lens-shift vibration reduction, and there's a new flagship too: the 24MP D7100, which is designed to sit alongside the much-loved D7000.

New from Nikon

Angela Nicholson got an early look, and reports that "Nikon has given the D7100 a pretty extensive feature set, [although] it would've been nice if the company had pushed things a bit further". Nevertheless, "the D7100 will find favour with the Nikon faithful, and it should win the manufacturer a few new fans."

For Brits, there was more big news this week: the UK spectrum auction for 4G frequencies is over, and we can look forward to a full roll-out of 4G mobile broadband beginning later this year.

Gareth Beavis has the details: as he says, "now consumers can look forward to the second half of 2013 when we can really see competitive services being launched that will supercharge your mobile phone, tablet and computer speeds."