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Social networking the highlight of PS4 gaming, says Yoshida

'Discoverability' to set apart next-gen gaming from the present

Social interactions and 'discoverability' is are what will set PlayStation 4 gaming apart from PS3 and current-gen gaming in general, according Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida.

When asked highlight a single aspect of PS4 in a recent Q&A, Yoshida described "the discoverability of things".

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"It's like checking your social media every day," he explained. "I really like that people can find out about new games, information, and what their friends are doing, without even booting the game.

"For example, you can check out whether you have had new challenges from friends from the home screen of every game. All the important information is presented to you immediately. The same game might come out on PS3 and PS4, but playing the game on PS4 will be much more fun, I would expect," he said.

Yoshida appeared briefly on stage at Sony's Gamescom presentation in August, opening the show with a short live demonstration of the PS4's system user interface (video below). This demo was aimed at showing off PS4's social features.

"What I showed was only a small portion of the UI," said Yoshida. "Obviously the system software is still in development. We really wanted to show off the social aspect of the UI. The minute you boot up, you'll see all the information about games you own, what your friends are doing, whether there's any new DLC coming out, or if your friends have shared a video or screenshot. And you can also spectate anyone playing PS4."

PS4 is just 10 weeks from its debut launch in US, but Sony is still drip-feeding new information on the system's final feature set. The firm used last week's GameStop expo to reveal that PS4's PS Eye camera will support "navigational voice commands" and "facial recognition" - in similar ways, we expect, to Microsoft's Kinect sensor on Xbox One.

Sony has announced a PS4 release date of November 15 in the US and November 29 in Europe. The console will be available for £349 / €399 / $399.

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Check out CVG in-depth analysis of the PS4 UI here, detailing every aspect of the UI Yoshida revealed in the video above.

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