Sony has announced its next-generation gaming console – the PlayStation 4 – at an event in New York.
Its new hardware is designed to offer superior graphics as well as new social features including the sharing of recorded gameplay clips.
It will succeed the PlayStation 3, which went on sale in 2006 and has sold about 75 million units.
The PS4 will eventually compete against Microsoft’s still-to-be-unveiled Xbox 360 successor and Nintendo’s Wii U.
Sony also confirmed a range of big-name software for the machine including Bungie’s upcoming “shared-world shooter” Destiny, which will include exclusive content for the PS4.
A successful launch might spur on sales of Sony’s new televisions and other consumer electronics, helping turn around its fortunes.
Sony posted a 456.7bn yen loss ($4.9bn; £3.2bn) in its last financial year, marking the fourth year it ended in deficit.
But the firm has forecast a 20bn yen profit for the current financial year ending in March.
Sony said the console was “coming holiday 2013” suggesting it will go on sale in at least some countries in or around December.
It did not give any indication of its price nor did it show what the console would look like.
There was also no mention of whether the console would support 4K – or ultra-high-definition – video. However, Sony told the BBC it would have more to say on this matter “at the appropriate moment”.
Sony described the machine as being like a “supercharged” PC.
It runs off an x86-based CPU (central processing unit) – similar architecture to that found in most desktop computers – and an “enhanced” PC GPU (graphics processing unit). Both CPU and GPU are designed by the US firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
It comes with the new DualShock 4 controller, which includes a touchpad, a “share button” and a lightbar, which allows a separate camera to track its movement.
“This is a complete controller upgrade with touch, share, and better responsiveness,” said Brian Blau, an analyst at the tech consultancy Gartner.
“The new controller is the key to a better PS4 experience. It has the ability to share content easily, and brings in a component of touch that allows even more ways to interact with games.”
The console also includes new hardware dedicated to video compression to make it a more social device.
While the graphics shown during the demonstrations were more advanced than those in current games for Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony must also convince gamers to choose its platform over PC-based systems.
Sony did not announce how much it plans to charge – perhaps holding the news back for the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June or a later announcement.
The PlayStation 3 was initially sold at a loss, so if that practice is repeated with the new model its launch may initially put fresh strain on the firm’s finances.
Even so, one analyst suggested that Sony would be willing to take the pain to maximize early demand.
“Without the established user base and community of PS3 and PlayStation Network, Sony would be without a significant home entertainment foothold allowing it to connect many of its other consumer electronic devices, products, and services,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at IHS Screen Digest.
“Sony’s next-generation device is likely to take on more important not less.”