PS4 faces a rough road ahead

While Sony did reveal a touch pad on

While Sony did reveal a touch pad on the new controller, it did not show the actual console. (Getty) (Credit: While Sony did reveal a touch pad on the new controller, it did not show the actual console. (Getty))

At a news conference on Wednesday evening, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 video game console. Sort of.

Sony did not show the actual console, nor did it announce a price or exact release date, though it did indicate that the PS4 would arrive during the 2013 holiday season.

Now, if you have a short memory, you may not recall that Sony was an absolute powerhouse in gaming from 1994 on with the release of the groundbreaking original PlayStation console.

However, the tide turned during the current console cycle.

And now the big question is, do gaming consoles even matter?

The industry boomed in 2007 and 2008 on a combination of popular hard-core games such as "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare," and casual-friendly fare such as the Nintendo Wii and "Guitar Hero."

But since then, the industry has actually contracted every year.

One major factor in the weakness is the growth of smartphones and tablets, whose technological sophistication is growing at a rapid rate, making them more than good enough for the average person that just wants to kill some time or blow off some steam gaming.

Until we see the final PS4 design, and get full details on the pricing, game lineup and exact launch date, it will be tough to determine just how well it's going to do.

But right now, it's looking pretty rough out there.

Tags: BUSINESS , MICHAEL COMEAU

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