The PlayStation 3 era represented a role reversal of sorts for Sony. Once the king of home video games with its PS2, the electronics giant took a small step back last generation, as rivals including the red-hot Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 snagged a larger piece of the spotlight.
With the PlayStation 4, it's clear Sony wants that top spot back. Badly. Its latest video game console, available Friday, represents an impressive package for video game players, with significant improvements to the controller and menus, and fresh features such as game sharing. It's especially intriguing at $399, which is $100 less than the Xbox One out one week later, and well below the $500-$600 launch price of PS3.
A lot has changed since the PS3 made its debut in 2006. The only smartphone familiar to consumers was BlackBerry; Twitter and Instagram did not exist. Sharing content digitally has blossomed since then, as have devices with snappier interfaces that allow for more instant access.