Following the decision to release its new PlayStation 4 on Nov. 15, ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season, Sony (NYSE: SNE ) said in a statement today that along with the PS4 it will offer customers a software upgrade which will significantly expand the console's capabilities.
Sony said that not all planned enhancements to its PS4 will be included in the software update; however, the 1.5 upgrade does include numerous enhancements. Some of the features PS4 users will see include the ability to play remotely, link up with mobile devices that have the appropriate PS4 app downloaded, broadcast capabilities for "social spectating," and facial recognition and voice command capabilities, according to Sony's statement.
With the new software, Sony PS4 users will also be able to watch Blu-Ray and DVD videos, and take part in networked, multi-player games. Online, multi-player gaming using the PS4 will require paying for PlayStation Plus, a pay-to-play service much like Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold service.
Though estimates of PS4 pre-orders vary, as do those of its primary rival the Xbox One from Microsoft, according to game-tracker VG Chartz Sony's PS4 has orders for 725,000 units ahead of its introduction on Nov. 15, while Xbox One has generated 525,000 pre-orders before its official rollout scheduled for Nov. 22.