Sony PlayStation event: what to expect

What to expect from tonight's PlayStation announcement in New York

Sony's new PS4 console looks set to be unveiled at a gala event in New York tonight. We look at what to expect

UPDATE: Sony has just announced the PlayStation 4 - check out all the details here.

Industry analysts, gaming fans and the erstwhile man in the street all expect Sony to unveil its next generation PS4 games console in New York tonight. If that estimate holds true then the global media and gaming community are set to take a glimpse of the future of console gaming heading into the next decade. But what exactly are we in for?

Well, for a start, it's highly likely we'll hear what Sony's next console will be officially called. The smart money at this stage is on it being named PlayStation 4, although the name PS Orbis has been mooted and it would follow the trend set by the PSP's successor being branded the PS Vita.

It's also highly likely that anyone who tunes in for tonight's announcement will get their first look at the new console, although whether it will be present physically is still up in the air. The size, shape and array of slots, ports and drives will be of interest, as will the console's new controller - pictures of which, are believed to have been leaked already.

A hands-on with the device, however, it most probably out of the question. It's also doubtful that we'll hear much in the way of technical specifications. Sony is notoriously cagey about the internal workings of its gaming devices.

What we may hear about instead are some of the console's new consumer services. The rumour mill has already started churning up stories involving the new PSN paid service and smartphone tethering applications. It's also highly likely that game streaming service Gaikai will make an appearance - an expectation bolstered by the news on Pocket Lint that Sony has registered domains around a product called 'PlayStation Cloud'.

We also expect to hear a couple of announcements concerning games titles that are in the pipeline for the next-gen console from a mix of first and third party developers. While Destiny might not be out this year, it wouldn't be remiss to see it confirmed (finally!) for the PS4 and we wouldn't mind hearing about The Last Guardian too.

The icing on the cake would, naturally, be announcements concerning pricing and availablity, but we wouldn't bank on it. Sony will reveal all later tonight at 11pm UK time .