A videogame body has welcomed news that Sony is set to release the PlayStation 4 later this year.

Industry group TIGA believes the powerful graphics and speed, integrated social capabilities, innovative second-screen features and cloud technology will encourage better development in the future.

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “There is much potential for innovation with the PS4. It is certainly great for developers. The greater integration of social functions in the console, while not entirely new, is welcome. Developers will be able foster close communities around their games, gain loyalty and benefit from word-of-mouth promotion."

He said the Share functions and the Facebook functions of PS4 were also good for developers. Gamers, he said, would use these to help publicise their games. "We have seen the effects social media can have on games such as Farmville and functions such as this will undoubtedly help when it comes to maximizing revenue opportunities," he added.

The potential for second screens – whether via Vita, a smartphone or a tablet – was also of great importance, the organisation saod.

"Having already seen this working on the Wii U and Xbox 360 via Smartglass, it is clear a second screen can enhance gameplay," said Dr Wilson. "It is great that people can play games on a console and then continue that brand experience when they are out and about. Crucially, there are many emerging start-up developers in the UK who have much experience in the smartphone and tablet gaming space and their talents and creativity when it comes to small-screen gaming will prove valuable in the future in the console market too."

And Dr Wilson praised Sony's purchase of Gaikai which has opened the way to streamed gaming on the PS4.

"Having older titles available to gamers will keep revenue streams open for developers and ensure a longer life for their games," he said. "Streaming of games from the cloud will encourage a greater take-up of games too – it goes beyond digital distribution because even the barrier of waiting for a download is taken away. Instant gaming and the ability to try new games without such a wait will lead to experimentation on the part of the player. They may find themselves enjoying a new genre or they may try a new game out of curiosity. Either way, developers will be in a great position.”