The long awaited Sony next generation machine, the Playstation 4 has finally been released back on November 28th, as of January many new patches have been released and I’ve spent a lot of time with the console to make sure I’m ready to review it.
This review will focus on both software & hardware of the console itself and the controller. I’ll also talk about the Playstation Network and the console’s design.
Sony’s next generation console has been marketed as a console that will completely focus on gaming, but how gamer focused is the console?
Both in Hardware and Software the Playstation 4 is a console that focuses on getting the person inside the game as quick as possible, even if it’s the first time you set up the console the time that it takes to get on the menu and to start the game is insanely fast.
The Playstation 4 interface is very simple and any user will understand everything about it in a couple of minutes, it feels smooth going thorough the applications installed and and the multi tasking of installing games and patches at the same time comes in handy if you have more than one game to handle. But from time to time and especially when you’re playing games the console’s menu might freeze for a few seconds.
Sony has also revamped the profiles and trophies, by making it even more detailed especially the Profile area. In the profile area there are now new features available as a media section for your gameplays/screenshots, an area to have your own real life photos, trophies detailed on every platform and more.
In terms of application opening everything is quick, my favorite feature of the Playstation 4 software, is being able to patch a game while you’re installing another game in the HDD being able to do whatever you want in the menu while installing the game is also a new welcome change.
One of the best things about the new console is definitely the hardware, and PS4′s hardware doesn’t disappoint at ALL. The next generation consoles feature a PC architecthure for easy development of games and applications, without the need for a unique set of tools.
The console features a unique custom single-chip processor that combines with an AMD “Jaguar” CPU that features an eight core x86-64, the console has 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and the GPU is based on AMD’s Radeon technology that features 1.84 teraflop. for memory the console has a 500GB HDD.
Playstation has 2 frontal USB ports available only while the rear of the console feature an : HDMI, Ethernet, a digital optical audio out and a special connection port for the PlayStation Camera which is bought seperatily.
The Wi-Fi is built in the console.
DualShock 4 controller
A new generation, a new controller, and the Playstation 4 controller the Dualshock 4 features a large improvement from it’s predecessor.
But the controller hasn’t evolved only in terms of design, new features such as the SHARE button that allows the user to upload his gameplay/screenshots in social media instantly or even allowing the user to stream his gameplay directly to either Twitch or another streaming website is available.
When holding it the DualShock 4 reminds me of the Xbox 360 controller in terms of weight and comfort, although the design is very close to that of the Playstation 3. The Dualshock 4 features a LED Light Bar in front of the controller that has different colors to identify each player, it can also be used in games to show a player’s health etc.
It also features a built in speaker that gives certain sound effects of games, for example in Killzone: Shadow Fall once you pick up a audio log the sound comes directly from the controller instead of being from the TV. It can also be used to attach a headset.
The controller is a great improvement no doubt there, any previous Playstation 3 fan will enjoy the controller especially for the shooters while the Xbox 360 fans that decided to buy a Playstation 4 will feel at home as the controller itself resembles the 360 controller.
Online services/ Playstation Network
The Playstation Network is back and improved.. In a way.
Playstation 4 PSN, has some problems in terms of servers whether your downloading a game or a patch the Playstation Network is often slow or down. I have the console ever since it’s launch date but even today I often have connection issues as slow downloading or the store itself being down. (Note : Euopean UK/Portuguese Store has been tested)
Having a Playstation Plus subscription is now required to play online, but playing online is not the only feature this service brings. It also brings cloud saving, free games each month for the PS4/PS3/Vita and PSP and much more that have been active ever since the Plus subscription came out.
PS Vita Remote Play is a service that can be connected via Wi-Fi to the Playstation 4, to play it’s games. This service is great but only works perfectly well if the Wi-Fi connection is more than 5mbs and it’s stable. This feature has some problems as not all games are perfect to be played on a Vita.
The frames per second are locked at 30 during the cloud steaming to the Playstation Vita.
Final thoughts :
Miguel Felix, one of our Editors showed his thoughts towards the Playstation 4 debate of whether purchasing one or not :
I would love to stand here and tell you to buy this console, ive been with the playstation all my life but why I’m not buying a Playstation 4 is very simple to explain really, the cons outweigh the pros.
I cant say if it’s a good system because I haven’t played it.But so far, no game interests me that much, the next gen graphics aren’t blowing me away to make me spend that kind of money right now, especially in a hard time to be spending money, and the same for the Xbox One it doesn’t solve anything that the PS4 offers, you get the console and either one from what I’m hearing your being sold things all the time and that’s not what I want, I don’t want to buy a 400 dollar console to then spend more than that amount on subscriptions and games, maybe when Kingdom Hearts 3 or some game I really want comes out but even then I’m going to be very skidish about buying any console, especially with all the extra money they are more or less forcing you to spend, I mean if you want to play online you pay if you want to play your old PS3 games you pay, you pay,you pay,you pay.For now the PS3 fulfills my console needs and if it weren’t for this site I wouldn’t even be thinking about this.
Bottom line :
The Playstation 4 is definitely a great system either in terms of hardware and software , but there’s no reason to acquire one right now. The current launch titles might not motivate one to purchase a 399€ console just yet though, as a user that has both consoles I find myself turning on the Xbox One more than the Playstation 4 itself due to the library of games that is available right now.
But if you feel like purchasing a Playstation 4 right now for it’s games or for some reason in special go ahead, for 400€ Sony’s next generation console offers a great value in both Hardware and Software.
What’s in it for it’s FUTURE?
Great single player exclusives alongside some AAA free to play games such as Planetside 2 and Everquest: Next. Sony has also lined up a new service called the Playstation Now, and much more than that hasn’t been announced, we although know that in the future Sony promised that will unlock more of certain parts of the hardware, that hasn’t been touched by developers just yet.
Physical Hardware is the secret card of Sony in this next generation, specially it’s GPU.