Sony and Microsoft now have their next generation consoles out in the market and they have gathered a lot of attention in the early few weeks, selling out on almost every online store with dates being pushed back to February.
In the lead up to the launch, the PS4 was the clear winner when it came to PR. Everything Sony said and did seems to work, while Microsoft crumbled under the hate of millions who disliked the Kinect and found the focus on entertainment against the gaming culture.
The PS4 was designed from the ground up to be this brilliant gaming machine – to be the hub for gamers. We take a look inside the PS4 to see if it is all Sony has hyped it up to be, or if it falls short of the expectations many gamers had on the console.
The PS4 shines far in front of the Xbox One when it comes to the design, Sony has always been a master company when it comes to making their products look and feel good. Some have commented on the PS4 looking a little too bland, but Sony has developed this console to fit right in-between your TV box, DVD player and whatever else you have under the TV.
It is pretty impressive how slim the design is compared to the Xbox One. Sony has opted for a piano black, with both a matte and glossy finish. The two edges create a rhombus design that may not look so great for USB performance, but certainly makes it stand out a little more than the ugly, large Xbox One.
On the controller side, the dual shock had a lot of ground to make up for, since the Xbox 360 controller had far surpassed the PS3 in capabilities and design. Sony has redesigned the dual shock, taking performance, button placement and design into account to really make a brilliant controller.
While there will be endless bickering on what the better controller is, for games, scrolling and general usage, the PS4 controller is a delightful companion.
Sony has said the PS4 is the ultimate gaming console for any gamer – whether they are coming from the previous generation consoles or on a PC. The PS4 has been built to run games and to make incredible experiences.
Instead of opting for a crazy Cell processor, Sony has went all normal with a standard PC build. This includes an 8-core AMD processor, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, AMD Radeon GPU and a 500GB hard-drive.
For the average game, this is more than enough power to run at 1080p 60fps, but PS4 is not about the cheap old generation games – it is about new experiences, taking gaming to the next level, and we are already seeing small drops in performance.
That being said, out of the two consoles the PS4 seems to be able to perform to a higher-standard. The PS4 is capable of running on native 1080p with no upscaling and has been able to achieve 60fps on all games so far.
Consoles seem to be more resilient to change, if we look at the PS3 and Xbox 360, at this stage in their life they are able to show some pretty impressive visuals compared to what they did 8 years ago.
This is a marriage of developer’s interest in making the games the best and the actual console manufacturers working hard to keep the system up to date with the latest breakthrough tech.
The PS4 has a rather weak starting line, with almost all reviewers saying the retro shooter Resogun is the best on offer. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack have fallen short of expectations not because the visual design, but because they are boring and repetitive attempts at the same genre.
Buying the console now may not be the wisest move if you want a ton of content to play for hours and hours on end. Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4 are nice additions to the next generation community but can be played on the PC and the last generation consoles.
The future is what you are really buying – Destiny, Tom Clancy: The Division, Watch Dogs and other big titles are set to shape the next generation landscape and these will be the games for the PS4.
The one place Sony has always lagged behind in is software, where Microsoft takes the dominant stand, being a software company. The PS4 is no exception, we find the Xbox One to have a better and cleaner user experience, but Sony has figured out a lot in the past eight years on how to make the software and user interface better.
Sony still has the seemingly endless amount of menus and in some places the experience is clunky and not polished. There is an integrated friends platform showing all recent updates and good features, but the experience needs to be polished.
At the end of the day the PS4 was never going to be perfect – the vision of a perfect land for gamers is too expensive and too time consuming to ever be a reality, even for the PC like many will tell you again and again until the end of time.
There is a huge amount of promise on the PS4, it has the capabilities to run 4K video, it has the games coming that will change this generation and Sony can start meddling with entertainment and software at a later stage, refining and polishing what is old and adding some things new.