We Sit Down And Review The PlayStation 4. What Are Its Faults? Where Does It Shine? Find Out What We Think.
The time has come and the PlayStation 4 has now hit North America and Europe. This also means that I have had a few weeks to dig into the system and put it through some real gaming testing. Not only gaming, but all of the other features that we should be getting with the PlayStation 4 to make it the console that drives your home entertainment. So sit back and have a fun read to see if you should sprint out and pick up this system.
Ok, so where did all of my features go that I loved with video playing? They are gone it would seem. This includes media server sharing, USB play back, and flash videos on the web. No longer can I stream videos from my PC to my PlayStation 4. No longer can I download those videos onto a USB and play the video from there. As Flash isn’t able to be installed that also means that there is limited web videos unless you try and go around that need by visiting mobile versions of popular video sites (Read that as no YouTube). With all of these gone we are forced to use the applications and services the PlayStation 4 offers and that is it. It is like Sony took this whole ‘gaming machine’ too far and eliminated all of the other elements people like myself loved to use on the PS3 outside of gaming. Hopefully this will be fixed as the life cycle of the PlayStation 4 continues but until then this is something I completely hate about the new console.
Next up, and this is something a bit more upsetting given past stories, but there is a HUGE lack of titles to actually play on the PlayStation 4 right now. There were about 33 titles announced for launch, or launch window, but here we are in North America two weeks out and I am still having issues trying to find something to play that I have yet to have played on the PS3 or before. What the hells happened here? I know we can’t blame Sony for the developers not hitting their marks on time, but it does make me kind of wish that I would have waited until there were more new titles available. I’ve already blown through the games I got at launch and am eagerly awaiting something new but until then it looks like my PlayStation 4 is a really expensive way to watch Netflix right now.
The lack of backwards capability would have to be my last gripe even though it is stated to be in the works. Given the fact that there are so few titles out or coming right now it would have been nice to be able to pop in my PS3 discs into the PS4 and play them without having to jump around on my video inputs. It is already required to have your PS3 disc in the PlayStation 4 to play the ‘upgraded’ titles that were out at launch so why can’t I get the digital versions of these titles on my PS4 by doing the same thing? Or for that matter why not do what was available for the PS3 launch and allow for backwards gaming until you get your streaming system up and running? Then I would be able to use my ‘gaming machine’ to actually play games right now and not just play a fancier version of DCUO.
It might sound like I have despised my experience with the PlayStation 4 so far but there are a few things that I do love over its predecessors. The user interface and operating system is by far one of the fastest and smoothest I have played around with in terms of the consoles. It loads really fast and I am digging the advancements that have been made since the PS Vita operating system. Effectively it allows for real multi-tasking on the system and not just the faux version that we saw with the PS3. Also the fact that I can close specific programs instead of closing all to do anything is a much appreciated addition to the user experience. I will admit it is a bit confusing at first but this is just like any new piece of hardware and software. The learning curve is rather low to boot.
On top of the UI advancements I was surprised to find out that I would fall in love with the new Share button/features offered by the PlayStation 4. It is about a 100 times easier now to share and stream than I have ever found it to be. Now I have an easier option to do what I always refused to do in the past; streaming events. While I still personally don’t understand the want to watch other people play games, it opens up an avenue to people like myself that was generally a pain in the ass to get up and running for those people who do enjoy watching others play games. Like I said, I had no clue this would be such a fun new option that I fell in love with out the gate. This feature is going to make it easier for us talented, yet broke, gamers to have a way to do things that were originally limited to few before.
Lastly, I love the remote play and the upgrade it has undergone. I’ll be honest that in the past I only used this option between my PSP and Vita to mess with people who were in my living room as it was so sluggish to actually play anything. Be it the hardware on the PS4 side or a more efficient OS, I can actually use my Vita to play games without issue. Be it that someone else wants to watch something on the main TV or I am in the middle of an engrossing game of Contrast and need to handle some business. Now I can walk away and enjoy my gaming from where ever I want. I know I made jokes about this before but it is something I have been waiting for as I hate when this mortal coil’s needs interrupt my gaming habit. Granted, this does require you to own a PS Vita to take advantage of.
I have found things I love about my PlayStation 4 and things I downright loathe but I do not regret being an early adopter of the new console. I will say that if you are looking to be able to hop from the PS3 to the PS4 and not have to look back you may want to hold off on picking this bad boy up. The new features are awesome but what was left out and yet to be added still feels like it will be a few months out, if that. The lack of games also really hurts the need to have the PS4 as your only console set up. The bonuses of the sharing and remote play are nice and I have used them regularly but if that doesn’t interest you all that much I would hold off.
The PlayStation 4 was developed and manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment on November 15th, 2013. The hardware was purchased for reviewing purposes.