First Thoughts on the PS4

So here we are, both consoles have now been released in Europe and the next generation has truly begun. There has been some debate here at IM PLAYIN (like there is around the world) around what consoles we would be getting. Well, we have divided and it has fallen onto me to carry the torch for Sony’s 4th home gaming console, the PS4.

Unboxing is an incredibly easy process and as the console itself is very compact, it did not take long to get it up and running at all. I had previously downloaded the initial update on my computer for a faster install time but found that I didn’t need to bother, the update only took about 5 – 10  minutes and I was ready to go.

Having come from the Xbox 360 I was unimpressed at first with the dashboard. There seems to be little personality and very little of it can be customized the way you want. The games or app you have most recently opened will appear first, but this can be annoying if I clicked on something accidently just to find it at the top of my menu. I’m sure that this is something that will be developed as time goes on, and I am looking forward to that.

The biggest reason I chose the PS4 was for the controller and boy they don’t disappoint. Not only do they feel 100% better than the Dualshock 3’s, but they add so much more the gaming experience. The touch pad in the middle is very responsive and dose not require and real effort to use. It is a shame that the only game I have been able to use it is Killzone and even then it has little functionality.  The audio built into the controller is also a nice touch, its use for playing audio logs in Killzone or making a slight ringing sound when collecting objects in Knack all adds together to create a more immersive play. I even like the fact you can input any headphones you have to instantly stream the game audio right out of the controller. And to think that I spend £60 on a turtle beach headset for the 360!

UI 2

But, all this aside, what I have been most taken with is the sharing functionality that can be triggered via the controller’s ‘share’ button.  With a press on the button you can broadcast your gameplay via Twitch or Ustream allowing others to watch you destroy your enemies or equally make a fool out of yourself. This can also be posted to Facebook allowing you to tell all of your friends that you have something for them to watch. The share button will also give you the options to have screenshots or up to 15 mins of video that can be edited and also uploaded to Facebook.

Know what I haven’t talked about? The games of course! So far I have only had a chance to skim the surface of Killzone, Knack and Lego Marvel so I will need a bit more time to bring you lovely people the info you need. That said, the graphics have been outstanding and they are shaping up to match expectations that have been placed down.

The PS4 experience has not quite been everything I expected and I hope that there will be some changes very soon to perhaps develop a slightly more interesting UI. But that said, the games I have played so far have been outstanding and I have been fully taken in by all of the features it has to offer.

Stay tuned for more PS4 news and reviews from me, but until then…

Welcome to the Next Gen!