Hands on with the PlayStation 4

Hands on with the PlayStation 4

So what is the Playstation 4 actually like anyway?

After this past E3, I pretty much made up my mind that if I bought a next-generation gaming console, it would be the PlayStation 4. I will admit that my decision was based mostly on the way that Sony has finally embraced its gamers (something Microsoft was not doing at the time). I was also wanting to play used games (we’re not all millionaires) and felt that Microsoft had betrayed its gamer fans by going corporate. This is an odd stance for me because I’ve always loved the Xbox 360 and felt it was always more of a machine for gamers. But Microsoft got cocky and in the end, they had to backtrack on almost everything they were trying to do with the Xbox One.

Game console politics aside, though, My PlayStation 4 arrived this week. Originally, I wasn’t going to buy it until next year, but WalMart had a good price on a bundle (with the wonderfully addictive game Knack), and I got excited and clicked on “Buy Now” before I second thought it. I’m glad, though. Out of the box, the PlayStation 4 just looks nice. It’s box design its slick and shiny (I can see my reflection on its top) and it truly looks like something with the future in mind. It’s even smaller than my PS3.

There is an initial update I had to download when I first turned the PS4 on. That took all of about 15 minutes. It really isn’t a big deal. It was also super easy to set up my wifi and my PlayStation Network account and while doing so, I decided that I absolutely love the DualShock controller – it just fits so well in the hand. I fired up the PlayStation store and downloaded the PS Plus freebie, Contrast. I was relieved to see that my Plus subscription transferred seamlessly.

Okay, back to the controller. It’s sides are a little longer than the PS3 controller. This allows for better grip, but even in my small hands, was super comfy. There is a big button in the center between the “Share” and the “Options” and I honestly still have no idea what that does. I’ll look it up eventually. The PlayStation button that turns the unit on and off is at the center bottom, a little different from what I’m used to, but I adjusted easily enough. The other controls, sticks, triggers, etc. are, more or less, the same. Once I fired up a game, I was surprised that the controller has audio! So while I’m collecting sun crystals in Knack, there’s a little additional sound effect that plays through the controller. It’s actually very cool, although my cats seemed disturbed by it.

So how does Knack look on the PlayStation 4? It looks like Christmas. I mean, images are crystal clear and seem much more defined than games on the PS3 (as I’m switching between the two for games, I can make that distinction). Gameplay is also intuitive with the controller, but I’ll get into the actual gameplay for this particular game when I finish it and write a review. But yes, the graphics are better than the previous generation of consoles.

There is also the usual suspects when it comes to video: Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, etc. I haven’t fired any of these up yet (because I watch everything on my Smart TV), but I’m sure they work as beautifully as on the PS3. And unlike the Xbox One, you don’t have to pay a subscription fee to access those.

So should you buy a PlayStation 4? That depends. Are you a hardcore gamer? Do you like to have the latest technology? Do you want to play games that are coming out within the next few months and into next year and the future? If you answer yes, then buy this system now.

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