THE VERDICT IS FINALLY OUT ON THE PS4!
Sony's brand new piece of sleek gaming tech is releasing on November 22, but a few lucky media professionals got the chance to take the console for a spin already. Now that the console and all of its most noteworthy features have been put to the test, a bunch of reviews have been made public.
So does the PS4 live up the hype? Does its eraser-board-like form make it the perfect showroom piece that gamers need to show off? Are the social features worth their weight? You'll form an full opinion on the PS4 by the time you soak up these five console reviews.
Game Informer's review offered their opinion on the PS4's final design, along with some details on the console's state when it's finally powered on:
- Form Factor: The PlayStation 4 is a beautifully designed piece of hardware, with sleek angles and a contrasting shiny/matte black finish. There’s a lot of power inside, too. Thanks to that finish, you may want to handle it with care; it picks up fingerprints easier than a CSI veteran. Sony cleverly hid the power and eject buttons on the unit as well (some might say too cleverly). It takes a little over 30 seconds to power the system, which is slightly longer than the PS3. It's gorgeous. It’s also flexible, supporting both horizontal and vertical orientation. It’s quiet, and it doesn't seem like it'll melt through your entertainment console; after five or so hours of heavy use, it was warm but not hot to the touch. We appreciate the lack of a power brick, too.
Polygon gave the PS4 a somewhat decent score. They maintained their high opinion of the console's potential for future greatness, but they were let down by the console's lackluster offering of launch game material:
The PS4 hints at plenty of other possibilities. Local network play via the PS Vita has an enormous amount of potential. The PlayStation App and even the Playstation Camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the PlayStation 4 beyond the hard core audience it currently seems so intent on courting. Unlike the PlayStation 3, Sony's latest effort was built to evolve.
But the PlayStation 4's focus on gaming — and only gaming — is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve — better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 — but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We're just waiting for a place to spend it.
CNet seems to think that the PS4's graphical capabilities, easy to operate UI and comfortable new controller are well worth spending some time investing in. However, they happened to also think that the games being offered at the moment aren't exactly mind-blowing:
- The Good: The PlayStation 4 serves up dazzling graphics, runs on a simplified and logical interface, and boasts a fantastic controller. It's also $100 cheaper than rival Xbox One and has the upper hand on indie and day one digital-only offerings.
- The Bad: Triple-A titles are lacking at launch, and the PS4 won't come close to matching its predecessor's gaming or software library for months -- or possibly years. PS3 games aren't compatible, though Sony is hinting that its Gaikai game-streaming service will open the door to retro gaming in 2014.
- The Bottom Line: The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, blazing interface, and near-perfect controller make it a worthy successor to the PS3, but it would be wise to wait for more titles and features before you buy.
GamesRadar points out that the next-gen feel of the launch games are easily noticeable upon first glance, but a few of the game being offered don't quite stand out as game-changers:
- You'll love: The next-geniness of the launch games
With every console launch so far, the initial wave of games has varied in quality. This generation's a bit of an oddity, what with the plentiful amount of cross-gen games that have been beautified on the PS4 and Xbox One. But what most gamers want from their brand-spankin'-new system is power, and the PS4 definitely delivers. With the top fleet launch games so far, the graphics clearly exhibit detail that has not been seen on current-gen (...last gen?) games. While the jump isn't as staggering from the PS3 to PS4 as it was from the PS2 to the PS3, the upgrade is still quite noticeable.
- You'll hate: Settling for some merely average titles in the launch lineup
If there's any drawback to the PS4 library, it's that nearly half of its actual launch games are kind of mediocre. Titles like Knack and Contrast are disappointingly average, while Killzone: Shadow Fall is entertaining without being revolutionary. It's not that you'll be disappointed in the selection, but there's nothing that'll instantly blow your mind on sight and make all your friends loathsomely jealous. For every amazing game in the PS4's starting lineup, there seem to be two just-OK titles.
Tom's Guide loves the fact the PS4 is a console that's focused on gaming and easy access. The console's beautfiul interface and DualShock 4 stands out the most, while the initial offering of games disappoints:
Sony is ready to play and is playing to win. The $399 PlayStation 4 is a gamer's console focusing on cutting down load times, sharing your best moments with your friends and maybe catching a movie or TV show in your downtime. That being said, with the exception of "Killzone: Shadow Fall" and "Knack," we're a little disappointed in the launch title lineup. The third-party games are great, but we’re hoping Sony’s own offering improve in the coming months.
The PS4 revamped interface is more intuitive than the previous incarnation, as is the PlayStation camera. The DualShock 4 controller is one of the major draws to the system. We can't wait to see how developers will utilize the touchpad, lightbar and motion controls. The PlayStation Plus service is worth the investment as it adds some useful incentives. However, we don't agree with the decision to place online multiplayer gaming behind a paywall.
Overall, the PlayStation 4 is the console of choice for those looking for a gamer-centric experience.
NBCNews.com notes that the PS4 improvements over the PS3 are easy to see, thanks to its amazing graphical output and enticing new controller. However, purchasing one right now while the console's still in its somewhat modest infancy stage may not be such a smart decision:
These are all improvements that many PlayStation owners will welcome as they step into the new generation of gaming. But, really, gamers shouldn't just expect incremental adjustments from a developer of this caliber. Which gets us to the essential question of this whole ordeal: Is this $400-plus machine really worth your money right now?
Unfortunately gamers will find the PS4 lacking for the simple fact that there's really not much to do with it yet. You can play a new version of "Battlefield" or "Assassin's Creed" that will look and run better than its counterpart on the PS3, sure. But are these graphics worth an extra $400? I'm not so sure.
Is another "Killzone" and a slick new controller enough to earn this trust? For Sony's legions of fans that have upgraded at every possible opportunity, clearly the answer is yes. But for everybody else, you'd be better off waiting to see what this new generation of PlayStation can really bring before making an investment.