Since early June, Sony’s newest installment of the PlayStation series has been the talk of the video gaming world.
The PlayStation 4 was backed by myriad promises and advertisements suggesting it will be fully concentrating on gaming, unlike that of its competition according to some, but can the hype meet the $400 reality?
In short, yes.
With several new features and a lineup that will improve with time, the PlayStation 4 is what Sony promised it would be.
The most glorious portion of the new system lies in the revamped DualShock 4 controller, which is a welcome upgrade from its predecessor.
Feeling the controller is almost enough to warrant the price tag alone, considering the weight is significantly more than the DualShock 3, and even adds an intuitive touch screen between the D-pad and the iconic PlayStation face buttons.
Although the newest feature of the controller hasn’t found too many uses in the current lineup of games, the options for developers in the future will be almost limitless with Sony’s controller.
The newly designed user interface is much simpler than that of the PS3 as well.
Players will instantly be able to access any of their last 10 activities and, if they back out to the main menu in the middle of a game, will be able to pick up right where they left off.
Graphically speaking, the games are a gorgeous and massive improvement in terms of high definition, with a frame rate upgrade that is very noticeable.
Pebbles on a beach are individually textured, as are the most minute details in playable characters and environments.
Many will say the graphics on the console aren’t much of a step up from the last generation of consoles, but given the expected life of the PS4 is supposedly a decade, game developers will have plenty of time to wow customers even more than they already have.
Sony’s PlayStation Store is also much simpler to navigate this go-around.
Games that are only on the PS4 are all that pop up, unlike the PS3 which confusingly offered both PlayStation Vita and PS3 games.
A downside to the online world for Sony fans was the announcement that, like Microsoft’s Xbox Live, PlayStation will charge members for access to online play, but the benefits of being a PlayStation Plus member have returned.
Several games, including “Contrast” and the critically acclaimed “Resogun” make their debut free of charge to existing members, and make up for the weak point of the new console’s release.
If the PlayStation set out to light the world on fire with its list of launch titles, this is where Sony has fallen shortest from the early signs of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.
Although it’s not completely Sony’s fault, given that many big name titles for the new system have been pushed back, it hasn’t been aided by the lackluster reviews of some of its first-party games.
“Killzone: Shadow Fall” has been the one game every new owner has flocked to as the latest iteration in the first-person shooter series.
It definitely shows off the PS4’s graphical capabilities and just how powerful Sony’s eight-core AMD “Jaguar” central processing unit.
In the more kid-friendly “Knack,” Sony attempts to go back to its platforming roots, but the days of games like “Crash Bandicoot” are long gone.
The issue with both of these titles is how little they add to their respective genres and the lack of innovation on Sony’s part is the one thing holding it back from adding to its record-setting launch.
Triple-A titles like “Infamous: Second Son” and “Gran Turismo 6” are just a few months away and will bolster this system for what should be a strong 2014, but most gamers need justification for a $400 purchase on day one.
So after months of speculation and anticipation, Sony’s newest creation looks like everything it was promised to be, but the weak opening lineup has put a bit of a damper on the PlayStation parade.
For anyone on the fence, wait until early next year when firmware updates have fixed the small issues that every system faces coming out of the gate and a few more big-name games hit the shelves.
With that being said, this console generation has begun with a bang.