PS4 - First Impressions

...Wow.

The end.

Don’t worry, I’m just kidding. But seriously, what else can I say about the PS4. It seems just like yesterday (it was) that I was opening my box and gazing upon the glory of the PlayStation 4. Oh how the time flies (work couldn’t have gone by slower) but now that I’ve got my hands on it, it’s time to weigh in. For a console, the hype is impossible to gauge. To truly understand the excitement that comes with a new generation of gaming, you have to be a hardcore gamer, and you need to be a long time gamer at that. Case and point, let’s go back in time for a moment.

(Insert joke here about Flux Capacitor, time paradoxes, and that one Simpsons Halloween special where he turns his toaster into a time machine. I love that one!)

I remember my first console, it was the Sega Genesis. Now, barring the fact that I got flack from co-workers about my first console not being the NES, I loved that thing. Words cannot describe though, the excitement and pure awe that oozed from my pores when I saw the N64. My God that thing was beautiful. The first game I played on it was Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And the graphics, the colors, the storytelling and pitch perfect gameplay! Oh, it was like playing the best dream ever and all I wanted was to never wake up again.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the PlayStation 2 came out. I played that thing at a friends house, and when I went home to my lousy PS One, I couldn’t stop complaining about the graphics. You have to understand, I was young and Final Fantasy X looked amazing back then. We all know the PS3 was amazing, but the idea here is that initial awe. That moment of utter bliss where you realize everything you’ve ever imagined and dreamed of is at your fingertips. The darkness in your mind clears and you suddenly realize that the next generation is here, right in front of you, and you couldn’t be happier.

So, ladies and gentlemen, has the PS4 once more delighted and utterly floored me with it’s power and majesty? At the risk of sounding like a gushing fanboy, yes, yes it has. I say this with some trepidation though, nothing serious mind you, but there’s more to this story than a simple yes or no answer. Do not condemn me, nor shake your head in disbelief, I will explain as I always do.

PS4 - First Impressions

It’s like playing a movie!
It’s no secret that the PS4 is powerful. This thing is built like a PC and runs like one. At launch, I’ve played Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and Assassin's Creed IV in addition to Resogun and Contrast. Every game I’ve played performs like a dream. We’re talking super sharp textures, buttery smooth 60fps gameplay, and absolutely beautiful effects. Killzone in particular is a standout title, that was the first game I played after the midnight release and it was too beautiful to believe. There were times, consistently, that I was convinced it was live action. The vistas, the character models, everything looks so realistic. And, without a screen tear, frame drop, or stutter in sight, I was never once removed from the experience.

On a side note, I was up until six in the morning after the midnight release so I also tried Assassin’s Creed IV. What I loved about this one was the improvement I saw over the PS3 version. I originally tried it when it released on PS3 and while it was fun, the game felt choppy and unstable. The graphics too were somewhat disappointing, and lacking polish. On PS4, these issues are instantly gone. The game runs perfectly and looks like art in motion. The water effects in particular, something you’d want done well in a pirate game, are especially beautiful. Even details like shadows moving with objects, trees and leaves swaying in the wind, and the change in color when the water is disturbed around the sides of the boat, it’s all detailed and beautiful to behold.

Finally we get to Knack, which has been getting some flak from review sites. I plan to write a review of my own, but suffice to say this game is not that bad. Granted, it isn’t the best launch title, but it is a fun distraction from serious shooters or overwhelmingly large games like Assassin’s Creed. It also, for all those haters out there, does not have a broken dodge system, the frame rate is also smooth, and the gameplay is fast and responsive. Repetitive? Sure, and it doesn’t reinvent the wheel but if you compare this to a last gen beat-em-up you’d have a spare tire versus a super high class racing wheel in terms of power and performance.

PS4 First Impressions

Tell me about features, how does everything work?
Well for one, you don’t need to change any cables around. The PS4 uses the same power and HDMI cables as the PS3 slim. I still have my PS3, but the easy switch on the HDMI was a nice touch. The system itself is super sleek and very easy to fit into your entertainment center. I’ll admit it took some time to find the power button on the thing, because it’s incredibly small and set into the system’s front. A small complaint though, because once you turn it on, a sexy blue light runs down the center as it’s booting up. Once everything is kosher, it turns into an angelic white.

If the PS3 was a loud prop engine airplane when the fans got going, the PS4 is like the flap of a butterfly’s wings. Besides the soft glow of the light strip, I didn’t know the thing was on. The fans are incredibly quiet and the system seems to handle long sessions just fine. Overall the box is sleek, sexy, and performs like a dream.

Once it’s on, things become interesting. The new UI (user interface) takes some getting used to, but overall I find it easier to find the things I’m looking for on this menu system than I did on PS3. The network has been wonky since launch, so the awesome personalized aspects have yet to truly be shown, but the friend system works well and the store loads much faster on PS4.

I also got one of the PS4 Cameras, and even though the functionality is limited, the thing works really well. Voice commands allow you to navigate menus and start up games, while the Playroom application that come preloaded has some fantastic little mini games that really showcase the camera’s potential. I can’t wait to see more from this little device. Another feature with it that I enjoyed is the ability for the camera to scan my face when I turn on the PS4. This feature works flawlessly and logs me in about as fast as pressing the X button would, but this is way cooler.

Speaking of my face, I was also able to connect the PS4 with my Facebook account. This feature is cool because literally, every time you do something, it updates on your Facebook automatically. I think I’ll want to tweak the settings, but it’s definitely a cool feature and allows you to use your real name on PlayStation Network should you so incline.

Overall the new interface is sleek, just like the system, and once they get the network stabilized, it will be one hell of a gaming machine. The brief glimpses I’ve seen make it seem like the connectivity is there. And although I have yet to upload any screenshots or gameplay, my co-workers have informed me this feature also works beautifully.

PS4 DualShock Controller

Oh Mah Gawd, Dat Controller!
Sorry, but the DualShock four is so amazing that it makes me go like gangsta Jersey Shore for a second. My apologies, but this controller is the greatest piece of interactive equipment I’ve seen ever. The look of the controller is nice, with two sticks, a touch panel, the usual buttons and real, honest to God triggers. Not the weird flappy things that were on the DualShock 3. Everything is built and spaced out perfectly for any number of hand sizes.

In the game, the DualShock 4 is responsive and accurate. The touchpad works like a charm, making me feel like an absolute badass when I switch modes on the OWL drone in Killzone with a swipe of my finger. This is the pinnacle of Sony’s controller design and I commend them for improving on what was already a standout controller. I also commend them for making changes to it, since the jump from Dualshock 2 to 3 was a rechargeable battery and a distinct lack of wires.

The Verdict: Totally worth the wait
PlayStation 4 is here, and even in this infant stage of its life, the system is already shattering all my expectations. It may not be backwards compatible, and it may charge for online multiplayer, but this console is an absolute powerhouse. For anyone worried about launch console issues, I can say that the few I’ve heard about are easily fixed. In addition, the HDMI port issue has been revealed to be a bent pin inside the port. All you have to do, if this occurs, is bend the pin back into place. Simple and easier to fix than a Red Ring of Death. And on that note, Let’s all wish Xbox One a safe and successful subjugation of the human race, I mean, launch.

In all seriousness, I wish only the best for these new consoles and I can say with a high degree of certainty that I am very impressed and pleased with my PS4, and I know you will be too.

Have you purchased your PS4? What do you think of it so far? Tell us in the comments!

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 11/16/2013

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Comments

Love it!

I still have NES, SNES, & PS2... Wii doesn't count as it is my wife's toy. I bought PS4 and try it out... WOW!!! HD is amazing sick!!! I was drooling and unbelievable graphic! I was speechless. I was pretty happy that I was very patient for 2 years! I was going to buy PS3, then I researched it and found out that Sony was developing PS4, so I did not buy it... Worth it! Love PS4! I am playing Assassin's Creed IV... wow!

Ireland

I live in Ireland and I literally can't take it anymore waiting for the 29th November release date it is killing me...but it is good to read positive reviews...it is just a shame watchdogs isn't being released this year I've assassins creed bundle instead now

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