Playstation 4 Video Game Console Review
In August, my wife surprised me with the news that she had pre-ordered the Playstation 4. She’s not a “gamer” in the strictest sense, but she enjoys playing games, speaking fondly of the original Mortal Kombat. So, with the news, I waited… impatiently.
On Friday, November 15, 2013, I came home from work to find the Playstation 4. On the Monday previous, I had received our second controller, so I had acquainted myself with it. I want to discuss first impressions of the hardware, the console itself, and what it’s like maneuvering the interface and playing games. So here it is, at long last, our exclusive Playstation 4 review and first impressions.
The DualShock 4 might look the exact same as its predecessors at first glance. A friend of mine on Facebook said that much in a comment when I posted the picture. We’ve seen the photos and overall it does look similar, then you notice the nuances. You see the trackpad, the omitted Start and Select buttons, and the updated joysticks. It’s when you hold it in your hands that you recognize that this is one of Sony’s finest hardware moments in the gaming world. The console can look like an actual pile of shit as long as what’s inside makes life awesome. But you’ve got to hold onto this controller for long sessions of Call of Duty and Infamous, it’s got to be comfortable, right?
Recently I’ve been playing my PS2 again (my PS3 having died a while back). Those controllers are cumbersome. First, it was still tethered with the wire, so you were always restricted to where you could plant your fat ass. We’re well beyond that issue now but I still felt like the DualShock 3 was uncomfortable to hold for too long. The DualShock 4 feels less like a cheap, plastic toy and more like a legitimate electronic device with weight. It feels durable. And man, it’s ergonomic genius. For me anyway. To the ridged joysticks, the curved-up R2 buttons (allowing us to not slip our sweaty fingers and thumbs), this controller is simply amazing.
Four days after introducing myself to the Dual Shock 4, I met the console itself. I had seen the videos, the pictures, and first impressions. But nothing prepares you for what it will be like straight out of the box. It might look just like an Xbox One leaning over, but sitting on my shelf (which is also black), it’s a subtle and sleek addition to my overall set up. To the left, the casing is shiny, sleek. The right side is matte. The front side tilts back and in the cutaway hides the disc drive and USB inputs. It’s simply subtle. It’s not a fat, curvy white blight on your living room like the original Xbox 360. And it’s not some hulking loaf of bread like the original PS3. It’s sitting next to my PS2 and it’s a beauty.
Start Up, Power On, Drop Out
Sony told us that “Greatness Awaits” and they meant it. I’m now learning that they didn’t lie, either. As systems have been for a while now, the PS4 is easy to plug in and turn on. The power button (and eject button for that matter) are hidden in between the matte and sleek portions of the front side of the console. Click. The Playstation logo pops up in glorious HD and I’m licking my lips, thirsty for some next gen gaming with the slightest nuggets of worry planted in my brain:
“Did I get one of those screwed up consoles? Will it work?”
“It’s gonna take 30 hours to download updates and set up…”
From the moment I pressed the power button to finishing up the initial set-up (internet connection and so on) I was only TWO MINUTES into my next gen experience. I noticed that the interface is simple and clean, easy to navigate. So I put in the only game I have at the moment, Madden 25 (Seriously, everyone was sold out of everything). I put it in at 8:45 pm. Suddenly, I was advised that I must update from version 1.01 to version 1.5… probably because I’m inferior. Johnny 5 was not yet alive.
Let me talk you through the installation process:
- It prepared the installation file and shut down. Then reset itself.
- It went through the update installation… turned off… then back on… Be patient, don’t mess with it. Allow it to do its thing.
- By 8: 50 pm, the system was back up and running.
It took about 15 minutes, from unboxing the system to being ready to play. Don’t let the horror stories fool you, people are stupid after all.
“What’s in the box?!? What’s in the boooox?!?”
Nothing special or surprising, honestly. The legal documentation, the cables, the console, the controller, and that was it. I wasn’t provided with a personalized, monogrammed jizzum rag with which to clean up after my next gen gaming experience.
Editor’s Note: Michael has been asked nicely not to spontaneously ejaculate on things he is reviewing, no matter how “hip” or “boss” they may be.
The Online Store and Gaming
I only used the online store to download DC Universe Online and man, it was easy. Everything is streamlined and easy to access. I clicked download and went back to playing Madden 25 and the PS4 just did everything for me, leaving DC Universe in an easy to locate spot when I went back to the menu.
I won’t review Madden, but I love the experience. It’s just beautiful. I’ll maybe have Lego Marvel, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and maybe NBA 2K14 this week, so I’ll get a chance to put the graphics and processor to the test. I’ll blame EA for the weird glitchy stuff with Madden, but those glitches don’t kill the experience. The stadiums, the players, and the fields all look incredible (I don’t care that they animated the blades of grass…but it’s kinda cool to watch Adrian Peterson actually tear up the field while juking out defenders).
DC Universe Online was cool. I created my villain, McBeard, and flew around Gotham for a few minutes, got killed by some dude and killed some robots. Otherwise, I haven’t fully experienced Sony’s next gen online gaming. The little headset they provide is far too big, even for my giant’s ears, but I suspect you can just sub in you iPhone earbuds.
Buy this. When you can, obviously. What’s under the hood won’t differ much from the Xbox One. It’s miniscule. But the Playstation Hard Drive is upgradeable while Xbox One is not. The Playstation 4 is cheaper by $100. Those are two of the biggest factors and they make a difference. I highly recommend this system. It’s worth the cost and the wait.