First Look – Playstation 4


PS4-controller-HD-Wallpaper

The Playstation 4 has officially been released, and what a weekend it was for Sony’s newest home console. Over 1 million units sold, hours and hours of gamers pouring themselves into their new games. Christmas certainly came early for quite a few people with numbers like that. Many of the early adopters of the new platform waited in lines late into the night on Thursday to be the first to pick up there consoles at midnight. Others like myself headed to their respective pre-order locations and grabbed their console first thing in the morning. I’m usually not someone who likes to pick up a console when it’s first released, I like to wait it out a while, let some games build up and see how everything is going. Last generation I waited over a year before picking up the 3 contenders (PS3, 360, Wii). Lately though I’ve found myself wanting to be part of the launch, I did it with the Wii U last year, and now I’ve done it again with the PS4. Now there are things to be said for both ends of that, waiting means you’ll generally have a better library of games to pick from, while getting it right away you get to see what all the hype is about first, and in this current generation you even get a few added perks, but more on that later. So to move on with this, I picked up my PS4 Friday morning, and that’s all I got, I didn’t get any games or accessories so I’m running with just what the console comes with.
ps4retailcontents

To be fair, I did already have a PS+ account so I didn’t have to worry about that, but if you aren’t already a subscriber the new system comes with a free 30 days of the service, and believe me it’s more than worth the 50 dollars a year to jump on it. Now the great thing about the PS4 is that even without any games purchased you get access to PSN titles for free, Contrast, and puzzle platformer and Resogun a side-scrolling shoot ’em-up. That’s not all though, there’s another Free-To-Play title called Warframe, a 3rd person co-op shooter, you can download.You even get some extra perks as a PS+ member. So that’s 3 things to do with your console right from the get go. Add to that the 10 dollar worth of PSN credits you get for picking up your system and you have a potential 4 games without spending anymore than the cost of the console. I personally picked up the game Flower from ThatGameCompany. It’s only $6.99, and while it was originally for the PS3 if you didn’t play it, it’s well worth the time and money. I believe it’s also a cross buy, so if you did purchase it on the PS3 you can download it right away on your PS4. At this point I still haven’t found a reason to not pick up a PS4 right now, and it’ll get better as Sony plans on continuing to add new digital titles for free download to PS+ members just like on the PS3.

Obviously in today’s market, this thing isn’t just about games. Their are plenty of entertainment options to go with too, along with the other free stuff that comes with the console there’s also a 30 day trial for Music Unlimited. That will allow you to stream music directly from your PS4. You can use it while playing games on the PS4 or Vita, and apparently even access stuff on other mobile devices and PCs. Personally I haven’t tried it yet, but if you’re a music fan, which honestly who isn’t, than this isn’t a bad deal for free. Aside from the music you’ve got all your standards too, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, and more. Coupled with the consoles ability to play DVD’s and Blu-rays and this one box is pretty much your entire home entertainment hub, just like the PS3 was. Now their is a downside here, I spent a decent amount of time watching Netflix over the weekend, and as I did with my PS3 I tried to turn off the controller while watching to conserve battery. Unfortunately you can’t do it now, when you hold the PS button to turn off the controller it pauses the video, and you can’t unpause it unless the controller is on. This may just be a minor design flaw that they’ll fix with an update later on. There is one way around this, in setting under power saving you can set a standby power off for the controller. The shortest time is 10 minutes which isn’t awesome, but it is at least something. Regardless of that for now you may be better off streaming Netflix or other streaming services from another device. I still prefer to use my Wii U since the Gamepad will show me details about what I’m watching while it’s on.

Not my Dashboard, but this is what your console will look like.

Not my Dashboard, but this is what your console will look like.

The system OS itself is actually pretty user friendly too, though it’s a little strange how much they’re integrating a built in Social Network feel to it. I feel like this makes you want to have friends on your PS4 more than you would have cared previously. The less people you’re friends with the less you’re going to feel like you’re utilizing all of the PS4 features. Aside from that everything else is pretty straight forward. When you boot up your system for the first time it will walk you through everything including setting up your PSN account or signing into an existing one. You get the choice if you want to keep going with your user id or switching to your real name too. I just went with my real name, considering I’m all over the internet I don’t see a point in trying to hide it. You can still sync up with your Facebook account too, this will let you sync your name, profile picture, and automatically have the PS4 post to your Timeline whenever you play a game or get a trophy. I highly advice you read the terms of use and pick what you want to show up. If you’re someone who plays a lot of games and switches around a lot you might not want it to post every game you play. This will fill up your friends news feed and may have them blocking you. I spent a while trying to find setting for this after the fact, and it just felt hidden.

So overall I haven’t really found to many problem with the PS4, and frankly none of them are big enough to not pick up this system. I’ve seen the articles about some of the problems that are surfacing with the console, but so far I haven’t had any of those happen. Hopefully if you’re one of the people running into problems you can find a solution to it and get back to enjoying this great piece of gaming hardware. I know that it’s not without flaw, but if it works, and lets you do what it’s meant to do, I think it’s a win. Now we just need the game library to start filling out a little more. There’s plenty of games coming though with the likes of Watch_Dogs, The Order 1886, and plenty of others.

Contrast

Contrast

With the basics out of the way, how about we talk a bit about the two big free games that came with your Playstation Plus account. I’ve only played Contrast once so far, and it was pretty cool. I spent about an hour phasing between being a real physical being and being a shadow running along the walls. The style of the game is great, and it’s got a fun puzzle platform feel to it. Unfortunately in that first hour it was incredibly glitchy, I was constantly getting stuck in various objects I was trying to jump on. That really pulled me away from the game spending a few minutes trying to wiggle free of a table I’m stuck in just wasn’t fun. Luckily on the other side of the free coin (well kinda free), we have Resogun which is super addictive and fun in a you hate yourself kind of way. I never played Housemarque’s other popular PSN title Super Stardust HD, but Resogun felt a lot like one of my favorite Xbox Live Arcade games, Geometry Wars. Resogun isn’t as open with where you can move and shoot as Geometry Wars, but it’s got such a similar style and feel if you were a fan, you’ll love Resogun. This is the game I keep going back to, every time I turn on the PS4 even if it’s just for Netflix I play a few rounds of Resogun. For me it easily made the system worth purchasing without any other software.

Resogun

Resogun

The last thing to talk about is the Share button that Sony was all about in every press conference since the PS4 was announced. I honestly haven’t found much of a use for it yet, but I will admit I’ve seen a few friends post videos on Facebook and that is pretty cool. As someone who works on a website about video games I can really see this feature being instrumental in news outlets quickly and easily showing the world new games. I don’t have to go out and by a video capture device, or spend more money than I have on an SDK the system can just make videos and screen shots for me.

Now it’s your turn, let us know your experiences with the PS4 so far, or if you haven’t picked one up yet, what are you waiting for? A game? A new model? Xbox One?

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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