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Greatness Found – My review of the Playstation 4

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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I’m not a huge gamer and I’m not that tech-savey so if you are looking for a gamer/tech review, this is not it. This is, however, a review from an average game lover that hopefully represents the average consumer.

Growing up my family was alway a generation behind in the consoles. We had a NES and a Master System when others had SNES and Genesis. It wasn’t until 1997 when my brother and I got our first current generation, the N64. Shortly after I got the original Playstation and ever since I have been a devoted fan of Playstation. In those days the it seemed like everything was all about the bits. Others made fun of the Playstation because its “32 bits” were inferior to the N64’s “64 bits.” I honestly didn’t know what that meant back then (and I still don’t for the most part) except that 64 was two times 32. I don’t remember exactly why I got the PS1 but I think it was because of the games. Those days multi-platform games were rare. The N64 had Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda but the Playstation had Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, and Metal Gear Solid. It was all about the games. I eventually upgraded to the PS2 and then the PS3 Slim years later.

About a month ago I had the opportunity to purchase the Playstation 4 (when GameStop kept sending me an emails saying they had them in stock) and I love it. Out of the box I was shocked at how small it was. It looks tiny next to my PS3 Slim. The fan is a little louder than I expected but it doesn’t shake the house like the original Xbox 360.

The UI is a little different from the PS3’s XMB (XrossMediaBar, that’s what the UI was called. Probably didn’t know that) but similarly enough to figure it out. Mostly they got rid of the things I never used (like the photo center, who used that?).

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The controller is great. The same comfortable, lightweight design that hasn’t changed much since the first PS. I’m still getting used to the slight concave on the joysticks, that always bothered me when playing with the xbox controllers. My favorite feature is the headphone jack on the controller itself. I hated using a headset for the PS3 because it involved using the composite audio cable and changing the output in the system settings (which involved turning off all games). Now all I have to do is plug into the controller and the sound is great. The battery life is great if you are like me and wait until the controller stops working to plug it in. I can’t wait for games to utilize the speaker, light bar, and touchpad on the controller.

Due to my limited budget and limited selection of games the only game I have currently is Assassin’s Creed IV (coincidentally one of the first games I got for the PS3 was the first Assassin’s Creed). I have enjoyed the Assassin’s Creed series because of the great detail they put into those games I was still amazed by the 1080p and 60fps. It is beautiful. Even the water and leaves, which seems like it would be the hardest to animate, looks amazing.

I’ve tested out the streaming function using Twitch. It was fairly easy to set up and to initiate in game. I didn’t notice any lag or drop in quality in the game while I was streaming. I haven’t been big on streaming game play or watching them but I admit it was kind of fun recording myself during my AC4 rampages.

I know that computers will and have surpassed the tech of the PS4 and for that reason I love consoles. As a kid my family only once had a new computer. In that couple of years we could play all the games but soon the newer games only worked if I turned the resolution so far down I could only make out colors. I hated that computers had a very short game playing life and you have to upgrade every couple years to get the developers minimum requirements. With a console you know that you don’t have to upgrade for at least 10 years. Granted, you don’t get the full game “experience” the developers had in mind when they made the game but I think that is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

I haven’t played the Xbox One so I can’t really make a comparison. They each have their own pros and cons I have come to favor Playstation in whole by the games and the gamers. The biggest exclusive titles for the Xbox are mostly shooters with minimal story (Halo, Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, with the exception of Mass Effect though that eventually came to PS3) while the biggest exclusives for the Playstation are complex, story driven, interactive “movies” (Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain, Uncharted). The gamers for the Playstation over all seem more mature. Every system will always have the foul-mouthed, sexist, teenager that suggests dirty things to do to my mother, but over all the playstation gamers seem more mature.

In the end, I like the PS4.

-Ler

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