I would like to start this review off by saying that I find it really hard to review a console based solely on its launch. We all know that consoles develop over time; we have seen this happen with every previous console that has ever been released. The PlayStation 2 did things that we never thought was possible during the middle of its life and continued to increase all the way and still for some time after the PS3 was released.
We as players thought we have experienced it all on the PlayStation 3 until we got to experience the epic-ness that was Uncharted 2 and God of War 3. A console is not like a game, it’s going too constantly be patching and upgrading itself to become only better than when it started, every true gamer will know this. So how is it that you review a console? I am going to tell you everything that the console can do and what it has to offer right out of the box. As you’re reading this and nodding you head saying that this is really cool, I just want you to remember that this is the beginning. In 2-3 years the console will be able to do so much more and also have a lot more games.
The PlayStation 4 completely changes the gaming experience that we know and love. It allows us to do things that we would never have dreamed of doing years ago. The completely revamped PSN is now built into the PlayStation 4 instead of being an app like it was on the PlayStation 3. It runs seamlessly whether you are playing a game and need to access the new User Interface, there isn’t any wait time. The PlayStation 4 also scrapes the XMB menu that all of us are used to and has replaced it with the new PlayStation Dynamic Menu.
The PlayStation Dynamic Menu is a very simple to use interface that will constantly change depending on what you and your friends are doing. You will be able to see past games that you and your friends have played, videos that were uploaded as well as screenshots, trophies that were unlocked and streams that are going on. This menu will also be personalized to you; everyone’s Dynamic Menu will be different because it is based on the things that you like, play and even watch.
There is also a ‘What’s New’ category on the menu that shows you what your friends are doing, games they have bought and recommend, etc. Now you can truly become friends with the people on your friends list allowing you to show them all the things you have been doing, cross game chatting, videos that you or they have watched, sending any screen shots you want to one another, and even allowing them to see your real name. No longer do you have to call you friend by ‘tickle_me_fancy’ you can call them by name.
If however you do like to remain private you can also just keep your real name to yourself and choose what you want to be shown on your friends list. You don’t want them to see that you are a 35 year old man that just got done watching the Twilight Saga? No problem, you can set all of these things to private if need be.
PlayStation 4 will launch with 11 non partner apps such as Amazon, Hulu and Reddit instant. You will also no longer have to download videos and shows on the PSN store as they will now all be streamed instantly to you. Each game will also now have their own HUB. If you want to learn more about a game you can click on it and watch friend’s videos, view screenshots, watch trailers, visit the official site and/or make the purchase right then and there.
Streaming is incredibly easy to do by just hitting the share button on the controller and by selecting stream.
The PS4 allows you to choose from Twitch or Ustream and then you can set your options up, do you want them to also see you in the PS4 camera so they can really connect to you or do you just want them to hear you as you are walking them through a tough part in a game. You are also given the ability to edit videos that you decide to share with your friends. While you are playing a game the PS4 will be recording your gameplay. If something really funny happens you then have the ability to edit the video, cut out the parts that you don’t want and then upload it. Once again all this happens seamlessly so while you are uploading the video you can jump right back where you left off in the game.
The PS4 also allows up to 16 different users on one console. You also have the ability to login in to your profile while playing with a friend on his profile and on his PS4. So if you guys are playing a co-op game such as Diablo III on his console you start sign in under player 2, load your profile and saved data and bring your character into his game. Every trophy that you earn and equipment that you get will be saved to your profile and when you log off and come home to continue playing your adventure, you will have the trophies and items you had unlocked while playing at your friends on his console.
You can also download stuff for yourself while logged in onto your account on your friend’s console. Everything that you download and purchase will be available right then and there. When you log out all of your content will then be removed from that said persons console and they will no longer be able to access it. Once again when you return home everything that you might have bought and downloaded will now be on your PS4 ready to play for when you log in.
Sony also allows you to access your account and PS4 from anywhere at any time with the use of the new PlayStation app. If you are at the movies and you just heard about a new that just came out you can access the app, watch videos, see how many of your friends have it and buy it right there. Your PS4 will then start downloading the game right after you buy it so it will be ready to be played when you get home.
The PlayStation 4’s camera has been completely reworked and now has voice recognition as well as two cameras. In the past voice recognition has been hit and miss, most of the time it is dealing with the fact that it is unable to pick up kids voices very well. With the PlayStation 4 the system will continue to memorize that persons voice, simply put, the more you use it the better it will become. You might find yourself repeating what you say at first but after you continue to use it you will find yourself no longer needing to do that. The camera can also pick up more than one person on the screen at once due to the fact that it consists of two cameras. No longer do you have to worry that the camera will lose you is someone walks into the shot while playing a game.