It’s time, time to put down everything we have to say about the PlayStation 4 into one review. Well if you want us to get to the point, PS4 is simply awesome and is every gamers dream. New sleek features make the PS4 everything the PS3 has ever hinted at come alive, and then adds even more to make it complete. Lets break down everything about the PS4 in this review!
The hardware looks wonky from a distance, what’s up with the slant? I had this in my mind ever since seeing it at E3. My girlfriend even mentioned “it looks weird, why did they do that?” After setting up my PS4 on my amp next to my TV it all makes sense. The PS4 is designed to sit along the edge, and the slant gives it this sexy look to blend right in with the other electronics. The slant in the back actually makes the cords somewhat hidden, and gives this awesome look. Of course looking from a side view you can still see the slant, but from above and in front, it looks sleek as heck! So much better than the PS3 curved top, or a standard boxed back.
Early reports came out that the PS4 is a “wobble station” so the first thing I did after I put the system on top of my amp is push on it, and see what everyone was supposedly complaining about. I don’t know what people were doing to even figure out it wobbles. In order to make it do this you literally need to press hard on the back corner of the PS4, on the shiny side of the PS4, to make it slightly “wobble.” The wobble isn’t even that bad once you finally figure out it does this. I had my PS3 sitting on top of it for a short while, and the PS4 didn’t move one bit during the process of sitting the PS3 on it or moving. The fix is simple, slide a small card under it. I personally just slid a part of my speaker wire under the corner, problem solved without even trying.
The light on top of the system is even sleek. So sleek that I moved my PS3 off it just to see it more. The buttons on the front that change disc and power it off/on are so well blended in that I was looking for them when first opening the PS4. The added shine to the side of the PS4 makes it something people actually want to look at, and I can’t say the same for the PS3.
The only functional issue I have with the PS4 is inserting discs. Its kinda of wedged in the middle of the front of the PS4 to give it a cool sleek look. However putting discs in and taking them out is somewhat unusual and doesn’t feel right. It’s the only slight complaint I have about the overall hardware design.
The OS Is Super Fast
The OS is what makes the PS4 so friggin cool. It is super fast to do anything. You can switch between apps easily, save the game in the background, check some friend requests, and quickly jump back into the game without missing a beat at all. There is hardly any loading at all with the OS. This is such an improvement over PS3 as the PS3 would literally lock up at times when you accidently pressed the PS Button.
Everything syncs super fast, and PSN is literally intertwined into every part of the OS. You can see what your friends are doing, new things going on, and all kinds of stuff. We are not talking about ads at all; in fact I don’t even really notice many if there are any within the OS. The only issue with PSN is that when it goes down for maintenance, you lose a lot of the features and the OS will constantly push you back to the main screen.
There are some complaints of the OS being awkward or clunky, but I don’t understand the complaints after using it for some time. It’s like a PS3 version with double bars, so you have social stuff at top, and your main media stuff at bottom. Everything is quick and easy to get to. When designing a website you have a rule of everything needs to be within reach after two or three clicks. PS4 seems to follow that rule. Anything you need is within reach in two or three clicks. It just takes some getting used to so you can figure out where everything is.
The only thing I would like to be “fixed” is to push the “game library” over to the left side of the screen. Upon starting the PS4 you have your “live area” where your friends social stuff is, and next to is the game you have inserted in the PS4 disc. Next to it is two or three titles that you recently played, and then some apps, and on the far right is your library. It would be nice to have the library after your disc title, and then the other apps.
Another layer to the OS is found by pressing and holding down the PS Button on the controller. By doing so you open up a menu where you can work with “attached devices” (we will cover that later) and either completely turn off the PS4, or send it into standby mode. Below this is the music you are currently playing, which currently needs Music Unlimited to function, and by scrolling down to it you get all kinds of controls to skip songs etc… In this menu you can also adjust the sound for your PS4, turn it up or turn it down, along with further sound options for using headsets.
The nice thing about the OS is that its constantly doing something for you in the background. It could be set to download updates, content, or do all sorts of things. You won’t even notice its doing it until a notification pops up. It makes life as a gamer so convenient.
Let’s Talk Games
I’m not weighting this review in terms of games, that’s honestly ridiculous as more games will come. However the system is built to play games, and this is where the console shines. Upon installing a new game, the system will cache information to help boot the game faster in the future. In most cases, this means the game boots right to the home menu when you click on it. Load times are actually extremely fast, especially with games like Resogun. I’m in a habit thanks to last generation where I press “start” then put the controller down and do something. I’m not used to games being ready almost instantly like this.
The one issues PS4 has is that 500GB is actually not a lot of room. It will only hold maybe 20 games at the going rate of hard drive space for launch titles. Some titles are pushing 30GB’s or more thanks to patches and DLC. Luckily the hard drive can be changed out easily down the road, so we should be good for the time being.
Remote Play Epicness!
The coolest feature that PS4 offered to me (besides some controller features) was the ability to have remote play. It’s something I’ve literally been dying to use since the first PSP released. It never worked well on PSP, and Vita didn’t have tons of support for it either with the PS3. Yet PS4 has changed all that and intertwined the PS4 with the Vita for remote play.
It breaks down into two groups. You have remote play, exclusive to Vita, and second screen which can also be used on smartphones by downloading the app. To do either, you go into “manage devices” under the PS4 setting, and push “add new device.” It gives you a code and you simply put the code into the app for the phone or Vita, then you are done. From that point on, every time you press “connect to PS4” on your device, it simply connects and the PS4 will say “User has connected via device.” The user being your account, and the device being whatever you used.
For remote play you have two options to use it, via wi-fi, or directly through the PS4. I tried both, and my experience directly with the PS4 is absolutely awesome. The response time is almost spot on with little to no lag at all. I felt as if I could play online just fine because of this. I was a bit worried the lag between the Vita and PS4 would be too severe to play games, but it’s great. The picture quality is phenomenal, and the controls transition extremely well. I was playing Battlefield 4 on my Vita, and they have a control guide just for you to learn what everything is. The rear touchpad actually broke down into 4 buttons to make up for the lack of analog control in the sticks, which worked rather well.
The sound is also still awesome with the Vita. I plugged in headphones and was literally just enjoying it for a while. At one point I actually started using my Vita as a controller too. I just randomly looked up at the screen and started playing since the sticks on the Vita are so comfortable for games like Battlefield. I had almost no issues at all.
With wi-fi it was a bit different of a story. I tried it on my local network too, and it had much more lag that was actually noticeable. For some reason it was only the video that was lagging. I set it next to my PS4 and pressed buttons, on my TV I was doing something, but it took a few seconds for it to finally happen on my Vita. So the controls were feeding great, it was functioning spot on when I pressed buttons, but the video on my Vita was not showing this. I also had tons of connection issues with the Vita through wifi. It would stop to “render” or do something, then eventually disconnect from my PS4. I could get maybe a few minutes of game time in before it wouldn’t work anymore.
Second screen is awesome for everything it offers. If you don’t want to simply have your screen shrunk down, but something added to it, then second screen steps in. Some games will offer added features to this, but what I found neat was that it could do PS4 functions. You can browse the home screen of the PS4, but the best thing is that you can type from your device. So you get a full touchscreen keypad instead of using the in game one.
Another neat feature is you can log in to the app on your phone, browse the PSN store, and purchase things and add them to your PS4 download list. I’ve already done this while out and about. I went to get Warframe, pushed “add to que” and since my PS4 was in “sleep” mode it was done downloading and installed by the time I got home. This is by one of the coolest things ever.
Stream To Your Friends
Another neat thing is the social features to the PS4. You can view what games your friends played lately, trophies they earned, and what they are currently doing. If you have a Vita, the features are very similar as every game will keep you up to date with friends from the home menu. Yet the coolest features seem to be the ability to be social with your friends.
The newly added “social button” on the controller lets you quickly record gameplay, take snapshots, or even go live stream to your friends. Pressing it twice will start recording, pressing and holding will take a screen shot, and you can press it and scroll over to “livestream.” To livestream is as easy as pushing “go live” and you are done. You can choose to stay full screen, or to view comments as you play. It’s rather neat to see how easy and flawless this is.
Going live will give you options to stream to several services, including Twitch, and post updates about it to your Facebook. Social media is literally engraved into the system, so getting Facebook to interact with the OS is simple. After taking screenshots or video, you can then take it and upload it to Facebook or Twitter (with a preset hashtag) in a few easy steps.
The only downside to this is that it is still new, so it still needs some work. I noticed that playing online would be fine while streaming, but once I started getting a few viewers the lag started getting bad. I was jumping around and having issues, then I pressed to stop streaming and the connection was fine again.
Overall I think the PS4 is a great experience for gamers. It makes common things so much more convenient and improved things I didn’t even think could be improved. The added social features are so neat to play with friends and will make for a cool experience down the road. There are a few missing apps that are needed though (such as Pandora) and this could be solved by adding the apps, or adding flash to the browser. The browser is actually really fast unlike the past ones, so perhaps a quick flash fix will solve this.
In terms of being a gamer, I couldn’t ask for more though. There is a lot to play with, and future games will make the experience all the more complete. I honestly cannot say how amazing the OS is in this system. It’s so fast, and jumping from game to other things is so flawless. It’s not regretting accidently pressing the home button all the time. A lot of apps were updated for the PS4 to be more streamlined with the device, and we will cover those more in depth soon. We will also give you full detailed review of the controller here shortly! We didn’t want to cram it all into one review!