PS4 Year In Review – Look To The Future

When the console first released we loved it, and we still do. The unit itself looks sexy as heck, even with it’s oddly dynamic slant to it. After a year of use, the only issues I have with the console is the fact it heats up a lot, and then it can be loud as it attempts to cool down. It is a substantial increase in both areas compared to PS3 models. Yet it isn’t something that ruins the console because you expect these problems with a unit pushing out high end graphics. Especially since PS4 seems to be outpacing competitors in visuals and performance, but that’s a different story for a different day.

Then we have the controller. When Sony first showcased the controllers I got hands on time with it and I had to explain to everybody, “they are bigger, and so much more comfortable.” After a year of use, I still love the PS4 controllers. I could game for hours without problems. The drawbacks to the controller seem to kick in once more games came out though. For starters the battery life is something that we had an issue with early in the PS4’s life. While Sony “dimmed the light” on the LED’s in the controller, we still have issues with them dying rather fast. Another drawback for me is the grips on the thumb sticks. My launch controller actually ripped from use, and my thumbs get sweaty making it hard to keep a grip on them like I need. I ended up buying Grip It’s to fix my grip problem, and my new controller doesn’t seem to wear down as much as my launch controller.

That being said, hardly any of the new features for the controllers have been utilized fully. We have a wonky touchpad that is more of an oversized “start button” than anything else useful. The light on the controller hardly ever has any noticeable changes beyond turning red when you die in a game. Lastly the controllers have motion controls, but nothing regarding that has been utilized at all. I actually forgot about that feature until I played The Tomorrow Children Alpha and my vehicle was leaning sideways due to the controller being held weird.

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I also have the PlayStation Eye camera for PS4 and it hasn’t been used at all. I could use it for Twitch streaming, but that’s pretty much it. It has a good microphone, but I have the headset. I could login using it, but I’m the only one that uses my PS4 so I don’t need that. I’d like some more uses out of it so I have a reason to pick it up when it falls off the TV. Yet I think we will be forced to wait for the VR headset to see that happen.

All the bad sides of PS4 comes down to a lack of games. It’s a strange feeling as a PlayStation gamer to see an abundance of third parties, and a somewhat lack of first party exclusives. The PS4 launched with a strong lineup and we got a few great games along the way, but we don’t have anything truly amazing just yet. InFamous : Second Son was brilliant, and Killzone was a solid first person shooter. Beyond that, we don’t have much worth mentioning. A few re releases and a error filled racer.

In fact, even a year into it’s life the PS4 is still all about the future. While it had a better launch than the PS3, we went through a long dry spell of games for sure. A lot of Sony’s big hitters have yet to come, and more are surely being announced soon. We still haven’t seen the true potential of the PS4, and that in itself is exciting. We’ve seen substantial gains, and even more greatness is yet to come. This is why the first year in review is a developing year, it won’t be rated that highly especially when we head years down the road and have some fantastic things to talk about. I think the second year of PS4 will be miles better than the first! Sony has great third party support, something the PS3 didn’t have early on (and Vita lacks), so we got fantastic titles like Wolfenstein (My favorite game of the year), Call of Duty, and Assassins Creed. We got to see a generation leap with titles like Battlefield’s massive multi-player, and even open worlds like Watch Dogs.

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One thing that the PS4 has done so well is create a community feeling. I wasn’t too thrilled about the focus on sharing with others, but I’m addicted to it. I use the “share button” on the controller all the time. I’m recording gameplay, sharing screenshots, and even live streaming to Twitch. It’s hard going back and playing my PS3 simply because I’m unable to share my gameplay. Who knew that’d be so addicting? Then to top it off, Sony makes the community so easy to find. A simple click and you can go to live streams of all the new games.

Rating PS Plus

One of the most lackluster features for the year seems to be PS Plus. It is now required for online play so the PS4 saw a ton of new members finally get added to the service. So many new members that Sony actually talked about the numbers for the first time ever this year. Yet we have been seeing a huge influx of indie titles as the free titles, something fans are rather vocal about, and a few missed promises. If you bought a PS4 on launch and got a year of PS Plus, you would have never gotten the promised Driveclub game for free due to issues with the game. Beyond that, PS Plus hasn’t really added a whole bunch either. PSN still has had it’s fair share of connection issues, and nothing has really changed. This again comes down to the future offerings though. With first year games getting older, and more games on the way, that means some AAA titles can finally be added. Sony has a few features in their belt that have yet to be released. Plus we have a TV show in Powers heading our way. As for Driveclub, well who knows.

So overall the PS4 is still all about the future. I believe the slogan for PlayStation was “Greatness Awaits,” and it is true, we are waiting for it. It’s coming, and it’s clear it’s coming, so just give the PS4 a little more time. November alone should be the start of it all! Yet, while the first year felt lackluster, I will say that it was much better than the PS3 launch. You want to talk about dry spell? Remember when Resistance was the only game worth playing for a year? Yeah, PS4 did much better!