Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, we would like to present to you, the much anticipated, the long awaited, the PlayStation 4. Sony’s next generation video game console has arrived and we at POPCulture Online can’t wait to share with you our latest hands-on experience with the Playstation 4. Launching locally on December 19th, we managed to get our hands (here in Singapore) on an imported version so that you can have a first-hand look at Sony’s latest delight. You can find details of the various bundles including pricing in our Sony press coverage last month here.
We hope this article will give you a better idea what’s coming your way this Christmas season. As of date it is well recorded that Sony’s last generation console the PS3 has managed to sell over 80 million units worldwide. These are the consolidated sales figures since its first launch in November 2006. It’s been 7 years since and it’s an exciting time to be a gamer witnessing the launch of the next generation console. Before we go into the unboxing itself, the PS4 boasts a semi-custom 8 core AMD x86-64 CPU, has a built in 500GB hard drive, 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM, custom AMD Radeon GPU. Its media left unchanged utilizing Blu-Ray technology just like the PS3. Sony’s president Shuhei Yoshida also confirmed that upon its launch, 1 million PlayStation 4 units were sold within a day. Anyway, without further ado, here is the PlayStation 4 in all its glory.
Tucked away neatly in a blue minimalistic box were the following items:
- The PlayStation 4 unit
- 1x Dual Shock 4 controller
- 1x Charging cable, micro USB
- 1x HDMI cable
- 1x Headset
- 1x Power Cable (Uses same power source as PS3 and No power brick)
- 1x Manual containing 10 USD PSN credits and 30-days PlayStation Plus
The Playstation 4 unit itself is amazingly sleek, a good portion of it matt in design while it’s top side reflective. It’s jagged and and slanted look giving the PS4 a sharp, menacing look. You know, the kind gamers would fall in love over and over again. Afterall, black is elegant and beautiful. Straight up I was found asking myself how Sony managed to pack all that hardware into a machine slightly smaller than the PS3 slim. Take a look below and see.
As you hook up the power, and hit the switch, you would notice that Sony has built in an LED indicator into its hardware design showing the PS4 powering up, on stand-by etc. Outputting on at native 1080p, we were greeted by the initial setup screen allowing you to configure your connectivity options including pairing of the new dual shock controller which we will get to shortly. After a brief setup and updating of the latest firmware we were able to quickly log in and get started.
Its user interface is much improved from the last generation is more tiled based and scrolls from left to right. Anyone who’s used the PS3 and PSP XMB would immediately feel right at home. The PS4’s clean look was both soothing and easy to navigate.
What’s new was definitely part of Sony’s design to make gaming a more social experience displaying various recent activities either from you or your friends allowing you to very quickly check out what your friends have been up to. From trophy activities or gameplay videos and sharing, it’s all there ready for easy access.
Say Hi to the dual shock 4. Sony’s latest iteration of it’s dual shock controllers. Picking it up felt good and comfortable. It’s grips felt more sturdy in comparison to the PS3 controller which seemed too small depending on the size of your hand. The immediate differences include the introduction of a touch panel interface in between the face buttons and a share and options button to replace the traditional start and select.
A built in speaker on top of the PS button. Part of the new design also included an input for the Sony head phones and microphone allowing gamers to communicate in game and for video recording purposes.
The share button is very much a social experience which allowed me to share my favourite moments with the world and I must say it was both easy and hassle free to do relatively quickly. Want to Showboat your skills, the countless headshots you pulled off in Call of Duty Ghost or scored a wonder of a goal in Fifa 14? Well then, the PS4 allows you to share a video clip gameplay in HD seamlessly onto social networking platforms. Here’s one while we’re on the topic : http://on.fb.me/IQL6s2
The PS4 social experience does not stop there as you could take it to Live from PlayStation. A platform which curates the various Live broadcast of gamers round the world who are eagerly sharing their gameplay experience through Twitch and Ustream.
The other thing we really wanted to test out was remote play. For PlayStation Vita owners, you’d be glad to know that remote play is available at launch. Remote play caters for Vita/PlayStation 4 connectivity.
To do this, the vita and PlayStation 4 had to be updated to the latest firmware. If your wife wants to watch TV and you want to game, PS4 Link allows you to do just that. However, the Vita is not without it’s limitations. Absent is a R2/R3, L2/L3 button which are controlled through the rear touchpad of the vita. Well then, some things gotta give.
Connectivity was good within 5-10 feet. Anything outside that range required reconnection. Personally I found this to be the next best thing should someone want to watch some TV.
To sum it all up, Sony has created a platform or a love note if you may to gamers round the world saying if you’re into gaming, you WILL want a PS4. The social integration is tightly woven into it’s operating system which is both fast, fluid and intuitive.
Up to this point, the PlayStation Store has also included a couple of titles including DC universe online, Warframe and Blacklight retribution which are free to play. Other games like Assassin’s creed, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty Ghosts, Killzone Shadowfall, Knack,Fifa 14 and NBA 2k 14 are notable launch titles. Some of which made it’s way over from the PS3 while others are exclusively on the PS4.
All the way up to the actual launch of the hardware, stay tuned to Popculture online as we hope to review some of these titles starting with NBA2k14 for the PlayStation4.
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
by Kenneth Choong
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