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All Thing PlayStation 4: A Gorgeous Game Console That’s Still Rough around the Edges

Sony’s new gaming console, a little rhombus that’s relatively affordable and extremely powerful, known as the PlayStation 4. This console signals the coming of the next generation of gaming consoles. And it couldn’t come any sooner; I mean it’s been seven years since the release of the PlayStation 3. Over 80 million systems have been sold up to date; this makes it one of the most successful consoles of all time, with the number one spot held by its elder brother the PlayStation 2 that remains unbeaten with 157 million systems sold. To make the matter worse or better it’s still going strong.

However, we are now in a new era, at least for the PlayStation series. It’s finally here! The PlayStation 4.

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Currently, there is only one version of the PlayStation 4. This means that the previous customer confusion associated with the numerous versions of the PlayStation 3 is no longer there. They managed to make every feature standard across all systems. Still, with all its power and features the PlayStation is really well priced, for $399. To some this may seem expensive but when you compare it to other consoles, say the PlayStation 3, which launched at its most powerful configuration at $599, Microsoft’s Xbox One will be releasing soon at $499, and Nintendo’s Wii U released at $349 last year.

Well, video gaming is an expensive hobby, and Sony’s efforts to mitigate the burden of cost to the gamers are readily welcome.

SONY CLAIMS THAT THIS PLAYSTATION WILL BE UP TO 10X FASTER THAN ITS PREDECESSOR.

The device is a svelte little rhombus, about the size of the original Xbox 360 console, but way sleeker. The exoskeleton is a combination of matte and shiny plastic, maintaining a strong solid feel. The console can be placed on its side or used while vertical with a stand that is sold separately for $14.99.

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The PlayStation 4 has its front bisected by an LED light that pulses blue when the console is starting up, this later turns to white when the console is on. The power button is a little hard to find at first but its generally well placed right at the front, between the glossy and matte section, right where the LED separates the console.

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The back of the console is also a key area. This is where all the heat escapes from; in addition, it also holds the HDMI, optical, Ethernet and PlayStation camera ports.

The DualShock 4

The Ps 4 also spots a revamped controller, the DualShock 4. This new design retains some aspects of the older version like the face buttons; however, it’s a bold move from the previous Ps 3 controller. The most hyped about feature on the controller is the touchpad in the center. It works with numerous gestures just like most smartphones. You may also click it as you would a track pad.

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For an extra cost, the PlayStation has an extra camera, sold separately at about $59.99. The camera features some neat add-ons like two lenses that allow you to see 3D images, not to mention a microphone array to pick up sound.

The presentation

The new system actually gives you the ‘what’s new’ notification. This feature is a sort of social grid that links up your friends information from their playing habits to trophies earned and uploaded videos and screen shots. This grid view is cool and all, letting you view many different features at the same time, however, the information may be too much at times. There is currently no feature to filter out the information.

This information overload is evident in all the attributes of menu and lives you wishing that the information was arranged better. I mean accepting a friend request involves too many clicks from notification to confirmation. This will prove a hindrance when it comes to drawing more people back to gaming.

The PlayStation store provides a sleek user experience, but it still suffers from the same problem, especially when you venture beyond the main categories. The movies section includes arrivals and bestsellers, weekly deals among other options. You may be tempted to let the disorganization go since dealing with shopping sites is generally not the easiest thing to do. In its defense, the store does have wonderful collection of beautiful art, with game box covers in full-sized glory, improving significantly from its previous versions.

 

Sharing

The PlayStation network is a great improvement from the previous Ps 3 one. The login feature is now simpler to work with requiring you to only log in once and bring in your network account. To add to this you may choose to log to your Facebook account during your set up. Once connected to your Facebook account you have the option to associate your real name and Facebook photo with your PSN ID or opt out.

Sony has maintained a transparent approach to how your data is shared.  You get to set up defaults for what is posted on Facebook and who gets to view this feed.

On a sad note though, PlayStation does not have any app for the console, opting to keep all its software on the PlayStation technology.

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The entertainment options

Sony offers an array of entertainment options on the console, including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video on Demand. I appreciate that Sony chose not to put behind the paywall of PlayStation Plus. In comparison to other consoles, the Ps4 retains a clean layout, same as the PlayStation 3.

The Ps 4 also offers movie and TV rentals through its PlayStation Store, something similar to iTunes or Amazon Video on Demand. This will really work well for those who chose to use the console as an all-round source of entertainment.

Another one from Sony is the Music Unlimited, which has now come to PlayStation 4. This feature allows access to a wide variety of songs for a monthly fee.

Up take

The idea that a console is only for gaming has come to pass and the new era of consoles is set to meet an array of futuristic needs. The PlayStation 4 was not to be left behind.

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This console has a bittersweet feel to it though. Some features work very well, like sharing while some still need work on, like web browsing. The console itself is well designed, coming with a wonderfully crafted controller, actually the best one yet from the maker.

However the first-party launch games have not tested so well, not to mention the cluttered menus. Some of the online features still have a long way to go before they can really quench the gamers thirst for an all-round entertainment device.

 

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Featured images courtesy of creativecommons.org