Well a new console generation is upon us and I’ve finally had some time with the Playstation 4, what did I think? Is the console an annoying mess or does it fix some of the Playstation 3’s most glaring issues?
I loved my PS3 it gave me great gaming experiences introduced me to Netflix and the glory of blu-ray. The console however was not without it’s faults, the user interface was clunky, everything seemed to load slowly sometimes, and that’s not to mention lengthy downloads that had to be followed by a lengthy install. I truly enjoyed the XMB sometimes but others I just wanted to chuck my PS3 out a window.
Thankfully Sony actually listened to the feedback of it’s user base heavily when designing the Playstation 4’s user interface. The system takes the best elements of the XMB and uses them with a sleek new design. Friends, Notification, The Playstation Store, Party, Trophies and, Settings line the top of the screen; allowing you to quickly navigate to the desired function. Bellow is you’re What’s New section, and lined up are your most recently accessed games and apps. A serious design improvement that make accessing your games, friends and apps quick and easy.
Sony clearly wanted to address the concerns about the slowness of the Playstation 3. Everything on the PS4 feels fast and direct. You boot a game up and the pesky install will happen behind the scenes. Want to create a party and chat with your friends? Press the home button and you’re on the home screen ready to go. Press the button again and you’re back in the game. Everything really feels lightning fast and direct. This is the most important and significant improvement of the PS4 over it’s predecessor load times feel almost non existent and it is glorious.
Now how can we talk about a new game console, without talking about the controller I mean this is the thing we use to control our shiny new toy. Well fear not I’ll be going over that too. The Dualshock 4 is another significant improvement that Sony has made. Gone are the terrible L2 and R2 buttons from the PS3 now we have triggers. These triggers were clearly designed with shooters in mind they feel responsive and have a weight to them that is really enjoyable. Once you get used to them you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
Then there is the touchpad that honestly is a hard thing to describe. In my experience it hasn’t gotten in the way when used (By Killzone at least), it feels natural and simple. I’m sure it will be used very interestingly by developers in the future but for now it just kind of exists effective but underwhelming. My favourite feature aside from the new triggers is the analogue sticks they seem to have this resistance that makes them feel precise and overall better then other analogue sticks I have used.
The most surprising feature of the Dualshock 4 for me was the built in speaker particularly it’s use in Resogun and Killzone: Shadowfall (reviews coming soon). The fact that my controller was used to enhance the games audio blew my mind. I listened to an audiolog via my controller and now I want a next gen Bioshock because the audio logs there would suck me right into the game. I was blown away by how immersive that speaker made the games feel. Overall the Dualshock 4 has a very comfortable size and weight that felt like it fit perfectly in my hands.
The final new addition to the console and the controller is the share button and for this I really don’t have much to say the streaming capability works it appears smooth you can stream to Twitch or Uplay. It’s a novel concept and has interesting implecations for gamers who make use of it but overall there isn’t much to say. We can stream from our console now that’s kinda cool. Now watching twitch from my PS4 right out of the box, well done Sony. That I enjoyed.
So there we have the PS4 is here, Sony has addressed our concerns with slowness, layout and they have an awesome new controller. Reviews are coming very soon and: Welcome to the Next Gen!