Playstation 4 Review Roundup: What you need to know

The first wave of reviews for the PlayStation 4 are in. As promised and agreed upon, Sony’s next generation is an embodiment of every great that its predecessors stood for and much more. The launch library leaves a lot to be desired, but this is an issue that will be rectified over time. Fellow Malaysian readers, if you’re still on the fence in deciding whether or not to get the Playstation 4, here are a roundup of reviews that should convince you into making a decision.

Sony Playstation 4

Do note that these are first impression reviews, and as such, we will be updating this page as we get more input. Again, if you’re looking forward to your own Playstation 4, rest assured that you will be able to do so sometime next month.

In the mean time, enjoy the reviews:

Exterior and Design

The PS4 is Sony’s most attractively designed piece of hardware. It’s a beautiful system, with a sharp, slightly angled profile accented by a light bar that acts as a console status indicator. – Polygon

The integration of nearly invisible components continues with the USB ports and the disc drive, which are both hidden inside the recessed groove running horizontally down the front of the system. The lack of the standard disc-shaped gash or protruding disc door, not to mention the USB holes, makes for a very sleek front. The box looks almost like a featureless monolith. — Ars Technica

The Controller

We can say this unequivocally: The DualShock 4 is the best controller Sony has ever made. While Sony has seemingly done nothing to expose or surface it, the DualShock 4 also introduces refined gyroscopic and accelerometer-based motion control. It’s an incredible improvement from the Sixaxis and the DualShock 3. — Polygon

The new touchpad works well for certain functions, like selecting weapon modes inKillzone: Shadow Fall. But it proved a poor mouse substitute in Assassin’s Creed 4′s map screen, with slow, latency-prone movement. We’ll need more opportunities to use it in more titles before we can determine whether this is a hardware or software problem. — Polygon

This seems as good a time as any to talk a bit more about the redesigned DualShock 4 controller. I’ve been using a version I bought from GameStop on PC and Mac games for a week or so now, and overall I’ve found it to be a huge ergonomic improvement over the DualShock 3 (even if game compatibility has been a constant issue). The wider grips feel nicer in the palm, the indentations on the analog sticks make it easier to maintain a thumb grip, and the concave shoulder triggers are significantly better than the slippery convex ones on the DualShock 3. I’m not sure I’d choose it over the classic Xbox 360 pad yet, but it’s a much closer contest than it was before. — Ars Technica

User Interface

The legacy of the Playstation 3′s operating system remains in the PS4′s often confusing hierarchy of menus, sub-menus and hidden options. — Polygon

Maybe you don’t have to be always online with this unit, but it’s designed to make you want to be. See, Sony’s turning PlayStation gaming into an incredibly social experience. — Kotaku

From the moment a disc first hits the system to the moment it starts to load, the whole install process lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to just under a minute, depending on the game. Once the game launched, there were occasionally a few more minutes of additional installation before multiplayer modes were ready to go, but for players launching a single-player game for the first time, the process was barely noteworthy. — Ars Technica

Remote Play via the Playstation Vita

Dreams of universal access to PS4 content from anywhere via the Vita will have to wait, as even locally, Remote Play suffers from issues similar to those encountered by Wii U users. Players who move too far away from their routers may lose their connection to the PS4 or otherwise render their game unplayable. — Polygon

The Camera

The PlayStation Camera is a higher-definition device, and is likely more advanced, but there is a distinctive “first attempt” feel to the camera that seems at odds with the PlayStation 4′s efforts at broader platform streamlining and refinement. But worse for Sony, its capabilities and functionality look downright primitive in comparison to the Xbox One’s Kinect. — Polygon

Speaking of the PlayStation Camera, you can hook it up and test it right after connecting to Wi-Fi in the setup process (there’s an auxiliary connector in the back of the system tailor-made for this, so the camera doesn’t take up one of the two USB ports in the front). It was at this point that I discovered that the Camera comes with a nice, weighty, hinged stand that lets it sit quite nicely on top of all but the thinnest flat-screen TVs. That’s a nice touch, and this is something I’ve never been able to do quite so easily with any of the various console cameras that Sony and Microsoft have pushed in the past (anyone remember EyeToy?). — Ars Technica

The Games

The emphasis on powerful hardware dedicated to gaming software is already yielding tangible advantages over the competition, with games like Battlefield 4 running in higher resolution on the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One. However, at launch, the PS4 has failed to muster a software library that sells that hardware — Polygon.

“Killzone,” from Sony’s Amsterdam-based Guerrilla Games studio, shows off the new technology most impressively. Purely from a game-play perspective, it’s a fairly generic first-person shooter, with humans battling the dictatorial alien Helghast for control of a divided planet. But wow, is it beautiful, from its vast, breathtaking landscapes to the finely tooled details of individual firearms. — Washington Post

Conclusions

But the PlayStation 4′s focus on gaming — and only gaming — is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve — better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 — but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We’re just waiting for a place to spend it. — Polygon

How good is the PlayStation 4? Ask me in five years. — Kotaku.

The PlayStation 4′s beautiful graphics, blazing interface, and near-perfect controller make it a worthy successor to the PS3, but it would be wise to wait for more titles and features before you buy. — CNET


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