Join us as we examine Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4 and review the console’s capabilities: is it the perfect low-budget game system to be celebrated for years to come, or is it an unfinished and rushed product sorely lacking in performance?
Sony’s PlayStation redefines the realm of console gaming. With dazzling power optimized for high-def gaming and interactive sharing features, the console ushers in a new generation of flexibility and efficiency to bring a lasting impression on anyone who plays it.
While the system is remarkable in many ways, there are a few areas where it falls short — namely entertainment — but most of these fit in line with Sony’s focus with the console itself.
In this review, we delve into the PS4 and uncover its most noteworthy capabilities while weighing them against the console’s downfalls.
Games people play
The PS4 is first and foremost a console for games. It does have entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, but as Sony’s Dominic Mallinson recently explained at AMD’s #APU13 conference, Sony wanted to make a game console first and an entertainment device second. “We stopped trying to make a product that was all things to all people,” he said, contrasting the PS4 to the all-things-entertainment focused Xbox One .
Powered by a heavily-customized AMD APU with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, the PS4 delivers memorable high-quality gaming experiences with every title — which is in no small part thanks to its range of higher-tier specs.
Full-HD graphics provides pristine clarity across a range of launch games, all of which showcase the PS4’s power and capabilities. Every game so far has looked remarkably crisp and clear, with minimal jaggies, and very little performance issues. Atmospheres, environments and especially character animations are all fluidly defined, underlining a new era of console gaming.
The console’s user interface doesn’t try to overwhelm you with tiles, blocks, and imagery. It’s sleek, responsive, efficient and emphasizes ease of use.
Paired in two main rows, the PS4’s main hub is comprised of a horizontal tile-set that is accessed by a press of the PS Button. The home display features panes of every last-played game in sequential order, all of which have dynamic drop-down interfaces.
Some of the more noteworthy panes on this row are the What’s New tab that features live status updates on what you and your friends do–everything from recent screenshots and Trophy unlocks to ratings, recent purchases and more.
Above the main hub is the maintenance row where users can manage everything from their PS profile to console settings like data migration and more. Here you can also view notifications, peruse the PS Store, and start up a party with a friend.
Gamers can call up the homescreen at any time with the PS Button, even while in-game. Users won’t be able to view a simultaneous feed of gaming and video like the Xbox One’s Snap Mode, but the PS4 is quite flexible and offers seamless transitions.
You can, say, hit the PS Button while playing Assassin Creed IV‘s campaign and start up Netflix to watch a TV show. What happens to your game? It’s put in a “stasis” mode known as suspension while you’re in an app (like Netflix and Hulu). When you’re done watching your content, you can switch back to the exact second you left off at in-game, which is very flexible to say the least.
Now gamers don’t have to interrupt their playing session to quickly look something up on the web or randomly check out Hulu for the latest episode of a favorite show.