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PlayStation 4: Does it Really Take Gaming to Another Level?

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PlayStation 4 Does it Really Take Gaming to Another LevelMike Snider of USA Today reports that the PlayStation 4 has the Black Friday advantage over the Xbox One as it seems to be on more wish lists.

Sony revealed the new PlayStation 4 this march and it’s poised to shake the ground a bit. The company decided that it’s time to break the shackles and introduce something new to ardent gamers. It wanted to bring out the ultimate gaming console and it looks like it’s getting there.

If you asked gamers how the console looks like, you’d get a casual “talk to the hand” gesture or a look of ridiculousness.

Or they’d go, “C’mon, are you seriously asking this question? Who cares how it looks like? I am born to play and I’d play if it were as stale and boring looking as a brick.”

The Design

Thankfully, Sony did bring out a good job with the design. It’s a super-slim model, which is over 2 inches tall, 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide. You can lay it on the side or lay it down flat. Sony opted to build the power source inside the box so there are no extra brick like power-adapters that’d prevent you to lay it down on the ground. The new PlayStation 4 comes with redesigned joysticks, a new controller, an LED bar, and even a speaker (so, it now joins the likes of Nintendo). Games like Resogun and Kill Zone: Shadow Fall now have a different experience altogether.

Sony did pay some attention to detail. It’s actually a parallelogram of a box, stuck with a body wide seam between them. Two USB ports are hidden beneath the heavily sloped front. But the outside barely matters for the game-playing aficionados.

Under the Hood

It’s the insides that matter. Sony has lots to show for it.

Loaded with a custom processor, 8 AMD Jaguar Cores, and a next-generation Radeon GPU, it’s loaded indeed. PS4 has a 500 GB hard-drive (which could get you about 15-20 games fully-loaded) and a 6-speed Blue-Ray drive. In short, PS4 is powerful, and allows you to play without hiccups. The downside, however, is that there’s barely any way to connect to the WiFi and the Ethernet cables are so boring.

According to a review on TechnoBuffalo, the DualShock 4 controller seems to be the best controller Sony ever made. The new “options” button now makes the UI more friendly and understandable. The DualShock 4 controller features a new touchpad although you won’t find the use for it in every game.

The GUI and Interface

While the new GUI and interface are derived from the previous PS 3 version’s Cross Media Bar, the new UI and interface is now much better and is a clear improvement from the earlier generations.

It doesn’t feature horizontal rows and columns of items anymore. Now, it’s more of a click and access options type of an interface that fills up your whole screen. While everything is grouped and shown together, it’s still easy to find what you need. You’d still have familiar iconography to use so navigating the user interface won’t be alien to you if you’ve used Sony’s PlayStation before. It’s adequate and it works well enough to help you interact with the system efficiently.

Games, Performance, and Launch Library

There’s no denying that the PS4 is incredibly efficient when it comes to gaming. Sony aims to pour all of PS4’s inane processing power to allow you to play your games as you want.

The system, however, screams out “play with others.” Sony has taken a lot of pain to ensure that gaming gets social. Games such as Resogun, Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield 4 can really demonstrate how capable the gaming systems.

If you use a large, High-definition TV, you got yourself a toy that can keep you enthralled for a while. You can suspend games while playing, do other tasks if you have to (such as congratulating another player, maybe?), and get right back to where you left off.

Non-gaming Functions: Should you even bother?

The PS4 is built for gaming, and that’s we’d buy it for. Sony decided to do away with DLNA media-streaming support, for instance (PS3 was a media unit, so to speak).

The PS4 also cannot play MP3 music or audio CDs (we’d wonder why you’d want to buy PS4 for this?). You do have the ability to capture and record video.

While it’s not like a DSLR camera or a camcorder, it’s decent if you ever want to demo your games, maybe. You can share captured images to Facebook and Twitter and upload videos only to Facebook (goes in line with Sony’s social media fever aimed for PS4). It’s strange that Sony did not think about YouTube or Vimeo for video uploads.

The PlayStation 4 is a slick, good-looking, efficient, and a capable gaming device. There’s content, fun, and utility all rolled into one. You’d need a subscription to Sony’s PlayStation Plus which has a regular (and growing) stable of free games, paid multiplayer games, and regular discounts on new digital releases. If you so need, you can watch movies off a Netflix subscription on PS4 too (again, we are digressing).

As the folks at Polygon say, PS4 is a gaming device like no other. It’s understandably better than its competition.

However, it’s still a gaming console without too many games to its credit. More games will follow. Better games will come in to make the PS4 a completely worthwhile purchase. For now, it’s a few games, pure excitement, and energy.

It’s, however, unclear whether it’d take “gaming” itself to another level as this depends on the use of the “Camera” function of PS4 (which is still unclear), the evolution of games themselves, and Sony’s future work on compelling software.

The PlayStation 4, however, doesn’t disappoint hardcore gamers who can’t miss the feeling of the controllers in their hands and completely get lost into a virtual albeit exciting world of their own.

What do you think of the PlayStation 4?

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