This may be the first of a few posts on the new PlayStation 4 console. There is way too much to go over in a single journal entry, and ideally, this is something that we are going to be discussing for years to come. I’m fully aware that the PS4 is “just a game system”, however it is also, IMO, THE next generation console to own. It’s the dawn of a new era of gaming, how the future will unravel remains to be seen. Read on to hear my first impressions.
The new system is lightweight. The weight of the console was the first thing I noticed when unboxing my new PS4. Next, was the angular shape of the system, which is super sleek. Standing vertically the console is about two inches shorter than the PS3 (fat). Plug it in and you’ll notice this silent, ninja machine remains completely jet black except for a pulsing line of blue light along one side. The light beats like a heart made of voxels. Disks play very silently, no more jet engine noise like the PS3. I’ll note that the disc drive is reversed and discs are now inserted in the opposite direction; a fitting change for what i’d say looks looks aesthetically “next-gen” to me.
Really soothing music throughout the new interface. Very Japanese, like something you’d hear in a futuristic zen garden. At first the sounds reminded me of the Nintendo GameCube. It only takes moments to get used to the new operating system.
The real prize is the shape of the DualShock 4 controller. It is ideal, the legs push against your palms in a welcoming fashion, giving you a solid grip. The analog sticks are very responsive and have a bit more "spring” than the DS3. You cannot turn off the controller without turning off the system far as I can tell. This means you can’t shut off the Dualshock to save battery while the system is on. Good idea: plug it in while watching movies. This is important, especially if you haven’t purchased a second controller yet, because the battery life is quite short. I worry about the new, matching blue light on the controller draining the battery quicker.
Social networking is front and center on the PS4. The system will prompt you for your Facebook account upon initial start up. Really, take the five minutes to explore your privacy options here. You can swap your PlayStation avatar name with your real Facebook information if you like. You can also access Twitter via the Settings menu. This new link to online allows anyone to post photos or short video clips from their system when ever you like.
Streaming is now available to everyone. Once reserved for those with the equipment and knowledge to pull it off, the power to share your game play is available from the console itself. Through either Ustream or Twitch you can share your own gameplay live.
I’m very happy with my purchase, I enjoy being in on the ground floor. That said, it freezes. There is a OS patch 1.51 which is going to help with that. I’m sad about the short battery life in the controller. Turning off the system give you two choices: All the way off and Standby. Standby seems to basically leave the system on and I’m concerned about overheating. I overheated my PS3 once by simply leaving it on all day then playing all night.
External Apple keyboards work just fine, if not better than the PS3. The PS3 required constant registering of Bluetooth devices. The PS4 seems smarter and you just have turn on your keyboard after initially registering it. The USB cord that connects the controller to the system is noticeably longer. You can be plugged in and still be a decent distance from the system.
Now I’m trying to determine the necessity of a HDMI Splitter. Splitters unlike switches are used for a whole other purpose. I just want to be able to toggle between my PS4 and PS3 from my couch. I’ve been researching a few models and there are manual switching versions and auto-switching versions with prices ranging from 14-300 dollars. Sure I could just switch the HDMI cable manually (and lucky can use the same HDMI wire) but due to the internet chatter over bent HDMI ports I have some concern.
I’ve put off my mission to finish GTA5 temporarily to explore some PS4 launch games. Basically, I have two brawlers on disc: Knack and Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Downloads through PS Plus I have Resogun, Contrast and Warframe. Having previously purchased Flower I was able to redownload the new PS4 version. Some of these I haven’t even started yet! More on these launch games and a GTA5 progress report soon.