File-It-Under: Tardy reviews By: D.F.Skin
I know what you're saying,why is this guy doing a review on the PS4 when the gaming console is almost a year in its existence? Well first off,unlike so many websites and even YouTube tech channels you probably viewed, I don't have the honor of receiving review units (at least not yet ), nor has my website yet reached the level of high viewership where I can sit back and rake in the proverbial dough from ads. Most of the devices I review are purchased from my own money,if I like the device and it has an interest I want to talk about it.With that said, the PS4 was an actual Fathers Day gift from my son,so thanks son. I spent a better part of about 4 weeks with the gaming console and I really got somethings to say about it. So here it is,the review the break down, my thoughts,let's go.
The PS4 is probably one of the most attractive piece of machinery I've ever had in my possession. If one word can describe this gaming console it would be "Fluid", with a very sharp ,slightly angle design,yet very compact.The PS4 seems to flow very well with its surrounding environment.Looking at the home theater system that's attached to my PS4 it seems to coincide nicely along side my entire setup. I have my PS4 situated right on the TV stand next to my flat screen its like you barely notice the console being there. Its safe to say I'm very passionate about devices that is sleek yet compact in design.
The console has a all matte black color scheme with a hint of gloss on the left side of the console. Probably the one drawback to the design is the gloss portion of the PS4 is a magnet to finger prints,nothing that a little micro fiber cloth can't fix.
Added to the uniqueness of the PS4 is it's accented light bar indicator that's placed right in the middle of the console,it has a very cool blue tone when you power up the device,then blends right into a bright fluorescent white tone during initial operation. Big kudos to the industrial design team at Sony for coming up with the overall design of the PS4.
Switching over to the back of the PS4,Sony has sent a clear message that analog audio/video outputs are no longer welcome as the console has gone strictly digital,its fully loaded with a HDMI and Optical audio/video ports (USB ports also). Gone is the old analog video-audio ports, you know the port that require you to connect it with the red,white and yellow cable. The PS4 comes prepacked with an HDMI cable,absent for reasons unknown is the Optical audio/video cable which is needed to get the sound through your home theater system.
I really appreciate the fact that Sony has not resorted to the PowerBrick adapter which is what you still have with its competitor the Xbox One. With the PS4,the power supply is built internally within the machine. As a result,you have no compromised space and clutter that you would have with a external brick adapter.
The PS4 hardware comes very close to what you see in a mid-range gaming system (or computer). Welcome to 2014, as we are witnessing a big change in gaming consoles,machines that have superb hardware specs that rival an actual desktop computer. Sony has combined some serious hardware within the PS4,the internal specs within goes as follows: there's an 8-core AMD Jaguar/Kabini x86 64 processor, a Radeon 7870-derived GPU with 18 compute units (Xbox One has only 12 compute units),8GB of unified GDDR5 RAM which is the most eye opening features in the PS4 in terms of hardware as provides both the CPU and GPU with 176GB/sec of unified memory.
The PlayStation Network and the User Interface
Its safe to say that the PSN is a bit different than the Xbox Live in terms of application arrangement and user interface,even the way you navigate through the apps and pages or icons is a bit different from what I'm used to with the Xbox Live.
Probably the best thing I like about the PSN is its easy access to settings,with the Xbox Live I often found myself navigating through a bevy of apps and pages before getting to the actual settings,to put it blunt,locating the settings is a bit hard find on Xbox Live.Where as the PSN settings is displayed right in front of you with just a flick of the joystick ,flick the stick up takes you directly to settings.
As far as the user interface goes,I prefer the Xbox Live over the PSN,not because I still have the Xbox 360 instilled into my brain or a bit of a loyalist, but Xbox Live for me has more of a desktop computer feel,which I like. The application alignment on the PSN is much like what you on the current iPhone 5,apps arranged in a up-down-right-left-cross which for me makes the entire user interface kind of bland. Even though I'm somewhat mixed about the PSN user interface, the entire OS is very stable which is a testament to PS4's great hardware.
The Controller (Dual Shock 4)
I'm going get this off my chest and get right straight to the point. The PS4 by far has the best gaming controller I've ever used to date. I meets the standard in three main categories I'm looking for in a good controller: comfort, excellent joystick/button placement,and easy to use trigger buttons. This Dual-Shock 4 controller is just perfect for games that require you to quickly pull the trigger and blast away your enemy. Fans of first person shooting games like Call of Duty and Battlefield would love the PS4 controller.
For person who hasn't game with the PlayStation console for quite sometime,I was rather surprise at how natural the PS4 controller felt in my hands. But controller does come with some minor quirks that kind of pissed me off.
First off,what is the deal with the speakers on the controller? Is there really a need for it,especially when using the speakers on the controller mutes the sound on your stereo system.What sense does that make,the whole idea of using surround sound with your gaming console is to live the realistic experience of the actual game.
Then there's the battery power on the controller,or shall I say the lack thereof,gone are the days where you just drop 2 AA batteries into the controller and have at least a month worth of battery power. The PS4 controller has a built-in adapter or battery for the lack of the better term that needs to be charge via USB cable that connects to the USB port on the gaming console. Once the controller is fully charged at best you'll get at least 3 full hours of charge before a warning flashes on the TV screen that you controller needs to be charged,this sort of reminds of the current iPhone 5 depleted battery life.
The USB cable that's used to charge the controller needs be a bit longer so one can still game while the controller is charging. I would love for Sony to maybe institute wireless charging or maybe incorporate a charging dock.
The game play on the PS4 is what you expect,very smooth and fluid which attributes to the impeccable hardware that's stored within the console. Thus far,the only game I have and that I'm currently playing is WatchDogs which by the way is the perfect game to get a gauge at how well you console operates. WatchDogs of course if you haven't played it by now is a very graphic intense game that displays the city of Chicago in great detail, a game that's in full of constant motion.
I have WatchDog for the Xbox 360 and it's not even close,the PS4 wins out by a mile in game play,the gaming experience on the PS4 with WatchDog is visually stunning. Now you'll have different frame rates for different games,with WatchDog on the PS4 Frame Rate is measured in at 30 FPS which isn't bad for a gaming console. Probably the only problem with the PS4 is I just wished It had more games to date,thus far WatchDog is the biggest title to be released for the PS4. In the next coming months there is going to be a bevy of great games that's about be launched.We will then see the true test of the PS4 hardware with these great games added.
For me it's clear the PS4 definite engineering feat,from its impeccable design,to its supreme hardware. Its been almost 10 years s since the unveiling of the PS3 which is still going strong to date.We'll probably won't see another console put out by Sony for quite some time because it it clear the machine is built to last a long time,the only thing needed to keep the PS4 on top is content.
There are some minor drawbacks with the console,that's the damn battery life with the Dual-Shock controller just ponders my thought process into infinite realm. There is something about minimal battery power in devices that just troubles me.
Nonetheless,the PS4 is to date outselling the Xbox One mainly because of the inflated price upon launch. If the PS4 is going to remain a hot device,it needs content to peak everyone's interest. That's the case with any console that released to market. The console is as good as its games that's made for the system.