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So, we’re so close to the launch of the Playstation 4 that we can taste it. I have the games I will be playing (and hopefully streaming this weekend) sitting behind me while writing this article, and honestly I want to play them. Though, in the little time we have let’s discuss what we know.
The PS4, no matter what anyone says, is physically the most powerful next gen system. It sports a 8 core x86-64 CPU (similar to the Xbox One), an AMD Radeon GPU (capable of 1.84 TFLOPs), a (replaceable) 500 GB HDD, 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM, 2 USB3 ports, integrated Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth (2.1), an Ethernet port, a digital out port, and an auxiliary port (for the camera). The internal specs places it right in the middle of the mid and high powered range of current gaming PCs in its small frame. Besides what is in the system, you will be getting the sleek new Dualshock 4, a micro-USB cable to charge said controller, a mono headset, and a 6ft HDMI cord. As I said previously, this thing is small. How small is it? The system is 2 inches high by 11 inches wide by 12 inches deep, and weighs only about 9 pounds.
So, maybe you’re wondering what extras can I get for the Playstation 4? Well, besides the standard 2nd Dual Shock 4, the PS4 also has the Playstation 4 Camera, which like the Kinect (minus the who spying capabilities) can use some voice commands, has facial recognition, and all PS4 systems will come with The Playroom. The Playroom being a set of fun little mini-games that let you toy around with this new peripheral.
The most important part of the new system is of course the games. At launch you will be able to pick up (or download) Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, FIFA '14, Battlefield 4, Just Dance 2014, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14, Skylanders SWAP Force, and Need For Speed Rivals. There will also be a slew of downloadable games such as Flower, DC Universe Online, Resogun (Free with PS+), Sound Shapes, Contrast (Free with PS+), Super Motherload, Trine 2: The Complete Story, Blacklight Retribution, and Warframe. For all the physical copies of the games, you have no worries of not being able to trade them in or sell them on Ebay. Also, did we mention it’s not region locked?
The second most important part is definitely the controller, and the PS4’s Dualshock 4 is an impressive one. The PS4 allows up to four to connect to the system, which each will display a different color on the light bar on the rear of the controller. The light bar is similar to the Playstation Move, as it can be used for motion controlled gaming (with the PS4 Camera). The controller has updated in a few ways as well, such as the more concave triggers and analog sticks, and a slight grip on the handles of the controller better handling. There is even now a speaker in the controller that acts similar to how the Wiis worked (like the “phone” in No More Heroes). The most interesting feature on this new controller is the clickable touch pad on the upper center of the controller which can distinguish up to two fingers. The other cool new feature is the share button, which with the press of a button, can share pictures and video (Facebook or Twitter), or even start live streams (Ustream and Twitch). For those that want, and if the games allow it, you can also hook up a mouse and keyboard to the system (USB or Bluetooth).
So, with the new system, how will my Playstation Plus work? Well, pretty much the same. For the time being Playstion Plus will be giving you free games, but it will support all three systems. The PS4 will get its monthly free game, and the Vita and PS4 will get a few as well each month. The service will also still get you discounts, and get you into betas. The service will however be necessary for online play, unless you are playing one of the many F2P (free to play) games the system is getting.
Now, some of you might remember the about Playstaion mobile app. If you haven’t already gotten it, get it. While it is not as refined as smart glass right now it is a neat little app. As promised, you can send messages, check/compare your trophies, use it as a second screen, read manuals, and quite a bit more. There is also a section with links to all kinds of things such as different promotions, information, etc. You can even make purchases on the PSN store, but this is done through a link to the mobile version of the web store (the Fire Fox browser seems to run it best). Again, this is here now, and will let you buy games on the existing systems, and a few for PS4.
So, I told you some cool things, but yeah, there’s some bad stuff too. The Playstation 4 will not be able to stream movies or music like the PS3 can, 3D Blu-Ray will not work, no capture support at launch (so no video reviews with the expensive new equipment I bought), no backwards compatibility (same with Xbox One), it can't play MP3s or CDs, and it is pretty much a paperweight till you update it. Even worse, there's not really many games out there. Oh, and that cool camera? Well, besides the fact that it's only slightly useful if you plan on using Twitch a lot, there are reports that it is having a hard time dealing with background noise. Also, the one thing we all knew would happen, system errors (there is a fix, if not just a temporary fix)!
So, did I dissuade you from getting a system at launch? If you are a littlle worried that's okay. Sony is working on changing things for the better, but it is going to take time. Time you have to make sure you don't have to eat ramen noodles for a month just to buy the system (go me!). I'm not trying to tell you to buy an Xbox One either, because that thing has plenty of issues as is (or not depending on who you are). Now, if you skipped to the bottom, and read all the cons, and are still confident in your purchase, than you are in for an amazing weekend. Though whether you're excited still, or never were, there's one undeniable thing...
Also, all this weekend I will be live streaming some of the launch tittles that will be reviewing for the Playstation 4. If you want to check out how things are, or even come and say "hello" you can. Just hop on Twitch this Friday night, and let's enjoy some next gen fun! Also, because I probably missed something, if you have any other questions, consult the PS4 FAQ.