So, it’s been a weekend for of excitement and disappointment. The Ps4 has released and sold a million units. There have been reports of the BLOD (Blue light of death) occurring in a few units and customers being told that they may not get a replacement until January or February. In other words, a typical launch weekend.
So after having time to break in my PS4, I will attempt to cover a few areas
– just how ‘next gen’ is the system
– some mini game reviews
– issues you may want to consider if you plan on getting one
So, I am sure that any gaming fanboy has heard and read all that there is to be as far as the PS4 is concerned so I won’t rehash too much what is out there but keep it more on a personal level. First off as far as the form factor, I do like the fact that it fits right in to my entertainment center. The profile is very small so you almost can’t see it until it’s on and running. In my opinion it’s a little louder than I thought but if the internal fan is doing its job then it’s not a problem. As far as navigating the UI, it’s very simplistic in design and definitely a step up from the PS3. As I stated before in my earlier assessment, I really enjoyed the controller and how it feels as I play with the exception of Need for Speed as it felt too loose for my liking but overall it’s a solid controller and I like it.
What about the games? I know that’s what a lot of you want to know and I will give you a very brief overview of what I got:
– Battlefield 4 has a forgettable single player campaign and right now multiplayer is a bit of an issue but to be honest, it’s a higher resolution version of the current gen version. I did hold out for this and it does look nicer but I do feel like I could have gotten this on PC. I recommend this for anyone that doesn’t have the current gen version or not playing on PC.
Verdict – good 1st month purchase if not already vested in current gen version
– FIFA 14 is another EA offering which is running at a higher resolution and based on current gen models. While the game does look sharper and feature more in cutaway scenes and small improvements in the overall presentation, there is still a lot of current gen DNA stamped all over it, but you can still see a lot of potential that comes from this title. Big improvements over key transitions, a little less redundancy in commentary and better animation is a good reason for this as a day one purchase but I still think that the player models can be vastly improved.
Verdict – Good day one purchase with glimpses of what future footy could be.
– Knack is not as bad as some reviews make it out to be. And if it gets a thumbs up from my niece and nephew both under the age of 12, then that’s what matters. graphically speaking, it could have been done on the PS3 but it’s still striking in its own right but still fall on the side of not really showing the power of the PS4.
Verdict – a good game for younger kids but not a must have game
– Need for Speed Rivals shows just how much I suck at a racer with no steering wheel. HA! I remember when I used to be good at these types of games! It’s a very good game to get into a play as either a racer or a cop. The visuals are very striking and the overall wear and tear on cars are a great touch. Also the car AI is great as well as unforgiving. The game is very arcadey and there are many ways to get points as you play. Sadly there is no way to play split screen but the multiplayer component is the reason why. If you are a race fan it’s a good start and one great way to show next gen racing
Verdict – a good pickup for race fans but could really use steering controller support.
-Assassins Creed Black Flag is one of the big reasons to have a PS4 and as I played the Xbox 360 version I can really see the difference the new system makes in visuals. But outside of that it plays the same way across all systems so far me, it’s been more of a matter of playing up to where I left off but it’s been a visual treat all the way. There is a bonus that there are missions with Avaline that are PS4 exclusive that makes this a reason to get this if you are an AC fan
Verdict – striking visuals makes this a great pickup
Overall, I think that while a lot of these first gen PS4 games are striking in appearance, I think that PCs with the right components can match if not outdo what we have already considering that most of my pickups are ports of current gen games. FIFA 14 stands out a bit as they had added more seamless transitions in the game while Need for Speed and Assassins Creed stand out as very visually striking if you are a graphics hog. One of my friends told me that if you want to see what the PS4 can do, NBA 2K14 and Killzone Shadow Fall are the games best represent to him, what the PS4 can do. We did agree however that, Sony is really lacking right now a huge must have title and something that is exclusive to not only to the system but this generation. When you look back at the dawn of the PS3 and Xbox 360 you had many titles that showed what could be done. I do feel however that within the first year of the new systems we will get some games that will set us apart from last gen consoles but noting at this launch can definitively say that.
If I can say one thing that I would like to see coming from this new generation of games is besides nice shiny graphics, I would really like to see improved random AI. I would like to see AI in games that makes the experience more immersive. One game recently announced it supposed to give us this where the AI learns about you as you play and that is Lord of the Rings Shadows of Mordor. But other than that just imagine if AI can not only learn but really change a game based on how you interact? For instance, in stealth games such as Assassins Creed what if soldiers acted realistically when they noticed someone missing or if something was amiss? Instead of just carrying on about their business, the alert is heightened. This is just one example of the many ways AI could be better in games.
Now, that I have completed all of that, what are some issues you want to consider when getting a next gen system?
The biggest for me is networking. The biggest issue I picked up so far that I plan on dealing with is although my PS4 is near my router,(downstairs and below it) the connection was a bit slow. So I did 2 things. First of all because it’s something I been needed to do was invest in a better router because the ActionTec router that we got from Verizon is a POS as we still get a few weak spots in the house and I picked up a Linksys AC1200 router and it’s increased the speed and I am still working on testing weak spots in the house but so far it looks improved. As far as the PS4 is concerned, it did get faster but something else I tested was hooking it up to a powerline adapter with more or less wired my connection so I get my signal directly from the router and also the speed of the connection has increased. Since my basement also contains my Xbox 360 and PC which both connects to the internet, I am looking at a 4 port powerline hub that would give them a wired connection and allow them to increase their connection speed as well as cut down on the amount of wireless connections I have.
Now back to the router for one second, it’s also a big help in allowing me to play the PS4 remotely with the PS Vita and with the increased speeds, the PS Vita’s performance has increased significantly. So if you are using remote play and have issues, you may want to consider your router and see if you can upgrade it.
So, do I recommend this as an early adapter purchase? This is where I stand on this. If you are a gamer and you either like Sony products or could care less what Microsoft does, then this is for you. If you are ready to move to next gen and you don’t mind being an early adapter given the risks, then it’s a good jump. If your pockets are deep enough and you have good connections to get one, then no reason why not to get one. But if you want to wait a year or 2 for more games to come out or some distinct games then no reason why you can’t wait. If you are waiting for a price drop, then good luck that might be awhile but with 1 million units sold in a weekend, and who nows how many Microsoft will move next weekend, it just goes to show that we are ready for next gen systems and Sony did good coming out the gate. Not GREAT but good and time will tell if this was worth the wait.