PlayStation 4: our hands on review

After much debating, I finally decided to go ahead and purchase the Playstation 4. Traditionally, I’m not an early adopter due to many new technology products experiencing issues. A great deal of the new technology products introduced to the consumer market have issues with bugs, software issues and a host of other problems. There were a number of things influencing my decision on purchasing the PS4 and ultimately I decided to take the plunge, trade in my old PS3 (Gamestop was offering $100), and purchase the new PS4. Consequently, here is my take on the Playstation 4.

The Playstation 4 has a lot of good qualities and has been billed as a “purely gaming machine” which means it has been stripped of a lot of the functionality available on the PS3 model but I’ll get into that a little later. First, the graphics on the PS4 are excellent. If I had to compare, I would say it resembles the difference between watching a standard definition television and then going to watch a high-definition television (HDTV). Maybe that is a bit of a hyperbole but you get the idea. The graphics on the PS4 are much more advanced than its predecessor. Next, the DualShock controller (pictured above) is much better and adds more to the gaming experience. A feature that I found to be very cool with the controller is that it has its own speaker. By having a speaker on the controller it adds to the experience, much like adding surround sound to your own home theater. Third, the price is a little steep for the casual gamer. The price is currently $399 for the base model and if you’re on a budget this can put a major strain on your wallet.

Although there are some good reasons to purchase the PS4, in my experience the unit still leaves much to be desired. One thing I don’t like about the current version is the lack of flexibility when it comes to music options. My PS4 is currently hooked up to my home theater system which I use to play music on occasion. However, with the current setup I’m unable to play CDs, use a flash drive to play music on the PS4, or stream music from my music server set up on my PC. The one option I have to play music on the PS4 is to stream through online music services which kind of takes away from the music experience since I have playlists that are already setup with all of the songs I want to hear. Next, this really grinds my gears but the PS4 is not backwards compatible when it comes to games. This means you have to purchase all new games to play on the PS4 as it will not play your previously used PS3 games. Lastly, there’s a limited library of games available currently for the PS4. This begs the question at least from my point of view: Why produce a purely gaming machine and have a limited number of games available to play? To their credit there should be more games available soon, but I think they could have coordinated the launch a little better with game manufacturers.

In conclusion, the PS4 overall is a great machine with some limitations. The good thing is that many of the limitations can be addressed with a software update. The main question is: Are the powers that be willing to add that functionality back to the PS4 version or do they stick with making this a purely gaming machine?