It’s been seven years since Sony introduced the world to the PlayStation 3. The company tried to sell the PS3 as a living room hub where you could use a multimedia device to not only play video games but also watch movies and listen to music. Sony learned a lot of lessons on what makes a great console. The PS3 was viewed as a difficult system to program for developers. It was expensive to purchase and had an ambitious goal to try to reach out to casual fans with gimmicks that weren’t always about the video games themselves. Sony was introducing Blu-ray media technology for the first time which eventually became the adopted physical media standard. Now, Sony no longer needs to worry about these distractions and their new system reflects this fact with a clear message that it’s a video game console before anything else with an aggressive price point. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons to the PlayStation 4.

-Graphics are good
-Dual shock 4 controller is good
-PS Vita remote play over wi-fi
-Excellent hardware performance
-Interface is fast

-No DLNA Streaming
-No mp3,mkv,mpg playback
-Payment plan for online gaming
-No bluetooth headset support at launch
-Interface has too many cluttered menus

The first thing to enjoy about the PS4 is its design. The half-gloss, half-matte finish is a pleasant visual compromise and makes it look like a grown-up machine. The PS4 is 6.1 lbs. Sony has tucked the PS4’s power supply inside the system, leaving no external power brick to trip over. In the front, you’ll notice the Blu-ray disc drive to the left followed by two powered USB 3.0 ports on the right, which can charge your DualShock 4 controllers when the system is turned off. On the top, a clear blue line lights to signal when the device is turned on. If you flip to the back of the system, you’ll see only digital/optical ports as Sony no longer supports any video/analog ports. The system is also built with stability in mind as gamers can place the console either horizontally or vertically .

The console is loaded with powerful hardware that can compete with even the most beefed up PC gaming rigs. The PS4 uses AMD Radeon technology and combines an eight core x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU with a 1.84 teraflop GPU. The PS4’s internal memory is 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and a 500GB mechanical hard drive.

The PS4’s controller is their best controller that they’ve ever made. One of the reasons that the Dualshock 4 is better than its predecessor is the controller’s overall size. The controller is slightly bigger, slightly heavier and does a good job at spreading the buttons further apart. The controller is more comfortable to use over longer periods of usage and the shoulders have better triggers that are designed similarly to the Xbox One’s controller. Each controller has a light bar that glows one of four colors: blue, red, green or purple. Players are now identified by color, rather than a number.The DualShock 4 also sports a touchpad. It’s not very useful at the moment but we imagine that it will become more popular in collaboration with the system’s apps in the menu or with a web browser. In addition, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug any old headphones or headset right into the controller. However, one big problem with the controller is its battery life which is between 7-8 hrs per charge. Unlike the Xbox One, you won’t need to replace any batteries but the current usage capacity is a far cry from the Dualshock 3 which was able to handle over 30 hrs. of continuous usage.

The interface of the PS4 is an improved re-imagination of the XMB. Unlike the Xbox One, you can get to the homescreen without initially connecting to the web and patching. The new system is very fast with very little lag. Also, a wi-fi connected PS4 can stream gameplay to a Vita. The connection to the PS4 was lag free and you can use it as a controller as well as a second screen. This nice addition is great when someone else in the family needs the television and you can continue your gaming session without interruption on the Vita. Local media playback, a major feature of the PS4’s predecessor, isn’t supported. The PS4 won’t support mp3s, mkv files or mpgs. Heck, it won’t even support a regular music CD if you pop it into the Blu-ray drive. This might have something to do with ‘Music Unlimited’. It’s a proprietary app that requires a subscription fee of $5 a month and lets you stream whole albums or create station or channels from a massive library of artists. The PS4 also lacks any meaningful digital library management. The Dynamic Menu also lumps all your streaming apps into one icon. Everything from Netflix to Amazon to whatever else is found under TV & Video.

Sony gave away online multiplayer for free with the PlayStation 3. Sony has given the PSN a major renovation and introduced a paywall for online multiplayer. Players will need a subscription to Sony’s PlayStation Plus service which is priced at $50 per year. This payment system has helped to stabilize servers, allow discounts on digital game purchases and give you the added bonus of free games every once and a while. Also, you can still access services like Netflix without buying into Plus. Connecting to an existing PlayStation Network ID is a smooth process, taking just a few minutes. This brings in all the friends and trophies lists from the PS3 and Vita.You can now join friends’ games from your friends list.

Overall, the PS4 is a great video game console that is designed with gamers in mind. The console’s hardware and performance are quick and efficient. Games load up fast and the interface is quick to navigate. The graphics on the machine are just as good as most high-end gaming PCs. Many of the problems with the Dualshock 3 controller have been addressed with the Dualshock 4. Casual gamers or individuals who wanted to use this device for more than just video games will be ticked off that many of the media capabilities that made the PS3 special were purposely left out of the PS4. The system’s launch titles were weak but once developers get more accustomed to the PS4; we’re sure to expect some great games on the system. This is what Sony is hoping for -Great games for the PS4 since this is a console geared towards games. We should also mention that the PS4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One which might persuade undecided gamers who might only have the budget for one system only.

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