Sony PS4: Launch Games
For the uninitiated, it’s worth first addressing the PS4 to PS3 backwards compatibility situation. You can’t play PS3 discs on your PS4 and the Gakai streaming service that will offer some streaming PS3 game support will not be available at launch. You don’t need to always be connected to the internet to play games either. Some games will cost up to £50, but at least Sony is not stopping you from selling and sharing PS4 games.
Once you pop a PS4 game into the disc tray games will need to be installed or begin caching onto the PS4’s hard drive. The good news is that the PlayGo feature means you can jump into the game as it continues installing, however the amount of data installed can vary from game to game. To give you an idea of how much space games can take up, Knack sucks up 35GB while something like FIFA 14 is just 9GB. Considering you have 500GB to play with that doesn’t leave you much to play with and you might find yourself in a dilemma of picking whether to keep or delete a game.
Watch our video of the PS4 launch games you need to play first
SEE ALSO: Sony PS4 problems
Moving over to the PS4 launch titles themselves and like an England squad for an international friendly, there a few high-profile absentees. The games in question include deeply-integrated social racer Driveclub, the Crew, Bungie's Halo follow-up Destiny and Watch Dogs, among many others.
There's set to be around 30 games launching for the PS4 before Christmas and there's a broad range, including big hitters like Fifa 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. But in terms of PS4 exclusives, there’s just a handful that include Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Resogun.
There's two ways to look at the PS4 launch line-up. If you have never owned a console or buying one for the first time there is actually plenty here. If you already own a PS3 and have already dipped into some of these games on current-gen consoles, the PS4 exclusives don’t really add up to much. The same can equally be said of the Xbox One that, bar a few games like Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3, has much of the same in its launch line-up.
We’ve spent most of our playing time on Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, and Call of Duty; Ghosts. Knack is a platformer clearly aimed at kids. It looks great, but there’s nothing really original to get excited about here. Killzone typically looks gorgeous, and the campaign plays well, but we’ve yet to tap into its multiplayer capabilities.
The other three PS4 games we had not previously played on the PS3 look and play brilliantly, but Sony really could have done with an Uncharted 4 or a Metal Gear Solid to really make a statement of intent at launch. This is true of both consoles, but it's perhaps more true of the PS4 than the Xbox One.
Sony PS4: Remote Play
If you own a PS Vita, then you are going to pretty much love the idea of playing PS4 games on your Sony handheld when someone else wants to use the TV. Once you’ve downloaded the latest system update on the Sony handheld which takes around 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the PS4 Link app icon pop up on the homescreen to start creating the link between PS4 and PS Vita.
You need to have the same PSN account on both consoles, so if you have a Vita registered to someone else you may like us, be required to do a system restore and format the memory card to re-register again. In the Settings, you’ll find a PS4/PS Vita connection section where you’ll get an 8–digit number to enter into the Vita. After a minute or so establishing a link up (over the same Wi-Fi connection) the PS4 screen is duplicated onto the PS Vita and you can access the dynamic UI and launch games to play.
Running Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadow Fall it shows little signs of lag and graphics looks excellent. The Vita doesn’t have the same amount of buttons as the DualShock 4 controller so some actions are designated to sections of the back panel and the touchscreen. When you are resting on the back panel a graphic will appear at the top of the screen to let you know. Remote play is a standout feature for the PS4 and makes the £150 PS Vita a more attractive proposition.
Sony PS4 - PlayStation Eye
Leaving the PlayStation Eye camera out of the PS4 box is Sony’s tactic to undercut the price of the Xbox One at launch. If you want to own one, it’s going to cost you around £60. At the moment, there is really no need to run out and get one. You can get some voice control support from the built-in mic on the DualShock 4 controller, but the Kinect-looking camera is where you’ll experience the most effective motion tracking and voice support.
The tiny webcam-look of the original PlayStation Eye is ditched in favour of a longer, Kinect-inspired body. It’s significantly smaller than Microsoft’s motion sensing peripheral, though, roughly about as tall as a TV remote and is going to take very little space next to or near to your PS4 console. There’s the same glossy black finish as the PS4 console and there’s a hinge on the end to adjust the angle.
Four microphones and dual cameras are packed inside and offer surprisingly good results. Once plugged in, you can simply call out ‘PlayStation’ to bring up the command bar. Here you can ask the console to take a screenshot, power off or log into another user profile. You can also call out a game and at times doesn’t even require the full name to respond. There's a mic in the controller too, though, so you don't need an Eye to use voice commands.
You can also use the Eye to add facial recognition data to your user profile to log into the console. It requires a simple set up where you need to rotate your head in different directions to fully capture the profile. It will only save on the PS4 console and is not suggested as security measure like the passcode. In the right light, images are reasonably clear, but they are certainly not full HD quality. There’s still very little to put the Eye truly to the test, but the PS4 does include the PlayRoom which we will move onto next.
Sony PS4: The PlayRoom
The Playroom is where you can get an idea of what the Eye camera and DualShock 4 controller is capable of. You can see how the light bar is tracked by the camera, how the two dual motors in the pad create a rumble effect and hear the speaker jump in action.
We also get to see that the camera needs to be at least at knee height, not be in direct sunlight and be about 2 metres away from the console to work. You can quickly play around with Asobi the robot or shake some AR bots inside a giant PS4 controller and while that’s fun for all of 30 seconds it doesn’t really serve much purpose.
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