Sony PS4: Should I buy the PS4?
Other things to considerIt's not been plain sailing at launch in the US, with some users reporting problems with the PS4 console that Sony says has affected less than 1% of units. Issues include the blinking blue and red light of death (alleged to be caused by overheating) and there have been issues with faulty HDMI connections. In our time with the console we only had one instance of a game crashing on us and it appears that it was merely a case of giving the Blu-ray disc a quick wipe. Aside from that, we have not experienced any alarming problems using the PS4.
Much has been made of the PS4’s multimedia credentials compared to the Xbox One, notably the lack of DLNA streaming, MP3 support and CD playback. You can currently only stream music from Sony’s Music Unlimited service and you can use it to replace in-game music. Sony has since responded to say it will address the MP3 and CD playback issues at a later date, so hopefully you will not have to wait too long.
Where Xbox has SmartGlass, Sony has updated its PlayStation app for Android and iOS. We haven’t managed to download it, but what was previously a useless app now allows you to use a smartphone or tablet as a keyboard, watch friends gaming live and remotely download games so when you get home they are ready to play.
Should I buy the PS4?Recommending a games console at the beginning of its life cycle is always going to be difficult, but the PS4 does make a strong first impression.
It’s the best looking PlayStation console by some distance and runs so much faster than its predecessor. The DualShock 4 controller is lovely to hold, the UI wipes the floor with the PS3’s XMB interface, the Remote play hook-up with the PS Vita is a killer feature and crucially, games look gorgeous.
Ultimately, for most, it’s going to come down to the launch games as to whether it’s worth upgrading now or later. The PS4 exclusives are underwhelming on the whole, although the variety of games from third-party titles to indie developed games actually mean there is a decent bunch to pick from.
The lack of multimedia playback and media streaming also takes away some of the sheen from the PS4’s multimedia prowess compared to the Xbox One, although Sony says it’s addressing it. We are not the biggest fans of mandatory disc installs sucking up space on the 500GB hard drive, but it seems that this is something we are going have to accept with the next generation consoles.
There’s still plenty of features that have not been fully explored like the PlayStation Eye camera and the Touchpad on the DualShock 4 controller. We haven’t seen enough of online gaming to cast judgement and we are still awaiting to see how streaming PS3 games will make up for the lack of physical backwards compatibility.
If you own a PS3, then there is enough reason to wait and see how the console evolves in 2014 when it will have more original games and developers really start to push the tech inside the PS4. But if you do decide to pay the £350 to upgrade, you won’t be disappointed. It’s better and you won’t want to look back.
VerdictThe PS4 is a powerful, great looking console that is need of some killer PS4 exclusives. These are bound to come in time, but there's no doubt that it's the more powerful of the two consoles and that Sony has produced a leaner, more gamer orientated console compared to the Xbox One.
Next, read our Xbox One review.
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