As the holiday season approaches, you may be debating which next-gen gaming system to buy for yourself or your loved ones. With the release date of the PS4 on Friday, many consumers are exploring the benefits of buying the new console from Sony (NYSE:SNE). But before you run out and purchase a PS4, here are a few things you need to know.

5. You’ll probably want Playstation Plus.

Even though the Playstation network for the PS3 was free for users, Sony decided to take a cue from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and charge subscribers $50 per year. Playstation Plus allows players to interact online and play games with their friends. You will also need Playstation Plus to gain access to PS4’s ability to automatically download game updates when the system is suspended. However, you won’t need the added service to use video services like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu on your new PS4.

4. More indie games will be available for the PS4.

Sony has publicly been working closely with indie game developers for the past few years to build games for its next-gen PS4. At E3 in June, the company announced that more than a dozen indie titles would be coming to the PS4 after its November release date. Some of the tiles include Compulsion Games’ “Contrast,” HumanNature Studios’ “Doki-Doki Universe” and “Helldivers” from developer Arrowhead Game Studios.

3. When purchasing the PS4, you’ll get the necessities – plus a headset.

Much like the PS3, the Playstation 4 comes with the system itself, a power cable, an HDMI cable, a DualShock 4 controller and a USB cable. But unlike the PS3, the PS4 will be released with a mono headset for players to talk to one another.

Unfortunately, the HDMI is the only connection that works with the console. So, if you’re still playing your PS3 on an old 13-inch Panasonic television set, it’s time to hit Best Buy – or at least your parents’ living room.

The DualShock 4 controller also comes with a charging cable, but other PS4 controllers purchased elsewhere will not include this cable. 

2. You can purchase the PS4 right now for $399.

Simple, right? The PS4 launched at midnight Friday and is currently available in 32 countries, including Canada and the U.S. The system will be released in Latin America, Australia and Europe on Nov. 29 and in Japan on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Sony will face competition with next week's release date for Microsoft’s Xbox One console, which arrives next Friday.

The Playstation 4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One, coming in at $399. But despite the $50 that gamers can elect to pay for premium subscription service Playstation Plus, the smaller price tag may make the PS4 more appealing for buyers on a budget.

1. The console is not without its glitches.

Like any new system, there are reports of minor glitches with the PS4. This is to be expected, and Sony will probably remedy these bugs soon enough through a software update. Some users claimed that they had problems logging into the Playstation network due to the high volume of new users. Others reported that the console will freeze during gameplay and downloads. It's always ideal to be patient with your new console and network, since some kinks are not forseeable until high numbers of gamers are playing simultaneously.

Do you have a Playstation 4? If so, what do you think about Sony's latest system? Are you planning to purchase a PS4 now that its release date has arrived? Sound off in the comments section below.