The tech and gaming trades are abuzz with talk of the next-gen consoles. And while we haven’t been able to get our hands on the Playstation 4 just yet, its Friday launch has gamers and critics wondering whether Sony or Microsoft will prevail with the better-selling system. Here, we break down what industry experts are saying about the highly anticipated PS4.
Stephen Totilo from Kotaku praised the size and sleekness of the PS4, calling the PlayStation 4 console “lighter, thinner and quieter than the original 2006 Playstation 3.” He also called the system easily portable, with better sticks, better triggers and better weight. The PS4 controller, which retains the same DualShock technical design that Sony fans know and love, also features a swipe pad in the middle. Totilo said, however, that the swipe pad plays no significant role in any of the PS4’s initial launch games except for small tasks in “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” and “Killzone: Shadow Fall.”
Jeff Marchiafava of GameInformer magazine stated that while he is excited to purchase both a Playstation 4 and an Xbox One, he is especially looking forward to the PS4 for the smart controller redesign and the $100 price difference -- a major factor that could easily push gamers to purchase Sony's system over Microsoft's. “A lot has been made about Sony’s decision to charge money for online multiplayer on PS4, and while I felt it was inevitable, it’s still a little disappointing,” Marchiafava added. “However, I’m already impressed with the value offered by Playstation Plus. Between the free games and discounts, my annual subscription has already paid for itself.”
The PS4’s slot-loading optical drive will play DVDs and Blu-rays, but CDs will not be supported (Does anyone listen to CDs anymore?). Peter Brown from Gamespot.com appreciated the PS4’s 500GB hard drive, which comes included with the PS4. He also enjoyed the PC-like architecture of the PlayStation 4.
Gaming site Polygon gave the system an overall score of 7.5 out of 10, saying “the PS4 hints at plenty of possibilities. The Playstation app and even the Playstation camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the Playstation 4 beyond the hardcore audience it currently seems so intent on courting.” Polygon pointed out that the social aspects of the PS4 could be somewhat invasive, allowing players to view what games their friends are playing and when they’re livestreaming. This feature is “difficult to parse” and “is indicative of too many options.”
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Richard Mitchell from joystiq.com gushed that the PS4 controller is “one of the most comfortable controllers I’ve ever held.” Mitchell also appreciated the user interface, called the PlayStation Dynamic Menu. “The menu is similar to the Cross Media Bar on the Playstation 3, though it’s presented in a much cleaner manner with large, friendly tiles,” he said. While Playstation’s subscription service will cost gamers $50 per year, Mitchell felt that “Playstation Plus gives its members entire collections of popular and critically-acclaimed games at no extra cost.”
With the approaching holiday season, Sony and Microsoft will come head to head in a battle of the most efficient system. Which console will you be purchasing and why?