PS4: An afternoon with Sony's Xbox One challenger
Jamie Merrill tries out Sony's slickest gaming machine yet
- Price: £349
- Includes: Blu-ray player, built-in wi-fi, DualShock 4 controller
- Processor: 8 Core Single-Chip x86 AMD Jaguar
- Memory: 8GB GDDR5
- Hard drive: 500GB
What is it?
Microsoft’s Xbox One goes on sale tomorrow, but this is an early hands-on with Sony’s new PlayStation 4, which hits shelves next week and is expected to shift 49m units worldwide by the end of 2017.
So this isn't a proper review then?
Not really, as I only spent a short time with the machine at Sony’s central London headquarters. However, we know quite about the PS4 already as more than a million units have already been sold in America, where it went on sale last Friday to a host of 7 out of 10 reviews. And I wasn’t about to say no to an afternoon with the first new console from Sony in seven years.
Go on, what's it like?
On paper the PS4 is 50 per cent more powerful than the Xbox One and playing Killzone: Shadow Fall it certainly feels like the PS4 has jumped a generation ahead of the old PS3. The graphics are sublime, the detailing excellent, the gameplay a step beyond and frustrating build time non-existent.
Sony claims that Killzone is the first of true next generation first-person shooters (games where you kill lots of things) and it certainly seems years ahead of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest cross-platform mega title, which I also tested on PS4. It was, frankly, underwhelming on the next-generation console. Heavier and less like a toy: the new PS4 controller.
What's the controller like?
Much better than the old PS4 controller, that’s for sure. I’m not sure about the built-in sound element but the new DualShock 4 controller is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous model, getting a touch pad and new soft-touch triggers for instant slaughter. It also just feels right in the hand, in a way many gamers complained the previous controller didn’t. It still – in my view – doesn’t rival the Xbox controller but it’s certainly closed the gap. In the end this is pretty subjective though.
What about the menu system?
There was only time for a short demo of the new menu and interface, which Sony has made much of. That said, it seems to have moved on from the much-maligned system in the PS3. It’s based on a series of hubs, all centred around games and your experience on them, prizes and social media interaction. That said it’s by no means perfect and we’d like to spend longer with it to really get a feel for how far forward Sony has brought it.
The new interface includes extended social functions with user profiles and feeds of recent activity.
Anything to rival Xbox Live?
I didn’t get a chance to go online but there’s a new interface called PlayStation Plus, where there are free games (which change every month and will include some big titles) and extra online content. Sony is charging for this service for the first time, just like Xbox has done for years and gamers will be watching it carefully to see if it can match the massively successful Xbox Live community. It will be cheaper than Xbox Live though, at only £39.99 for the year.
Free games offered on PSN include Metal Gear Rising (above).
Should I buy one?
On the face of it the PS4 is a cheaper package than the Xbox One, but that’s partly because the PlayStation Camera – Sony’s take on the Kinect motion-sensor – is a £54.99 extra. For hardcore gamers the PS4 will probably be the console of choice and you’ll already have gobbled up US reviews and placed an order. If you’re more of a casual gamer… wait a few weeks. There’s still a lot to learn about both machines.
Life & Style blogs
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
‘My children can’t sleep, crying for daddy:’ How spouse immigration rules affect British families
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£75000 - £85000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the largest and fastes...