PS4 review: Sony has got their swagger back with the PlayStation 4

4.00

Sony's rival to Microsoft's Xbox One has concentrated fully on the gaming experience - although the launch library is hardly the most impressive to date

A decade ago, Sony had every right to have a swagger. The PlayStation 2, released in 2000, was adored by gamers, and it topped the best-selling charts around the world.

However, when they released the PlayStation 3 in 2006, sales were underwhelming, and fans were unhappy about the hefty price tag – plus, they were a year behind the release of the Xbox 360. Ever since, the battle between Sony and Microsoft has been more pronounced than ever.

Today sees the release of the PlayStation 4 in the UK, a mere seven days after the Xbox One. Sony released its next-gen console two weeks ago in North America, and topped one million sales within 24 hours – a feat which Microsoft matched (although those figures were spread out between 14 countries). But sales aside, what will the PlayStation 4 offer punters?

The good news is that Sony has listened and responded to previous concerns. Their clear focus is on the playing experience, and they’ve undercut the Xbox One by £80, pricing their console at £349. Looks wise, the PlayStation 4 has the edge - it is sleeker and less bulky than its rival. Where Microsoft wants to dominate your living room in the entertainment sphere, the PlayStation 4 is all about gaming - but you can still access BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and other apps.

The PS4 interface is slick and offers a range of apps and social functions.

Unlike with PlayStation 3, this time you will have to pay for PlayStation Plus to access online multiplayer. But there will be free downloads available every month, including the rightly-commended launch release Resogun, a simple but addictive side-scrolling shoot-em-up in the vein of arcade classic R-Type.

 

It’s easy to set up, and the new DualShock 4 controller feels more comfortable despite packing in new features such as the central touch pad, light sensor, and share button to upload gameplay clips. Impatient gamers will be pleased to hear that while games are being installed (which begins with insertion of the disc), you can begin playing, even if it hasn’t finished downloading.

The new DualShock 4 controller: weightier with curved triggers.

The camera (£45) is not quite as advanced as the Kinect 2.0, which comes with the Xbox One, but it’s not as integral to gameplay either. One nifty feature Sony has introduced is the ability to switch to remote play on the PS Vita, its handheld gadget - a handy addition if someone is fed up of you hogging the living room television.

For a company that is proud to keep the focus on gaming and boasts more raw power than Microsoft, it’s slightly disappointing to see that Sony haven’t offered stronger exclusive launch titles, with the exception of sci-fi first-person-shooter Killzone: Shadow Fall, which looks great. But impatient gamers shouldn’t have to wait for long, as there is a much more impressive roster of releases coming over the next six months and beyond, courtesy of Sony’s  strong support for independent games developers. For those who are undecided on whether to move on to the next gen console immediately, they may wish to consider that for the meanwhile, some of the most exciting titles such as Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag are already available on PlayStation 3. With a direct comparison on graphics however, is it worth noting that the latter certainly looks decidedly more vivid on the next gen console.

Killzone: Shadow Fall (above) shows off the system's graphics.

Already, the PS4 has seen more success than its predecessor, with a positive reception from fans and critics alike, translating into enviable early sales figures in North America. Only time will tell if the PlayStation 4 can surpass the PlayStation 2 as its best-selling console, but for now, Sony seem to be back in their stride.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

    £35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...

    Recruitment Genius: Full Time and Part Time Digital Designer - North Kent

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful web design/deve...

    SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders