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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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: Senior .Net Application Developer

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - London - £43,000

    £35000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior IT Support Analyst...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee