The Sony PS4, short for PlayStation 4, was released on November 15th in the United States. This is the first true next gen console to be released with the Xbox One being released a week later on November 22nd. Here is everything you need to know about the PS4.
What’s Inside the PS4?
The PlayStation 4 has a single chip x86-64 AMD Jaguar 8-core processor with 8gb of GDDR5 RAM. The graphics are also powered by AMD capable of 1.84 teraFLOPS. While this GPU is obviously an improvement over the previous generation it has been confirmed that the PS4 will not output games at UHD, or 4K resolution. That’s not to say that you can’t view UHD content on the PS4 as it does support 4K visuals for both photos and home movies.
The PlayStation 4 will come with a 500gb (408gb usable) hard drive at launch and there has not been any announcement about plans to ship with larger hard drives. However, much like the PlayStation 3, you will be able to upgrade the HDD yourself. It should be noted that some games require a lot of space to install, which is required. One such example is NBA 2K14 which requires 41.8gb of free space to play; so it may be a good idea to upgrade the hard drive.
As far as ports and communication go the PS4 has more than enough to keep consumers happy. You can connect to the internet using either Ethernet or Wireless b/g/n, unfortunately ac is not supported. It will use Bluetooth 2.1 as well. In terms out video and sound outputs there is HDMI, analog AV, as well as optical digital audio. The PS4 will use USB 3 connections.
The PlayStation 4 is also region free meaning you can buy games in any country and play them on your machine at home.
The PS4 features a optical drive which supports Blu-ray and DVD, however it will be require a firmware update when you power on the console for the first time.
How Do The Controls Work?
Sony decided to revamp their DualShock design for the PlayStation 4, appropriately named DualShock 4. While the overall look has remained the same featuring the usual buttons, there are also some new additions. The Start and Select button are now combined into an Options button which made way for a dedicated Share button on the opposite side.
Sony has also added a capacitive touch panel front and center on the controller which will give many new options for interacting with games. The motion controls have also received an upgrade with a new six-axis sensor.
Sony is also taking a page from Microsoft by including a 3.5mm headphone jack on the new PS4 controller. Sony took it one step further by including a speaker in the controller making the need for a headset completely optional.
The PlayStation 4 also features a share button which may seem fairly minor but Sony has made quite the effort to give the button as many features as possible. With the Share button you’ll be able to share game footage on Ustream, get involved with spectator playing, as well as connect with friends.
Maybe one of the most noticeable changes is the addition of a light bar on the back of the DualShock 4 which changes color based on the player number. This bar can also show other information such as changing colors based on how much health a player has. Just a tip, player one will always be blue, player two is red, three is green, and four is pink.
What About The PlayStation 4 Eye?
For starters, yes that is the name that Sony went with for this motion controller.
The PlayStation 4 Eye has dual cameras with an 85 degree wide-angle field of view. It is able to locate gamers in the room, and can identify them based on the color of the light bar on their DualShock 4 controller; it even knows your location in the room.
If you have Move controllers then don’t fret, the PS4 Eye supports those controllers too.
Face recognition is also another feature, and since it also has 4 microphones the PS4 Eye is able to locate where voices are originating from.
Is Multiplayer Still Free?
Online multiplayer has become a bigger and bigger part of consoles and it hasn’t changed this generation. Sony’s strategy for the PS3 was to offer free online gaming, and while many gamers loved this, those of us who had experience with Xbox Live were less than satisfied with it’s unpolished feel. Online multiplayer for the PlayStation 4 is bundled in with the PlayStation Plus subscription, which means multiplayer is no longer free and instead is $49.99 per year.
There has been some talk that certain free-to-play games may allow online multiplayer without a PS+ subscription, the vast majority of titles will require a subscription though.
Don’t get too upset though, you get many more features than Xbox Live subscribers get. With PS+ you get free game downloads for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita which makes building up a game library easier and cheaper. You are also entitled to exclusive content and discounts on full-price games.
Subscribing to PS+ on the PS4 will also give you access to it for the PS3 and PS Vita.
How Social Is It?
Perhaps one of the most talked about features of the PS4 are it’s social aspects. The console features always on video compression and decompression alongside with a Ustream partnership. It doesn’t end with Ustream though. You’ll be able to press the share button, scan through the last couple minutes of gameplay and share it via Facebook in the background while you continue playing your game. In addition to video you’ll be able to share screenshots via Facebook and Twitter.
What Games Are Available At Launch?
The PlayStation 4 has 21 games at launch. Below you’ll find a list of games with their installation sizes as well as price.
- Angry Birds Star Wars: 1.5Gb : $49.99
- AC4 Black Flag: 21.2GB : $59.99
- Battlefield 4: 33.9GB : $59.99
- Black Light Retribution: 4.9GB : F2P
- Call of Duty: Ghosts: 31.1GB : $59.99
- Contrast: 2.3GB : $14.99
- DC Universe Online: 22.7GB : F2P
- FIFA 14: 9GB : $59.99
- Flower: 1.8GB : $6.99
- Injustice: Gods Among Us: 22GB: $59.99
- Just Dance: 22GB : $49.99
- Killzone Shadow Fall: 38.5GB : $59.99
- Knack: 35.6GB : $59.99
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: 6.4GB : $59.99
- Madden NFL 25 : 13.1GB : $59.99
- NBA 2K14: 41.8GB : $59.99
- Resogun: 460.8MB : $14.99
- Sound Shapes: 3.4GB : $14.99
- Super Motherlode: 393.6MB : $13.99
- Trine 2: Complete Story: 2.6GB : $19.99
- Warframe: 4.2GB : F2P
What Others Games Are In Development?
Besides the 21 games which were available at launch the PS4 has 140 other games currently in the pipeline. Sony has promised 100 of those will be available in the first year.
The PlayStation 4 has some exclusive titles which include Drive Club, Killzon Shadow Fall (pictured above), Knack, and inFamous Second Son.
The next blockbuster title, The Order: 1886 is due out in 2014.
Some other titles worth mentioning include Mad Max, The Elder Scrolls Online, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy XV.