By Evan McKay
It’s been a long impatient wait, but the release of the PS4 has finally arrived. As mentioned, I was fifth in line at the midnight release in my local gamestop, and have had a chance to get into it over the past weekend. So…
It’s pretty good!!!! This mean goth machine really kicks a whole lot of ass. Sadly, the lack of titles at launch is troubling...but, the overall package is a very tight little gaming console.
To look at the beast, you see a sleek, asymmetrical, angled piece of entertainment hardware. The buttonless buttons or whatever they are nowadays, where you just touch a specific sensor point, are almost invisible and unobtrusive. The first next-gen thing you will notice about PS4 is there are no component video cables… only HDMI. So if your TV does not have an HDMI input, you’re gonna need an HDMI to S-Video or component video adapter (which I’m sure is a real thing). The console stands up vertically quite nicely on it’s own, so the stand looks like a waste of $14.99 unless you have very malicious pets. Also, the overall design of the hardware makes it look like its a prop right out of TRON in sort of an updated retro-vision-of-the-future kind of way.
The real prize here is the controller! The updated design is pretty amazing. Sadly I have not done much with it yet, but when you are entering in credentials you can use the standard highlight cursor method, where you use the analog sticks to move around the keyboard (which takes forever). Or, you can press R3 (push in the right analog stick) and get a mouse style cursor where the PS4 can measure how the controller is angled and you tilt it around to simulate the mouse. There’s also a track pad that also works as a button, so you can scroll your finger around that as well. If your a social media nerd, you can upload in game pics directly to your facebook and twitter. Plus, you can link up with twitch.tv for that live play capture so your whole family can wet themselves over your high score in Resogun!
The only thing I can really complain about is the awful industry standard that is online server problems on the launch date. This epic fail could probably have its own blog post but seriously guys...COME THE F**K ON!!!!!! These days, every launch of a popular product that involves internet connectivity and online features is just broken for at least 1-3 days. Diablo 3, Final Fantasy 14, DOTA 2- you can’t get online with any of them and it’s pretty awful from a consumer standpoint. The developers know the kind of volume to expect at the launch and they know exactly how games you’re producing, so there’s no reason not to have an adequate number of servers. It may be difficult to accommodate, but these launch failures can not be the status quo….or at least it shouldn’t be! I could only play PS4 online once in 3 days after waiting in line on launch day- terrible.
Network issues aside, I’d say that thing is pretty rad overall! The amount of moving things I saw in the environment of Call of Duty: Ghosts without slowdown or lag was unbelieveable! The textures, the colors, and the lighting are on now par with powerful gaming PCs, but there are still some major kinks to work out. I think once they figure out all the improvements for the OS and we the finally get the great games we’ve been promised, it is truly going to be a next generation gaming experience!