OK, a month ago I said I’d make a review of the PS4, and tonight I finally sat down and started writing. And my god was it boring. I was a thousand words in and had only mentioned the physical console and the controller so far. So I deleted it all and started over.
Here’s the tl;dr review: yawn.
It’s not bad. It’s just not very compelling right now. I’ve had an Xbox 360 for over 7 years now, and honestly, that’s what I’ve been playing all this month (mostly GTA V). If you have a 360, play that. If you have a PS3, play that. Maybe the PS4 (and presumably the Xbox One) will be a better sell in a year, but for now, meh.
The Console: It’s a boring black slab. That being said, the angled front is slightly less boring than the Xbox One.
The Storage: 500GB is not enough. It’s nice that the HDD is user-upgradeable, but even 1TB aftermarket is not enough in the long run. The PS4 has USB 3, but the only ports are on the front, and USB mass storage is not supported. When each game wants to copy about 25GB to the HDD and the games’ point updates are over 1GB, you’re going to quickly run out of space. Sony, re-think this.
The Controller: Is it bad? No. Is it better than the Xbox 360 controller? No. In my opinion, the Xbox 360 controller is perfect in every single way, except for the D-pad, which is horrible. Conversely, the DualShock 4 D-pad is the best I’ve ever used. Somebody give me an Xbox 360 controller with a DualShock 4 D-pad, now!
The UI: It’s not offensive, though the background music is. Or so I seem to remember; I don’t remember what it actually sounds like, since I disabled it two minutes after first turning it on.
The Store: Hard to use. And it wants to sell you PlayStation Plus everywhere, even if you’re already subscribed.
Knack: Technically impressive with the number of moving parts, and overall inoffensive, but not very exciting. I see this as very similar to Xbox 360’s Kameo: a cutesy technology demo launch title.
Need for Speed Rivals: Every time EA releases a new NFS title, I long a bit more for 1998’s Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit. Rivals is almost enjoyable, except now it’s open world, and when you’re done with a race, you can lose all the points you earned if you’re busted in the open world. So after you do a race, you run back to your hideout to bank them. And there are loading screens everywhere. Graphics are pretty, though.
Killzone Shadow Fall: I only bought this because it was on sale for $30 somewhere online, about a week after the console launch. I hate console FPS games. Everything is “realistic” (brown) and indistinguishable, so it’s hard to pick out enemies. So to get around this, there’s a sonar feature you can activate to make enemies and objectives stand out momentarily. You need to do this every few seconds. I played for about an hour and gave up.
Resogun: This is a download title, free with PS+. It’s a side scrolling ship shoot-em-up, and was a blast to play. Unfortunately, unless you’re a high score chaser, there’s not much replay value.
Contrast: Another free PS+ download, a third person puzzle game with a twist. Decent story, excellent gameplay, but a little short.
So there you go. $150 in AAA disc titles purchased, and my favorite so far were the two free download titles.