PlayStation 4 : Entertainment on Steroids
With over 13.5 million units sold worldwide, the Sony PlayStation 4 is the reigning champion of the next generation consoles and has left Microsoft’s Xbox One miles behind. The PlayStation 4 has surpassed its predecessor in ways which are unimaginable. Sony has taken a huge leap forward in the gaming industry and is currently the front-runner in the race for ultimate glory. With the new features the PlayStation has to offer, Sony has taken a step into a modern era solidifying its foundations for long-term evolution. The PlayStation 4 is the pinnacle of console gaming technology.
Aesthetically, the PlayStation 4 is the most beautiful gaming console to ever come out. A sleek jet black body with sharp edges and blending matte and high gloss plastic, the PlayStation 4 looks like a vision of the future. The console looks more matured thus giving it a high-end look and feel. A thin LED strip illuminating the top of the console offers a burst of color and light but also serves the purpose of showing the various states of the Play Stations operations. On the front, the PS4 has two buttons aligning with the light strip – one for toggling the power and the second for ejecting discs from the drive. The PlayStation 4 is a feast for the eyes as far as looks are concerned. Adding a touch of elegance to the system, Sony has taken a giant step in the evolution of gaming.
The system is divided into two panels – the top and the bottom thus preventing the PS4 from looking too boxy. The gap between the two panels is housed by front-facing USB ports and the disc drive, cooling vents on the side and the exhausts at the back of the console. The most beautiful part is how quiet and cool the PS4 remains after hours of usage.
But it is not just the looks that Sony has added to the new console. Beneath the panels is a machine that performs like a hardcore beast. With an AMD based APU(Accelerated Processing Unit) and 8GBs of GDDR5 memory, the PlayStation 4 performs so fast and seamlessly, it just feel unstoppable. It can all be seen with the fast performance of the OS and the giant upgrade in the graphics. The PlayStation 4 now offers only HDMI outputs thus cutting any ties with any other form of AV outputs. Although there are USB ports in the PlayStation system, there are very few functions currently available like copying files to an external drive or playing your favorite songs from the external drive. Sony has promised to add more functions with further updates in the near future. Memory seems to be no problem as each unit is fitted with a 500GB hard drive, upgradeable at the owners’ convenience. The hard drive is removable so for those gaming aficionados out there, don’t get restricted by limited storage, feel free to upgrade.
However, till date, the PlayStation 4 is a huge achievement for Sony and they should be really proud of this.
The DualShock 4
It is not only the console that has received a major upgrade, but the new “DualShock 4” also looks quite appealing. After receiving quite a few complaints about the PlayStation 3s “DualShock 3”, Sony has taken a lesson from their past and worked towards improving the controllers. After all, a great gaming experience depends on a great system and an equally great controller. The DualShock 4 is bigger, more ergonomic and has concave thumbsticks and triggers. The controller conforms to your hands and in my experience, no controller has ever felt so good to hold. The thumbsticks are shorter and more rigid thus giving a more precise and crisp feel to the gameplay. The triggers are flat and just wrap themselves around the pads of your fingers. After playing for hours with the new DualShock 4, my heart was set on it and had no intentions of ever going back to the DualShock 3.
The direction pads are slightly bigger than the predecessor while the X, square, triangle and circle buttons are almost the same.
The most beautiful part about the DualShock 4 is that how each and every button all the way from the D-pad (direction pad) to the action buttons to the touchpad on the center of the controller are all with an effortless reach of the thumb. In simple words, the DualShock 4 is just too amazing.
Sony has gone a step forward and added a new function to their DualShock 4. The availability of wireless audio. So now using any pair of headphones with a 3.5mm jack, the player can access in-game audio and chat with their friends while playing online. The PlayStation 4 does come with a mono headset packed in the box, offering good audio quality and excellent quality of voice recording. Not only can the system support wired headphones, but any pair of wireless headphones can be connected to the PlayStation via Bluetooth. This allows the players to personalize the system to their needs and comforts making the PS4 a great experience.
The controller comes with an all-new integrated speaker, but as of now, the usage is quite rare. Hopefully, the titles in the future can find more ways to put this new feature to use. Similarly, the touchpad at the center of the console also has very few uses as of now. Sony needs to find ways to put these great new resources and features to use otherwise they might just feel unnecessary in the near future.
Other than these, the DualShock 4 comes equipped with a stunning light bar. The light bar serves the purpose of identifying different players or can also be used in motion-based gaming. With the launch of an application named the “Playroom”, Sony has put the light bar to good use and not to spoil anything so its best if players experience the application by themselves.
As far as battery life goes, the DualShock 4 can run up to 9 hours which is comparatively less given that the DualShock 3 could run up to 30 hours. But the number of features packed into just the controller, 9 hours is quite the catch.
I hope to see the features of the DualShock 4 to be put to more use in the near future as and when the platform ages.
The OS-Say goodbye to the XMB
The new operating system offered by the PS4 is gorgeous, fast and quite straightforward. Taking the PlayStation 3s OS called the XMB, Sony has improved upon it in many ways. With the OS now expanded and solely focused on social interactions, the OS feels fluid. All the important functions are presented in a horizontal row while all the apps and games installed into the system are presented as shortcuts lined up in the format of most recently launched. The OS looks visually stunning with its high-resolution thumbnails and is the best Sony has done so far.
With the availability for increased social interactions like cross game chatting, text or voice chat among 7 players and syncing the system with our social networks, the PlayStation 4 has expanded the gaming community thus helping the gamers feel more alive and breathing.
Due to the last generations hardware and software restrictions, it was difficult to get social on the systems but now with the PlayStation 4, one can get up and running within seconds. The social tools are accessible and available anytime, thanks to the new multitasking feature. One can jump in and out of games to check on their notifications almost instantaneously. If there is ever a slowdown in such performance then that would only be due to the lack of proper internet connectivity which I seemed to have experienced.
The remote play is another one of the PlayStation 4s latest features. Now with a stable Wi-Fi connection, one can easily play the PS4 games on their PS Vita remotely. Also with the launch of Sony Xperia Z3, remote play is also available on the Z3 by connecting the controller to the phone.
All in all, now with the remote play, enjoy your PlayStation game on another device while your mum won’t complain about how much you’re using the television and not letting her watch. This is an excellent yet underrated feature for now but will soon gain popularity in the near future.
The PlayStation Camera
The PlayStation camera is another one of Sony’s vision for the future. Although unlike Xbox One’s Kinect, the PlayStation camera is an add-on and has to be purchased separately which is available for an additional Rs4000 approximately. The PlayStation camera serves the functions of voice recognition, facial recognition, motion detection and video broadcasting. One can calibrate the camera to recognize the player when the system boots up. It feels quite precise in that matter.
The camera offers a wide range of voice commands and almost instantly recognizes the commands and acts on it. Loud environmental noises can disrupt the voice command feature but otherwise, this feature can also be accessed via any headphones with an inbuilt mic. But all in all, the PlayStation camera is still under development and is not a match for the Kinect.
After a year of the launch, Sony has made major improvements on the PlayStation 4s software. Key functions are beginning to be utilized and with a great line of title launches happening for the next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 4 is the thing to buy. Its worth every rupee of its 40k price tag and why not – with a ton of features, excellent performance and intense gaming experience, the PlayStation 4 is the conqueror of the console industry. For any gaming fanatic, the PS4 is the perfect console offering virtually anything a PC can but in a more refined way. And did I mention how stunning the console and controllers look?
Sony PlayStation 4 Technical Specifications :
Main Processor : Single-chip custom processor | CPU: low power x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores | GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next engine
Memory : GDDR5 8GB
Hard Disk Drive : Built-in
Optical Drive (Read only) : BD 6xCAV | DVD 8xCAV
I/O : Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
Communication : Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) | IEEE 802.11 b/g/n | Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
AV output : HDMI | Digital Output (optical)
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