As you know, I wrote a post last week documenting the reasons I wasn’t going to go and pick up the Playstation 4 right away. I also posted a blog letting everyone know that I am weak and broke down and bought one on release day. Now that I have had some time to play with it, I have to say that I am quite impressed. Although there are some things that I would change, the Playstation 4 definitely performs quite well with its primary purpose; playing games.
What do I like about the new Playstation 4? One word; performance. Compared to the Playstation 3, the Playstation 4 is just amazing. That shouldn’t be a revelation however seeing that it has been over 7 years since the Playstation 3 was released. As an example, playing Call of Duty: Ghosts on both platforms, the Playstation 4 was faster loading and, or course, much better graphics. Where the Playstation 3 would take up to 30 seconds to load a match, the Playstation 4 takes less than 15 seconds…it is great! Thinking about it, when playing multiplayer, you can’t really go much faster than that so that players have the time to actually load, and enter, the match.
The controller feels like it was completely meant to be in MY hand. I am still getting used to the placement of the share and options buttons, and would like to see them a little more accessible, but when you are used to the select and play buttons, this is expected. The touch pad is pretty neat although I tend to accidently press it from time to time when I am trying to press either share or options. Something that, again, I will have to get used to.
Yes, there are a lot of differences between the PS3 and the PS4 that you “just have to get used to.” This isn’t a problem for someone that is doing a complete upgrade to the PS4 from the PS3 but I am sure that there are many people out there just like me that are not doing a complete upgrade. There are a lot of people that are going to keep on playing their PS3 systems simply because we can’t play some of our games on the PS4…not to mention, the features that the PS3 possesses that the PS4 does not (the ability to play MP3s or, for now, the ability to record and upload game play videos to YouTube). Simply “getting used” to the PS4 is a much more difficult proposition to me.
One of the biggest things that I was upset about when it came to the PS4 was the HDCP protected HDMI output. To most people, this doesn’t really matter much. To me, it is huge. What does this mean? Well, when HDCP is used, this means that you cannot use a traditional game capture card (such as the Elgato Game Capture HD, or the Hauppauge PVR HD) to record your game play. Now, there are ways around this but, technically speaking, they aren’t legal. Sony has addressed this issue saying that, in early 2014, they will be releasing a PS4 patch that will allow HDMI recording of game play using game capture cards. I wonder, exactly, how they are going to work this patch to only provide capture of games and not movies. With the PS3, we could simply skip the entire HDMI route and use the video composite cables (the red, green, and blue RCA style cables). This allowed the recording of ALL output from the PS3 as if the game capture card was actually your television or monitor. This meant that you could not only record your game play but that you could also record movies or TV shows from sources like Netflix. I am sure the entertainment industry is just thrilled with that…
The menu on the Playstation 4 is a little something that I am going to, again, get used to. I am still having quite a time getting around and finding the exact things I am looking for. Eventually, however, I do manage to find it. I would like to be able to customize exactly what I do, and don’t see on the menu. To be honest, I don’t really care about Music Unlimited or Video Unlimited. I have never really watched movies or listened to music on my Playstation, and I am not really going to start now (although I am watching Netflix on my PS4 right now just to see the quality and performance LOL). Typically, I only want to see the things that I use…games, settings, and other such features showing on the menus.
Finally, although I already briefly touched upon sharing, I want to spend a considerable amount of time on this subject as it is what I do. Everyone knows that I absolutely LOVE sharing what I do when it comes to gaming. Whether it be live streaming Minecraft or posting game play from Call of Duty, I absolutely adore sharing. Sony realized that this was the direction of gaming in general. So, in their attempts to be forward thinking, they included the new share button on the controller. This share button would allow you to, with ease, share screenshots and even game play video with the world. The problem is they severely limited it. As of now, it is only possible to upload videos to Facebook and post screenshots to Facebook or Twitter. There is no option, that I can find, to directly download the images or videos from the Playstation 4 to your computer or upload them to another location. Barring this option, in my view, the share button is about as useful as a glass of water to a drowning man. I do however like the concept.
What would make the share button better? First, let us have have control over the media. Let us move the content off of the console, let us post the content where ever we choose. Don’t Google+ us into using what you want us to use. Mostly, I am waiting for the patch to allow HDMI recording…you know, that option that people who use the Xbox One will be able to use on day 1…
Long story short…well, not really, I really like the Playstation 4. Sony has done a great job of creating a platform that performs very well when playing games. All of the extra stuff, like playing movies and music, really doesn’t entertain me. I have a smart TV and and an AppleTV to watch movies and I have a stereo system to play music. For you, these things may, or may not, matter.
If your console goals only include playing games, and do not include sharing content, I would suggest picking up a Playstation 4 post haste. If you do wish to share your content, I would wait until Sony releases the patch that allows HDMI recording…if they ever really do.
Cheers for now