It’s been close to 4 months since my frantic last minute decision to try pick up a Playstation 4 on launch night, Finding out around 2pm that Tesco were stocking them on first come first serve basis to 10 hours later getting my hands on one after dipping into the wedding fund to pay for it. Since then I’ve been through stages of constantly playing, to switching back to last gen consoles to just not gaming at all.
So what do I think with my impulse purchase, am I happy, have I enjoyed it so far…
Firstly I’d like to discuss prices of games. Once upon a time when I lived at home and money was practically always disposable I wouldn’t blink twice picking up multiple brand new games a month. Now however in the real world and especially in the current state of saving for the wedding it’s very rare I buy a new game. It’s not through lack of wanting them, just trying to keep my sensible head on. So that has to be my first criticism with not just the Playstation 4, but the new consoles game prices in general.
Since the PS4 launch, I’ve only paid for 2 retail games; NBA2k14 and Battlefield 4. I had Killzone bundled with the console, and again due to funds I’ve only been subscribing to PS+ on a monthly basis so have taken advantage of the free games available there. So all things considered I think I’ve got a rather tidy collection of games thus far that meet my needs. I can lose time far too easily on Battlefield 4, and when the frustration of having a few bad games happens I can change pace to NBA and enjoy the stunning visuals and incredibly good soundtrack. But I’ll go onto games a bit later.
I still find it loud, I can remember on launch night thinking it sounding a lot louder than previous generation consoles. While I’m now used to it, it’s still something that is present. The console is loud. I’ve seen an Xbone in action and have been very impressed on how quietly it runs, but the PS4 is another beast altogether, so not surprising the sounds it makes.
I don’t know if it’s my internet connection (which I genuinely do think it is, I’ve had many issues) or the speed of the console, but downloading updates for games can take quite a while. It can be rather frustrating when you’re in a Battlefield mood to see a notification that BF4 needs an update which will take 20 minutes then change to an hour then change to 5 minutes. In fairness the longest update I’ve had to wait for has been 20 minutes. But in the scheme of things that’s a long time when all you want to do at the moment is partake in a game of conquest.
Installing games I’ve not had any issues with. While installing NBA the option to play through one exhibition match while the game installs takes the pain of waiting away and the game was fully installed way before the 2nd quarter finished. Same for Battlefield allowing me to play through the opening mission while the game installs, it was done in no time.
I do on occasion turn the console on browse through the menus but have no sounds accompany what I’m doing. That can be quite annoying as the only resolution I’ve come across is to shut the console down and start it up again. It’s not frequent, but I’ve had it happen a few times since launch. Annoyingly I’ve had it happen when trying to show it off to people “Come on PS4 don’t let me down now in front of my friends…”
Once I got to grips with the video capture and live stream options I’ve enjoyed this too. I like the idea it’s constantly recording 15 minute blocks for you to snip out your best kills or best slam dunks. I did have issues with BF4 in that despite normally recording automatically with other games; this one didn’t, so I’ve missed a few rather amusing kills and moments. But now I’m just sure to force recording when I start now. I may have spoiled a few scares from Outlast too with some of my screen shots and videos, but hey ho… you can add spoiler warnings!
The console itself also makes for a very comfortable seat for my cat. While it annoys me immensely that she sits on it, she’s too damn cute to get mad at, and so I find myself regularly cleaning the glossy side of the console removing adorably annoying paw prints.
Oh my, it’s still so comfortable. I can still remember on launch night when I got the console home and unboxing and un-wrapping everything, holding the DS4 for the first time. I was instantly impressed with it. Last generation I swore blindly that the Xbox360 controller was the best controller I’ve ever used to play games on, and I really do find the Xbone controller comfortable too, it’s a really well designed control. But I’m so adjusted to the DS4 now, and still find it a joy to play games on. Battlefield with it is easy, the thumb sticks are positioned perfectly to me and this is very weird to say as I loved Battlefield 3 on the xbox 360 control.
A lot of people have complained about the blue light and how pointless it is and how it can cause a rather blatant reflection on the TV. I’m not saying it as a fanboy but I have had no issues with the glare, really don’t see the arguments to this?
I enjoy the light when it’s used for something such as in Killzone. The colour change as your health drops is ingenious. One comment from someone I told this to asked “how can you see the colour if the light is pointing away and behind the control?” well with Killzone my fingers are on the trigger button constantly, the glow of the colours shows on my fingers and there you are, I have red glow on my fingers when critically injured in Killzone, or bright green when at full health. Works for me.
The speaker on the controller I’ve only heard used once again in Killzone. And again it is a nice little feature that can be used in more games going forward in a similar pattern. It did scare me a lot upon first discovering it though. Collecting my first audio pickup and then hear it blasting out of the controller while I carried on playing scared me but I was also thinking to myself how awesome that idea was.
With the touchpad I’ve again only used this in Killzone (other than checking battlelog in Battlefield but it’s not a massive use). The owl that accompanies you in Killzone is controlled via the touch pad. And it is so smooth and responsive. I’ve used it many times sending the Owl first to scout areas out in attack mode. While enemies are distracted by him it’s the opportune time to pick them off from a bit further back.
The battery life of the controller has been a none issue for me. I play with the control wired up for a little while each time I start gaming, but spend the rest of the session un wired and it doesn’t drain the juice that badly at all.
Well my collection isn’t too bad, but it could be better. The choices of bundles available for me were Knack or Killzone. Killzone was the easy choice there really. Had it only been Knack I’d of still ended up picking Killzone down the line anyways. I’ve got to admit that I’m yet to complete it however. And I’ve not even played it online. The only taste of multiplayer I’ve had is against bots. I did enjoy the brief bots mode though, but to me the one game I wanted most from the PS4 was NBA2k14. So Killzone was a bonus game to play to stun me with beautiful graphics. And that it did. The game is such an eye catching good game. Again from launch night I can remember loading and watching the opening sequence for the first time and having my mind blown. And then when actually playing the game and seeing some the views in the later levels were just jaw dropping. While it may not go down as one of the best launch titles ever in terms of story and review scores one thing you cannot deny is that it is one of the best looking launch titles you’ll see.
As mentioned though the launch title I wanted the most was NBA2k14. It’s an odd choice as while I do like basketball, I’ve not bought a new game since…. Well that’s just it can’t remember. I know I’ve owned a few on the Xbox360 though.
The main appeal to me for this game was just again the way it looked. In one of my previous posts I mentioned how when the Xbox360 launched Fight Night Round 3 stunned me with its visuals. Well this game was this generations “WOW” launch game for me. The screen shots and trailers I was watching got me more and excited for it. Fortunately as-well as looking good it is a real blast to play. The modes available are addictive. It’s a bit annoying that a lot of the stuff to progress needs to be unlocked by the games currency VC which is a slow grind to earn high amounts of. You can opt to buy some with real money, which again I think is a bit cheeky. But it would appear we have to embrace the mircotransaction era this generation. Another slight hindrance is that the game modes can only be played if you’re connected to the internet. And as mentioned given my terrible internet issues this can get quite frustrating.
Battlefield 4 was a game that I knew I would get once I could afford it. I love multiplayer games such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty. So getting BF4 was a no brainer for me. The one downside is that out of my friend group who played those games with me, I’m the only one that defected over the greatness side of the PS4. So I’m now playing BF4 in teams of strangers. No biggy, but I do miss the banter of being in parties with my friends playing games and covering each other or mocking each other for silly mistakes. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that I’ll get an Xbone one day, but at present I just doesnt appeal to me.
The free games I’ve had from PS+ have been an added bonus, I’ve not really played them all that much. Don’t starve is quirky and can pass some time. Outlast is fantastic and really captured my attention for a little while. It’s definitely a game to not play when home alone. The jumps are fast and plentiful. And the suspense is ridiculous; I’m creeping round corners and holding my breath as I do so. Great fun!
I’m into the final stretch now with wedding savings. In fact it’s just 1 more payslip away. So Aprils payslip will be my first in which we can treat ourselves a little bit in a long time (not that the PS4 wasn’t a massive treat in the first place) and it gives me a chance to pick up a few more games I’d like to for the console. Despite the reviews I’m rather desperate to pick up Thief, hopefully by then it’ll fall a little bit more in price. And despite it being practically a demo and multiple reports of short play time I need to have Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros. Of course as this post goes out Infamous: Second Son will be launching and it marks Sony’s first big game on the console since the launch titles. It’s already getting some impressive reviews and the screenshots and trailers for it all look gorgeous. It’ll definitely be in my PS4 sooner rather than later that’s for sure.
Drive club is coming soon… apparently. Another game I’m going to be adding to the collection. The games are coming. And they are only going to start looking and getting better the more developers get used to the power available to them.
All in all I’m very glad I dipped into the wedding fund to pick this up on launch night. It’s had a very respectable amount of use, it’s been prominent to many game nights in which my friends and I take turns playing a match on NBA, Heck thanks to NBA2k14 my friends and I now have a new dance move to Blurred Lines & Macklemore when we hear them at parties and such. As I post this my fiancée will be off on her hen weekend so I’m home alone… well that’s a lie I’ll be gaming all weekend with my chums, so I’m sure there will be a lot more NBA moments over the weekend.
PS4, #greatnessarrived and it’s definitely #4theplayers