Today I want to take a break from posting about Gunpla, wargaming, and model kits in general and focus on another hobby that I wish to cover with my blog and that is Videogames (and boardgames and it strikes me). I have been an avid gamer since the late 80’s starting with the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). From those early days I have played or owned consoles from every generation of hardware since, including obscure items like the NeoGeo AES and Panasonic 3DO, and maybe someday I will throw up retro reviews.
Now with the prime release season upon us for the latest big budget high profile games and hardware I want to start off with my first impression of the brand new Sony Playstation 4. To get started with I will say that I have been awaiting this new generation of hardware for a few years now as I have slowly moved out of console gaming and back into PC gaming. This transition back into the PC world has been steady as there was not really anything on the current Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 that I could not get on my PC where it runs smoother and looks better (excluded console exclusives).
With the release of the Playstation 4 has all the hype and build up been worth it? Is the hardware that great? Are the launch games worth the day one purchase? Are all of these silly questions that have been answered ad nauseam by the gaming media at large?
Well to answer these questions I will say both yes and no.
The Playstation brand has been around since 1994 with the release of the original Playstation (PSX/PSone) and has since released consoles with each iterative generation of hardware. And before that, Sony had been in a partnership with Nindendo to release a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo named Playstation before the partnership was dissolved and Sony went on to produce their own console.
With the release of the Playstation 4 (PS4), the Playstation has entered the eighth generation of console gaming with a bang and some x86 processors. The system has been billed as more developer friendly while also being much closer to a PC in that it now uses x86-64 processors supplied by AMD/ATI for the CPU/GPU. The benefit to this should be reduced dev times and fancier graphics. In this Sony has clearly already started delivering as there was a total of 24 games available day one for purchase. Sure some of these games are rereleases of PS3 games or ports of multiplatform games that just came out, but compared to previous launches for the different hardware makers this is pretty impressive and Sony has promised a wide range of new games throughout the launch window (which hopefully they can deliver on).
To start with here is the machine, and yes it collects dust fast even after 48hrs.
Sizewise it is smaller then the first generation of Playstation 3 (PS3) and about the same size as both the slim 1 and slim 2 models of the Playstation 3 (PS3 Slim 1 hiding below it). Like the PS3 it does have a user upgradable hard drive (HDD) and uses the standard 2.5″ SATA laptop drive. I mention the HDD as it comes with a 500GB unit installed (400GB usable) and although that sounds great, it will fill fast as all games disc or download require installing to the HDD. This would not be an issue if not for the fact that some games like Killzone Shadowzone require a minimum if 39GB to install to the HDD so it will not take long to fill that 500GB. To combat this 500GB limitation I have replaced the HDD with a 1TB unit so that I will not have to worry to much about using up the HDD space to fast. In addition to this HDD upgrade I picked up a variety of games as well;
-Assassins Creed 4
-Lego Marvel Super Heroes
As part of being a member of PSN and owning the original versions I also have;
I have played most of the games I have picked up for 3-4 hours each and from what I have played so far they are rather enjoyable, but they are nothing that could not have been done on previous gen hardware. At this point it is tough to recommend upgrading from the PS3 or Xbox 360 until there is more games or console exclusives available but all in all for a jusy launched piece of hardware its shaping up to be a good piece of kit.
I will also say that the controllers are a major improvement over the old Dualshock 3’s of the PS3, but Sony has again forgone allowing the end user to replace batteries and insisted on non-replacable lithium ion batteries. I can say that the batteries are good for roughly 8-10 hours of use per charge.
I did not cover it above but I want to mention it now, I am aware of the hardware issues that are plaguing a number of users and at this point I have been rather fortunate so far and the system just survived a power outage.
As of now I will roughly rate the system and its launch at a 7.5/10.
We will see how next week goes with the launch of the Xbox One, hopefully it does not have the hardware and network issues that Sony has been dealing with.
*edit: corrected size comparison