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PlayStation 4 Console
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420 of 475 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2015
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
Let me preface this review by saying that I am only a casual gamer. As a pure gaming console, this is truly excellent. Impressive graphics, speed etc. Countless reviews will tell you that, and they are not wrong. I haven't seen a lot of reviews for people, such as myself, who wish to use the console not only for playing games, but as a multipurpose media device, as a true replacement for the PS 3 and all of it's functionality. This is where the PS4 falls puzzlingly short, and people should be advised.

I consider the PS 3 to be, perhaps, the most perfect entertainment device ever conceived. Sony's ad campaign from a couple of years ago was "It Only Does Everything" and that was pretty much truth in advertising. I used the PS3 as a multimedia hub for my household. A fully functional and updateable Blu-Ray player, with excellent DVD upscaling, and an unrivaled streaming device for Netflix, Amazon Video, Vudu, Hulu, PlayOn and others. A CD player as well, for rare occasions when a playing a physical disc was required. With the addition of a $20 bluetooth remote, this device was the seamless center of my home entertainment system. I expected the vaunted next generation console to possess the same functionality. Strangely this did not happen. While technically, the PS 4 can still do most of those things, it does so quite unspectacularly and with an interface so clunky that I have been forced to leave my PS3 connected.

The central problem is that, more than a year after launch, there is still no replacement for the Bluetooth remote control. All media functions must be run using the game controller, which already has poor battery life and provides less than intuitive playback controls. The only remotes available are third party and basically do not work at all. While I can live with this, users with a a less extensive tech familiarity will easily find themselves at sea. Sony does not appear to be developing a remote control and, instead, is emphasizing that the PS4 works with HDMI control, through your television remote. I tried this and it did not work, even though I have a Sony TV. A little research uncovered the fact that it only works with an HDMI control standard rolled out in 2009 and since my, perfectly functional, television was purchased in 2008, I'm out of luck unless I want to invest in a TV I don't need. That's a big price tag to replace the $20 remote that works with my PS3.

Leaving the control issues aside, media playback is not impressive. I played a number of Blu-Rays on the system and found that they don't look very good. I have no idea why this should be, but there is a noticeable difference in quality between this and the PS 3 for playing the same media. Ditto for streaming.

Another quirk of this new system, (and this is directly gaming related,) is that you can no longer use bluetooth headsets. You can only use wired headsets plugged into the controller. And you can't use any smartphone headset, if you want a functional mic. You have to use playstation approved gear, or it will not work. I simply don't understand why this decision was made. It doesn't seem to be just a transparent money grab, it seems like a generally poorly thought out design. Perhaps this will be changed, but it has been a year and there has not been a whisper of a change yet.

When the PS3 arrived on the market, the chief things that differentiated it from XBox were as follows: Built in Blu-Ray, when that technology was brand new and online play that was free. That was why it was a no brainer for me to go with PS3. With this new release, they have hobbled the Blu-Ray and multimedia capabilities and, in addition, now require a PlayStation plus subscription for PS4 players to play online. The PS4 is a fine gaming system, there is no doubt about that but, for a certain type of user, this will not serve as a replacement for your PS3. I think people should be aware of that before they invest $400.
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944 of 1,130 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2013
Edition: PlayStation 4 ConsoleVerified Purchase
I purchased the launch version at 12:15 Friday night of the 15th. I'm glad I did. Got up the next morning and looked online and they were already sold out.

With prime shipping it arrived Monday afternoon. I was worried that I was going to get a bad unit like a lot of other reviewers on here. Got everything hooked up and hit the power button... It flashed blue... I was worried for a second, then the light turn white and the PS logo appeared on the screen. Sigh of relief. First thing I did was run the latest firmware update. It updated without any issues.

Once you're at the home screen you're welcomed by soothing music and a clean feeling menu. After a couple of days I got tired of the menu background music so all I had to do was go to the settings and turn that off. Everything seems very snappy. My first real impression was how fast the PS store opened. On the PS3 it seemed to take forever, but on the PS4 it was almost instant.

Installed my first game (Battlefield 4) and once I inserted the disc the game immediately started to install itself. Within seconds it was ready to play. When I first entered the game I was told that to access the games network features I would have to install an update for the game. But for offline campaign mode I could immediately jump into it. I played the campaign for a few minutes then backed out so I could run the update and use the network stuff. The PS4 alerted me that it had started the download of the update and once complete that it was ready to install. It installed without a hitch and I was able to get into the game and access the multiplayer features.

Went ahead and installed the other two games I had purchased (COD Ghost and Need for Speed) both installed without issue. Got notified that they too needed updates so I went ahead and ran them. This being a launch system and as new as the games are I wasn't too surprised with all the updates.

It was getting late so I didn't get to get into much game play that night. Fast forward to now and I must say i'm quite impressed so far. I've been playing battlefield mostly and the graphics are phenomenal. Compared to the PS3 its a great improvement. I would have to say it give the PC a run for its money.

One thing I was really impressed was this. A friend was watching a movie on netflix. I came into the room and he wanted to show me something on COD. In a matter of seconds he went from netflix to game play. You hit the PS button and your back a the main menu... He had already played the game earlier so it was on standby. He selects the game, hits enter and the game came up almost immediately and he was back to where he left off. After watching him play a bit I was impressed with the quality of this game as well. Found a few glitches in the game, but I expect those will be fixed over time. I know Battlefield was having issues with some of its multiplayer maps. I guess thats what you get when you buy launch day consols.

Overall I'm liking it so far. But knowing Sony and the PS3 more is to come. I was disappointed in them not including the DLNA features because that was one of the main things I used on the PS3. I have a feeling that Sony will add this soon.

Those of you who are thinking about buying one this holiday. Wait till amazon or the stores get them back in stock. Don't buy one for $600-$1000 its not worth that cost. Plus by the time there back in stock the should have more of the bugs worked out.

I hope my review was helpful. To those who got bad units and are hating on Sony: Don't disqualify the PS4 yet. Get your replacement and give it another shot. I think you'll be glad you did.

--- Update 12-24-2013 --

Haven't got to play as many games as I would like to recently. I have been using apps and features though and thought I'd share what I think.

- Playstation Store.
I hated the PS store on the PS3. It was slow to load and annoying to get around. The PS4 has improved it some... To access the store all you have to do is go to the top row menu, then far left. It takes about 3-8ish seconds to load. Once you access it once it loads faster the next time.
Once you in the store it is familiar to the same layout as the PS3. I'm not really a fan of how you have to bypass all the current popular titles to get to the "all" button that all the way to the right. Once you get the hang of where everything is it makes it easier. I would say the only thing that I like better is that fact that it loads quicker.

- DualShock 4 Controller
LOVE IT. I'm a guy with big hands. I like the longer grips. I don't feel like im going to lose the controller while in a heated battle in BF4.
The sticks are smoother and more accurate, really helps when trying to be a sniper were precision is key.
Some games have changed how the buttons are mapped. This took some getting used to but I'm liking it still.
The front light can become annoying at times, as well as I wounder how much battery life I'm losing with it. I hoping they release a patch that allows you to turn it off if you're not in a game that requires it.
Battery life could be better. One awesome thing is that the DS4's use micro-usb now. That means most your android smartphone chargers and cables can charge the controller. I have an old motorola USB wall-wart and a standard micro-usb cable and can charge the controller next to my chair instead of having to get up and plug it into the PS4.
Earpiece port. The PS4 comes with a mono earpiece/mic. All you have to do is plug in in the DS4 controller. It will work with any headset that has that size jack.
Haven't found a game or app that uses the touch pad yet. But the pad also works as a button, which has a clean easy feel when pressed.

- Netflix, Amazon Instant
Netflix. not much different here. I Haven't been using it as much because I'm on comcast and between comcast and netflix I can't get a stream thats better than 240 SD. I can stream HD just fine in amazon. This isn't a PS4 problem cause my PS3 was doing this as well. For those of you who like to see what quality you're getting on the PS3 you'd hit the 'Select' button, well the DS4 no longer has that button so it is now mapped to the right stick button.
Amazon. Also not much different. It works well, had no crashes. Plays in HD and full surround.

- Twitch, Ustream
This is a cool feature. On the main row go over to "Live from Playstation". Here you can hop in a watch other people play games, even games you don't own or have installed. A typical stream will have the person hosting the stream on a webcam or just audio. You can interact with comments and if you have the game installed you can start that games from the stream. You also have the ability to stream your own games. Just hit the share button while playing a game.

- Gameplay
Battlefield 4: After many patches the online play is getting better, fewer crashes, pretty awesome. As for the offline campaign mode. IT SUCKS. Not sure if the lastest patch fixed anything but you would get half way through the campaign and it crash. And if you weren't so lucky it corrupted the profile and when you restarted that game it started you back at the beginning. I've given up on the campaign and just play online multiplayer (Which BF4 was made for anyways)

COD Ghosts: Few campaign glitches, few crashes. I've seen some updates pop up recently so most of those should be getting fixed.

Need for Speed: Just a fun racing game. I like it better than the hot pursuit version on the PS3. Graphics are good. Smooth game play. Never cared for the in game menu structure of need for speed.

Resogun: Got it for free via PS Plus membership. Cool 3D side shooter. First games I've played that uses the built in controller speaker.

- Extra Stuff
I am using a logitech wireless keyboard w/touchpad. Keyboard is detected by the PS4. I can use it in most applications for typing.

Thats all for now. I'll post any updates if I find anything new or cool.
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1,864 of 2,236 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2013
Edition: PlayStation 4 ConsoleVerified Purchase
Ok so I purchased this on release day along with the xbox one. I wanted to wait to give it a comparison so here I am a month later.

Cost = PS4
If you can get your hands on an actual retail copy and not a bootleg copy by someone whose trying to make a 300% profit then the PS4 is $100 cheaper with more bang for your buck based on the specs alone.

Cosmetics = PS4
The PS4 is a better sleeker console that is actually pretty quiet and designed for the 21st century. Compared to the xbox one that is the size Of a VCR or VCR/DVD combo. It's huge!

Video Quality = PS4
Slight advantage goes to the PS4. Although they both run on AMD Radeon GPU's. PS4 pushes out 176gb/s of memory compared to 64 from xbox one, as well as a peak shader throughput of 1.84 teraflops compared to xbox one 1.33. Both support native 1080p with 4K support.

Ram = PS4
PS4 has 8GB GDDR5 5500MHz (176GB/s)
Xbox one has 8GB DDR3 2133MHz (68GB/s)
The numbers speak for themselves. PS4 by a landslide.

Optical Drive = Tie.
Both have Blu-Ray drives.

Storage = Tie
Both come with 500GB Hard Drives.

Internet connectivity = Tie
Both have Ethernet ports as well as built in wifi setup with no need to purchase a separate adapter.

Controller = Xbox One
Although the PS4 has made some strides in developing a better controller, it comes with a built in speaker in the center of the controller as well as a touchpad but for those of you who has had a sony in the past that are use to pressing pause in the middle of the controller it will take getting some use to. The Xbox one controller feels way better then the 360 controller that has grip pads on the sticks as well as a more ergonomic design and better feel overall.

Online capabilities = Xbox One
Both have online play but Xbox one better. Some may complain that paying to play online sucks but the money you pay goes towards keeping the servers operating at their peak. Free internet servers have problems with lagging and thousands of cheaters and glitches. Not saying that no one glitches on xbox live but the money for xbox live goes towards patching those exploits. PS Plus is similar to xbox live and hopefully it gets to where xbox live is today.

Overall, PS4 is geared more towards gaming with an additional perk of media options. Xbox one is geared more as a media hub with the option of gaming, watching tv, listening to music etc... If you are interested in just old fashion gaming with 21st century graphics then the PS4 is for you. If you are interested in watching movies, listening to music, giving voice commands to do all these things as well as play games too, then xbox one is for you.
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257 of 314 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2014
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
Next Gen is here, and it's beautiful.

Like most of you who might be reading this review, considering this purchase or perhaps even wondering whether the next gen is worth the investment at all; I wondered if the Xbox One or the PS4 was a better choice. Aside from the price of games and peripherals, to get both is a $900 investment. That's $900 better spent on just one console, accessories, and a healthy load of games. So, I decided I needed to go with just one. But which one?

The reality is, both are so very similar in a lot of ways; so the PS4's aggressive $100 price undercut makes it very appealing. But there are a few other things that make the PS4 stand out. For one, the controller is fantastic. And this is coming from an Xbox Fanboy! While, like any good gamer, I was glued to the PS1 and it's incredibly new controllers, disc based games and incredible, epic RPG's. And then the PS2 after that. But then, after some time, came along the XBox. With a controller that just made so much more sense. Offset sticks meant that almost every game was better with the XBox controller. So, trust me when I say, it's hard for me to own up and say that the PlayStation has a better controller. It's just great. Ergonomic, features that make sense, great weight and feel; and even decent battery life (though it could be better). Pricing for the controllers is very steep; but it is for the XBox One as well; so that's moot.

Finally, the games. Both have their share of First-Person shooters that I'll never own. I'm a PC gamer. In fact, my LAST console that I owned was that original XBox. I skipped the PS3/Xbox 360 generation entirely. With Steam, lower priced games, better graphics; and I can STILL use those exact same controllers; well- why not go with PC? Well, two reason finally drug me to the Console land once again. First, is convenience. Hey, I'm not afraid to admit I do pine for the ability to plop down on the couch, push a button, and fire up a game. Sure beats sitting in an office chair (or dragging my PC into the living room), waiting for the machine to boot up (even with SSD's), and so on. But that's only a minor inconvenience. The real problem; is the fact that with a PC I can't borrow and try out my friends games; Demos are a thing of the past and there are so many console games I've been drooling over that just never seem to make it to PC. So I bit the bullet and got the PS4.

Why the PS4 then? Well, as someone who doesn't like FPS's on a controller (I'm just useless with a controller. Blame the years of PC gaming, or my unwillingness to learn. But the fact is, I'm about as useful as a screen door on a submarine in a first-person shooter with a controller), I want the console that gives me the epic RPG's, top tier racing games (though the XBox does have Forza!), killer platformers and even the occasional time-wasting cute casual game. While the XBox One checks all of those boxes; with the exception of racing games (Again, Forza); the PS4 takes the (albeit slight) lead when it comes to available titles. So, for me, as a PC gamer; the PS4 is the perfect compliment.

So enough about the differences between the two. How about we talk about the console itself?

Well, it's epic. My gaming PC has an AMD Radeon 7870 graphics card. This PS4 has graphics performance similar to the slower 7770 graphics card, and it's noticeable. Since DC Universe Online is a free downloadable game, I decided to download it to my PS4 and my PC. Graphics on the PS4 were noticeably poorer but not significantly. Unlike previous generations; the gap between PC graphics and console graphics is much smaller. It will widen as time goes by and we upgrade our PC's and the consoles remain the same; but even so, for right now; the PS4 has some serious pep.

On top of that, it has 500GB of storage (without the overhead of a large operating system or bloaty applications like Microsoft Office). Which is great; especially great is the PS4's ability to purchase games from a huge library. As I said, the ability to borrow, swap, and buy used games is great. But coupling it with the ability to buy games from a digital download marketplace, have them quickly and then not need to insert a disc to play it is also great. Couple that with Sony's ambitious promise to make 100% of titles available as digital downloads is nothing short of spectacular. Any PS4 game, from the moment it launches; is available digitally. You can even pre-order a game, and it will begin downloading on launch day (provided the system is properly configured), and will be ready for you when you get home. That sure beats long lines only to find out they are out of copies of anticipating new releases! The PS4 also allows you to access your games on friends consoles; with a caveat. For one, most games are huge. Some approaching 50GB! (Wow!), so chances are this 'friend' is going to be a close friend you see a lot. It's not like you're going to come over for an hour and start playing your games. Unless your friend happens to be one of the lucky souls on Google Fiber (in which case; can they be my friend too?); chances are it's going to take hours to days or even weeks for your games to be available. That's not Sony's fault; but it's a reality of adopting digital downloads when internet speeds haven't QUITE caught up with that. Secondly; you have to be logged into that console. You can't trade, share, or sell games. Which is a real shame. With the DRM the way it is; there really seems to be no reason why I can't transfer games. Or what about a swappable marketplace? How amazing would it be if I could go into the PlayStation Store, and list some of my games that I no longer play as 'for trade', and find other people online who are willing to trade those games for titles I'd like to play? The technology is there; but Sony knows that would likely drive down sales, so it's not likely a feature we'll see. But it sure would be nice to at least be able to transfer games from one account to another; rendering them inoperable on the original account and available on the new account. No different than trading/sharing/selling Games. Even Steam is demoing a new program where you can actually SHARE your games. Only one person can play the game at a time; but you can share your library with friends! How cool is that!

Now, if you've been paying attention; I know what you're thinking. Okay so Digital downloads are cool; but are they really nearing 50GB each? Yep, they are. And is the console really equipped with a minuscule 500GB hard drive? Yes, it sure is. As a matter of fact, it's the exact same drive equipped on the PS3 slim. But guess what! In an unprecedented move; Sony has said 'go ahead, open it up'! Remember how cool that original XBox was when it came equipped with a built in 10GB Hard Drive? Remember how un-cool it got when a little bit of time went by and you realized how quickly you could fill that up; and how the console would only accept that factory hard drive without modification? Well, not today, and not with Sony. You can install any SATA hard drive that will fit, right into the console. Want a 2TB drive? Go for it. Wanna toss in an SSD and shave boot times and loading times (P.S., according to benchmarks and reviews; disc-based games don't get much of a performance improvement. And downloaded games improve only so much. So generally a bigger drive is a better buy)? Go for it, you have Sony's blessing. The only beef is that they are using a laptop hard drive. The console seems big enough to support a full 3.5" desktop class drive; which opens up a world of much better options. Including 3 and 4TB drive, and cheaper drives in general. But, even so, it's hard to complain when Sony says 'go for it', and you may, warranty in-tact, swap out the Hard drive with a bigger one. (Tip: If you're thinking about a bigger hard drive it's probably because you're thinking about downloading several games, right? Well; do yourself a favor and buy the drive now; before you have to re-download all of those games.)

Unfortunately, Sony dropped the ball with external storage. If you are looking at the specs; you might be salivating at it's USB 3.0 capability. That means data transfer speeds nearly as fast as SATA 3 are available via external ports. Woah! Well, that's all fine and good for media (Videos, mainly); but Sony doesn't allow your games to be downloaded to external storage. Bummer! Another missed opportunity. Since they already support playing digitally downloaded games on other consoles with a login; it seems like a natural thing to allow you to download them to an external drive; and take that external drive to a friends house; login, and play your games. Surely their DRM would allow for that And surely they aren't concerned about piracy (since the internal hard drive is easily accessible; and the only way you could play pirated games is with a hacked console, which so far hasn't been accomplished. And if the console was hacked; accessing an external drive would be an even easier feat than cracking the DRM anyway).

Next up, is PS Vita integration. Now this is way cool, because it works well. PS Vita supports both second screen (though that's rarely utilized); AND remote play. Remote play works beautifully on a good, strong wi-fi network. It means you can turn the TV off, change the channel, or go in the other room and continue playing your PS4 games right on your handheld. And with the drop in the PS Vita price; it's just too good to pass up. Heck, just the other evening I was leaning back in my chair in the living room, playing Diablo III for PS4 on my Vita; while my wife watched her favorite TV show on the living room TV. The Vita will even remotely turn on the PS4. In theory, this would also work over the internet allowing you to play your PS4 games anywhere in the world. But as upload speeds aren't so great here in the US of A, it's not likely many of us will be able to take advantage of that. (No matter how fast the internet connection your Vita has is; if your upload speed at home isn't quick enough for the PS4 to adequately stream, then it just won't work well.)

EDIT: Since writing this review; Sony has added ANOTHER great way to play via Remote Play. PlayStation TV; which is a small box that will sell for $99, supports remote play. This small set top box will play Netflix and other streaming content. But more importantly for the PS4 owner; is the aforementioned remote play feature. This means you can hook a Playstation TV box up to another TV in your home, and continue playing PS4 games on another screen! How awesome is that? It also supports the DualShock 4 controller. So it's like having the PS4 in another room without moving it! I've pre-ordered one.

It's a bit of a bummer that the PS4 doesn't support 5GHz wi-fi; meaning no full-speed Wireless N and no Wireless AC. But in reality; that's probably not a big deal. Unless you've got Google fiber; your internet won't saturate 2.4GHz Wireless N. And it's not likely you'll be transferring huge amounts of data from your PS4 to other devices on your network on a regular basis.

Now; here's another bummer: backwards compatibility. Through emulators that Sony has already worked on in the past; the PlayStation had an opportunity to be a record-breaking, awe-inspiring console with total backwards-compatibility spanning all the way back to the PlayStation One. But, alas, there is none. There IS a streaming service; called PS Now; that actually works quite well. But the pricing is wonky. You'll pay a chunk of change to rent a game for a couple of months; at times it'll get choppy, and part of the allure of backwards compatibility is the ability for us to play the games we already own or buy inexpensive games out of the bargain bin and have something different to play. Sony; we realize that older games will have poorer graphics. But we'd still love you to have backwards compatibility. If I can fire up an old DOS game (or; heck, an old PS1 or PS2 game) on my PC; then why can't you incorporate some decent backwards compatibility? Because the architecture is different it would require an emulator; but the folks at Sony are surely smart enough for that.

Another great leap forward in the last two generations of console (and especially this generation); is a move away from requiring proprietary accessories. We in the PC world have enjoyed a wide array of gaming accessories. And those of us who played both always lamented the fact that we had to use lame wheels, headsets, joysticks, etc., from a small group of developers because they had to be designed for the console. With bluetooth and USB; and real integration of both; there's a great variety of accessory options for the PS4. I can use the same headset I use with my PC on my PS4. Oh; and speaking of headsets, how cool is the feature that the wireless controller allows you to plugin headphones or a headset? I can send ALL of the game audio through headphones in the controller, or just communication audio. Sweet!

Finally, as I wrap up this long winded glowing review; I need to leave you with one warning. Even though the console is nearly a year old; purchasing it today still means, in a lot of ways, being an early adopter. Games seem to keep being delayed and with no backwards compatibility; the catalog of available games isn't that expansive on the PS4. Features that were touted at launch, like PS Now, are still in infantile beta stages and some features (like themes and customization of the home menu) are promised for future updates but not quite here. While only in a small way, there's a feeling of an 'unfinished console' when it comes to the PS4. It in no way should discourage you from buying; unless you are the type that demands a large library of games and can't stand beta software. Admittedly, that was a reservation I had. But then I realized; how many games am I really going to BUY each month? Probably just a couple. I mean it's not like I'm going to drop hundreds of dollars a month on several games each month. And the reality is, there are several fantastic games already available. And the pipeline is full of ambitious, exciting titles to keep me busy and my wallet empty in the months to come. In reality; this is probably the best time to buy the PS4 console. Although you will have to stomach higher pricing for games. Especially if you buy from the PS Store. Dear Sony, many of us have become accustomed to the digital experience we have through services like Steam. We demand sales, discounts, and other opportunities to buy games at a better price! As it stands now, most of the games in the PlayStation store remain effectively at launch price; even if they can be had for as little as half that price in physical form, even brand new. In fact, I just purchased a new copy of a game for my PS Vita for $24.99 on Amazon, that was available for $49.99 from the PS Store. The high pricing is consistent across both devices. That's not an issue if you're buying titles at launch ($60 is $60 right?), but as games get a little older and the prices drop; it would be nice to see the same be true of the digital store.

All in all, a slam dunk for Sony. There may be a few reasons to wait a while before adopting the current generation of consoles. There may even be a few reasons to go with the XBox One over the PS4. But for me and many others; we couldn't be happier with this fantastic piece of equipment. Sony, you haven't converted this die-hard PC gamer; but you sure have reminded him what he loved about console gaming as a kid. And he's quite happy to buy games on your platform that he could've bought on his PC!
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262 of 349 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2014
Edition: PlayStation 4 ConsoleVerified Purchase
PS4 vs. Xbox One: A review from a die hard gamer.

So when the new systems came out I listened to all sides. We already had an Xbox 360, a PS3, and a WII. We really had no favorites except we used the PS3 more because of it's blu-ray capabilities as the home entertainment system (Netflix / Amazon).

So we decided when upgrading we were going to try and cut down on the number of systems we used. We started with a PS4 but quickly added a Wii-U for the Mario games, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and other Nintendo only games.

Some of the Xbox One exclusive titles looked good but nothing earth shattering until Titanfall. Being a huge FPS shooter fan and a huge MechWarrior fan (by the way Titanfall is a huge MechWarrior rip off) I had to get it.

For my PS4 I have purchased the system, the camera, the rubberized grip for the controllers, and some Kontrol Freaks. Making my total purchase outside of games to just under $500 dollars.

To play Titanfall I needed the Xbox One, then because I hate changing batteries I had to buy the rechargeable pack for the controller. I also use Astro A50 gaming headsets, but to use this with the Xbox One I have to use the headset adapter which is another $25-$30 dollars. So now my out of pocket expenses for this system is around $600 dollars.

Here are some of the differences that annoyed me on both.

PS4: The controllers are stock out of the box rechargeable which is great. You can turn off the rumble effects the small built in speaker, but you can't turn off that darn super light in the front. Why would I want to turn that off? Well to use less battery and although I know that is not huge it still annoys the crap out of me. The HDMI is encrypted I know some of you might not understand what that means but it means I can't use an outside capture device to record videos (although Sony still says they will fix this in an update.) This sucks to entire new levels as I don't like streaming to Twitch through the system I would rather use my PC for that function. (For streaming I like to use the Elgato capture devices, which can be found here on Amazon.) Not enough USB ports. The system has two on front and that is it. So I have to get a USB hub of some sort to have multiple controllers because I have one slot already used for my headset amplifier.

XboxOne: The controller not being rechargeable by default is a pain in the butt, batteries suck. Also the controller is small and very light plastic feel. I am concerned I might break it. The xbox 360 controllers, at least the ones I have, do not seem to feel this way. The Kinect although cool is seriously huge! I mean it is basically a 1 foot 2x4 sitting on your tv stand. Couldn't they have reduced the size somehow? USB ports not enough and none on the front. All the USB ports are located in the rear. Again they only give you a couple, which just doesn't seem like enough. Biggest complaint by far is the external always on power supply. Not only is this thing huge the dang thing has a fan that just keeps going so you hear it all the time, very annoying.

Now I won't talk about the games but I will say this startup into game, at least visually, appears to be faster on the PS4 then the xbox one.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2014
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
My brothers got me a PS4 for my birthday, so here are my first impressions. The first thing I did after unboxing the unit was to install an old Momentus XT hybrid SSD in place of the 5400rpm drive. It's not worth installing a brand new SSD onto the PS4 because that would cost as much as the console itself, but since I had a couple of the old drives around before SSDs became reliable enough to use on the laptops/desktops, I repurposed them as drives for the PS3 and PS4. This particular drive has a 7200rpm spinning platter, unlike the newer drives that utilize a 5400rpm platter. The net result is that even if the SSD cache on the drive doesn't get hit that frequently, the increased RPM should grant better performance compared with the OEM drive.

The experience of doing so was a snap. Unlike other vendors, Sony actually designed the system to make replacing drives easy. You slide back the left side of the device, exposing the drive bay, undo one screw, and slide out the caddy holding a 2.5inch drive. The OEM drive is 7.5mm thick, but Sony thoughtfully made the caddy such that it supports a 9mm drive, so the momentus fit with no problems. The OS install was painless and easy, though finding the power on button was surprisingly challenging, since there was no obvious button, just a touch sensitive pad.

Installing the device into my existing entertainment system was straightforward. One potential complication if you have an ancient analog receiver like I do, is that the PS4 doesn't support analog output, only HDMI. I redirected the audio to the analog receiver through the TV, but that adds lag, if that sort of thing bothers you.

Once the system boots up, it's clear that this is a different animal than the PS3. It boots up quickly, and you can quickly download multiple applications and games easily and quickly. Even logging onto Amazon Prime was easy as the controller felt less laggy than the PS3's. What's interesting to me is that the PS4 controller feels much more comfortable than the PS3's, so the ergonomic improvements are definitely very welcome. The controller also uses standard micro USB ports, and thankfully can be charged with any charger, unlike the PS3's which required special chargers. What is much appreciated is the headphone port on the controller: I could mute the TV and then playing using headphones attached to the controller. It'll even support a microphone headset, and the PS4 comes with one so you can chat. I eschewed the crappy PS4 default one for my Koss Portra Pros, and the sound was acceptable, though not as nice as when I plugged it into my Vita.

I stuck the Life of Pi into the PS4 and watched it with my wife. That's a gorgeous movie and the PS4 was more than capable of doing rendering the movie in gorgeous 1080p. I was very pleased, though you wouldn't buy a PS4 just to act as a Blu Ray player, knowing that it can serve the function is the major reason to go with one of the major video game consoles, as opposed to a Nintento Wii or Wii U, which can't serve as a general media player.

Vudu and Amazon Instant Video both installed nicely onto the PS4, as did YouTube (as of the 2.0 update). You're not missing anything over any of the other streaming sticks or streaming video boxes. What's missing from the PS3 is that it won't serve as a DLNA client, or even play music from disk.

I've already completed one game, Resogun on the device, and it's definitely very impressive. One problem with the PS4 right now is that there aren't that many high quality titles out yet. I expect that to change over the next year, and look forward to being able to play console titles that my 5 year old desktop probably won't be able to keep up with. That's an unfair comparison, since the 5 year old desktop is driving a 1440p display, but that's how it goes.

One of the big benefits of having a PS4 and a Vita is that you can use the Vita as a remote play terminal for the PS4. The two sync up very nicely, and you can use the OLED screen to play games on the PS4 via remote play from any room in the house with decent wifi. This runs surprisingly smoothly with next to no lag, and lets you do things like play games while someone else uses the TV to watch streaming video, though you can't do that if your primary input into the TV is the PS4, so you need at least a secondary streaming device like the FireTV stick or Chromecast. Now, the problem with remote play is that in order to take advantage of it, you need to keep your PS4 in standby mode. Standby mode, however, consumes nearly half the power projected to be used by your PS4 over its lifetime, so it's not costless.

I'll maintain that right now is a bad time to buy a PS4, while it's the best time ever to buy a PS3. But if you already have a PS3 and are setting up a second room with a TV, then you might as well get a PS4. It's a sleek device, and does its job for anything faster than the alternatives.
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544 of 741 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2013
Edition: PlayStation 4 ConsoleVerified Purchase
I don't even know where to begin with my review. I guess I could say that I love the Playstation 4 or that it works perfectly and I've had no issues (apart from the Playstation Network being down a bit as it was getting hammered by all the new PS4 owners). I guess I'll just do a list or Pros and Cons:

PROS:
-The system itself looks awesome. Very architectural. It was actually the first thing my girlfriend commented on and said she loved the way it looked.
-The User Interface is basically an upgraded XMB. If you liked the XMB, you'll like this interface. It is also incredibly snappy and responsive.
-Getting in to and out of the Playstation Store is seamless. Not like on PS3 where it takes 30 sec to a minute to load. It loads instantly and is integrated in to the UI.
-Resogun is awesome in all its old school shoot-em-up glory.
-Killzone: Shadowfall is beautiful but I haven't had too much play time with it yet.
-Knack is surprisingly fun, despite what all the reviews say. It looks like a Pixar movie at points. Drop in co-op is a blast. It's so much fun with me as regular Knack and my girlfriend as Robot Knack. She is actually better at beating up baddies than I am.
-Updated trophy support. Rarity of trophies is a fun little data point to look at.
-Playstation APP/offscreen capabilities are nice. Typing using a touch screen is so much nicer than using a gamepad.
-DualShock 4 (the controller) is nice to hold. Trigger shoulder buttons are a marked improvement over the DS3 R2/L2 buttons.
-My favorite feature: VITA REMOTE PLAY! Works like a dream. Almost no perceptible lag. I was playing Resogun on it (a game that requires little to no lag or you'll die) and it ran so smoothly.

CONS:
-UI is barebones. That's actually fine with me but many people these days demand a more robust UI.
-Unable to delete unused Apps in the movie/tv section. If there is I haven't figured out a way to do it. Granted, I haven't tried that hard since I've been having too much fun playing games.

SUMMARY:
It's a great gaming system with some great games and a promising future. The interface is bare bones (which I like) and incredibly responsive but may not satisfy people who love a more robust UI. The remote play of the vita and second screen capabilities via Playstation App are nice additions that will get a lot of use out of people that own a Vita/Playstation App compatible phone. It is a device made to play games and does so wonderfully.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2014
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
It's my birthday so I decided to "upgrade" from my PS3 to a PS4. Upgrading is in quotes, because nearly 9 months after launch the PS4 still doesn't have the feature set of the PS3. I understand Sony's intent with marketing the PS4 as a gamers console and not a multimedia hub like the Xbox One. Still, when you omit features like themes, .mp3 playback, DLNA support, and even CD playback you have to wonder..These things hopefully can and will be patched in later. Sony took the dark path of requiring PS Plus membership for multiplayer. It is $49/year and does feature free games every month. I imagine that it will pay for itself over time. The social media aspects of the console do not appeal to me and I leave the PS4 unlinked to my FB and Twitter accounts. The "share" feature also has no utility for me but it was kind of fun to watch folks play games that I am interested in. Sony has a nice app for iOS/Android that lets you control features of your PS4, have a second screen, allows text input(YES!), chat with friends, see notifications, invitations, game alerts and messages, etc.
Form factor: the console has a decently small footprint and sits nicely where my PS3 slim used to go. It uses the same power cord, thankfully, so it was a snap to swap consoles. The one downside was that it was difficult to plug the HDMI and CAT6 cables in due to the angled overhang. Form overrode function in this case. I would have preferred a flat panel so I could see the connectors. Not a big deal as this is a one time operation. The inclusion of two front mounted USB 3.0 connections is certainly handy for charging your controllers and adding storage.
Software: I'm running the lastest version to date: 1.75. The interface is an improvement, and the new hardware makes everything smooth. There are obvious improvements in background processes like loading games from Blu-Ray to the 500GB HD. Also, game patch files load in the background while you play. This is a great feature as they are fairly large(1-2GB from what I've seen so far). You can play while they download, and then stop briefly to patch and get right back in. You can easily pop out of a game, take care of some business and then pop back.The menu systems are cleaner than the PS3, but the main page with all the social media feeds is a jumbled mess. With ads! Yes, even after paying $50 for PS+, I get Klondike bar ads in my feed. You can't customize the interface yet either. No wallpaper or themes are available yet. I was also quite surprised to see the system struggle to play full-screen game trailers and previews in the PS Store. The videos showed a continuous loading circle, paused and hung up. This behavior was not related to my internet connection. It appeared that the system was not buffering properly. I'm sure this will be fixed in an update.
Hardware: You can look up the specs. I won't go into detail. Sony's decision to go with a beefier GPU and GDDR 5 system memory makes a difference. PS4 can run games at full 1080p res. at 30-60 FPS whereas the Xbox One can't. I'm a high end PC gamer and not easily impressed by console offerings. Still, I was pretty amazed at what the PS4 can do graphically. The DualShock 4 controllers are a mixed bag. I like the ergo improvements and touch pad. They have a small built-in speaker ala the Wii. The ability to plug in headsets is genius and quite literally sold the system for me. I can't have f-bombs thrown around the living room through my home theater system. What I don't like is the short battery life (about 8 hrs. with headsets plugged in) and the light bar that can be dimmed but not disabled. Another great feature is the ability to swap out the hard drive without affecting the warranty. YouTube tutorials on this process abound. 500GB sounds like a lot of space, but games like The Last of Us Remastered use 45GB! I can see running out of room with 10-15 AAA titles loaded. For <$90 you can double your storage and slightly improve load times (7200 vs. stock 5400 RPM drive)
Conclusion: I do not regret the purchase of my PS4. I was initially surprised to see that the system lacked some of the features of the PS3.
We are still early in the development cycle and I expect these things to be addressed. There is also a dearth of games for PS4 but AAA titles are on the horizon.
One other thing that I have not mentioned is the lack of backward compatibility. The PS Now service is in beta. It will offer streaming backward compatibility with your PS library. The problem is that you are not credited with games you have already purchased! You have to rent your own games! You can't buy them outright, either. I hope that there is enough of a hue and cry for Sony to reconsider this model.
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150 of 204 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2013
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
It is a great console. After a couple of days of heavy use...I ended up with Blue Screen, Click of Death Defect. System wouldn't boot. Customer Support...don't call, use the online live chat...the que is much smaller, and I have someone within 5-10 mins.
They are sending me a RMA package so I can send the unit in...
However, being a tinkerer...and finding some suggestions online, well I managed to get it back up. I think power fluctuation issues are causing HDD corruption. This link was valuable : [...]
What worked for me...1) Removed all power, and chords plugged in. 2) Removed face plate, and unscrewed HDD housing and examined and reseated. (This does not void warranty and is very easy to do.) 3) Plugged only the power chord in, nothing else, and this was only way to get to white light 'safe mode' or to even get a second beep, then plugin first HDMI cable, then controller. 4) Reinitialized and reinstalled a new system or OS from a stored image I downloaded from the Sony Support site to a USB drive. 5) Reset in to normal mode, and boot as normal.
The whole thing came back up like I had just unpacked it from the box. Smooth as silk, less glitchy than the first time around. It is a hassle to have to reenter all the network and account pass-codes etc. Someone needs to build an ewallet type app in to the PSN to remember all your codes, and pass on one sign-in.
I put a high-quality UL Rated AV Rated Power strip, and separated and insulated and upgraded my power cables wherever possible this time around. Hopefully this will avoid power fluctuation and subsequently HDD corruption issues. If you have issues getting in to safe mode, take the unit with its power code in to a room or section of the house where it can draw from a power dedicated power source.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2014
Edition: PlayStation 4 Console
*** Key: ✔ Positive ✖ Negative ⓘ Informational/Neutral ***

Gamers rejoiced last fall as we were introduced to two brand new gaming experiences with the PS4 and Xbox One. I want to share my perspective as someone who purchased both at launch. In my review, I tried to focus primarily on the PS4 as it stands on its own. However, examining the console in a vacuum means losing out on important insights (especially for someone trying to decide between the two consoles), so you'll notice some comparisons sprinkled in here and there. I hope you enjoy! Please comment with any questions - I'll be happy to answer them.

-- Design --
ⓘ Dimensions (cm): 30.5 x 27.5 x 5.3 (similar to PS3 slim)
ⓘ Dimensions (in): 12 x 10.8 x 2
✔ Sleek and modern, this powerful parallelogram looks good in your entertainment setup (especially when compared to the more clunky Xbox One)
✔ Can stand vertically or lay horizontally

-- Performance --
ⓘ Runs off X86 AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) – basically, a single chip that handles both processing (CPU) and graphics (GPU)
✔ 8-core CPU means that multitasking is a breeze (which is key for quickly switching between games, apps, and menus)
✔ GPU comes in approximately 50% more powerful than Xbox One, which is why we’re seeing several cross-platform games (Call of Duty, Watch Dogs, etc.) running at better resolution on PS4. However, it takes a trained eye to notice the difference… Most people won’t catch it without a side-by-side comparison.
✔ Console runs fairly quiet… I would say about as loud as the Xbox One

-- Storage --
✖ The hard drive fills up fast. Remember, there is an installation involved with every game, even when you buy the physical disk. Here are a few examples to put it in perspective: Killzone = 40gb, Watch Dogs = 20gb, Infamous = 24gb, NBA 2k14 = 42gb
ⓘ The good news is you can replace the hard drive fairly easily. It’s gotta be a 2.5 inch ATA internal hard drive, which I believe are currently only available up to 1 TB.
✔ Upgrading the hard drive DOES NOT void your warranty

-- User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) --
ⓘ Sony’s menus are horizontally-oriented, while Microsoft has more of a full-screen "tiled" approach. The PS4 menu layout boils down to two menus that extend horizontally: one with games/app, the other with everything else (PSN, friends, settings, etc.).
✔ Remember back in the day when you used to have to boot up a game, play it till you were bored, save your progress, then quit the game to go back to the home screen, boot up a video streaming app, then quit that… You get the picture. With the PS4, you can seamlessly switch between games and apps without actually quitting them just by pressing the PlayStation button your controller.
✖ The UI, though a significant improvement to the PS3, leaves a lot to be desired. The “Sony-blue” background color overpowers the menu content and feels dated. Also, unlike the xbox one where you can rearrange tiles, the PS4 menus are not customizable.
✔ What is cool, though, is that when you scroll onto a game’s menu icon, it expands to a game-specific submenu with options to view trophies, see which of your friends have this game, purchase add-ons, etc.

-- Online --
ⓘ PlayStation Network (PSN) has come a long way thanks to PlayStation Plus, an online membership service known mainly for its Instant Game Collection feature, which allows members to download free games.
✔ Free games added monthly (a handful each month across PS4, PS3, and Vita), and remain available for a few months
✔ Once you download a game, you keep it for life (if you delete it from your hard drive, you can go back and re-download it from the PlayStation store)
✖ If you haven’t downloaded it by the time it leaves the Instant Game Collection, though, you’ve missed your chance
ⓘ List of PS4 Instant Game Collection Games to date: Contrast, Resogun, Don’t Starve, Outlast, Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition, Mercenary Kings, Stick It to the Man, PixelJunk Shooter, Trine 2
✖ This is highly subjective, but I still feel like the PlayStation online community isn’t as vibrant as Xbox. Less people use mics. Less of my friends are on it. It just isn’t as fun to play online.

-- Game Library --
ⓘ Approximately 150 games in development; 30 by Sony’s first party studio
✔ 100+ games will have been released by end of 2014 (keep in mind that many of these are indie games available for download through the PlayStation Network)
✖ We will have to wait till 2015 and beyond for most of the truly next-gen games: Uncharted 4, Metal Gear Solid Phantom Pain, Kingdom Hearts 3, etc.

-- Controller --
✔ The DualShock 4 is a huge improvement over previous PlayStation controllers in terms of comfort
✔ Handles are longer and more rounded for a more natural feel in your hands
✔ Trigger buttons don’t stick out as much as the DualShock 3, again adding to a more natural feel
ⓘ Same classic PlayStation layout (triange, square, x, circle) we all love
ⓘ Start and Select replaced by Options and Share, respectively
ⓘ New TouchPad has some pretty cool functionality in games (mainly for accessing/maneuvering maps from what I’ve seen so far). Looking forward to seeing it used for more as the console matures.
ⓘ The Light Bar glows and helps you distinguish between controllers using different colors
✔ Built in rechargeable battery (charging cable included) means you won’t have to keep switching out batteries, but…
✖ The battery life is atrocious. This is probably my biggest gripe with the console overall. You won’t make it past a day of hardcore gaming without having to plug it in to charge. When compared to Xbox’s Play-and-Charge battery life, the DualShock 4 is a joke.

Summary:
The shortcomings, though frustrating, are not enough to warrant moving down to 4 stars. Yes, the battery life on the controller is laughable. Yes, the user interface feels dated when compared to Xbox One. And yes, a lack of meaningful exclusives lining the game library make it a little more difficult to justify purchasing at the moment. But overall, PlayStation has made an admirable leap into the next generation of gaming. With major game releases just getting underway, and exciting features like PlayStation Now and the Oculus Rift on the horizon, the PS4 is positioned to offer gamers endless memorable experiences over the years.
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