SBR First Impressions: PlayStation 4

Monday afternoon I come home from a pretty good day at school. I’m getting my haircut, and my dad steps out to pick up my little brother. After I’m done my dad comes back with my mom and picks me and my other little brother up. Randomly, they tell me if I want to get the PS4 now. They told me that since I’ve been saving up for so long that they would just pay it off for me. And so we went, and I come home with a brand new PlayStation 4 console and a copy of Infamous Second Son.

So, it’s been almost a week and I have been playing the crap out of the system. I thought I would give you guys my first impressions on the console from what I’ve experienced so far. Keep in mind that this won’t cover everything about the system. The point of a First Impressions review is that it’s not as in-depth as a regular SBR.

Anyway, my PS4 experience is pretty positive so far. While I’ll argue that there isn’t much change from the PS3 to 4, it’s still a good piece of hardware.

Ecstatic-wise the console is pretty much a rhombus with 2 flat sides for if you choose to place the console upright. I have the system lying horizontally in the middle of my console shelf. Surprisingly it isn’t as heavy as I thought. I’d argue that my 160 GB PS3 is heavier than the PS4. It’s easy enough to hook up, requiring no more than a source of power and HDMI.

As far as the deign, the only complaint I have is with power button. Before I turned the system on, I hadn’t the slightest idea where it was. The power button is actually found where the plastic shell meets the gloss finish at the mid-left of the machine. It’s a thin, straight line with the world’s smallest power symbol. It’s so small it’s hard to see at first. When you find it, it works fine enough, but the only other nitpick is that it’s not too easy to turn off without using the controller. You have to press and hold the button to turn it off completely, otherwise it’s on stand-by mode and emits a yellow light. Doing this also causes you to get prints on the glossed area.

Again, just an irrelevant nitpick, but I feel it should be stated.

Once you turn it on, it asks you to connect your controller via the provided USB charger and begin the set-up process. Set-up is actually impressively quick. Earlier this year I had to set-up my Wii U which took a good time longer to set-up in comparison. As of this post date, the system update is extremely fast- lasting no longer than 10 minutes. It may become longer as the PS4 gets older, but for the time being its relatively fast.

At last we reach the main interface of the system. The layout looks nice and organized. I’m sure everyone knows how it looks like by now, but it strays a bit from the PS3 and PSP’s interface by utilizing 2 lines: one for your apps/activities and one for your system/profile options. You couldn’t get anymore user friendly if you tried.

You’ll notice that everything runs fast and near instantaneous. I especially noticed this when going to the PS Store and then going back to the menu. The PS3 would’ve taken upwards of a minute trying to launch and load the PS Store, but with PS4 you’re there in a heartbeat.

I will admit that launching and running games could be a bit faster, but I shouldn’t say that too soon since I need at least one more game to confirm that there is an issue.

An additional feature of the PS4 was its built-in gameplay capture device. This allows you to upload pictures and gameplay footage to the web at your desire. There is also an editing tool for your recorded gameplay. You can even broadcast gameplay which can be seen on Sony’s personal hub. It even includes quick broadcasting to various services like Twitch. All these things are done easily by pressing the “Share” button on the controller. It’s a great feature to have and I’m very excited to try this out… unfortunately I can’t.

As of right now, the PS4 will not allow me to demonstrate or try this feature because my main PSN account is a sub account. Regardless of whether you access the master account and set the sub account to allow this feature, a bug in the PS4 will stubbornly insist that the sub account not be able to Share anything at all. And no, you cannot change the date of birth on the sub account to work around that rule; at least I don’t know of a way. Hopefully this will be fixed soon so I can give it a try. However, I turn 18 in March, so I guess it won’t be my problem for very long.

If anyone knows how to counteract this bug, please let me know.

Then there’s general performance. The game I bought with my PS4 was Infamous: Second Son. It runs incredibly smooth. Seldom do I find any semblance of slow-down. The PS4 is capable of 1080p graphics at 60 FPS, which is the highest modern day setting as of right now (until 4K resolution becomes the new standard). The graphical output is definitely beautiful, though I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a jump from the PS3. Nonetheless it still makes games looks polished and new.

I should mention that I have yet to try out any multiplayer features at this time; neither gameplay nor private chat. So, I can’t exactly cover that yet. I will say that I like how Sony includes a mic and earpiece with the system. I will definitely utilize it when I get the chance.

Lastly, let’s discuss the controller. This is the first time in three console generations that Sony has changed their controller design. As a lifetime fan of PlayStation I was originally saddened by this fact and thought I was going to not like the new controller by comparison. Once I started playing the game, I was singing an all new tune. You’ll get used to the controller in no time flat, even with its new bells and whistles.

The PS4 controller is not all that different from past Sony controllers. Any previous adopter of a PlayStation will be right at home here. The D-Pad, face, and Home buttons remain relatively untouched as is the gyroscope for motion gameplay. The differences are only initially jarring, but eventually seamless.

The analog sticks now have a more defined nub which I actually find more comfortable. The triggers have only seen a difference in the R2/L2 triggers. They are similar to the Xbox’s LT/RT counterparts, but maintain the same width and bulk of a PlayStation controller. The handles have also seen an improvement with new rubber grips. This not only makes it easier to handle but is sweat resistant. No more stick gamepads!

Now to address the elephants in the room. The signature select and start buttons are now gone. In its place are 2 new buttons and a (approximately) 1×3 inch touchpad. I have already discussed the Share button which I can’t fully utilize for the next few months. The Options button acts as the start and select button and does that well. The touchpad may be the one thing you’ll have to get used to when first using the controller, but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s accurate enough and responds to touch extremely well. You can also press in the touch pad so that it can act as an extra button. Lastly you have a big, blue LED light emitting at the base. This is the point sensor similar to the Wii-mote. It also works really well in recognizing position.

Overall, it is a very good controller. I quite like it and thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I did. It fits the hands nicely, takes quick to familiarize with, and functions well. Even the new features work really well. Whether I would prefer the controller to the PS1, 2, and 3 controller I can’t yet say. If your skeptical, rest assured that it looks crazier than it actually is.

In closing, I quite like the system so far. It’s designed well, runs fast whether your streaming, playing, or shopping. There’s no noise issues, no major obstacles, and no technical issues. It does the job it has to do very well: play games. I’m impressed with the machine so far and hope to continue having fun with it in the future.

As far as recommendations, take a look at the game library and decide if there are enough games to suffice your game fix. When you reach a point where there is enough to last you a while, then pick up the system. It is certainly something you should pick up eventually.


And those are my early impressions of the PlayStation 4. To my fellow PS4 users, what are your thoughts on the PS4? And what games are you looking forward to most? Mine is Uncharted 4.

Also, feel free to drop your PSN name in the comments so I can add you. I have a PS3, too, so feel free to add me whether you have either system. My username is SBox180.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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