On Nov. 29th of 2013, the PlayStation 4 was released in Europe and my friend decided to buy one and give it to me for testing purposes. In this article, I want to tell you everything about the PlayStation 4 and my first impressions.
The PlayStation 4 Gamer Edition is shipped in a custom box including a second controller, the new PlayStation Camera and the exclusive game "Killzone: Shadow Fall". In the rest of the box, you'll find the first controller, an HDMI cable, a DC cable, a mono headset and a brief user guide next to the PlayStation 4 itself with a 500 GB hard drive. [gallery link="file" columns="4" ids="1450,1442,1443,1444"]
On the front side of the PlayStation 4, you'll find a slot-loading Blu-Ray Drive, two USB 3.0 ports and the touch sensitive power and eject buttons. Compared to the PlayStation 3, not much has changed in these aspects. [gallery columns="2" link="file" ids="1446,1447"] On the back side, Sony included a DC input, an optical audio output, an HDMI output, an ethernet port and an AUX port for the new PlayStation Camera. On the top side, there's a glowing LED stripe that shows the system's status using different colors. For example, when the PlayStation is booting, the stripe glows blue and while it's running, the stripe glows white. The left and right sides are used for cooling the system. Cold air gets pulled in and then exits the system through the fans located on the back.
In comparison to the old controller, the new controller includes a new touchpad on the top and two new buttons (Share, Options) that replace the old Select and Start buttons. The joysticks are smaller and are surrounded by a bezel for better gripping. The space between both joysticks is a bit larger for easier usage. The 2nd left and right triggers are shaped differently to allow the player to have better control over the game. Also, the new controller includes a speaker and a headset port so the player can communicate with other players via the included or any 3rd party headset. If you don't want to use your TVs speakers, you can also use your headset to listen to the console's sound.
New games and the interface
In addition to the included game, my friend also bought "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" which uses the console's new capabilities. The new graphics seem great and in contrast to the old console, are even displayed in 1080p. Also, I feel that anti-aliasing has been improved, so that edges seem smoother. [gallery link="file" ids="1460,1461,1462"] The interface has been completely redesigned and improved a lot. On the home screen you'll see the most recently played games and your friends' activities. By pressing the UP button, you'll find an extended menu for your PSN/SEN profile, your trophies, messages, the PlayStation store and the system settings.
Extra: Playing Blu-Ray Discs
I'm a huge fan of Blu-Ray Discs so we tried to use the PlayStation 4 as a Blu-Ray player which worked like a charm, even though loading the disc takes a few seconds. The quality on a big screen is impressive, so the PlayStation 4 can also be used as a Blu-Ray player, like the old console.
All in all, I liked the PlayStation 4, even though I'm not a huge gamer myself. The graphics are great, the controller felt good in my hands and the system is quite fast once it booted. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments field below this article.