Sony history in the world of video games began in 1994, with PlayStation, a stratospheric potential machine for its time, able to displace the whole world becoming the new paradigm of videogame entertainment then known. His story is then continued with PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, in 2000, and in 2007, continuing on the wake of the successful path since the first generation.
After six years, now Sony back on stage with PlayStation 4 and follows the historic competitor Microsoft launched Xbox One last week (in the us, in fact, is available from a couple of weeks). We analyze with magnifying this new console.
Specifications and performance
Under the black armor of PlayStation 4, Sony wanted to place a respectable hardware system, opting for a solution overall computing capabilities of 1.84 APU from Teraflops, which pulsate a 8-core 1.6 GHz AMD processor Jaguar and an AMD Radeon graphics chip from 800 MHz frequency. The technical equipment includes a 500 GB internal HDD replaceable, 8 GB of RAM, a Blu-ray player and GDDR5 modules Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connectivity.
With regard to the connections on the back have an entry for power, an HDMI port, one for the PlayStation camera, an optical output and an Ethernet port for connecting to the Internet via cable. On the front there are two USB 3.0.
PlayStation 4 technical equipment is slightly higher than the Xbox One and it is rumored that the frequency of the processor can get even 1.8 GHz (something that we could not yet test). Performance is actually notable, and the console proves fast in dealing with routine operations and installations of video games that, as for Xbox One, must be installed.
Despite the promises of a few months ago, PlayStation 4 does not support 3D on Blu-ray and video games, but this will become available soon with a software update. Ultra HD resolution (only available in TVs that have this technology) will be usable only for videos and pictures, but not to play.
PlayStation 4 is not intended as an innovative or particularly identifiable looking device, but at least it has style. The line is simple and sinuous, slightly oblique shape, proves to be much more aggressive and beautiful to look at than any product that the company will do in the living room.
The case is divided into two parts by a thin line of LED that changes color depending on the State of the console. The part to the left – which is about one third of the total – is made of glossy plastic, while the right side is finished in matte plastic. On the back there is a grid for ventilation.
If you wanted to keep your console, for a mere matter of space, you will need to purchase a base cost around 20 euros. It is however true that this support does not offer a good stability to the console and the PlayStation 4 quivers at the slightest movement. If you’re not going to take an extra expense, you can still keep the PS4 vertically even without the official stand. It should be noted that the console standing exercises far less charm than the lying position, which is obviously one that was designed from the very beginning.
Sony has decided to turn the page clearly, even with regard to the controller, adding to the release of the new console, the new DualShock, arrived now in its fourth incarnation. The Japanese company has nevertheless retained a certain aesthetic continuity, optimising ergonomics and lengthening the handle, in order to provide a more secure grip and comfortable handling.
The most important improvement is, without doubt, that relating to analog joysticks, since now are concave and convex, and thus no longer guarantee better adherence to the inch. Other new features are the capacitive touchpad with two touches that can be exploited in some games, the light bar placed between triggers that changes color depending on the situation in-game, and the presence of the Share button – to share online content with your contacts – and of the Options button, which replace the old Start and Select.
The PlayStation 4 Room – available separately at a price of 60 euros – is certainly not at the top of the strategic plans of Sony, as for Kinect by Microsoft, but there is no doubt that this tool has been enhanced compared to predecessor PlayStation Eye.
The controller allows you to capture video at 1,280 × 800 pixels at 60 frames per second and it works in synergy with Dualshock 4 (or PlayStation Move), revealing the bright line between movements gamepad’s triggers, and also has a facial recognition function and a sensor for managing voice commands.
Also there is an important evolution compared to the PlayStation Eye, spelled out by the software PlayRoom, an application that allows you to interact with the virtual robots augmented reality screen visible and able to create new mini games, to do well in the company of another user. Four microphones you can also perform a variety of voice commands, such as access to the web browser. In our tests using voice commands were received well by the PlayStation Camera.
PlayStation 4 interface looks much brighter and intuitive than the PS3, and has initially by five main tabs: News, Internet Browser, Playroom (see paragraph room), Live from the PlayStation and Downloads, while other Windows are added when you install the games. In Live from PlayStation you can see live matches broadcast by other players and interact in real time with comments.
Moreover, given the large growth of the social, Sony wanted to tread even more hands on this aspect. For this, with the PlayStation 4 players can show off to your friends their sequences of swatting game just the Share button on the Duaslhock 4: the console, in fact, records of default gaming sessions and then allows you to save them in clips lasting a maximum of 15 minutes in order to then send to Facebook and Twitter (but not on YouTube). Whoever wants to, can also cut some parts and, thanks to the partnership with Ustream apps and Twitch, you can share the other player of their gaming enterprises.
Of course, all other activities – and not just the media – can be shared with others. Also interesting is the group voice chat, which allows you to talk (and send short voice messages) with seven other interlocutors involved with different games. This feature was excluding PlayStation 3 (with which you can still communicate through text messages), while the PlayStation life.
Sony PlayStation 4 also offers ancillary services such as Music Unlimited and Unlimited Videos. The first is sort of similar to Spotify music platform, which gives the ability to listen to songs streamed on the console, and holds up to 22 million tracks. The app is available for free for 14 days, but then you need to take out a subscription, available in two variants: £ 4.99 for 30 days and € 9.99 per month with the option to enjoy your music on mobile devices. Video Unlimited allows you to rent or listen to movies.
But there is bad news for those used to playing online completely free of charge: from now on, to participate in an online multiplayer online you will need to subscribe to PlayStation Plus.
The line-up of first-party titles that accompanies the launch of PlayStation 4 is not quite as rich as you would like and is composed of the only Knack, a platform that gives a nod to Crash Bandicoot. Killzone: Shadow Fall, new installment in the series of science fiction FPS from Guerilla Games and has an astonishing technical facility; Resogun, a scrolling shooter available only in digital delivery and free for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Also there are three free-to-play online multiplayer games only: the Flight Simulator set in World War II War Thunder, Warframe and, finally, DC Universe Online, a MMORPG by Superman, Batman and associates.
PlayStation 4 is the ideal game machine, and continues in the tradition of Sony putting in first place the list of media, with a strong social aspect. Nevertheless, the new console is not even a good Media Center, with the ability to watch movies (also in 3D), listen to music.
Unfortunately the line-up of exclusive at launch can count on only Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack, but are still available all other products cross-gen triple-a. It should be pointed out also the competitive price of 399 euros (100 euros less than the Xbox One), which could prove to be an important discriminating in choosing the next-gen console.