PS4: First Impressions

As some of you might know, Malta was one of those few countries not to get the Playstation 4 at launch. Even more unfortunate was the fact that the Sony agent here failed to advise all the people who pre-ordered the console in time to get their hands on one from somewhere else, and yes I was one of them. Luckily enough another retailer on the island heard my cries and came to the rescue by providing me with a shiny new PS4. So now I’m happy, getting fatter, I spend most of my days not wearing pants, and my hatred for the outside world has been growing day by day.

Console: Hooking up the Playstation 4 is simple and easy. The design is minimalistic, and although pretty, I really didn’t like the fact that the console sported piano finish detail. The reason being as out of the box you could see micro scratches on the surface which is a burden for all OCD sufferers out there. To make matters worse, perhaps the highest traffic surface on the console (the usb ports) are also in piano finish, making me cringe every time I have to connect my controller.

Interface: The UI of the console is bloody brilliant. It’s quick, it’s reactive, and it’s intuitive. Just like the console, it’s minimalistic in its look, but everything is there and easily accessible. There is a fluidity to it that makes the previous XMB look and feel like a fossil, and emphasises all that was wrong with it. Game installations and loading times are fast, and there is a very smooth changeover from one app to the other. The cross media chatting system is great, even though the quality of the headset leaves little to be desired; I still had a fun time talking to people trying various games whilst I enjoyed mine.

Controller: Once you lift the Dualshock 4 controller you can’t help but notice the remarkable ergonomics of the peripheral. The buttons feel great; especially the trigger and the new feel of the analog sticks. The ergonomics and design give games a better feel and a better sense of control. It doesn’t feel like you have a peripheral in your hand, it’s like it’s an extension of your body, something that feels as natural and comfortable as it can get. I was reluctant of the integration of the touch pad, but it all honesty it gives games another dimension of interaction, which felt great. I also loved the integrated speaker, which was used for audio logs in Killzone Shadowfall and gave a sense of immersiveness to the game which was really unexpected. The share button is fantastic; I couldn’t help but bombard my facebook page with the awesome visuals of Killzone Shadowfall, although I would have preferred having screenshots taken by quick presses rather than a long press. Perhaps the only crappy aspect of the Controller is the shorter battery life, which is really frustrating when pulling an all nighter which just one controller and a short USB cable.

I knew the Playstation 4 would be an awesome console, but never to this extent. I mean I never expected such a powerful console to be so quick and versatile from day one. I also never expected that I would enjoy making use of all the features that didn’t really appeal to me. The quality of the games is bloody amazing, and seeing the pattern of the evolution of games throughout the console life, I really can’t imagine how better looking visuals can really get in the coming years. I am bloody excited for the future of this console, and I’m thrilled to be part of the new generation of awesomeness.

Written By Matthew C.