It is finally here. After ten months since it first made its public appearance, the PlayStation 4 is finally out and consumers are getting their first taste of Sony‘s next-gen experience. It has been a remarkably busy road on the way to the next generation. A spirited reveal, a historic E3 and a corporate war have all paved the way to today.
With all that behind us and a new console in front of us, it is time to see what outlets have been making of the PlayStation 4? Will the console be able to over come some of the UI short comings of the PlayStation 3? Will the shaming of the Xbox One at E3 ring true now the console is here? And will the hardware be able to come up lacklustre hardware?
We’ll have our own review of the PlayStation 4 hardware posted in the coming days, but in the meantime, read our hands-on preview and check out this collection of reviews from around the web.
NOTE: Not all reviews come with a numerical score.
The Verge (Sean Hollister, Ross Miller, and David Pierce)
“For right now, though, there’s little incentive to spend $399 on a PlayStation 4. Not only are there few games worth the price of admission, the vast library of PS3 games is more compelling than anything the PS4 currently offers. If you’re desperate for a new console, rest assured that eventually the PS4 will be one; it has plenty of power, a great controller, and a lot of good ideas about how we can play games better and how we can play them together. But for right now, they’re mostly still just ideas.”
The PS4 hints at plenty of other possibilities. Local network play via the PS Vita has an enormous amount of potential. The PlayStation App and even the Playstation Camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the PlayStation 4 beyond the hardcore audience it currently seems so intent on courting. Unlike the PlayStation 3, Sony’s latest effort was built to evolve.
But the PlayStation 4’s focus on gaming – and only gaming – is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve – better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 – but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We’re just waiting for a place to spend it.
Time (Matt Peckham)
“When I reviewed the Wii U last November, I wrote that Nintendo had “a lock on the future of big-idea gaming.” But sometimes big idea gaming isn’t what captures imaginations (or hearts, or wallets). Sometimes refinement’s enough – taking an imperfect idea and perfecting it (or further trying to). That’s what $400 for a PS4 buys you this time around: a system that feels like something that’s been around the block off the block, instead of a feature-incomplete, overpriced collage of half-baked apps and feature hypotheticals. You’re still buying a promise, but for once it feels like a promise made from solid, well-trodden ground.”
T3 (Matt Hill)
“With the PS3 and Xbox 360 producing some of the finest games of the moment and acting as fully operational media hubs while they do it, a new console is undoubtedly a want rather than a need right now. But through its super-fast UI, noticeable graphical jump and expansion plans, PS4 looks like one worth buying into in the long run.”
Ars Technica (Kyle Orland)
“Well, it leaves us at the beginning–a messy beginning for a system that’s liable to grow and change a lot over the next few years. The PlayStation 4 has an excellent controller, decently powerful hardware, some intriguing, well-executed new features, and an interface that shows belated acknowledgement of some of Sony’s most user-unfriendly past designs. It also has a lot of features that are half-assed, missing, or downright bewildering at this point. Still, overall, it’s a good starting point for a system that’s meant to last a long time.”
CNET (Jeff Bakalar)
“Sony has positioned the PS4 as the “gamer’s console,” putting blockbuster and indie gaming at the forefront of its campaign. That might be music to the hardcore gamer’s ears, but it doesn’t necessarily satisfy the ever-growing demands of all-in-one entertainment devices. Microsoft’s Xbox One seems to have a plan laid out about how to tackle media, live TV and gaming in one fell swoop, and has had a lot experience already doing so on Xbox 360. It might not be the case just yet, but the idea of a devices focused solely on gaming has the potential to seem narrow minded down the road. Thankfully, software updates, content deals, and other investments and business relationships can change all that.”
Game Revolution (Anthony Serverino)
“Unless you’re a dedicated PlayStation fan or an early adopter, or just dying for new hardware after such a lengthy cycle last-gen, you’d be fine to pick the PS4 up next year…That’s not to say you wouldn’t be happy with the PS4 now if you have one pre-ordered–as a gamer, you’ll love it. And as a PlayStation console, you know the investment in PlayStation-exclusive games from studios like Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica will pay off sooner rather than later”
Stuff (Tom Parsons)
“Delivering on the next-gen promise of 1080p gaming and digital distribution are the core things, but that’s backed up by a super-slick UI that feels ‘live’ and interactive, and delivers the content you want with a degree of snappiness that the previous generation couldn’t get close to.
Add stand-out features such as Remote Play, which really is terrific, and you’ve got a massively strong launch for the PS4. And it will only get better as more games, apps and features are released.
Over to you, Microsoft.”
CVG (Jonathan Cooper)
“The PlayStation 4 is a long-overdue leap forward for Sony, but it doesn’t take any risks. Sharing features might change how players approach playing and watching games, but it doesn’t change the central experience. The controller will make playing them more comfortable, but it too is merely an advancement on an a controller blueprint that was etched in the mid-nineties. … There’s a good chance that the software platform will allow for greater innovations in the future, such as more streaming options expected to be added later down the line, but for now, Sony is selling a futuristic machine with not many new things to do on it.”
Yahoo! Games (Chris Morris)
“The PS4 is bound to be one of the holiday season’s hottest gadgets — and the geek bragging rights that will come with owning one are undeniable. Ultimately, it’s a system that feels almost – but not entirely — finished. There’s no one major flaw to point to, but a number of small ones start to add up.
Fortunately, they’re all fixable — and Sony is well aware of them. Even better, the game lineup for the foreseeable future is a solid one. Once the launch madness ends, there are Infamous: Second Son, Watch Dogs, and Destiny waiting in the wings — proof positive that Sony learned not only from its own missteps seven years ago, but from the mistakes Nintendo made with the Wii U. And that could be a big factor in the PS4’s success for months and years to come.”
It seems that after all is said and done Sony has delivered a very good console, albeit, with a flawed launch. Many cite the “potential” and “promise” of the console as one of the key reasons to invest in the PlayStation 4. Gaikai, sharing options and incoming games in the future promise tons of fun on the horizon.
The main problem with Sony’s new console appears to be the circumstances of the launch. With few worthwhile titles on the system, gamers are literally buying a promise. A well designed and fluid promise, but a promise none the less.
Are you still interested on picking up the PlayStation 4 early? Do you want to join the Sony party before everyone else? Do you think the Xbox One could have a better launch? Let us know in the comments.
The PlayStation 4 is available now in North America.