PS4 first impressions

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I collected my PS4 that I preordered a month ago on the 20th of December. Having tried the console for a few days now, I must say, the PS4 is a huge improvement over the last gen console, not just in the graphics department, but also in the overall aesthetic design of the console, the blistering fast user interface, and the robust social features that comes along with it. PS+ subscription has begun to look increasingly important for gamers on the playstation console to not only enjoy online games, but also to benefit from the discounts and free games that are released on a monthly basis.

I was really excited to be able to preorder the PS4 and within a month, I collected my console a day after the official launch in Singapore. Upon unboxing, I was really struck at the sleek design of the new console. The parallelogram shaped box with sharp features  and a cool looking light bar indicator gives it a very sophisticated, yet subtle design. It looks nondescript, but packed full of design nuances if anyone cared to really take a good look at the design of the PS4. It sits nicely flat on a table, not looking too fat or broad on its sides. It’s like a quiet black beast sitting obediently on your table.

When I first set up my console with all my personal particulars, I was again struck at how fast the user interface has become. Gone were the days of slow and laggy Cross Media Bar on the Ps3 with choppy frame rates and loading icons and seems to circulate round and round like forever. Here, you get a fast, responsive UI that really is a huge step up over the last generation. I can now go from one application or game to another with just a click of a button and it responses just as fast. The new UI have a lot of built in social features, just like Facebook, showing you your own personal feed of what you and your friends on the PSN network are doing. Other things like the settings menu and the playstation store is just nearly flawless, allowing you to quickly jump from one menu to the next without waiting.

The controller is much more ergonomic than before. It is slightly larger than the previous Dualshock 3, with fatter and rounder curves that wraps around the palm of your hand nicely, giving you a snug hold when you are using the controller. The new touchpad opens to a door of opportunities for developers to incorporate new gameplay elements that will take advantage of the new touchpad. Time will tell if the touchpad would bring in additional enhancements that add quality gameplay value.

I bought the Killzone Shadowfall bundle, that naturally comes with the game. The game boasts next gen graphics and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was blown away. Such a huge technological leapt in graphics can only be attain with such a hardware on a PS4. This is a launch game. Can you imagine what games could look like in the future? It will be mind blowing. Throughout the game I was more distracted at how beautiful the game looks, than focusing on the missions at hand. Running at full HD 1080p at 30FPS on the single player campaign just looks stunning. Large draw distances, coupled with heavy antialiasing makes 3D objects look sharp. I have never seen a more beautiful looking game on a console. Just looking and admiring the technical aspected of this game in terms of graphics really makes you appreciate the power of the PS4 and what it can offer to gamers and developers alike.

I am starting on Assassin’s Creed IV, one of my favourite game franchise that I have been dying to play ever since it came out on last gen consoles in October. Now I have the opportunity to play it on the next gen console. So far, I am not disappointed. Gameplay wise, it is looking good, much better than third instalment of Assassin’s Creed which was a little bit of a let down.

Overall, my PS4 purchase was well worth it. Now I can only enjoy Killzone Shadowfall and Assassin’s Creed IV. More games are needed to really appreciate what next gen consoles can really bring to gamers and I am upbeat about the slew of quality games that will come out in the coming months ahead well into 2014.

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