Sony PS4 review

5 stars
£350.00
Now with more Remote Play, hard drive upgrades and UK PSN findings [UPDATE: now with video]

The camera: turn your lounge into The Playroom

Unlike the Xbox One, the PS4 doesn’t come with a camera, but there is one available – the ingeniously named PlayStation Camera. The wee unit, which looks as though it’s been constructed out of cubes, costs £65 and has two lenses on the front so it can gauge depth.

Once connected the camera can scan your features to enable facial recognition for automatic login, which is very quick and reliable. You can also use it for voice control. It’s far more limited than Kinect’s functionality, but the voice recogition is reliable and allows quick navigation between games, as well as hands-free screenshots.

CHECK OUT OUR FULL PS4 AND DUALSHOCK 4 GALLERY HERE 

But the best way to show off the PlayStation Camera is to open The Playroom, which is pre-installed on all PS4s. Once it’s talked you through correctly setting up your camera (I’m afraid you’re going to have to move that coffee table) The Playroom gives you access to three activities. AR Hockey is the only real game, as it pitches two players against each other in a game of Air Hockey that involves using the DualShock 4’s motion control to bend and twist the table to your advantage. The other two involve messing around with a floating robot called Asobi and a bunch of delightful little people called AR Bots. The most fun is to be had with the latter, who inhabit your controller until you flick them into your lounge using the touchpad. You can then kick them, make them dance, or throw them objects that you create using a connected tablet. The thrill is relatively short-lived, but as a way to show off the capabilities of your new console The Playroom is absolutely superb.

Remote play: PS4 + Vita is a match made in gaming heaven

And if you want more superb, dig out that old Vita you’ve left gathering dust. Connect Sony’s handheld to your PS4 across your home network and you’ve suddenly got the ability to play next-gen games anywhere in the house. Sony warns that you’ll need to use wired connections and have an amazing router, but we’ve tried Remote Play with both consoles connected via Wi-Fi to a bog-standard router and it worked an absolute treat.

You lose a little graphical fidelity, of course, but PS4 games still look quite astoundingly awesome on the Vita’s 5in screen, and while there’s a touch of input lag that will make it a poor choice for competitive deathmatches, for single-player gaming it’s barely noticeable. Extra buttons are cleverly mapped to the touchscreen and rear touchpad, too, and as everything you see is a mirror of what the PS4 is doing, you can simply use the Vita as a fancy extra control pad for the main console if you so wish.

We’re yet to try accessing the PS4 from a Vita connected to an external Wi-Fi network (we’ll report back when we have) but this is already a superb extra feature that we can see getting a huge amount of use. Find your Vita and get the PS4 Remote Play-enabling new firmware (3.00) downloaded now in preparation.

UPDATE

At UK launch the Vita and PS4 are able to connect to one another directly, as long as you've enabled the setting in the PS Vita Connection menu on the PS4. Providing both consoles are in relative proximity (bedroom to lounge worked just fine in our tests) the connection will be made in about 30secs. The Vita will even turn the PS4 on from standby.

The direct method is best for performance. Lag is minimal and picture quality is very good indeed. Using an external network is a bit more tricky. We've tried three times now, and only once did it work - unsurprisingly that was on a friend's cable broadband connection running at around 20mbps. The coffee shops we tried failed, presumably due to connections that dipped below 2mbps.

One exciting prospect is using your 4G smartphone or tablet as a remote access point for your Vita, but alas, that's something iOS devices can't do due to game-blocking NAT Type 3 settings. We're yet to try using Android but will update again as soon as we have.

More after the break...

PS4 versus Xbox One: still too early to name a winner

We know that some cross-platform games benefit from higher resolutions on PS4 than Xbox One, and we know that it’s £80 cheaper than the Microsoft console, but the new Kinect looks incredibly powerful, you can connect your PVR to the Xbox, and during the last generation Microsoft definitely had the upper hand in terms of online gaming.

Are those features enough to make up for the apparent graphical deficit and extra cost? We’ll have to wait for our Xbox One review sample to find out.

Verdict

Without a final Xbox One sample it’s impossible to know whether the PS4 is the runaway winner of the next-gen console battle as many are proclaiming. But what we do know now is that it’s an absolutely cracking console.

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.

Words: Tom Parsons

says

Sony PS4

Slick, powerful and packed with stand-out features, the PS4 delivers on the next-gen console promise

Sony PlayStation 4 review
5 stars
£350.00
Stunning 1080p gaming for the win
Remote Play is brilliant
Super-slick and fast operation
No DLNA - yet
4K games still out of reach
Some features look a little underbaked right now
games
Graphics
design
smarts
OMG!
WTF?

Comments

Playstation 4 is definitely impressive, especially if you combine its capabilities with the PS Vita. The graphics are definitely better than the Xbox One, the lineup of games is debatable, (both systems have an awesome lineup, but could also use improvements). However I think the PS4 may be the way to go. I got both both systems and am in the process of comparing the two, but if you are looking into getting a PS4, I did a bunch of research and found the best deal on it here: http://bit.ly/1tsltQU

I have the PS4 but i have a question if i wanted to upgrade my storage to a 1TB HDD. Will the previous  storage and game saves be lost or will my progress and game downloads which have been purchased be saved onto my PSN account online. 

Can you play Ps3 games on the Ps4? I've been looking everywhere for an answer but i can't find anything on this topic.

Why the hell do you add UPDATES into existing reviews? Makes NO sense and takes ages to find new information. Stupid, check other websites - nobody does it that way!!!!

If you look at my last review on the xbox one and the ps4 well i kinda made fun of the ps4 but i now think of that as a stupid mistake. Then xbox is a disappointment and disgrase to the microsoft company. The ps4 has a striking better review and a better proformance and is just plain better than the xbox. 

Some of you people that bought the xbox thinking o this is awsome well your wrong and if you watch this video you will know why.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYrtUMnSv9o.

Both good points, Matthew. We'll keep an eye out for further news on those features and will update the review accordingly. Cheers!

The touch pad on the new dual shock  controller may be of some use in a rumored PS4 feture that will allow you to play Vita games on the PS4 ... The vita has touch screen.

The new Dualshock can also apparently be used with the up and coming Vita TV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Vita_TV .. again using the pad instead of a vita touch screen.

 

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