Sony PS4 review

5 stars
S$639.00
Does the PS4 deliver on the next-gen promise? Find out in Stuff's in-depth review of Sony's console contender

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 $88 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.

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. 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
S$639.00
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?
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