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Playstation 4-The Next Generation.

Happy new year and so 2014 begins after riding the wave caused by the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One. Both consoles have been doucmented, torn apart and no constantly compared against each other. Here is the Playstation 4  and my overall impressions of the console so far.

The Playstation 4 is a very good console so much so that for general ticking the boxes, it completely beats the Xbox out of the water. However, in saying that the PS4 (along with the XB1) is not a great leap in imagination and creativity as I would have hoped for.

The Console Itself: The console is shaped like an awkward parallelogram yet it is about the same size as the slim PS3 which is good and convenient. It has a nice colour and texture while having touch sensitive power-on and eject buttons. Now some have said its quiet compared to the PS3-I disagree. The console is equally noisy when booting and launching games. But, the overall design of the console and performance is so far impressive.

The UI: The interface of the console is familiar with the PS3‘s clunky xmb media bar UI. It has a small selection of icons and tabs in which you can find games, the PS store and so forth. New to the PS4 is live streaming and integrated Twitch. More on that later. It is nicer than the PS3 and has decent background music-if anything it is like the UI for the PS Vita. So nothing overly special nut solid nonetheless.

Live Streaming: The PS4 supports at this moment in time Twitch and Ustream stream options. Any player can livestream what he/she is playing and it works extremely effectively. Its very good to see for example what games like Warframe or War Thunder are like before you set off to download and/or purchase a game. Streaming for The Playroom does need to be restricted in some way as some gamers have twisted it to their own delights.

Performance: The console performs very well-especially if you put in a variable SSD which can boot load times of games such as Killzone to just 9 seconds.  A great and underrated feature is you can now download more than 1 item at once which hampered the PS3 at times. But it is standard fare-the PS storefront still has issues and the settings such as standby mode, suspend/resume are not all that useful just yet.

Remote Play: You can play PS4 games through your PS Vita which is interesting and lag-free (within a certain distance). It certainly opens up gaming possibilities and games such as Fifa may well suit the Vita better. I played Killzone through the Vita and I have to say it was tricky to say the least. But, with more practice I am sure it will be a valuable alternative way of playing.

Games: In my honest opinion, there was no standout launch game for either console. Killzone: Shadowfall while at times is breathtaking perhaps strays too far away from what made the series successful. Battlefield 4, a visual masterpiece is easily reminscent of Battlefield 3. I did like Sony making the move to upgrade and port games such as Escape Plan, Sound Shapes, Flower and Flow to the console. All of which are free if you have purchased the game already.

The free to play games on the store such as Warframe, Blacklight and War Thunder are okay games but nothing worth bothering with. Resogun is free for all players through PS+ and is one of the best games available for the PS4 at this moment in time. With strong exclusives in the pipeline, the PS4 looks to have a good roster of games early on.

Overall: If I were to advise you on which console you should choose, I would advise the PS4. It is not voice command controlled, enforced and does not have a camera that needs to be always on for it to function. The PS4 is less restrictive, more powerful and easier to use. Having saying all of that, my first impression is that the jump from the PS3 to PS4 is small. I remember playing Final Fantasy 9 on the PS1 before playing James Bond on the PS2 when I got one and that jump in graphics was huge.

Because the PS4 is still on equal resolution terms mostly as the PS3, the jump is noticeable but not huge. The future does look bright but I do hope that the new console brings new ways to play games rather than more textures, detail and playing the same old games from this generation.

Overall Score

Console: 8/10

UI: 7/10

Live Streaming: 9/10

Performance: 8/10

Remote Play: 10/10

Games: 8/10

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