PS4 + 1 month

by Mr. Nobel

I’ve had a PS4 for close to a month now, and it’s been a mixed bag of heartening ideas with mixed execution so far.

The good:

  • The last generation of consoles reached a little too high, and the net result was the destruction of the game console ideal. Now games are laden with patches and installs, that which was previously associated with PC games. It became almost impossible to just put in a game and start playing. Though the PS4 can’t quite reach that level, I find it incredibly encouraging that both it and the Xbox One are taking steps to make console games faster and less cumbersome. Now patches can be installed while the console’s in standby, and you can start playing a gaming after it has installed a small chunk of itself. It’s a step in the right direction, and it can only get better with the announced suspend/resume feature.
  • The controller is nice.
  • Overall, the UI is reasonably intuitive and snappy. Being able to open up the web browser while playing a game is helpful, even if I’m more likely to use my phone or tablet. I’m not a fan of the font and some aspects are a bit clunky, but it’s miles ahead of the PS3 in terms of usability and speed, more casualties of last generation’s insane feature creep.
  • The games so far are pretty decent for a recent launch. Infamous: Second Son isn’t as good as Infamous 2, but is still an engaging and gorgeous experience. Resogun is a blast, Dead Nation has its moments. Though the push for independent games is a nice idea, I think I’ll still be playing the vast majority of those on the computer where sales and Humble Bundles happen like clockwork. Still, including a ragtag assortment every month with PS Plus is a big boon for the system.
  • Live from Playstation is surprisingly addictive. I do get a weird black bar over part of the screen from time to time, but it’s not enough to seriously affect the experience. Including the dedicated Share button and video recording/stream functionality was a good idea.

The bad:

  • There are so many features missing from the PS4 that even the launch version of the PS3 possessed. You can’t store or even playback MP3s or your own video files. You can’t watch 3D Blu-ray movies. You can’t stream anything from your computer. You can’t watch Flash videos on the web browser. You can’t organize the main row of icons. Fixes for most of these problems will probably come in a later patch, but I’m still shocked that they released a system without these features.
  • The PSN Store is still a slow mess. The organization is god awful, and you can’t even use the rad new motion control keyboard to do searches! Instead, you’re forced to use an slow letter by letter picker from the stone age of UI design.
  • Wifi speeds on it are all over the place. I’ve gotten speeds from a couple kilobits per second up to 10 or 20 megabits per second. I plugged in an Ethernet cable, and suddenly speeds shot up to 70-some megabits per second. Jesus Christ.

The ugly: