I’ve owned the PS4 for about 3 months and now is the time I give it a piece of my mind. Firstly I’d like to say I’m not a casual gamer but I’m not a hardcore gamer either. I’m in between the middle. This is the grand machine Sony dreamed of.
Sony has has a 70% average metacritic lineup of games because they focused on indie developers for their first launch titles alongside AAA publishers- Far Cry 4, GTA V, Destiny, and Bloodborne vs Hotline Miami 2 Wrong Number… there are less than 20 good games worth buying. At this time I’d say the PS3 has better games than the PS4, as did the PS2 at the PS3’s launch- but this is the second time… GTA has always been the reason consoles sell more and this time I decided to skip it for the PC version. In the future there’s 3 or four noticeable titles – NFS, No Man’s Sky, Besieged (if they port it) and Uncharted 4. Whatever is left is brand new IP’s from E3 that probably are – Advent from 2K, Doom, Mass Effect 4, and if Criterion ever releases their adrenaline-game we should have a good lineup in the rest of 2015 and on to the rest of 2016- but to me console launches are always the crap of the load.
The PS4’s menu feels more complicated than the PS3’s, often making users jump more between menu’s to do things such as powering off the console – it takes more X’s to shut down than the previous consoles and is less interesting than the PS Vita’s menu’s or mini OS that should get more attention if Sony ever wants to take on Apple or Microsoft in the future. That is, I see a bright future for Sony’s Vita mini OS on Sony phones and tablets. Rather than limiting design functions to the PS button menu as MS did with the Xbox 360, Sony spread everything in a long tiled list sorted by frequency of use instead of the interfaces we see on our phones or tablets and to me this interface is dumb because it is not made for muscle memory retention- it shifts around… Now it seems futuristic in paper but it’s not really that great when you are trying to find YouTube behind a bunch of large game tiles that are in the way (and pull on the cloud for descriptions and updates- why you need to know that out of the PSN store is beyond me) and then YouTube is under TV and Video instead of being it’s own app tile. This creates a waste of time and confusion amongst the user experience. A app search function would have been nice or the grid like that of the Vita or iOS even better. Sony has also removed custom themes, picture wallpapers, usb transfers, and made it less of a desirable media playback device than the PS3, I haven’t tested in home video streaming with DivX but by the time I could get it running I’ll have an Apple TV set up for that instead cause iPads are to me slowly becoming the replacement of our notebooks, consoles, and PCs.
In terms of portability- you have to buy a Vita or FaceTime your game, try streaming it through twitch since there is no iOS app for that and there is no streaming to PC functionality either… The Vita OS is the only choice asides the Xperia Z3 phone. Battery life on the PS4 remote is crap compared to the Dual Shock 3 because they won’t let us turn off the indicator light and lastly there’s a subscription fee to play online meanwhile on the PS3 there never was but it does have it’s free game benefits – as long as you are a member to play them. PS Vue TV is way too expensive for a model that is outdated- live TV is old and the only good thing I have found about the PS services- PS Now game streaming. This feature alone is worth a PS Vita TV console if they would let us stream our old PS3 and classic console game purchases instead of renting them. Spotify and Netflix are the sprinkles of an unfinished cake (when Spotify adds video streams or decides to pursue database indexing off to become the world’s media library (bigger than Netflix) Sony should by then come up with a phone/tablet mini OS based on the Vita and PS4.
Sony created the base level of a console that is less feature rich than their PS3 console, less flexible than a Vita, and more UI clustered than a windows 8 tablet but the games that are on it and will be on it – make it worth buying for the living room – leave your fancy computer in the room – should the games be less independent of the device they run on because nowadays we can stream to the iPad and by then the iPad of 2020 will be equally or more powerful than the PS4 with their 3D stacked GPU’s that Apple TV would have ended our need to own a console box unless it’s the cloud-streaming cloud type or tiny m-ATX form factor with powerhouse AMD 3D chip-stacked graphics. It’s becoming clear to me that the store of an OS (with a good amount of storage on a device) is the most important feature for it’s success. If you go to the store that doesn’t have anything good, you leave and go to the next.