Playstation 4 for the Avid Gamer

When shopping for a video game console you’ll be faced with whether you should buy the new Xbox One or the new PlayStation 4.  As I covered in part one, the Xbox One is much more than a video game console with entertainment features for the whole family. Chances are that the serious gamer in your household that wants to share with friends, will pick PlayStation 4 (PS 4).

Improvements Ideas Straight from Gamers and Developers

It’s been 7 years since the PlayStation 3 was released. While Microsoft was dilly dallying with developing cool entertainment features for the Xbox One, Sony got serious about improving their gaming experience by soliciting and listening to gamer’s input as well as what the game developers have been saying. The result is more powerful hardware for gorgeous game graphics, and an outstanding online social experience.

The PlayStation 4 not only has an 8 core processor to handle the details going on in the game, it has a 1.84 TFLOPS AMD Radeon Graphics Core Net engine.  The graphics are going to be fantastic and games will run smoothly. More importantly, the extra power will make it possible in the future for game designers to create even more complex, realistic games than those available today. For those who love video games the PS 4 is an investment in future gaming.

Game Sharing Like Never Before

Walk into a room full of teenagers playing video games, and you’ll see one or two of them are actually playing while the rest watch. The PS 4 can mimic that experience in the virtual world. During a game, pressing the SHARE button on the game controller will instantly begin a live video on the Twitch streaming service. The gamer’s friend can watch the game to share the experience and to give or get tips on how to get past a particularly challenging part of the game. The SHARE button can also be used to instantly capture the past few minutes of a game play and post the video online.

Beyond sharing game play, there is now group chat so the whole gang can be part of the experience just like those times when they crowded the couches of your living room. The PlayStation 4 allows gamers to log up to 2000 friends.

Redesigned Controller 

The PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller has a new design too. Sony has added a touchpad to make it easy to navigate onscreen menus.  The new Kilzone Shadow Fall game is the first to take advantage of the feature.  The controller also has a speaker to hear audio logs during game play.  The DualShock 4 controller now has concave triggers that make hours of game play more comfortable.

While gamers may enjoy the new controller, they can use a PlayStation Vita handheld portable video game console to control the PlayStation 4.  Sony has integrated their various devices and allows the gamer to transfer play to the Vita (called “Remote Play”) to take with them when they leave home.

Entertainment for the Rest of the Family

Don’t get the impression that the PS 4 is bereft of features for the non-gamers in the family.  The PlayStation 4 has a number streaming media services including: Amazon instant video,

Crackle, Crunchyroll, Epix, Hulu Plus, Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, NBA Game Time, Netflix, Vudu, NHL, Redbox, and YuppTV.  The game disc player is also one of the highest quality Blu-ray players made by Sony.

The streaming services are solid, but Sony hasn’t put the emphasis on them in the same way Microsoft has with the Xbox. There is a PlayStation Camera that is available as an optional accessory.  Similar to the Kinect, it has facial recognition for automatically logging in players, however it isn’t the same experience as the Kinect and most say it’s just as fast to log in using the game controller.

The Bottom Line

If the gamer in your household has friends with a PlayStation 4, chances are that they will want one too.  In this case, they don’t want one simply because it’s cool and they want to be like their friends.  Instead, they want to play with their friends so they want to be on the same system.  Perhaps the best choice is to buy one of each. Put the Xbox 360 in the room with your home theater and the PlayStation 4 in the bedroom of the gamer.  If you must make a choice and you’re still not sure after reading both blogs, simply choose one.  Both are great consoles.

Barb Gonzalez ~ The Simple Tech Guru

Read Barb’s Recent Blogs & Guides

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