PS4 First Impressions

Took a few hours but finally done! And I've still got space for a Wii U if the price drops!

Well, I’ve had my PS4 for a couple of weeks now (late Crimbo pressie from my sis!) so I thought it was time to do an introductory appraisal, like what I did with the Xbone.

Sooo…

The first few hours, the PSPaw easily bested the Xbone. The startup was slicker, I was immediately soothed by Sony’s swirly blue swirls and new-age birthing soundtrack. Yes, the forest sprites were smiling on me and had delivered a baby nextgen console for me to admire and tickle. There was a tiny install but nothing like the Ring Cycle ordeal of the Xbone.

Biggest difference from the clunky, wtfmicrosoft Xbone experience is that I didn’t have to install anything. It was all on there. Obviously, non-Sony apps like Netflix and Lovefilm are additional app installs but the core functions were all present.

Aslo lovely was signing into PS+/PSN and getting my free PS4 games. BAM! Instant fun with Resogun, Warframe and other cool, free, IMMEDIATE shit. Laying out so much money for an Xbone and then there being fuck-all in the way of freebies apart from the doleful Kinect Sports demo was galling and made me feel cheated. Not so with the PS4: Sony gave me love straight away!

YAAAY! All great? Sony wins, Microsoft loses?

Nope!

After a while, I noticed that the PSN functions were iffy. I few times the store wouldn’t load at all, even after five minutes of waiting. Other times, I’d try to go to an app and, again, nada.

Then, the biggest worm in the apple: Sony’s sharing is broken.

Sony have dedicated a whole button to sharing on the PS4 controller. This is meant to be the connected, social, fun console. But the video sharing simply doesn’t work. Every time I’ve tried, no video is saved anywhere. In desperation, I turned to the net and apparently it’s a known bug and the way round it involves booting your PS4 into safe mode and then tinkering around with the database.

Yeah, right. Like I want or *should have to* do that with a brand-new console.

The sharing does work for pics, snapshots are grabbed to disk. But video clips ~ forget it. Contrast this with Xbone’s beautifully implemented sharing, just shout out, “Xbox, record that!” after an amazing move and the console obediently saves your last moments of prowess to disk. Games like Peggle 2 even autosave breakthrough events, you don’t actually have to open your cakehole.

What is going on, Sony? You’ve pushed this as a Facebook-splurging, Twitter-loving console and the video capture/sharing doesn’t even work?

Moving on to actual games, I got the Killzone pack and… meh. I played and finished KZ 2 and 3, often co-op two player with mates. You can’t do that with Shadowfall. So, that bit of social, sharing fun is erased in one fell swoop on this new social, sharing fun console.

Then there’s the fact that even on easy, KZ Shadowfall is stupidly hard. The bit at the start with the river through the middle and the base you have to plant the explosives on, I died so many times I just gave up. Then I got actual gamer mates to play it and even they found it hard. The repetitious nature of missions and enemies, the continual onslaught and lack of any real story between cut scenes makes the the game very… dull. But, hey, that’s not the console’s fault! The game looks very pretty on the PS4… ummm… lots of lens flares?

Last week I bought Knack and finished that. Now, *that* is a fun game. Difficult but not too hard for a crap gamer like me. The rewards and story arc keep players motivated, unlike Shadowfall which is just a series of run and guns that are on rails. Typing Of The Dead had more freedom! And I’m saying that even though Knack hasn’t even got a look ability: the game scripts the angle of view. How strange that it *still* feels more free and more of a story than Shadowfall.

Rounding up, a great initial experience was slightly soured by flaky PSN issues and the broken sharing. I finished BF4 on the Xbone but will probably will never finish Shadowfall simply because I don’t care: the game is less emotionally involving and inspiring than BF4. Which I thought was impossible.

So, PSPaw vs. Xbone: so far, a draw!