PS4: the future of gaming is here

With a sleek design, great games and butter-smooth gameplay, the PS4 really is a quantum leap forward.

So this is it, then. The next generation of gaming. The platform that will no doubt ignite controversy, admiration, and, of course, the inevitable fanboy wars. So let’s have a good old gander, shall we?

When you take your first look at the PS4, it brings to mind much less a games console than a stealth bomber. With its sleek black finish and futuristic light bar slicing through it like a razor, it certainly upholds the prospect of cut-throat performance.

But never judge a book by its cover, right? Well, in this case, wrong. The PlayStation 4 packs some serious, heavyweight punch. With eight cores, and 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM (that is to say, a lot), and capable of running games at 60fps (as smooth as butter), the PlayStation betters its counterpart, the Xbox One, in every technical respect. And developers know it, too: many games, such as the ever-popular Call Of Duty, run at better graphical resolutions on the PS4 than the Xbox.

To further solidify the PS4’s claim to the gaming throne, there are numerous streaming and sharing features which the console packs under its jet-black bonnet. So, to set the scene, you’re casually playing FIFA when you pummel a 30-yard screamer into the back of the net, as the chosen Arsenal goalie only belatedly realises what he’s there for. And then, you think to yourself, I wish I could show all my friends. In previous times you could only have imagined doing this. But now, guess what? You can gain said friends’ respect. You see, your PS4 is always recording the last 15 minutes of your gameplay (and no, to those budding Assanges out there, this isn’t some government plot).

But what is a good console without any good games, I hear you shout in indignation? Well, PS4 has plenty of those, too. Those leading the pile include Killzone: Shadow Fall, Assassin’s Creed 4 and the evergreen FIFA. In their various ways, they show off the three main styles of modern gaming.

First off, Killzone is a first-person shooter with a multiplayer feature in the vein of Call Of Duty, but with special attributes that alter the gameplay in key ways.

Then there’s the vast tropical landscape of Assassin’s Creed 4. In this game you take control of sweary drunkard and pirate Edward Kenway, and explore the lush open world at your fingertips.

And then, of course, there’s the king of sports games, FIFA. FIFA has been, for me and many others, the most time-consuming, exciting and occasionally infuriating game on the planet (if you don’t know what I mean by infuriating, you haven’t lost a Champion’s League final due to an extra time penalty). In the new version the stellar career mode returns in full glory, but with even more depth.

There are many other games available for the PS4, but I have chosen these three as the cream of the already quality crop.

The controller – and, as a result, the gameplay – has been greatly improved. Additions include more grip on the thumb-pads, a touchpad and a giant light on the other side of the controller (though you can’t actually see the light when you’re playing, which makes its inclusion somewhat perplexing).

But, lest we forget, nothing is without fault. And my first PS4 did fall victim to a literal fault. Thankfully, the helpful chaps at GAME quickly came up with a replacement console. Also, the headset provided (though a headset actually being included is an improvement) is extremely tinny. So, a proper headset is probably better for the long run. Another, admittedly miniscule, bummer is that you now have to pay for online multiplayer by purchasing a PS Plus subscription at roughly three quid a month. However, said PS Plus contains free games for all the current PS platforms, among other benefits, which actually makes it great value.

Minor gripes aside, the important thing is that the future of gaming is with us at last.

Freddie Sehgal Cuthbert is a spiked’s games reviewer.

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