The Playstation 4 has finally launched and what a successful launch it was. Minus the few who experienced some issues with their PS4s, the system launch was a smooth one. Gamers who managed to snag a system spent the weekend playing the latest and greatest games. But is the Playstation 4 all it's cracked up to be? We asked our crack team of professional writers to list one thing they liked and disliked about their brand new Playstation 4.
Jon Ledford (Bio)
Pro: In all honesty, one of the best features about the PlayStation 4 does not reside within the system's amazing hardware, its improved UI or initial library, but within the PS4's controller. I believe that the DualShock 4 is a great controller exhibiting a clear evolution of the DualShock format we first saw debut on the original PlayStation. For the most part, the DualShock hardly changed going from the PlayStation to PlayStation 3, so it's about time that it evolved and moved on. The Share feature allows you to seamlessly post gameplay footage onto the likes of Facebook or Twitter. The Touch Pad on the DualShock 4 is a great concept Sony previously used with the Vita that offers lots of potential for future usage. In a few years time, we might get tired of having a plethora of random gaming footage flooding our social networking sites, but for now, the Share button is a very welcome feature.
Con: Unfortunately, a huge con about the PlayStation 4 also resides within its controller. I personally felt that the Light Bar atop the controller was unnecessary. While I understand that it is meant to integrate with the PS Eye and act as a makeshift PlayStation Move (can't they just let it die?), the Light Bar helps burn the controller's battery. The battery life of the DualShock 4 is also diminished by its internal speaker. I remember being astonished at the speaker inside the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote when it first game out, but this is years later. Assuming that the average person who is able to afford a next gen console is most likely able to afford some sort of surround sound speaker system or a fancy gaming headset really makes it feel that the internal speaker of the DualShock 4 wasn't needed. An internal speaker was fine on the Nintendo's Wiimote because that system wasn't designed for lavish entertainment setups and was meant to impress children. On a personal note, the left analog stick on my DualShock 4 has already started to wear itself out, which is apparently happening to a lot of players within the first week of the console's release.
Angelo D'Argenio (Bio)
Pro: The PS4’s biggest strength is easily its streaming capabilities. As a member of the pro fighting game community, I am very familiar with the labor required to stream tournaments to the internet. Entire crews of streamers need to come in with their desktops, laptops, monitors, sound mixers, multiple capture cards, cameras, and more. Just setting up the stream takes a huge amount of time which can tend to delay tournaments which causes match conflicts, and soon the whole event descends into utter chaos. But with the PS4, all you need to do is press the Share button and you are up and streaming. Simply split the consoles HDMI feed to two monitors (one for play and one for commentary), connect a few Bluetooth mics for commentators, and you are good to go! Now if only the PS4 would allow you to put graphical overlays over your stream so you can update your viewers on player statistics. That would be cool.
Con: The PS4’s biggest weakness is easily its launch line-up. If you think about it, people are actually waiting in line at Best Buys and camping out at Gamespot’s just to buy games that are available on other platforms they already have. When you boil the PS4’s launch lineup down to only console exclusives, there are only about five games that you can play on the PS4 and nowhere else, and most of them are indie games. The only real AAA PS4 exclusives are Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack, and while Knack is beautiful and Killzone is somewhat fun, they are not killer apps that will sell a console. Many people are purchasing a PS4 on the promise of games to come, like Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV, inFamous Second Son, and more, but if that’s the case there’s really no reason to get a launch console, is there?
John Martin (Bio)
Pro: One pro about the PlayStation 4 is my absolute favorite feature: its Remote Play capabilities with the PlayStation Vita. While it's not supported for all games, it does allow me to play some of the coolest new titles, like Killzone Shadow Fall, on my handheld system. This effectively means that I can play AAA console titles in the palms of my hands while eating breakfast, lounging in bed or (this is TMI), even on the can. And the best part is that the graphics largely hold up on the small Vita screen and look incredible. Hopefully, some day soon, I'll be able to wrap my Vita up in a plastic bag and play Diablo 3 in the shower. [ok, that made me laugh. —Ed.]
Con: Perhaps the biggest con about the PlayStation 4 is the fact that it has no backwards compatibility. I've spent years amassing a huge library of PlayStation 3 games, yet the only ones I can use are the titles that support the PlayStation 3-to-PlayStation 4 upgrades, like Battlefield 4 and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Sony has already said that backwards compatibility might be possible in the future through the magic of streaming, but I'd love to be able to play my copy of The Last of Us now, or even my digital copies of classic PlayStation One and PlayStation 2 games. It's fine that Sony's looking to the future and bringing us some cool, new tech, but please don't forget about the games on the consoles that brought us to this point.
Luke Brown (Bio)
Pro: PlayStation Plus is one of the PlayStation 4's strengths, as it immediately gives players two free games right out of the bat in Resogun and Contrast. Additionally, when you subscribe, you immediately gain access to PS Plus on all the Sony platforms. Now you get the instant game library on the PS3 and PS Vita, and can continue to get all the free content whenever it's updated by Sony each and every month.
Con: Of course, the mandatory need for PlayStation Plus to enjoy multiplayer games on the PS4 has to be one of the biggest disappointments. On the PS3, you could play any game online for free, and PS Plus merely added new benefits like party chat, discounts, and backend bonuses like downloading updates overnight or backing up data to the cloud when in stand-by. Now, if you want to play online, you've got to pay. It's a shame Sony abandoned the old model, as it was one of the major advantages the PlayStation Network had over Xbox Live.
What are your pros and cons? Tell us on Twitter!