PS4 – £349 and out in time for Christmas

Many of you will have already heard the astonishing news about the PS4 and it’s incredibly attractive price tag. UK citizens will be able to pick up a PS4 in time for Christmas for as little as £349, a whopping £80 cheaper than it’s competition XBOX One.

We finally got to see what the console looked like and was treated to a little more of what the console does and other games will be available. The general attitude after the announcement is that Sony have romped E3 this year and really listened to the gaming community. This consensus was cemented the second Sony announced that there would be no restrictions when playing pre-owned games on the PS4. Whilst the Xbox One does play pre-owned games there is a grey area to the clauses and restrictions at this current time. Jack Tretton used E3 as the perfect opportunity to dispel any fears consumers and retailers alike may have had about the new PS4.

“We believe in the model that people embrace today with PlayStation 3 and will continue to demand, disc-based games don’t need to be online to play, or to connect online at all for any type of authentication. Single-player games will never need to be played while online at all. And it won’t stop working if you don’t authenticate for 24 hours,” This was followed by an almighty round of applause.

Here is Sony’s hilarious promotional video on how to borrow a game from a friend. Unlike the convoluted method Xbox one is currently offering.

But amongst all the jokes and jibes at the expense of Microsoft what is the PS4 actually offering?  Is it easy for Sony to simply just look amazing with the two instances that is will play pre-owned games and that you don’t need to be online every five minutes? Many would argue that Jack Tretton could have walked on stage and only declared those two things to win audiences over.

So What does the PS4 actually do?

Well everyone at Sony appears to be singing the same tune. This is a console made for gamers. All other features such as social and media interaction are secondary but also integral to the gaming experience: built around gamers. But do the early signs merely suggest this or do Sony appear to be delivering?

Sony announced that 3 exclusives from themselves will be available day one at launch. These include long running franchise and FPS Killzone: Shadow Fall, new team based racing I.P Driveclub and cute action adventure Knack. Currently a further 50+ games have been announced for the console including some interesting and exciting looking exclusives such as The Order 1886, Blacklight: Retribution, Infamous: Second Son, Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy and free to play Warframe. The PS4 will also see new and old franchises alike making their way to Sony’s playground for the very first time such as Witcher 3, Thief and (exclusively for the time being as Capcom won’t be drawn on the subject) Deep Down. Mixed with a host of familiar up and coming titles such as Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom PainFifa 14, Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Watchdogs and Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag you’d be hard to say that Sony weren’t bending over backwards to the hardened gamers needs.

On top of this Sony have been incredibly supportive of indie gamers and the support has been welcomed. Adam Boyes declared “We absolutely love scouring the earth for the most creative and innovative developers.” This was followed by an introduction to many new independent debutants to the PS4. This list included Transistor, Don’t Starve, Octodad and we will also see the return of the much loved series Oddworld. This is in stark contrast to Xbox’s stance who seem to have shunned independent developers, which is of a shock to most people as a huge part of the success of xbox live is down to the many arcade games available online.

Howver similar to Xbox live, Playstation 4’s online service will be subscription based, which isn’t at all surprising. To have dedicated support and servers we have to accept the fact that we need to pay for it. But never fear if you subscribe to Playstation Plus already you’ll be away of all the free games you get every month. This in turn will carry over onto the Playstation 4 and the ability to play online will be part of this service. For day one of the PS4 launch, Playstation Plus subscribers will receive a free downloadable copy of Drive Club Plus. All in all that sounds like winning to me.

For those interested in the specs here they are

Main processor Single-chip custom processor CPU : x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation RadeonTM based graphics
Memory GDDR5 8GB
Storage size 500GB Hard disk drive
External dimensions Approx. 275×53×305 mm (width × height × length) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
Mass Approx. 2.8 kg
BD/ DVD drive (read only) BD × 6 CAV DVD × 8 CAV
Input/ Output Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port × 2 AUX port × 1
Networking Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) ×1 IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
AV output HDMI out port DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) port
Included PlayStation®4 system × 1 Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK®4) × 1 Mono headset × 1 AC power cord × 1 HDMI cable × 1 USB cable × 1)

One notable exemption from the announcement was the PS4 camera. The camera itself was not discussed during Sony’s full presentation. However the choice to sell the camera separately may go a long way into explaining the gulf in price between the PS4 and the Xbox One, which will always include a Kinect sensor bar. Microsoft who are throwing the new Kinect at consumers haven’t taken into account that not everyone likes the Kinect. But despite previous suggestions that the Kinect is fundamental to the Xbox One users have the option to use the controller to access all the functions of the Xbox One. This in turn begs the question. Why force people to buy a Kinect when you don’t need it?

In short Sony have placed themselves in a very strong position at this point and any one sat on the fence as to which to buy will probably be swayed by the PS4’s offering. However I don’t expect Microsoft to crumble, they indeed will be held up by unwavering and dedicated Xbox fans. The real question is how will Microsoft win over their lost sheep?

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