Jun 132013

The Playstation 4 games console arrives soon, that's seven years after the Playstation 3 came out in Japan, to date Sony have sold over 70 million consoles, i bought one during the latter half of 2008 when the format war between HD DVD and Blu ray ended, Blu ray won that war and i wanted a player and since i imported a lot of DVD's i had made my mind up that i was probably going to import most of my Blu ray movies too, so i bought an American PS3 and a selection of discs, i also bought some games but mostly used it for watching films, a little later i bought an Oppo BD-83 Blu ray player and retired my PS3, it now sits under the plasma television in the living room and is used only with 3D discs which are region coded A. Fast forward seven years and Sony have decided to release the Playstation 4 coincidentally at the same time as Microsoft's XBox One console.

Playstation 4 picture with dual shock controller - PS4 imageThe Xbox One and PS4 debuted at the recent E3 show in Los Angeles, after looking closely at both system's i feel a little disappointment, sure we will get 1080p games at 60fps but none of the new consoles, i include the Nintendo Wii U, wow me, i was hoping for more.

If i had to choose one console then i would pick the Playstation 4 because i believe Sony will be adding 4K blu ray support to their console at some point, it will be capable of 4K streaming but i also believe 4K blu ray is coming next year and i think the Playstation 4 will be capable of playing those discs after a firmware upgrade.

I think Microsoft have shot themselves in the foot with this generation of consoles, they are restricting the sale of used games, they will likely charge a fee to play second hand games, i have also heard that you can switch the Xbox One's camera off but the microphone remains on, i don't like that at all, i especially dislike the fact you must connect to the internet once every 24 hours or it will shut down and not allow you to play games until you have done so, the PS4 doesn't have any of that stuff going on and for me is the better choice, now I'm not anti Microsoft, i owned an Xbox, i also have owned Nintendo consoles in the past, i do have an aversion to technology which restricts your use and can potentially snoop on you, it's not the same as a computer because with my laptop i can shut down the webcam and microphone and also stop remote access. 

Perhaps Microsoft will rethink some of the above restrictions before the console is launched, i hope so, it's still more expensive than the PS4 though and looking at the technical specs it would appear to be slightly less powerful than the Playstation 4, it's memory is GDDR3 while the PS4 uses GDDR5 memory and the PS4's GPU uses 50% more compute units which should give it an edge over the Xbox one, the PS4 design looks ugly to me but looks aren't everything and with the Nintendo Wii U having flopped it's a straight fight between Microsoft and Sony, i think Sony have the edge and Microsoft have had a public relations disaster at E3.

The PC games market is still ahead of any console, a top end PC graphics card is vastly superior to both of these new consoles, a high end gaming PC leaves both trailing in the dust but you pay for that sort of power, come Xmas 2013 there will be lots of people buying these consoles, the competition may be so fierce we get some price drops, let's hope so as gaming has become a very expensive hobby partly because manufacturers want to give us the all in one home entertainment system.

You can order the American edition of the PS4 by clicking here or the UK edition by clicking here.

:UPDATE:  Microsoft does a U-Turn, in light of the fact most gamers were abandoning the XBox One they have changed their policy on requiring you to connect to the internet every 24hrs and also loosened restrictions on selling used games, the exact words from XBox head Don Mattrick are below, good news but have they damaged their reputation and goodwill, how can we trust them to not do another U-Turn in the future, time till tell.

"An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."