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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-11-18 01:27:24
PS4 First Impressions
I gamed far more on the Xbox 360, and used the PlayStation 3 primarily as a media hub. I'm beginning to suspect that I might end up switching these roles on the next-gen consoles.
I'm perplexed as to why Sony stripped out much of the media functions from the PlayStation 4. The Xbox One appears to be far more robust in this arena.
Code monkeys I've spoken with assure me that the PS4 (marginally) outperforms the Xbox One. Sony finally wised up, and went with standard architecture for the first time, as opposed to engineering a freakish proprietary chipset. It must've saved them tons of money in R&D, and developers won't have to fight to harness inaccessible power as with previous PlayStations. All other things being equal, I could see myself opting for PS4 versions of games for its slightly superior resolution/framerate.
However, it will clearly take some time until we have native PS4 games. The launch titles are a laundry list of "split-gen" ports, like Assassin's Creed, Battlefield and Call of Duty. In some cases, the next-gen versions suffer from issues, such as framerate hitches, that their primitive counterparts don't even exhibit.
The one exclusive that I have been playing is Resogun. It seems like there's always that one downloadable arcade game that anchors system launches. (Geometry Wars was easily the best Xbox 360 launch title.) Resogun is a descendent of Defender in the same way that Super Stardust reinvigorated Asteroids. It's a $15 digital download, or free with PlayStation Plus (a trial membership is included with the PS4).
What I love is the new DualShock. It's the first PlayStation controller that I find ergonomically comfortable and tactilely responsive. The sticks finally have some tension which engenders greater precision. The new triggers, while still not Xbox good, are good enough, as in they actually function. The PS3 triggers were atrocities. There's a new clickable touch pad in the center that shows a lot of promise if utilized by clever designers. I think the mood light and built in speaker are kind of jokes, but perhaps there will be the occasional legitimate use for them.
I'm system agnostic; I get them all. This time around, I'm looking forward to actually gaming on the PlayStation. It'll just take some time for those games to arrive.