Release Date: November 15th, 2013
Notable Specs: 8GB GDDR5 RAM, Blu-Ray Drive, 500GB HDD
Sony is taking everything it's learned from the last generation and using it to make the ultimate gaming console with PS4. Right off the bat, Sony's next-gen console trumps its predecessor in the pricing department with an asking price that is $200 cheaper than the PS3 when it launched back in 2006. The infamous Cell Processor has also been scrapped in an effort to make development as easy as possible. Instead, Sony is opting for a more PC-like, semi-custom AMD-powered x86 CPU that has first-party, third-party, and indie developers all grinning from ear to ear. And then there's the real kicker for fans who appreciate raw technical power, as PlayStation 4 boasts 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, which trumps PS3's RAM sixteen-fold.
In addition to an installed 500GB HDD, each PS4 will come boxed with a DualShock 4 controller, a mono earbud-style headset for voice chat, a power cable, an HDMI cable, and a USB cable to charge Sony's much improved gamepad. Believe it or not, the DualShock 4 will now charge even when the console is powered off, showing up its predecessor in more than just comfort and feature set.
Like its predecessor, the PlayStation 4 will feature a Blu-ray drive, which will play both movies and games. Sadly, PS3 games (which are also on Blu-ray discs) will not be compatible with Sony's new console. That said, users who purchase select cross-generation games will be able to upgrade their PS3 copy to the PS4 version for a small fee. The PS3 disc must be installed on the PlayStation 4 for the next-gen version to run, so despite being able to actually play PlayStation 3 games, it appears that the PS4 Blu-ray drive can indeed recognize the discs. Sony plans to remedy the issue of backwards compatibility down the line with the power of Gaikai, Sony's cloud-based game-streaming service, which is set to launch sometime next year.
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- Resogun (Free with PlayStation Plus)
- Sound Shapes
- Angry Birds Star Wars
- Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
- Call of Duty Ghosts
- DC Universe Online
- FIFA 14
- Battlefield 4
- Just Dance 2014
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes
- Madden NFL 25
- NBA 2K14
- Need For Speed Rivals
- Skylanders SWAP Force
- Blacklight Retribution
- Contrast (Free with PlayStation Plus)
- Super Motherload
- Trine 2: The Complete Story
Guerrilla Games made a name for itself on PlayStation 3 with the shockingly gorgeous visuals of Killzone 2 and the subsequent Killzone 3. The next entry in the series, Killzone: Shadow Fall raises the visual bar even higher, serving as the undoubted visual showpiece for Sony's next-gen platform. But pretty looks aside, Shadow Fall is an impressive first-person shooter in its own right, with a robust single-player campaign and a suite of multiplayer modes. If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck on launch day, you won't be disappointed with Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Instead of returning to the time of the American Revolution, the folks over at Ubisoft decided to rewind the clock several decades and put players in the shoes of Connor's grandfather. In Assassin's Creed IV, you play as Edward Kenway, a pirate whose complex relationship with the Assassin Order makes for an interesting tale. Black Flag takes the unforgettable naval battles of Assassin's Creed III, and builds upon it to make an epic quest set on the high seas. (And on the PS4, the waves of the Caribbean waters are cat-entrancing.) That, however, doesn't mean Kenway won't set feet on dry land from time to time, scaling building and knifing unsuspecting foes in the back. Assassin's Creed IV has nearly everything you could ever want from an AC title and then some.
Mark Cerny—you know, the genius behind the PlayStation 4—decided to step back in the software ring with Knack, a charming new platformer that harkens back to the genre's early beginnings on the original PlayStation. While on the surface Knack may look like nothing more than a game for kids, its shocking difficulty will have even the most hardcore gamers on their edge of their seats. Of course, there are easier settings for those who may not be as familiar with the medium, making Knack the go-to game for everyone, regardless of age or skill level.
Considering the fact that Resogun is coming free to everyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription, there's absolutely no reason not to give Housemarque's latest a go. The talented studio behind Super Stardust is at it again, but this time with a slightly different take on the classic shooter. In Resogun, you navigate a ship along the confines of a cylindrical pathway, spraying bullets at oncoming enemies. It's addictive gameplay and leaderboard system will have you chasing the high score for hours on end. Don't say we didn't warn you.
While DICE's latest entry in the Battlefield franchise may already be available for purchase on current-gen consoles, make now mistake, Battlefield 4 was designed with next-gen hardware in mind. From stunning visuals to unparalleled levels of destruction and dynamic maps, there's a whole lot new about this jaw-dropping first-person shooter. If you want a game that will really push your shiny new PlayStation to its limits, the massive online battles of Battlefield 4 will be sure to do the trick.
Price: $49.99 (12 Months), $17.99 (3 Months)
In case you didn't get the memo, gamers will have to pay a fee in order to play online on PlayStation 4, as Sony has decided to wall such functionality behind a PlayStation Plus subscription. Couple that with the promise of free games each month and you'd be foolish not to pay the $50 premium to gain all the benefits that PS Plus has to offer for an entire year. Heck, maintaining your Instant Game Collection for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita is reason enough to keep a subscription going. Much like how Xbox Live Gold has become virtually essential to the Xbox experience, PlayStation Plus will prove to be the same on PlayStation 4.
Extra DualShock 4
While you'll likely do the bulk of your gaming solo or with friends over the PlayStation Network, it's always a good idea to have an extra controller just in case you and a friend have a hankering for some local multiplayer, be it couch co-op or a competitive head-to-head battle. The DualShock 4 is a much-improved take on the tried-and-true PlayStation controller that has remained relatively unchanged the past three generations. Now with concave triggers, a touchpad, an improved form factor, and superior analog sticks, there's no arguing that PS4's gamepad is leaps and bounds better than the DualShock 3. Heck, some say it is even better than the Xbox One's controller.
While it may not be as powerful as Xbox One's Kinect, Sony also isn't charging you quite as much to have a camera hooked up to your console. The device boasts two super-sensitive cameras that can recognize a player's face and sign them in without any additional effort on the part of the user. It can also detect movement, allowing for motion detection and compatibility with the PlayStation 3's Move controllers. It can also respond to voice commands, so if you're into yelling at your console, the option is there. Oh yeah, and you know that glowing light bar on the top of each DualShock 4? The PlayStation Camera recognizes that too, taking note of where each player is in reference to the television. Just imagine the possibilities, and all for just $59.99!
DualShock 4 Charging Station
While you'll be able to plug your DualShock 4 controllers into the system via micro USB, the Sony-branded charging station will serve as a handy and much more convenient alternative. Simply drop your gamepad into the nifty little cradle after a long gaming session and next time you're ready to hop in, you won't have to worry about it dying on you mid-game. I don't know about you, but plugging my DualShock 3 into the PS3 felt like a bit of a hassle, especially when it was out of juice and I needed to sit awkwardly close to the television because I forgot to plug it in earlier. With the charging station, you can just get in the habit of storing your controllers on the sleek, unassuming cradle and never have to deal with that problem. Convenience is totally worth the price.
Calling the Vita a PlayStation 4 "accessory" may be a bit disingenuous, but when taking into account all the Remote Play promises to offer, it simply has to be on this list. While it may seem like an expensive peripheral, what the Vita offers is unlike anything else out there, providing incredible value for the asking price. Having the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on the device akin to what Nintendo is doing with the Wii U GamePad is an incredibly worthwhile feature, especially if you share your television with others. Let's also not forget that the Vita is a perfectly competent device in its own right, with a number of great games you can't find anywhere else, including Persona 4: Golden, Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and the upcoming Tearaway.
Can I upgrade the 500GB hard drive?
Yes, you can upgrade the hard drive, just as long as the thickness is 9.5mm or under and larger than 160GB.
Will it support an external HDD?
Nope. Sadly it will not.
Can PlayStation 4 play PS3 games?
No. PS4 will not support PS3 Blu-ray discs or downloadable titles. You can thank the Cell Processor for that.
Can I use a DualShock 3 with PlayStation 4?
No. And why would you want to in the first place? Seriously, once you go DualShock 4, you'll never want to go back.
Can I watch Blu-ray and DVD movies on the system?
Of course! Despite PS4 being primarily a game console, it will still serve many of your other entertainment needs.
How about CDs?
No. Audio CD will not be supported.
Is there a Day One update for the system?
Yes. You'll need to update your PlayStation 4 to version 1.50 when you first plug it in. Fortunately, you'll be able to play disc-based games while the update is downloading.
What if I don't have my PS4 connected to the internet?
You can download the update to a USB drive and then transfer it to the console.
Will any of the announced features not be available at launch?
Yes. Wireless headset support, Suspend/Resume mode, and controller sharing over PSN to help a friend all will be coming at a later date.
How many friends can I have on PSN?
Up to 2,000. A vast improvement over the PS3's 100-friend limitation.
Can I change my PSN ID?
Nope. You're stuck with the name you have.
Will all retail games be available digitally on launch day?
That all depends on the publisher.
Does PS4 support used games?
Can I share/trade my games with friends?
Does the console require an "always on" internet connection?
How long is the DualShock 4 battery life?
Approximately the same length of the DualShock 3. And it will charge when plugged into the console even when it is in standby mode.
How many controllers does PS4 support at one time?
The console supports the use of four controllers simultaneously.
Does the console come with a headset?
Yes, a mono headset is packed in with the console.
Does PS4 support cross-game chat?
Yes. Up to eight gamers can chat in a single party.
Will the Move controller work on PS4?
Yes. The Move controller will work, so long as you have the PlayStation Camera.
Does PS4 support Remote Play on Vita?
Yes. Remote Play will work for all games that don't require the use of the PlayStation Camera.
Will it work over a 3G connection?
No. You've gotta use Wi-Fi.
Do I have to pay to play online multiplayer?
Yes. To play games online on PS4, you have to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber.
What else does a PlayStation Plus subscription get me?
Access to free games via the Instant Game Collection, PlayStation Store discounts, online game saves, and automatic downloads.
Do I need a separate PS Plus subscription for PS4?
No. If you already have a PlayStation Plus subscription for PlayStation 3/Vita, that will carry over to PS4.
What does that Share button do?
You'll be able to record and share gameplay videos with the simple click of that button. You can also share screenshots and live stream gameplay as well.
Where can I share this content?
You can share videos on Facebook and screenshots via Facebook and Twitter. You can stream live gameplay via Twitch and Ustream.
Do I need a PlayStation Plus subscription to share content?