I know everyone has made up their minds about what next-gen console they will be buying, and that everyone has already read the hardware reviews, but I thought I’d put my first impressions of the Playstation 4 down on paper very quickly.
From initial setup, it’s a very slick experience. The UI has been overhauled significantly, fixing all the little issues that the XMB had on Playstation 3. Things as simple as using the on-screen keyboard are far better streamlined, meaning getting my PSN account signed in was a breeze. Then there’s a 300MB patch which had apparently started downloading while I was signing in, by the time I got the main UI it was already 50% done.
I went straight to the store, and was extremely happy to see that Sony have made it really easy for me to give them money. Finding products I want was easy, and getting them downloaded took just a few seconds. Within a couple of minutes I was downloading half a dozen games, which all sat on my game library tantalizingly promising they would be done installing shortly.
I spent a few hours last night streaming games from the PS4 to Twitch.TV. I’ve never streamed before, and it was so easy to get it going. Hit the “Share” button on the controller, select “Broadcast”, optionally fill in some details about your channel, and it’s going. It’ll even spam my friends on Twitter and Facebook that I have started streaming. The onscreen UI for Twitch is great too, with comments showing at the bottom of the screen. Sadly my connection is pretty weak and when I jumped into some co-op Resogun with Cowboy the video stream cut out. I actually called Time Warner this morning and upgraded to a better service just so I can impress you with my skills in Need For Speed.
Finally, the controller feels great. I was never a fan of the PS3 controller, which felt too light and small for my giant hands. The new one is perfectly weighted, has great texture, and everything is nicely positioned. I like the light bar on the back, and the little speaker in the controller is fun for things like Resogun where it acts as your shipboard computer.