Viewing Review: Excellent Gaming Console - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Excellent Gaming Console Edit
by HPQ Combined Rating: 4.0
I am not what you call a hard core gamer. In fact, the last gaming console I had was the Playstation 2.

When I heard about the Playstation 4 coming out, I was very interested to get back into...
Pros Cons
  • Nice Clean Look, Fast processor, Blu Ray functionality, Smart Features
  • HDMI only; Can't play 3D movies; Lack of games
I am not what you call a hard core gamer. In fact, the last gaming console I had was the Playstation 2.

When I heard about the Playstation 4 coming out, I was very interested to get back into gaming. However, I soon found out while researching the unit that it only had hdmi setup so this forced me to update my AV (Audio Video) equipment.

So, for folks who were expecting to hook up their Playstation 4 with a non hdmi enabled TV, you would be in for a rude awakening.. You are out of luck. You will need to upgrade. This I found to be the only major negative for the unit.

If you have an hdmi enabled TV then you are good to go so to speak.

In terms of value, I would say it is better then the competition for the initial purchase. While it is a hundred dollars cheaper then the Xbox one, users will soon realize that the difference is really to account for the camera difference only between the units. Essentially, the Xbox one includes the camera (kinect) whereas the Playstation 4 doesn't include it's own camera (PS eye). If you were to factor in the PS eye, then the price would be the same. However, I would like to point out that with the technical specs of the Playstation 4 when compared to the Xbox one, the overall value gain is still with the Playstation 4. The Playstation 4 has a faster 8GB DDR5 memory when compared with the Xbox One which has 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Also, I must add that you can upgrade the 500GB Hard Drive (HDD) on the Playstation 4.

An added feature that is really nice is that with the Playstation 4, you can download updates and upload video's while playing games or while the system is in sleep mode. So, the unit is very powerful when compared to the Playstation 3 for example. I must also add that it can support 4K photo's and video's but at present can only play 1080p games.

The Playstation 4 console can be positioned either in the flat (horizontal) position or you can put it on a stand (optional device you have to purchase extra) to keep it in a vertical position. I kept mine in the flat (horizontal) position. In terms of it's look, the overall design of the Playstation 4 is very nice and clean. Dimensions are 10.8in x 12in x 2in so if you were to keep it on a stand, please note the size. The vents and majority of the connections are in the back for ease of functionality as well as look. While, there are two usb ports available in the front for charging the controllers, I would still give the overall look of the Playstation 4 as one of the key advantages over it's rivals. It is very futuristic with it's split gloss and matte design. The Xbox one for example, looks like a giant VCR with vents around the back and sides of the unit.

Setup was very easy. Since I purchased new equipment (new AVR (Audio Video Receiver) and a new TV), it was very simple for me. The Playstation 4 came with an hdmi cable and I hooked it up to the AVR and from there I sent an additional HDMI cable to the TV. Plug in the supplied power unit and you are all set.

I had a Cat6 cable for internet from my router to the Playstation 4 hooked up. But for those who don't have a cable available, you can setup the Wi-Fi on the unit to get your internet connection.

I did find it somewhat hard to turn the unit on. I must admit this. I wasn't expecting to find the power on button near the front and all you had to do was swipe it with your finger. It took me some time to get used to it.

In terms of energy use and noise, the unit is very quiet. Also, I didn't get any heat as some folks reported. Mine was very cool and it still is during playing sessions. When not in use, the unit will go to standby mode to save energy consumption and will turn off after a few hours of no use. You can set it up to turn off completely as well from the menu options.

The registration process came up very quickly and the only hard thing was waiting for all the updates to get done. It took over an hour for my system to download everything. But, after that, you were ready to play games or go to any of the smart apps or go to the "Live from Playstation" option from the main dashboard. I believe the reason for the hour long update for my playstation 4 console was due to the fact that I bought the unit during the Christmas shopping rush and with all the units barely in stock, folks who were "lucky" enough to get one flooded the Sony servers. Yesterday, I got a notification on the Playstation that there was an update and once I clicked ok, it was downloaded in 2 minutes. So, very fast. As you can see, the download time for updates now are much improved as the "rush" to get the units before Christmas has now passed.

In terms of features, you can get to everything from the dashboard. I thought the dashboard was nicely setup. When you insert a game into the tray, the game is the first option available in the dashboard. As you scroll away from that, you can select the other extras such as the smart apps, Playstation live, etc.

The smart features that are available on the Playstation 4 are netflix, crackle and amazon and all worked perfectly. No issues connecting to those apps or playing anything from those apps. For me personally, it is nice to have if your TV is not smart enabled or doesn't have those apps built in.

There is a "Live from Playstation" option available for those interested. If folks bought the Playstation 4 Eye (the camera) they can film themselves playing. While this is an interesting feature, I wasn't much interested in watching others play.. I guess if you have time and were interested in a certain game and how folks played it, this option maybe of value for you. The quality of the video and the audio were superb thou. I just didn't use it.

You can also share the last few min of a game you are playing so to speak and post it online. While this is a nice option to show to others, I haven't played with it but from looking at the video's that other folks have posted online, it is overall well done.

You also have the option for remote play. You can transfer your gaming experience from the TV to Playstation Vita system via WiFi. I haven't played with this feature since I don't have a Vita System but the option is available for those who do have a Vita system and want to free their TV from the Playstation 4.

The console does come with one dual shock controller and one cord to charge that controller. Since I have multiple people who will be playing the games on the Playstation 4, I went ahead and got another extra dual shock controller but to my amazement, the new controller didn't come with a cord for charging. To resolve this issue, I ended up buying a charging station that would hold both controllers. While this isn't necessary, it did keep the controllers in one place and out of the way as well as helping to charge when not in use at the same time.

The controllers are very nice actually. They fit very comfortably in your hands. Folks complained about the light sensor but to be honest, I don't see the issue. I don't see the reflection of the light on the tv or anyplace so it doesn't bother me. An added bonus is that the controllers are wireless. When I had the Playstation 2, I remember I had to be close to the unit since it wasn't wireless. But for this Playstation 4 console, I have the controllers on the other side of the room and it works perfectly. In fact, the console is behind me and the controller has no issues. In terms of battery consumption for the wireless controllers, I never had a need to recharge while playing. Since I have a separate docking station for recharging the controllers, when I don't play, it is charged all the time.

I purchased one game so far - Lego Superhero's and it is great on the unit. The CPU power of the console shows the fast action of the game. The graphics are also very impressive. I must also state that for most TV's the game mode option would allow the lag to be very minimal to near nonexistent. I have a Samsung F8000 LED and I don't notice any lag if any when I press/move the buttons on the controller with the action on the screen. The game loaded very fast and I must say, they really did a great job with the game overall. Highly recommended for folks who have kids!

I haven't purchased any games online via the playstation store online via the console so I can't comment on that aspect but from looking around it seems very simple and easy for anybody to get the games online.

Speaking of games, the number of available games is kind of small for the PS4. You would think for a new system, they would have a lot more then what is available. While this is a negative for the time being, I suspect as the year progresses and in the near future, more games will be added to the lineup. So, a momentary negative!

In regards to the other features such as the blu ray player, I have played regular DVD and blu ray movies and the unit worked perfectly. Only negative is that it doesn't play 3D movies. Maybe in the future it will but for those who want to play 3D movies, you will have to have a separate 3D enabled dvd/blu ray player. This is not an issue for me since I have another unit that handles 3D but for those who thought you could just get the Playstation 4 instead for playing 3D as well, you will soon realize that you need to get another 3D enabled player. A negative for sure but not a big negative. An interesting fact in regards to the lack of 3D DVD/Blu ray support is that even thou the Playstation 4 console doesn't support 3D DVD/Blu ray, it does support 3D games!

Video and Audio quality were superb for the Playstation 4. Regardless of whether you were playing a game or watching a streaming video on any of the smart apps or when watching a blu ray movie from inserting a blu ray dvd, the colors and sounds were fantastic. Action scenes were great. No judder or any issues were noted. Everything was clear and crisp. In fact, since I hooked up my playstation 4 console to my AVR, I was getting full action from both my subs as well as my 7 speakers. Literally, the room came alive once action sequences started to take place. I highly recommended to hook up the playstation 4 console to your AVR unit to take full advantage of the audio.

Overall, I have no regrets buying the Playstation 4. It is definitely a major upgrade from my old Playstation 2 and when you play the latest games, you do see the difference! smile.gif

Highly recommended!

overall rating: 4 1/2 stars
Features: 5 stars
Value: 4 stars
Design: 5 stars
Video Quality: 5 stars
Remote (Controller): 5 stars
Audio Quality: 5 stars

What to expect in the box:

PlayStation 4 System
Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller
HDMI Cable
Power Cable
USB Charging Cable
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