If you're looking to jump into the new generation of consoles and want the highest possible performance without spending a small fortune, look no further than the PlayStation 4. Pound-for-pound...
Perfect controller, more powerful specs than Xbox One, higher resolution multiplatform games, only $399, compact form factor, runs quiet
Lacks some functionality that even the PS3 has, not much of a game library yet
If you're looking to jump into the new generation of consoles and want the highest possible performance without spending a small fortune, look no further than the PlayStation 4. Pound-for-pound compared to the Xbox One and Wii U, the PS4 reigns as the most powerful "next-gen" console in 2014. While most multiplatform games run at 720p/900p on Microsoft's console, those same multiplatform titles usually run in 1080p at a higher frame rate on the PS4. Fanboyism aside, this is a crucial difference -- there aren't many exclusives on the system yet and multiplatform games make up the bulk of the PS4's library.
And the controller! The DualShock 4 could possibly might be the best console controller since the GameCube's WaveBird, trimming all the worst parts of the DualShock 3 and adding an incredible tactic feel with molded triggers, rubberized grips, and super-accurate thumbsticks. If you can't stand playing first-person shooters on the PS3's DualShock 3, you'll be happy to know the DualShock 4 hangs right up there with the 360 controller in terms of comfort and accuracy... and then some.
Again, PS4 lacks game-changing exclusives for now. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack are 7/10 titles at best, though with InFamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886 right around the corner, now's a great time to pick up a PS4 to prepare for a glorious year of PlayStation content. You'll also get at least one free PS4 game per month with a Playstation Plus subscription for $50 a year, which pays for itself in no time.
Games look stunning on my 55" Sony KDL-55NX720 LED TV, and setup was a snap -- since it uses the same power cable and HDMI input as the PS3, you can simply swap the systems at your leisure. There's a headphone jack on the DualShock 4 to send audio to any headset you can plug into it. I haven't tested this functionality, but it reportedly works just as expected. Blu-rays play just fine, but 3-D support hasn't been patched in quite yet. Bummer.
Thankfully, the PS4's UI is leaps better than the PS3's XMB menu. No need to cancel what you're doing when trying to launch a separate app or enter a voucher code, and this time around the PlayStation Store is native to the PS4 for much quicker loading. Unfortunately, initial load times for games can be a bit slow, but this can be greatly improved by replacing the stock HDD with an SSD.
At only $399 ($100 less than the Xbox One) and plenty of content on the way, the PS4 is the clear choice for the new generation.