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Sony PlayStation 4





Despite there not being a wide variety of games yet ready to play, and free online-gaming no longer available, I would still plump for the Playstation 4 over the X-Box One.

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Sony PlayStation 4 Price History

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Agata Pokutycka

14th August 2014

By Agata Pokutycka

home-maker, blogger, foodie - more at

So I bought myself a PS4 and it now sits beside the TV waiting to entertain me. First problem, how do you turn it on? I'm an intelligent adult person and thus have no need to read the manual; if I had I would have found the on/off switch is actually a specific spot on the front of the console that you hold your fingertip in front of to switch on. The first step in a learning curve I discover.

Playstation 4

The PS4 itself is an unassuming black block with a slopping front. Half piano black, half matt black it will probably blend in with all your other black boxes that make up your hi-fi/cinema stack. Once powered up it has a funky pulsing light strip on top that indicates what your PS4 is doing. The controller will at first glance appear to be the usual fair and fits perfectly in your hand. I discovered two pause points in my gaming experience at the beginning; firstly there is no start button anymore and many of my games make use of that button and I was a bit lost there, secondly my PS3 keypad clipped onto my controller won't fit on this new controller. The keypad will still work with the Bluetooth connection so I just have it next to me for when I want to type. On the plus side you do now get a laptop style mouse pad with a single click function by pressing the pad down, this is wonderful!

Playstation 4

Once booted the desktop is fairly familiar fare, with a much greater emphasis on what's new and on line. With the PS4 you need to pay for a monthly subscription to the PS Network if you want to play online, now I have a serious problem with this, sure you get showered with free games as a reward for stumping up more cash to play but what are the chances of them offering you a game you will want to play, for me, rarely I would claim.

Playstation 4

As of today I have only played one game on my PS4 and that would be FFXIV- A Realm Reborn and let me tell you it is amazing, draw droppingly gorgeous in full on 1080p with DTS surround sound it is enough to make even hardened players all misty eyed. No matter how busy the screen gets with effects, explosions and movement the PS4 doesn't even seem to fully wake up to deal with it all. The biggest differences over the PS3 I have noticed though by far though are firstly the draw distance is now huge. You can see things happening in neighbouring continents it is so far away. Secondly is the apparent total lack of graphics lag, on the PS3 FFXIV the lag would sometimes be so severe that when you received a warning of an impending attack from a boss it was already too late to avoid it, on the PS4 there is no lag in fact you get so much warning time that you start to feel like you are cheating.

Playstation 4

It's only been a couple of weeks since I bought my PS4 and I have only played the one game on it so far, due in part to the usual lack of backwards compatibility with earlier PS games but it is warming my heart and I am starting to really like my new toy. There is a great depth to this machine and I have only scratched the surface, where will this journey of discovery end, I for one can hardly wait to find out!

Mark Byrne

24th May 2014

By Mark Byrne

Doctoral student and gadget lover

I'll admit to being a Nintendo gamer, and a casual one at that, but my housemates wanted something more than what they saw as cartoonish games, featuring plumbers and elves. They also wanted to buy a console that would perform the functions of a general entertainment system. After an impassioned period of canvassing, we all ended up contributing to the purchase of a PS4, which we ordered through Amazon and received the next day thanks to Amazon Prime. I've previously owned the original PlayStation, which I loved and played to destruction, and the PlayStation 3, which I was fairly lukewarm about.

What's in the box?

The PS4 comes in a surprisingly compact, briefcase-shaped box. Inside you'll find:

  • The PS4 console
  • A mono headset
  • The power cable with plug
  • Quick start guide and leaflets
  • A USB to micro-USB cable
  • The Dual Shock 4 controller
  • A HDMI cable

The controller

Playstation 4 controller

The PlayStation 4 controller will seem familiar to anyone who's ever owned any of the previous PlayStations. It retains a similar shape to the controllers from the original PlayStation console right through to the PlayStation 3. The 'Dual Shock 4' is a definite case of evolution rather than revolution, but it has evolved into a much more comfortable and responsive controller. Although there are more innovative controllers out there, such as that for the Wii U, I find this one the most agreeable, as I don't really want a workout when I'm playing games and I worry about the neighbours seeing me swinging my arms about the living room like I might be deflating. The controller features two analogue sticks, a D-pad, the familiar four-button cluster, two triggers and two shoulder buttons. There is also an accelerometer to sense movement and a great rumble feature. Brand new features include the addition of a single speaker, a clickable touchpad, a share/options button, multi-colour LED light bar, a headphone jack, an aux port and a micro USB port.

I'm not crazy about the light bar. I'm one of those people who carefully chooses his electronic devices to make sure that they don't have glaring and distracting power lights. The light bar on this controller commits the grave crime of reflecting in the TV screen, especially when we're playing in a darkened room. Thankfully, a recent systems update allows you to choose form three brightness levels. I'm told that the light bar is going to be put to use by the forthcoming virtual reality feature of the console, and that it has a camera-tracking function on some games, so I'm adopting a wait and see attitude.

The console

Playstation 4 main unit

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, but I find the PS4 to be neither particularly good looking, nor particularly bad looking. It's a reasonably small, wedged-shaped slab of mostly matt black plastic. The buttons and the disk slot are all hidden within a sort of horizontal trench and another vertical trench. You'll find two naked USB ports there too, which you will very likely use to charge your controllers. The ports, power, HDMI, optical audio, Ethernet and an auxiliary port are all hidden round the back. Because it's black, and most TVs and entertainment systems also are, the PS4 is fairly discreet, especially when sitting flat under your TV. Regrettably, it features a glowing, multi-coloured status light, that I'm not crazy about.


The PS4 has only been out for a little more than half a year, so, perhaps, a little patience will be required when it comes to the number of games available. Having said that, there are so many developers making games for the console that there are already many to choose from. The games I (we) have particularly enjoyed so far are: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Need for speed: Rivals, Assassin's Creed 4, Rayman Legends and Trine 2. My real reason for agreeing to buy the console is the upcoming 'Alien Isolation' game, a sort of sequel to Ridley Scot's classic sci-fi horror film 'Alien'. The game is expected in October 2014. Games for the PS4 are quite expensive, but similarly priced to those of other current consoles at around £45. Unlike the Wii U recently, games for the PS4 are widely available in supermarkets.


Playstation 4 box

The PS4 is a gamer's console. I'm not going to go into the technical specifications here, because that information is available pretty much everywhere, but I will say that the hardware offers huge potential for graphics, atmosphere and creating immersive experiences. All that's missing at the moment are games that exploit this potential to the full, but it's very early days. I'm not that hung up on the need for photo-realistic graphics, but this console can really deliver. I can just pick up a controller and start playing without any fuss, which is exactly what I want from a console. Most games run really smoothly. I haven't experienced any freezes or crashes just yet, which is a major improvement over my PS3 experience. I'll admit to being pretty curious about the rumoured upcoming virtual reality features. I still feel there is some work to with the system software, as it can be a little bit quirky and counterintuitive, (maybe that's just the Apple fan boy in me expecting too much) but Sony have already addressed some of these teething problems and they do appear to be listening to and responding to feedback from gamers, which again is a big improvement. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the console and we use it pretty much every day, either to watch Blu-rays, listen to music or play games.

What's good?

  • Rapidly growing list of games
  • Some big games on the horizon
  • Great controller
  • You can watch blu-ray discs
  • A range of apps are available
  • The software interface is generally easy to navigate
  • Some exciting features are yet to be launched
  • A powerful console with huge potential
  • A smaller console than the Microsoft offering
  • Comes with an HDMI cable

What's not so good?

  • It's very expensive
  • The controllers have an annoying light bar
  • The full potential of the technical abilities of the console and game pad have yet to be utilized in games
  • Some of the software features are in need of improvement


If you are a gamer and you care about photo-realistic graphics, immersive experiences and having a regular flow of new games, then this is the console for you. If you are a casual gamer and you want a console that won't take up much room underneath the TV that can be used as part of your entertainment system, is easy and comfortable to play, with a wide choice of games, then this also makes a sensible purchase.

Haydn Fisher

12th May 2014

By Haydn Fisher

I am a teenager who likes reviewing products.

The Sony PlayStation 4, the 4th console in the PlayStation series. Competing against the Xbox One and having a lower price point, it must be pretty good? Well, you can judge for yourself.


Overall the design is quite nice. All electronic gadgets these days seem to be leaning towards the brick style design and Sony does the same. It looks like a brick but not as much as a brick as the Xbox One. It does look like someone has stepped on it, but that is just a personal opinion.

Sony PS4

Everything on the console is logically laid out with USB 3.0 ports on the front and the Blue Ray drive to the left of it with the power and eject soft-keys in the middle. This makes it very easy to use while it is sitting somewhere inside a TV stand or wherever you decide to place your PS4.

The sides have some fan ports to allow airflow so make sure not to cover these up, coming around to the back you get your power cable input, and speaking of the power cable, there isn't a power brick. This makes it smaller and easier to travel with, unlike the Xbox One with its giant power brick. There are more vents back here and this is where all the air comes in and out of making it crucial not to block this part of the console. HDMI, Ethernet, Digital Audio and the connector for your PlayStation camera is also back here.


The hardware of the PS4 is quite capable with a 500 GB hard drive to store all the games you want (up to a point, obviously), USB 3.0, 6x Blue-Ray drive, wireless 802.11b/g/n which allows very fast Wi-Fi transfers. It is technically more powerful than the Xbox One so if you are a person that loves specs, go ahead and pick this up as it is the most powerful console of the generation. If you are wondering what they are, here:

  • CPU: x86-64 AMD Jaguar, 1.6 GHZ processor running on a 2.75 chip
  • GPU: Next Generation AMD Radeon graphics, no one knows the exact name of the card but it is new.
  • RAM: 8 GB GDDR5 clocked at 5500 MHZ


The PlayStation 4 controller had the most drastic redesign yet of any of the PlayStation controllers. As soon as you pick up the controller you will feel that it feels much better than the controllers of the past. Why? This is due to the new triggers and weight.

It just makes a better feeling controller and allows for a much more comfortable gaming experience. On the back you get your micro USB connector as well as your huge light bar. The recent update to the PS4 allows you to dim this light bar, but you cannot ever turn it off, which I personally do not like. On the front you notice the giant track pad, I have not really found a massive use for this part of the controller yet. There are a few parts of games I've played but they really don't do anything that a button cannot do. It doesn't do much right now, but I'm sure developers will implement more features for it in the future.

In the middle there is also a speaker, but just like the Wii controller, it just makes a few sounds now and again so I have disabled it on my unit. On the bottom there is a place to connect your headphones or headset. You can channel all sound through to this part of the controller so you don't have to use the speakers on your TV. This makes late night gaming extremely easy with the PS4.

User Interface

I'm personally not too fond of the user interface. I preferred the PS3 interface due to the simplicity and ability to add themes. You can't do any of that on the PS4, it's just stuck at blue.

The ability to pause and enter a game whenever you want is a nice feature but it's not really that useful. That's all I really have to say about the UI, you may like it, I personally don't.

Gameplay and selection of games

The gameplay and selection of games is pretty good for a new console. The gameplay for most games is about the same, smooth and pretty. The selection of games is okay, it's not as good as PC as obviously it wouldn't be as good as PC, but there is still a wide range of games that you can purchase when you buy your PS4. Even on the PlayStation store you can get free games so if you are a little strapped for cash you can get a free game to play until you can afford something better. That's one of the great features; also, if you want you can purchase PlayStation plus to play online and get one free game every single month. It's about 15 pounds every 3 months for service and I believe that it is really worth it.


There are quite a few of applications on the PS4. Such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video the PlayStation 4 becoming your main media device is extremely easy. Just sign up for an account for either of them and start watching movies right away on your TV. There isn't YouTube unfortunately but you can use the web application that YouTube has made especially for devices that don't have an application just yet. I'm sure one will be out sooner or later so just keep waiting if that is something you really want.

Sharing options

Since the latest update the ability to disable HDCP has made it so people can record their PS4's with game capturing hardware, but even if you don't want to have that there is another option. You can use the built in capturing software in the PS4 to upload everything to social networks and wherever you want. This makes it easier than ever to share content with your friends.


The PlayStation 4 has a lot to offer and with the price being lower than the Xbox One it makes a strong option for lots of people. I guarantee you will find something you like with the PS4 and you will be able to fit it into your home with ease. It's very powerful and has lots to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and purchase one, you won't regret it.

Matthew King

26th March 2014

By Matthew King

Meatloaf look-a-like with a love for non-Meatloaf music

I was excited about buying the Playstation 4 from the moment it was announced, as it looked like the best option out of the next generation consoles. The console in my home has become the central hub of all entertainment and the PS4 promised to continue that.

I no longer just play games on my console, I want to use it to stream movies, catch up on television, browse the web and even play music through the system. So it was interesting to me to see whether the next gen console from Sony could live up to its predecessor, which had become a mainstay in my home and millions of others.

Frustrating On Screen Set-Up

Firstly, the size and weight of it was a shock when it was removed from the box. More akin to the PS3 Slim, the new model was quite small but felt durable and sturdy nonetheless. To be honest, as long as what's inside is up to scratch, the exterior could be tiny for all I care!

The shape is a little difficult once you have put the PS4 in pride of place however. If you ever need to change wires around, it isn't easy to do without taking everything out of place.

As with all consoles, the Playstation 4 was pretty simple to set-up. One criticism I do have is that immediately, countless updates started to download and install before you could even get going. You've just got to suck it up and wait, which when you're as excited as a kid on Christmas morning, as I was, can be painful to say the least! Game updates can be played in the background now though, so you don't have to worry about missing game time as in the past.

The console is much quieter than the PS3, which sounded like a loud engine revving up when you installed a DVD or Blu Ray disc.

Don't Worry About Your Sony Grip!

One of the biggest worries of Sony fans was the announcement of a new controller. Personally, I find it difficult to use controllers for other consoles (X-Box controllers feel slightly too big!) and even sometimes to hold a mug correctly, such is my hand shape conditioned to the Playstation controller. I shouldn't have worried. The new controller is slightly different, but the tweaks are a definite improvement. You won't have to worry about a finger or thumb slipping from a button or stick at a crucial game moment!

Although I personally don't use headphones for gaming, I understand it's a big part of the online gaming experience. The Playstation 4 controller has a headphone port on the top to make it much easier for you to access this feature than having to plug directly into console.

As for the gaming experience itself, the games that are already on the market look and feel amazing, but there's just not enough of them yet. Sony promised big budget games, exclusive to the PS4, and so far they haven't really lived up to the promise. Another gripe is that free online gaming (a big selling point over the X-Box in the past) has been removed for this next-gen console. So you'll have to stump up an annual fee to be able to play with your friends online.

It might be familiarity but it does still feel right. There's not much to choose between the X-Box One and PS4 in all honesty, but as some people prefer BBC to ITV and FIFA to Pro Evolution Soccer, you'll always find a Playstation vs X Box divide with gamers.

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To read more on this model, check out the Sony PlayStation 4 homepage here (opens new window).


  • CPU: low power x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
  • GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine
  • Memory: GDDR5 8GB
  • Storage size: 500GB Hard disk drive
  • BD/DVD Drive (Read Only): BD x 6 CAV DVD x 8 CAV
  • Input / Output: Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port x 2,AUX port x 1
  • Networking Ethernet: (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 1, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
  • AV Output: HDMI out port, DIGITAL OUTPUT (OPTICAL) port




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