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By 12 February 2014 | Categories: news

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I’ve had a couple of months or so now to play on my shiny, new PlayStation 4. I was one of the lucky ones who got a PS4 on launch, and so haven’t been required to wait until the next shipment arrives in the country. This means I was able to spend the holiday putting the (albeit limited) launch titles currently on offer through their paces.

I’ll be honest, I’m very impressed with this machine. No, I haven’t been paid to say that. It’s fast, quiet, powerful and visually appealing to look at, and although this might seem like a contradiction it’s equally unobtrusive within my lounge. It’s way smaller and much lighter than you would think if you haven’t seen it ‘in the flesh’.

I’m irrationally happy that the controller has finally undergone a facelift – it was something that always irritated me in the sense that the old school PS3 controller never really matched its console visually. It was uncomfortable after long hours of gaming, and although it might seem like it’s really just the addition of the touchpad at the top, the PS4 controller feels a good deal more comfortable than its predecessor. I have heard some complaints about the light on the back but this really doesn’t bother me in any way.

But missing…

Sadly many of the online features that presumably make this console such a hit internationally, aren’t readily available in our territory. For example we still have no indication when PlayStation Now will be rolled out in South Africa, but the potential of these very promising features to be a major game changer in the home entertainment system environment, does make me at least a little excited for the future.

Like any love affair, it’s not all sunshine and smiles however, and I’m surprisingly irritated that the visual customisation features of the old PlayStation interface have been removed – I dislike the rather boring blue look and feel, although the menu and its navigation is, in my opinion, an improvement. The performance of the machine however, which so far has been exceptional, outweighs the cons here, but, as someone who has had to get used to the lack of customisation forced on Apple users, it grates in a more insidious manner.

This still doesn’t make me a PlayStation fangirl, and I’m not going to make a judgement call on whether the PS4 or Xbox One is better at this stage. That’s a pointless argument until we can see how both machines function within our territory. Perhaps once the honeymoon period has come to an end I might begin to see the flaws apparent in the system, but as of this moment I’m still rather enamoured of my new gaming love.

The other lover

Of course we still don’t know when the rival for my love might appear on the horizon, but with any luck I won’t be waiting more than six months or so, which means my PS4 has a decent amount of time to convince me that I can’t live without it. Best it start wooing me appropriately.

Photo courtesy of Adriaan Louw from we-are-awesome.com.
Article first appeared in TechSmart 125

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