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Sony Playstation 4 First Impressions 11-14-2013

My buddy, the Howling Bromando, has a hookup at Sony and was able to get his hands on a PS4 a day early.  We had it home and hooked up by 6:00pm Pacific!  Here are my first impressions, bulletized:

    • Boots up quick.  Initial boot took a matter of seconds
    • Initial setup takes about 5 to 7 minutes, including some cool intro videos
    • We noticed that the console itself is a little on the noisy side with audible clicking when the powering on and off and the disk drive also whines a bit, but once you have audio coming out of your speakers it’s no longer noticeable.
    • The controller is really nice and comfortable.  I have normal-sized man hands and my friend’s hands are the size of fire engines and we both felt like the same controller was made for our own hands so, considering the amount of time people will potentially be spending with these things in hand, that is a BIG plus.  Another huge plus is the material the controller is made out of.  It appears to be very similar to the surface on Bicycle brand playing cards which they very accurately refer to as an “air cushion finish”.  Basically there are a bunch of tiny indentations on the areas of the controller that your hands come into contact with allowing for air to get trapped between, minimizing the amount of total surface contact.  This makes for an extremely comfortable, non-sweaty interface between you and your new appendage that any hardcore gamer will appreciate very much.

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  • Day 1 patch took seconds to download and a couple of minutes to install and reboot (2 reboots)
  • Setting up accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc) is super fast and easy
  • Ready to play in 15 minutes including all hardware setup, fiddling with controllers and gawking at the console’s sexy angles and shiny surface
  • Once in game pressing the Share button makes taking screen shots and sharing them unbelievably easy and when you do, a recording of the last 15 minutes of gameplay is created and also ready to share. There’s also a function to stream your gameplay live to either Twitch and Ustream.
  • Overall, everything you want to do works just as you would imagine.  It all makes sense, and when in doubt just press the button you think will do the trick and you find out in milliseconds if you were right (relax noob, there aren’t many buttons)
  • There’s a speaker on the controller, too.  Just one, unlike the Wii U which has one on each side of its massive table controller… but for this application, where you aren’t playing a game on your controller itself, one is enough to bring a neat little extra dimension of sound to the experience, even if it’s a subtle one

The verdict: I’m super pleased by the system both, technically and aesthetically.  It feels like a $400+ piece of home entertainment history should and will definitely be contending for the top slot this console cycle.

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