Living life on the wedge
Smaller and lighter than it seems in pictures, the PS4 is not a device that you’re going to have trouble finding a home for. It’s very close to the PS3 Super Slim in size, despite containing its power supply the Xbox One, like the 360, has a big external unit. The PS4’s quiet, too. When idling we recorded 42dB from 14cm in front of the console just 2dB more than the ambient noise in the room and much quieter than the most recent versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360. Frankly, it’ll be almost unnoticeable unless you live in a nunnery.
Pop a game in and the bad (but not unexpected) news is that you have to install at least some of the data before you can play. The correspondingly good news is that the process starts automagically and doesn’t take as long as you might imagine. Call Of Duty: Ghosts took just 55 seconds from box to play, with the game quietly continuing to install itself behind the scenes. A Rs.2950/ year PlayStation Plus subscription is now required if you want to play online, but only one person in the household needs to have paid for all users of that console to get access. Ditto any games that have been downloaded. Make Mumma pay.
It’s in the game
Modern consoles are so much more than games systems, but gaming performance is still the prime consideration… and the PS4 is hard to fault in the eye-candy department. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the PS4’s high watermark right now: terrifically crisp 1080p visuals, hugely detailed character models and glorious lighting, all running at a silky-smooth 60fps mean this is the game that delivers on all that next-gen anticipation. Which explains why it is a pre-order bundle favourite. The fact that big cross-platform titles such as Battlefield 4 boast higher-resolution graphics on PS4 than Xbox One is also a huge boost, and vindication of Sony’s decision to plump for 8GB of pricey, powerful GDDR5 RAM. That said, we’d swap Knack for Forza 5 in a heartbeat.
Stream if you want to go faster
Annoyingly for us Blu-ray-ripping NAS geeks, the PS4 doesn’t have DLNA built in and won’t play media files over your network or from USB. Sony says it’s “exploring possibilities” so fingers crossed we’ll get media streaming in a future update. Netflix is the only multimedia app working at the time of writing and the PS4 has a new version that’s even quicker and easier to navigate than ever. It’s compatible with the Super HD streams just a fancy name for 1080p, but still welcome and outputs audio in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1. But it won’t be available in the Indian variant, till Netflix decides otherwise.
Dig out that Vita you’ve got gathering dust, connect it to your PS4 across your home Wi-Fi and you’ve suddenly got the ability to play next-gen games anywhere in the house. We’ve tried it with a standard router and, while you lose a little graphical fidelity and gain some input lag, which makes it a poor choice for deathmatches, it’s barely noticeable with single-player gaming. But what are you doing kicking around the house? The real killer app is Remote Play over an external Wi-Fi network, which will need a few weeks of use to evaluate.
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