According to Polygon, the PlayStation 4 has a lot of potential, especially thanks to Remote Play with the Vita, the PlayStation App and the PlayStation Camera. The console’s biggest drawback, however, is the lack of any compelling software that would underline Sony’s focus on gaming (something that earned Sony a massive amount of brownie points from gamers). As Polygon puts it, “That failing is sure to improve — better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 — but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it.”
Its sister site The Verge has praised and criticised the console for similar reasons. While the website does praise the console’s great controller, sadly enough, the lack of any good launch games still seem to make the console a hard one to recommend. “The PlayStation 4 is absolutely, unequivocally a gaming console for people who want to play video games, and it never pretends to be anything else,” says the review. “For right now, though, there’s little incentive to spend $399 on a PlayStation 4. Not only are there few games worth the price of admission, the vast library of PS3 games is more compelling than anything the PS4 currently offers.”
Ars Technica praises the PlayStation 4’s controller and hardware prowess along with some of the new software features, such as the ability to share videos. Sadly enough, the console also seems to have half-assed, missing or, as the website describes it, downright bewildering features as well. The good points for the console are the great new interface, the relatively quiet operating noise and the unique case design. The bad points include some high power consumption, the short battery life on the DualShock 4 and the video editing suite being limited. The worse parts of the PS4 include the camera-based voice commands being essentially useless and the limited usefulness of the iOS PlayStation App.
Joystiq praises the console’s design and abundance of features, including the ability to capture video and screenshots of live gameplay. Remote Play also gets some points for Vita owners. The bad points here talk about how cumbersome the UI gets to navigate as more games are added to users’ home screens. Hard drive space also seems to be a key issue, especially since games are getting some rather hefty installs with the new generation. Joystiq points that, despite the lacklustre launch line-up, the console already has strong support from third party developers along with Sony’s already-strong first-party studios. The Twitch integration also earned the PS4 some points.
Eurogamer has taken to reviewing only the hardware of the console so far, along with some software features. The European gaming website praises the console’s physical design along with the hardware under the hood. The console also got praised for its heat dissipation as well as relatively quiet operation. The DualShock 4 and Remote Play once again got some praise. Eurogamer even pointed out that Guerilla Games felt comfortable enough to completely turn of auto-aim in Killzone: Shadow Fall. The Eye Camera’s facial recognition and voice control also proved to be fairly decent at their tasks.
We did notice a trend, with most reviews not criticising the console itself, but instead criticising the launch line-up. It is worth noting that historically speaking, launch line-ups for new consoles have always been pretty bad, but the consoles themselves have done well as time went on. We’ll have to wait to see whether this holds true for the PS4 as well.