Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) reviews, Rating and comparison shopping

Category: Games, Hardware 458 0

The Good The PlayStation 4 serves up dazzling graphics, runs on a simplified and logical interface and boasts a fantastic controller. It has the upper hand in indie games and can stream a constantly growing list of legacy titles via PlayStation Now. The PS4 makes it super-easy to capture and broadcast gameplay online and generally delivers a zippier performance than its direct competition. It also doubles as a Blu-ray player and solid media-streaming box.

The Bad The Xbox One has a slight edge in non-gaming entertainment features such as streaming content and media portal apps.

The Bottom Line The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, smart interface, blazing performance, near-perfect controller and better indie offerings give it an edge over the Xbox One -- though that edge is ever-shrinking.

PS4 ecosystem

The PlayStation ecosystem includes various products with some shared functionality. For example, the PS Vita can stream PS4 games via "remote play" mode. The PlayStation TV (PSTV) can also stream PS4 games as well as play Vita games and legacy PlayStation titles. Select phones from Sony's Xperia line can also stream gameplay from the PlayStation 4.

Sony also offers PlayStation Vue, a cable TV alternative starting at $50 a month available on the PS3 and PS4. PlayStation Now, the company's legacy game-streaming service, is available on every PlayStation platform and lets subscribers play games from the Sony vault. If you purchase in three-month increments, it works out to around $15 a month.

Firmware updates

Sony regularly updates the PS4's firmware -- as of this writing it's currently at version 3.11. Recent updates to the console have brought along features like:

- YouTube live game broadcasting

- Party chat

- Game communities and events sections

- Suspend/resume: The console can be put into "rest mode" and then woken up to resume gameplay without needing to relaunch a game.

- Share Play: Now PS4 owners can "host" a play session and "hand off" the game controller for up to 60 minutes to one of their friends on the PlayStation Network. At the end of the session players can simply restart. Share Play can also work with co-op games that let two players engage at the same time. Share Play works with any PS4 game and only the host player needs a copy of the game and a PlayStation Plus membership.

- Restore: You can now back up data stored on a PS4 and restore it.

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