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.
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.
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.
Great gaming for 2016 and beyond $349.99
The new PS4 (known technically as the CUH-2000 and informally as the PS4 Slim) represents the new standard PlayStation 4 console. It’s a hardware revamp that incorporates a makeover of both console and controller.
The PlayStation 4 has always focused on doing one thing incredibly well: playing video games. Two and a half years after hitting store shelves, a few unforeseeable issues have cropped up, but the PS4 is still the best console experience money can buy.
PlayStation 4 sheds some weight – and some notes off its price tag
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David Pierce explains everything you need to know about the Sony PlayStation 4. To find out more, visit the full PS4 review