A Quick Guide to the PlayStation 4
By Ashley Bennett
Remember the Tamagotchi? Furbys? Cabbage Patch dolls? These toys of hype for holiday seasons of the past caused parents to frantically raid retailers in hopes of getting their hands on one for Christmas (much like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way—exaggeration and all). Don’t get me wrong, things are still crazy when it comes to the hot new toy but with the ability to order online or pre-order items, the panicky feeling you might get when you wake up on Christmas Eve and realize that you didn’t get a Turbo Man Doll for Christmas is lessened. Today, the most popular holiday gifts are electronic and holiday hype skyrockets when a new gaming console is released. 2013 is the year graced with the release of not just one but two consoles—and today, the PlayStation 4 came out.
As of last night at midnight, the PlayStation 4 was available for purchase at a solid $399.99. Yes, it’s a big deal. Huge really, when considering that the PlayStation 3 released seven years ago; back then, the console was priced at $499 and $599. Holy console war Batman, the hype for this console is enormous considering the lengths to which Sony has strived to ensure that this console enormously improves on its predecessor. An new Dualshock controller offers a built-in speaker and share feature which, when playing a game, gamers can take screenshots, record game play directly to the system and even connect via social media to talk with others playing the same game. Bonus: Sony’s new partnership with Gaikai will give gamers access to the cloud, Netflix is still free to stream without a fee, none of the games are region-locked and the hard drive (with 500gb of storage space) is replaceable. Sony has also implemented the necessity of its subscription called PlayStation Plus to play most, but not all, games online (you can be the judge of that one).
But what good is a console without any games? Half of the PS4’s launch titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 can be bought and play right now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, albeit with less than impressive graphics. If you’re looking for exclusives, there’s more interest in games like Killzone: Shadow Fall or Knack, but the selection is limited. Fortunately there are some great games planned for the future. Games like Thief, Watchdogs and Kingdom Hearts III are a while off—but that won’t stop people from buying the console now. And you should, because it’s exciting, new and really fun to wave in the face of your friends.
So the real question for many is: Will you be able to get one? Well that remains to be seen. I pre-ordered the PS4 back in August, walked right in at 12:20am last night and exited with a shiny new console (jealous?). A separate line outside of my local Best Buy (which was for non-preorder customers) filed in right after I made my purchase, meaning that there were at least a few extras leftover at the time. However as of 10:55am, Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop and Target are all sold out online, which means you’re going to dive into this holiday season the old-fashioned way—by using a phone and calling up retailers individually for stock inquiries.
If Sony chooses not to create the supply to support the demand for its console, then it’s going to be a rough holiday for whomever is diligently on the lookout. Oh well, at least you’ll get another chance to be a part of the newest console generation when the Xbox One releases next Friday, November 22.