5 Reasons to Buy a PlayStation 4 Now, 5 Reasons Not To

Can't make up your mind? We're here to help.

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Did you catch Spike’s “All Access” PlayStation 4 shindig last night? Sony teased a new Uncharted, set a release date for inFamous: Second Son (March 21, 2014), and showed off a PS4-exclusive Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes level.

It was all a bit silly (Sony turned New York City’s Standard High Line hotel into a giant PS4), but then the way we cover these events is a little silly, and the people hosting can be very silly, acting less like reporters than extensions of these companies’ marketing engines.

If you stood in line last night (and yesterday, and possibly the day before) to pick up a system, I hope you stayed warm, and I hope you got what you came for. There’s nothing worse than waiting and walking away empty-handed — it’s happened to me more than once.

But I digress. You want to know whether to buy a PS4, or you already bought one and you’ve dropped by looking for validation, in which case all I can tell you is good luck. You got in on the ground floor, but neither you nor I are clairvoyant, and consoles are a long game — you could argue the longest game of all.

Still on the fence? Let’s step through the pros and cons of picking up a PS4 today.

Starting with the pros:

The launch games aren’t as mediocre as you’ve heard.

Dismissing next-gen stuff that came out a week or two ago for last-gen systems is a lazy shortcut to thinking. Take a game like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, arguably the gameplay pinnacle of Ubisoft’s stealth series, plus it looks freaking unbelievable on the PS4 (and costs a pittance to upgrade — $10 — if you already bought it for PS3). Need I also point out Skylanders: Swap Force? LEGO Marvel Super Heroes? Battlefield 4 multiplayer?

Don’t forget the souped-up versions of Flower and Trine 2 and Sound Shapes if you have yet to play them. Dismissing them because they came out years ago is as much a non sequitur as throwing Nintendo’s phenomenal The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker high-def makeover under the bus for being a GameCube original.

Housemarque’s Resogun is the must-have, of course (it’s just $15, or crazily, free for PlayStation Plus members), and don’t let anyone tell you five levels is too short, because: leaderboards and trophies and veteran/master difficulty levels and co-op as well as Remote Play and — just like Super Stardust HD – any self-respecting shmup wonk’s going to be playing this one over and over for months.

It’s the most powerful next-gen console today.

Or so they say. It is more powerful on paper, and in theory down the road with its extensible GPU. But theories and raw specs don’t matter much in multi-platform-dom, where developers are incentivized to make their creations look identical, extra oomph or no.

But at launch, no doubt about it, you’re enjoying a performance upside, with most of the PS4′s launch games running at native 1080p, whereas some of the same versions for Microsoft’s Xbox One live in 720p-ville. Expect the Xbox One to close this gap down the road, but for now, if it matters, there is a tangible visual difference between these two systems on a 1080p TV.

It’s $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s $500 Xbox One.

Make that cheaper even if you pick up the optional $60 PlayStation Camera, giving you some extra scratch to buy a second controller or another game. $400 for what’s essentially high-end-in-2013 PC hardware? Hard to argue with that.

It’s the most refined games console Sony’s ever built.

For a company that’s made some pretty slick hardware — the Vita chief of the bunch — that’s saying something. In my review, I wrote that the PS4 “exudes refinement, a system that feels multipurpose-built and confidently purposeful … a meticulously alloyed platform that’s the sum of many pieces, a kind of Grand Theft Auto V of video game consoles. If the latter represents everything Rockstar’s learned about open-world design — an accumulation of design knowledge implemented with knowing, fastidious precision — the PlayStation 4 is everything Sony’s learned about platform design, honed and polished to something just shy of perfection.”

It ships with the most refined gamepad Sony’s ever built.

The DualShock 4 may be evolutionary not revolutionary, as we like to say, but as I put it in my review, it combines “an array of individually modest but collectively gratifying updates that feel like the smartest updates to a gamepad in years.” If you’re a fan of gamepads, this is the apotheosis of gamepads.

And now the cons:

You’re looking for the Super Mario 64 of next-gen.

Sorry, Sony doesn’t have it — not Killzone Shadow Fall, not Knack and certainly not rehashed oddities like Angry Birds Star Wars ($50, no joke). Instead, you’re looking at a sweep of pretty great to pretty middling games with a few must-have standouts, but nothing that upends the field gameplay-wise.

You’re looking for the Wii Remote of next-gen.

Nope, Sony doesn’t have that either. Not the new iOS and Android PlayStation app, not PS Vita Remote Play, not the much-improved PlayStation Camera — none of those things. And yes, the DualShock 4 is the best gamepad ever created (by a country mile) with intriguing little additives like a touchpad, lightbar, enhanced motion sensors and a video sharing button, but it’s still just a gamepad.

You’re thrilled with your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

They already have Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus; they have more than competent controllers; they play scads of fantastic, genre-defining, high-definition games today; they’ll be supported for years to come and your wallet stays $400 to $500 fatter in the bargain.

Your social network’s on another platform.

Your friends and friends of friends and relatives near or far live on Steam or Xbox Live. You have achievements up the wazoo. You’ve invested five, six, seven or more years building your little Gamerscore empire. If you switch now, it’s beginner’s mind (and beginner’s trophies, and beginner’s friend lists) all over again.

It doesn’t partner with your TV or offer Kinect-caliber voice recognition.

Not yet, and not ever if you’re looking for something as deeply integrated as the Xbox One’s TV-assimilating HDMI passthrough. The PS4 has Netflix and Hulu Plus and Amazon. It has troves of TV shows and movies for rent or purchase. But it’s designed to live beside your cable box, not front-end it, as Xbox One does, eliminating remotes and “input” switching and having to remember what channel goes where. If you value that kind of flexibility above all else, it’s Microsoft’s Xbox One or bust.

Watch here to see our video review:

MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles – Full

40 comments
seizeabe
seizeabe

5 reasons to buy....

1. Friends have it at home

2. Nothing better to do

3. Bragging rights

4. Don't like reading or helping at home or outdoor activities

5. Unlimited money available

5 reasons not to buy....

1. Money can be put to better use. If one thinks longterm!

2. There are greater priorities .... for ordinary folk (does not apply to millionaires+).

3. Distracts individuals from life's responsibilities.

4. Takes away time from outdoor activities.

5. Nearly eliminates interaction among people inside and outside home... Social skills.

DaveFish
DaveFish

I want to play in solitude with no tv interruption, no mandatory online, with a system that doesn't burn up, not in front of a PC, but on a comfortable couch in front of a big tv, I want to play really high end graphic games like BF4 with older gamers, not children, I want to play with ruthless skilled players that live for cult console play, I want to play with minimal hackers, I want to play with people that are all on the same platform running the same hardware, so there isn't lagging in my squad or other guys playing on ultra PCs, everyone will be on the same playing field, I want to play at upscaled 1080p 60fps which is higher processing than the average middle range gaming PC, I want to save money, I want to play future games that are unbelievably realistic and are easy for the programmers to write. I want to game! I hate xbox, I had 3!!!!!!!!!!! burn up on me and I never looked back! PS4 has a way bette GPU and the processor is easier to work with! PS4 is the ultimate gaming experience!

onestopfunstop
onestopfunstop

Wii U.

Why Doesn't Nintendo Just Advertise the Wii U and make it OK to like their system.

Show someone besides grandmothers and 6yr olds playing it.  And Show Some Real Games on their system. The New Mario, Ghosts, Assassins Creed 4, Etc...

It's an Awesome System, and nobody even knows about it.


IVI.ikey
IVI.ikey

"It doesn’t partner with your TV or offer Kinect-caliber voice recognition." It actually does. Everything is voice automated if you have a headset which everyone does since it's included with your ps4. Also if you have the playstation camera, I'm 100% sure Move is making nit's way to the ps4, which should be better than Kinect. PS4 already has face recognition and extra security enabled on it.

KvinlonWeldon
KvinlonWeldon

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mrgiggs
mrgiggs

Just bought ps3 last dec so I'm gonna wait a couple of years before I start think about buying these new gen consoles,all this launch game buying hype doesn't excite me.

Mudurlugu
Mudurlugu

You’re looking for the Super Mario 64 of next-gen.

Ye, give the developers chance to roll their games out, this is not a con.

You’re looking for the Wii Remote of next-gen.

If I want to play with a Wii Remote, guess what I will buy? Again, not a con.

You’re thrilled with your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

How is this a con for the PS4? Idiot.

Your social network’s on another platform.

Probably the only real con in the list.

It doesn’t partner with your TV or offer Kinect-caliber voice recognition.

Who cares? Cable TV has been available for years both paid and free, most households have this and I doubt the PS4's lack of 'TV partnership' is going to put people off. Voice recognition, really? Use your damn controller, geez.

mr.quan
mr.quan

Another con: you can spend $500 dollars on getting a girlfriend. 

Rawnchie14
Rawnchie14

"$400 for what’s essentially high-end-in-2013 PC hardware?"

PFFT. Don't make me laugh.

EricMurad
EricMurad

Those cons actually make me want the console more XD

ChelseyRoseBrown
ChelseyRoseBrown

As much as I am a fan of Sony, I'm not touching a PS4 until  the summer of 2014. Not only will there not be any games that I really care about on the console until March but I have loads of games for the PS3 I still need to play and I'd much rather play them then deal with the headache that every console launch is.

And I don't want to hear any Xbox fanboys writing the PS4 off as a piece of crap because guess what guys: Your console hasn't even released yet and believe me, it won't be without issues of it's own.

GaryRMcCray
GaryRMcCray

Pretty Lame I think the 5 reasons to buy one could be made into the primary reason not to.

Basically if you don't have a PlayStation and want one you probably benefit from getting the PS4 but if you already have a PS3 I'd yawn and move on if I were you.

Not that the XBox1 is significantly better but if you have a PS3 and not a XBox, and want a new console get the new XBox 1 and vicea versa,

Otherwise just go out and by a nice 3DTV so you can enjoy the games in 3D.

The Nvidia Shield is interesting and the Occulus Rift for those serious about games.

A very - very boring year in new game consoles.

muratgoksen96
muratgoksen96

Isn't it meant to be the best console sony built and the most powerful console of today ? Isn't it the newest generation and isn't that what new generation is meant to be ?

rockachop61
rockachop61

People forget its the quality of Tv you have My Samsung 7 series to 9 series with a ps3 beats a regular tv with a ps4 graphics wise

JJ_SMITH137
JJ_SMITH137

@seizeabe Really? All this stuff may apply to you but I have a PS4 and I play it alot but I still play basketballl with my friends and talk to alot of people even sometimes random people and I workout a little each day and I even have a girlfriend and have decent grades in school A's and B's and sometimes C's but even though I play the PS4 3-4 hours almost everyday I still have a pretty good life in my opinion so you my want to reconsider that comment and before you say that i'm probaly the only one who does these things while also having time to play the game I will say that most people I meet or that I know does similar things so don't always think it's bad for you just some people don't know when to stop 

GarrettMiller
GarrettMiller

@DaveFish I can connect my PC to a TV in front of a couch if I wanted to. Also, it has about 3 times the graphics power of a PS4, runs cool and quiet, and I can get games a hell of a lot cheaper than you ever will. Also, my old graphics card, which was somewhat entry level, was able to play most games at 1080P 60FPS. You'll also enjoy 30FPS in most games, while I'll be playing them at 60 without lag.

SimeonRountree
SimeonRountree

@Mudurlugu It's saying why buy a Ps4 when you're Ps3 is still gonna work for the next 3 of 4 years? So tere's no use in buying one. 
Plus all these pre-launch game reviews tend to be pretty accurate

GarrettMiller
GarrettMiller

@mr.quan You shouldn't have to pay for a girl, unless you learned from your mother.

rxthexletter
rxthexletter

@GaryRMcCray  

You would have a good argument if people wanted to have different platforms. In the original console wars you picked a side and stuck with it. Now being diverse is awesome and I too recommend getting BOTH at some point to diversify your gaming. However, sony REWARDS you for sticking with them.

2 Great games off the rip for plus members for the PS4, sure they are indie, but its still something free to play at launch if you could not afford the latest and greatest.

Your PS Plus Membership is active on all 3 of sony''s platforms! that means your account with plus gets you the average 6 free games for vita, 13 for ps3, and then all the latest and greatest for ps4 down the line.

 The controller is an amazing improvement! I love holding this badboy. It has become my go-to controller for everything! between my ps4, android tablet, pc, it is the best controller I have used. Now granted some people do not like the position of the analogs and I know that is really a personal thing. But if you can get past the analogs, the comfort, weight, and overall feel of the buttons is worlds apart from previous sony generations.

 The game library is amazing! Now alot of people immediately dismiss current gen games that get "ported" to the next gen. and in the past I would agree. however, the next gen versions are not just ports. they were build from the ground up for the new consoles! they are made in mind with the new controllers, added mechanics, as well as the ability to utilize the next gen specs.

On the topic of games, some launch titles that really stood out for me were Killzone and Knack. These games are fantastic. Killzone has instantly replaced my previous loves when it comes to shooters. It is so well done story line, and not to mention visually it is the best eye candy. Knack is a amazing game that is different from the conventional norm. If you are a fan of Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sonic, etc. then this game takes alot from those to create what you see before you. With its Unique but Familiar gameplay, tied in with an excellent story,, Knack truly has become a favorite of mine on the PS4.

 But when it comes to all new consoles, people look at these reviews and never get to ask or see the answers that are truly most relevant.

 What you should ALWAYS ask yourself is these few questions:

1) What console do I currently own (if any)

2) What are my friends getting? (or the people I may be playing with in my household)

3) What is my budget?

4) What kind of gaming environment do I want?

5) Do I have a constant internet connection, or will offline be a familiar practice?

 These simple questions can certainly help point you in the right direction. Reviews seem to have taken away your ability to think, when someone says negative its all you think, and when its positive you see it in a different light. always remember to let yourself decide. it is YOUR money, YOUR console, YOUR experience. 

InzamAhmed
InzamAhmed

@rockachop61You must not know anything about graphics.
All a TV can do is upscale the content provided by a console. If what you are saying were true, there would be no need for HD remasters.

People would probably get a SNES and an expensive TV. Sony and Microsoft would just give you a very weak console and bundle a good TV with that.

Most probably the only two ways a TV can improve graphics is by being smaller (a 1080p 24 inch would look better than a 1080p 32 inch, for example). The other is having better quality upscaling hardware, and even then the change is rather subtle.

Lie to yourself to justify not getting a console. Don't lie to others.

seizeabe
seizeabe

What you're doing is good.

What I wrote is not "always"... As you stated...

But, as you stated ... "just some people don't know when to stop"

Most people don't buy the PlayStation 4 now!

itsprobablyron
itsprobablyron

@GarrettMiller @DaveFish  


first off your mistaking real life for fairytales, if your  pc has 3 to 4 times the power then it is a titan which isnt really 3 to 4 times more powerful then a pc or a titan z which is 3000 dollars. also all games will be optimized for the console better(all triple a games)  minus t6he little indie games on the pc that will also be available on console unless there really rap. i have a gaming rig a gtx 760 and 156 games on steam. i bought a ps4 and it is gorgeous and the games play much better on the console you know why? cuz there created for that and ported to pc.  I would reccomend the ps4 to anyone above pc and above xbox. you will upgrade a pc 3 times before the end of the ps4 life cycle 

kmlkrk
kmlkrk

@GarrettMiller @DaveFish  I am currently PC gamer looking to add PS4 to my living room so don't get me as a PC Gaming hater. I am everything but that. 

In any case, you say that PCs have more powerful graphics than PS4. They may have. And they will definitely have that in a year or two but there is one problem and it is that you did not mention how much your PC cost you... And the truth is that decent Graphics Card alone costs as much as complete PS4 system.
When you want to build gaming pc, you're looking at $1500 - $2000 at least. If you want PC that is capable of playing games you need at least $1000 and at that price point you better forget about games running better than on console. Not possible. You will have to run games with mediocre settings to get them to run at 30FPS. Yup 30FPS on medium settings. To get them to run on high quality settings at 60FPS you better have lots of money. Source: I have built all my PCs in the past 15 years.

JustinBarrow
JustinBarrow

@GarrettMiller @DaveFish ya @GarrettMiller  and how many people play CoD or BF4 on PC? like..... 1000... how many people play them on ps3 or ps4? just a couple million... and if your PC has a 3x better gpu then the ps4 youd have a pretty damn sick PC and I build em for a living so don't BS


GaryRMcCray
GaryRMcCray

@rxthexletter @GaryRMcCray 

If your not a Sony representative, then I guess you are amazed a whole lot easier than I am.

I'm pretty sure there is absolutely nothing about this whole release that I would consider amazing.

Atleast the XBOX 1's Kinect 1 went with a Time of Flight 3D Camera that's at least slightly amazing.

donvon1204
donvon1204

@rxthexletter @GaryRMcCray Just a tip:  In the future, when Sony pays you to write positive comments on news threads, try not to come off as SO much of a corporate shill.  It will increase the odds people will take your 'review' seriously.  Cheers, 

jonathantyler5
jonathantyler5

@SimeonRountree @muratgoksen96 Then Dont buy one :P its simple really. And arent all next gens just faster better last gens?  But it doesnt even really count as a last gen, considering the change in proccessor architecture to x86, developers can develop for it way easier than ps3. :P