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First Look: Sony PlayStation 4 hands-on

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First Look: Sony PlayStation 4 hands-on

4:28 /

The PlayStation 4 showcases impressive graphics, a zippy interface, and one of the best controllers in recent memory, but there are plenty of reasons to hold off on a purchase.

Hey, everyone. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET and I'm here with the Sony PlayStation 4. So, here it is, the PS4 in all of its glory. Before we start, I just wanna tell everyone that we're gonna have to do two videos for this just because a lot of the PSN features aren't yet ready, so make sure you come back in a few days and we're gonna have a newly updated video. Now, unlike last generation, there's only one model of the PS4 for sale and it goes for $400 and that's $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. Now, the whole console itself is smaller than you might think. It's actually considerably smaller than the Xbox One. It's got a nice glossy and matte finish and it's a pretty sleek looking piece of hardware. It's got a very sort of specific angular simple design. There's two USB 3.0 ports up front next to the slot-loading Blu-ray disc drive. And the power and eject buttons are up front. They're touch-sensitive. It's kind of nice. Around back is fairly simple. There's an optical audio out, an HDMI, an Ethernet port, and an auxiliary port for the optional PlayStation Camera that does not come in the box. Now, under the hood of the PlayStation 4, we've got 8 gigabytes of DDR5 RAM, an 8-core CPU, and a Radeon "next engine" GPU. So, all those numbers aside, this is basically on par with what you might get in a mid- to high-end gaming PC. So, here is the DualShock 4, the new controller for PlayStation 4. It's really awesome. It's a great evolution from where the DualShock 3 was. Up front, you see obviously it's dominated by this touch pad which actually clicks. It's its own button. It's kind of like a trackpad which you might find on a laptop. Now, Start and Select have been replaced by Share and Options. And there's actually a speaker on the front of the controller as well. And it sounds a lot better than what you might remember with the Wii remote, but again, it's one little speaker on a controller. Thankfully, you can turn it off. The analog sticks have a refacing as well. They're no longer those like really slippery dome sort of coverings. Now, they're embossed. They have some rubberized coating here. Really a comfortable controller. Around back, you can see the L1, R1. And all those buttons and the triggers have been redesigned. And the triggers are so much better than before. Now, they kind of flip out a little, much easier to pull. And then, of course, around back is the LED color light. And if you're using the PlayStation Camera, this is how the PlayStation will know which player you are. And then, you also got the micro-USB charging port at the bottom. One more thing, there is a headset jack. You can plug in like a voice headset to chat online. And then, there's another port that I don't know what it's gonna do yet. So, we'll have to wait and see. So, if you look behind me, here is the PlayStation 4 interface, and again, we're gonna update this when the Day One patch comes out. It might change the way it looks a little bit, but here's where your access, all the PlayStation 4's functionality. The PlayStation Network and the Store are really woven in to this interface. A lot different from last time. The cross-media-bar is no longer they're calling this the Dynamic Menu. It blends everything together in an easy-to-use presentation. All right, so what about the games, right? Everyone wants to know about the games. Graphically speaking, PS4 games look great. There's no doubt about it. But don't expect the same "wow" factor that happened last generation. If you remember, we were going from SD to HD. That's not the case this time around. The jump is way bigger back then. This time around, not so much. The games look great, but it's not as jaw dropping as it was from like PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3, for instance. There's a lot more information in the full review, so make sure you go and read that. I talked about how the Xbox One and PS4 stack up and what the future holds for each system. Again, don't forget, we're gonna update this video very soon, so be sure to keep checking back right here at CNET. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com and this has been the Sony PlayStation 4.

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