CNET First Look
Sony PlayStation 4 hands-onThe PlayStation 4 showcases impressive graphics, a zippy interface, and one of the best controllers in recent memory, but there's plenty of reasons to hold off on a purchase.
Everyone, I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET. Right here, I've got the Playstation 4 from Sony. 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 upfront next to the slot loading Blu-ray disc drive and the power and eject buttons are upfront. They're touch-sensitive. It's kind nice. Around back is fairly simple. There's an optical audio out and HDMI and 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 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. Upfront, you see obviously it's dominated by this touchpad, which actually clicks its own button. It's gonna like a TripIt which you might find on a laptop, now Start and Select had been replaced by Share and Options.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 re-designed and the triggers are so much better than before. Now, they kind of flip out a little bit, 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. So, another cool thing about the DualShock 4. The port in the bottom, it's a headphone jack, not only to be used for headset chat capabilities, but you can actually take the game audio from your Playstation 4 and map it right through your controller with a regular set of headphones, which is amazing and that's something I've been personally clamoring for it for a while. So, it's a really sort of under-discussed feature, but really awesome nevertheless. So, one of the cool things about Playstation 4 and you'll also be able to do it on Xbox One as well is game sharing. So, Playstation 4 allows you to record up to 15 minutes of your actual game play, chop it up and then upload it. You can also broadcast your game play session using Twitch or UStream. And there's also a really big social presence on Playstation 4 as well. When you log in for the first time when you set up your PSN account, you can actually attach that to your Facebook account and even use your profile photo across both platforms and a lot other integration with Facebook. Now when it comes to Twitter, you can take screenshots from any of your game play and then upload those screenshots using the Twitter service. So, it's pretty cool. You can't do as much with Twitter as you can Facebook, but it's baked-in and it will probably expand over time. So, right now, there's only a handful of day 1 apps that are available in the Playstation store. There's Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and a couple others, but that's gonna expand over time as well and hopefully will catch up with what the Playstation 3 currently offers. But there's a nice selection out of the gate, so odds are what you want will already be available. All right. So, what about the games? Everyone wants to know about the games. Graphically speaking, PS4 games look great. There is no doubt about it. But don't expect the same well 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. So, there we have it. This has been the Sony Playstation 4. Read the full review. Check out old details about how the PS4 stocks up against the Xbox One and keep checking out that review because as this thing grows so well the review, we'll make we have all the basis covered. For CNET, I'm Jeff Bakalar. Thanks for watching.