PS4 - everything you need to know
By Peter Nelis, ClickOnline.com


PlayStation 4.


Despite being late to the party last time around, Sony's PlayStation 3 managed to turn around a huge hardware sales deficit to find itself either at level pegging, or slightly ahead of the Xbox 360, depending on what week you take a look at sales numbers. There was no such head start for Microsoft this time around, though, as it seems that Sony has learned from its mistakes in assuming that it was too big to fail following the stellar performance of the PlayStation 2. We're definitely seeing a much more open, gamer-centric Sony this time around, and they've hardly put a foot wrong when it comes to their pre-launch handling of the new system.

Beating Microsoft to the punch by a full three months in announcing their console, Sony assembled the world's media in New York back in February to give them their first glimpse at the future of gaming. With most people unsure of exactly what to expect from the new console, it's fair to say that things went rather well. Unlike Microsoft, whose launch event spent far too much time looking at the media services that would be offered with the Xbox One, Sony instead got straight to the games, unveiling one title after another, speaking to developers and promising a huge level of indie support, as well as innovative online gameplay and features.

In the months following the confirmation of both consoles' final specifications, much has been made about Sony's decision to implement the faster GDDR5 RAM in its system, rather than the DDR3 chosen by Microsoft. Both systems feature 8 GB of memory, but many speculate that Sony's choice may prove to be the better one in the years ahead (although to counter that, the fact that Microsoft has opted to include 32 MB of esRAM which can be used for lightening fast caching by developers should minimize the disparity according to some, or even place the One ahead of the PS4 according to others).

Technical jargon aside, the reaction of both gamers and developers to the PlayStation 4 has been incredibly positive for Sony. Pre-order sales of the system have surpassed expectations and its incredibly reasonable $399.99 price tag has certainly helped to sway those who were unsure of which console to opt for later this month - a price that has been made possible by Sony's decision not to bundle the PlayStation Camera or PlayStation Move controllers with the system, but rather to retail them separately for those who have an interest in motion controlled gaming. It is worth noting, however, that players will be required to pick up a PlayStation Plus subscription ($49.99 per year) in order to play online - although this will also entitle them to a range of free downloadable titles, making it worth every cent.

Price
The console itself will retail for an exceptionally reasonable $399.99 when it launches - a massive improvement over the $549 PlayStation 3 launch price. However, as with any console release, there are other factors to consider when tallying up the final cost of the system. Firstly, you're going to need a PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play online, which will add $49.99 per year. Thankfully though, this subscription will offer you a lot more than just online access.


On top of that, you'll probably want to pick up an extra controller at $59.99, and the optional PlayStation Camera peripheral that will allow you to take advantage of the console's motion detection functionality. The latter isn't really a necessity, though, so you may want to put the money into an additional game instead. And speaking of which, despite some reports, it's highly unlikely you'll have to pay more than $59.99 for a new game - just like the current generation.

Hardware Specs
CPU: 8-Core x86-64 AMD Jaguar
GPU : AMD Radeon-based processor with 18 compute units totalling 1152 cores
Memory: 8 GB DDR5 RAM
Hard Drive: 500 GB (User Upgradable)
Optical Drive: 6x Blu-Ray/8x DVD
Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x AUX, 1x Ethernet, 1x HDMI Out, 1x Digital Out
Connectivity: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
Dimensions: 275x53x305mm
Weight: 2.8 kg

PlayStation 4 Launch Titles

Although only 15 titles will be available as physical copies at retail for the launch of the PlayStation 4, the console is backed by an extremely healthy digital lineup of titles, including some free-to-play games that will bolster users' catalogues from the get go...

Physical & Digital


Assassin's Creed Black Flag
Battlefield 4
Call of Duty: Ghosts
FIFA 14
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
Just Dance 2014
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Knack
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA 2K14
NBA LIVE
Need for Speed: Rivals
Skylanders: Swap Force

Digital Only

Basement Crawl
Blacklight
Contrast
Counterspy
DC Universe
Doki-Doki Universe
Flower
Hohokum
Minecraft
N++
Pinball Arcade
Planetside 2
Pool Nation Extreme
ResoGun
Super Motherload
Tiny Brains
War Thunder
Warframe

Notable Services
PlayStation Plus - $49.99 Annually (includes free downloadable titles including DriveClub: PS Plus Edition and the ability to play online)
PlayStation Network (Requires PS Plus for online play)
PlayStation Store
Music Unlimited (Subscription Required)
Video Unlimited
Netflix (Subscription Required)
NHL Game Centre (Subscription Required)
PlayGo (Play games while they're downloading)
Browser
Gaikai (Cloud-based game streaming service launching in 2014)

Additional Info

The prospect of the PS4's built-in Share button is certainly an exciting one for us here at Click. How many times have gamers been caught out by some amazing in-game moment without having their recording software running? Well, that looks to be a thing of the past now as the PS4's Share button will allow screenshots and video footage to be distributed online with ease.

One area where the console really excels is on the indie game front. Already a slew of developers have come onboard, praising Sony's willingness to work with independent designers, even championing it as "the most open console" for indies. Sony is backing smaller developers with the launch of the new system and wants to make it easier than ever for them to publish on the platform.

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