Sony knows how to make a marketing splash for their product launches. Turning The Standard Hotel’s lobby into a PlayStation logo was cool. Putting software demos of upcoming PS4 games was a nice touch. But renting out one floor to color the room lights blue so the hotel looked like a giant PlayStation 4? Winning.
The PlayStation 4 hit store shelves Friday, but Sony gave select media a chance to play the console early. The review event was held at The Standard Hotel in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District, right on the Hudson River. Sony rented out most of the hotel, with security so tight on every floor, and badges required just to move around.
However, with several hundred PlayStation 4s in the midst, Sony wasn’t planning on taking any chances.
Sony gave media a chance to play several video games, including many that aren’t scheduled to hit store shelves until early 2014. A few of the titles, including “Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition,” “Killzone Shadow Fall” and “Knack” really stood out.
However, the guest of honor was the PlayStation 4. The new user interface is clean, not as cumbersome as the PlayStation 3′s UI. The 8gbs of hardware memory allow the console to run multiple tasks.
The PlayStation 4 has many features that will benefit gamers (and nongamers too). One of the coolest features is the ability to broadcast/stream gameplay. Two services, twitch and Ustream, let gamers broadcast their gameplay via a live stream. It’s integrated into the PS4. As soon as your game launches, just press the SHARE button to get your broadcast live. A word to the wise – opt for a wired connection if you are going to stream. If not, it could end up being a very laggy stream for watchers.
You loved how you performed a headshot from over a mile away on “Call of Duty?” With the press of a button, you can publish your clip/screenshot to Facebook.
Here’s the PlayStation 4 review kit from Sony.
Players will also enjoy the party chat feature. On the PS3, players didn’t have the option to chat with each other if they weren’t in the same game. Now, that’s not a problem. You are watching Netflix and want to chat with a friend playing “Knack?” Done.
There’s also a way cool app available to Android and iOS devices, similar to Microsoft’s Smartglass software. It allows users to access several PS4 features via the table/phone.
However, the PlayStation 4 is light on exclusive content at launch. Most of the launch titles are also available on the Xbox One, as well as the Sony PlayStation 3, the Microsoft Xbox 360 and other devices. Sony has said there won’t be a gaming drought. Let’s pray they keep their promise.
Also, if you bought the Sony PULSE or PS3 Wireless Gaming Headset, neither headset will work with the PlayStation 4. I have a set of Turtle Beach PX5 wireless/Bluetooth headsets and they only work via a workaround. The Bluetooth won’t connect to the PS4.
I’m add more in my FULL review of the PlayStation 4 later this week.
Overall, the PlayStation 4 will be a force to contend with as this generation of video games kicks off.