I did it. It may seem hard for a lot of you to believe, especially with all of my vehement arguing for Microsoft and the Xbox One, but on Friday August 23rd, I bought myself a PS4.
HOLD UP. Don't go rushing to call 9-1-1 yet, it's still me here. I just made a lifestyle choice. Or at least, I'm PS-curious now. Wouldn't say I've hopped that fence quite yet. So without further adieu, welcome to One Microsoft Fanboy's expedition into Playstation 4, otherwise known as, Why I don't enjoy having money.
So the first thing I thought about the Playstation 4 (besides that it better start offering me sexual favours for the $500 I just spent on it) was whether or not it would fit in my current entertainment center. I was worried about the size, as the Xbox One required some shifting to make everything continue to look pretty. So I was pretty impressed when I opened the rather large box to see the petite console, which was dwarfed by my fatass PS3 and the Xbox One. I have to say, I was pretty impressed that Sony fit all that power in such a small box. *Insert witty comment here*
So I unwrapped the controller, my hands already perspiring as I remembered how much I hate gaming seriously using the PS1-2-3 controllers, both because of my giant gorilla-hands, the weird feeling R/L buttons, and my annoyance that the design remained perpetually unchanged for a decade. So imagine my glee when I held the controller for the first time and felt those wonderful contours. Just like the Xbox One controller, it fit right into my hand and felt right at home. Ok, well done Sony. Wait...this thing lights up different colours depending on what I'm doing AND my health in Last of Us? Ok...you get bonus gimmick points for that one.
Once I turned the console on, and everything set up fairly simply, it was time to lay my hammer of judgement upon the UI. I'd been playing Diablo 3 all week as the Crusader, so I was getting pretty good at hammering judgement down. When stacked up next to the Xbox One home, I still have to go with Xbox on this one. While I found the layout to be fairly simple, it was all there on the one screen, with minimal separation between things. I prefer having favourites/recently played, and then going into a menu for my apps/games. It was user-friendly, just not my preferred design.
Past that, there were small annoyances that I found. My game library doesn't link to other aspects of the game (IE: the Overview, the store, download speed) like it does with the Xbox. When playing a game, I can see my other friends, but only that they are "Playing a different game." Now, I know their security isn't set that high, so what gives Sony? Maybe it's me, but that seems silly. Lastly (I think), I really still don't like the Playstation Store. I find that on my Vita, it's fairly well organized, but it seems to be a mess on the PS4. Take Playstation Plus games for instance. While it's fairly easy to scroll to the right and see your two free games, you have to do some digging to find all the deals for PS+ that month. On Vita, they're all in the same section.
Still too early to judge this fully, but there have been a couple hiccups. There has been one instance that the PS4 started with no sound. I thought this was odd, and tried The Last of Us, and still nothing. Plugged something else in to test, sound worked fine, so I restarted the PS4 and everything was gravy salad. Not a killer, but really odd.
Next, I had some issues with Last of Us being permanently stuck on the first loading screen, and then again on a level load after I restarted. Maybe the system, maybe the game, but kind of annoying. Restarts fixed this, but it shouldn't be necessary. It would be like buying a hamster, and then giving it CPR every time you wanted to play with it. Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh staying alive, staying alive. Nothing? Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh staying aliiiiiiiii-oh, there it goes. Kind of morbid, don't you think?
Now, I know this isn't really your fault Sony, but seriously, the first weekend I get this console, you suffer a DDOS? Not only that, but these asshats apparently took down the Blizzard servers too, which stopped me from playing Diablo 3 on the X1 as well. I don't know if you can picture this cheerful disposition ever raging, but that is probably as close as I've been in some time. And I swear if it happens again, I'll burn it down. I'll burn it all down.
No complaints here. Last of Us Remastered and P.T. Seriously. Ball hard.
I'm going to try and not smash my face into the keyboard to express my frustration at this point, so I'll KISS. Keep it Simple Sony.
Now everyone has been raging about the Tomb Raider exclusivity (which besides from the business sense, I get. Dick move) as well as some for Bayonetta 2. What irks me though? Destiny exclusivity. So now I own an Xbox One, and a PS4. I also have a fiancee, but she won't be seeing much playtime for a while.
I want to play Destiny on my Xbox One, because my friends will be and because I prefer the controller. But on PS4, gamers are treated with some sweet exclusive content just for playing it on that system. I know this isn't the first time (AC games for instance) but this one irks me. To me, this is the worst kind of exclusivity, besides retail-specific. They can burn in hell. Instead of making a simple choice, I now have to decide between getting the experience that I want, or getting more awesome content (and you all know I'm a sucker for that). I'm going to end up choosing Xbox, because nothing trumps playing with friends, but I'm still pissed off. Apparently we may get the DLC as paid-content in 2015, but it's speculation right now. So yeah, Microsoft pulls some shitty moves, but Sony is definitely not the Abel of this dichotomy.
This on top of the early Beta access for Sony systems, with only 4 days for Xbox? Did you forget who made you Bungie? And I'm not referring to Microsoft, I'm referring to all of us who played your flagship and made the series what it is today. Or is it Activision pulling these strings? I already have words for you map-pack hustling so-and-sos, but we'll keep that for a later blog. Either way, I'm perturbed.
This is probably what annoyed me the most this weekend. Now I know this occasionally happens in certain games, especially those of the Freemium nature, but in a serious competitive shooter, you should not be able to purchase DLC that gives you an advantage over other players. Waste your money on unlock packs to get it quickly because you're too lazy to grind? Sure. Re-skins, or new weapons which parallel the power and effectiveness of those in the game? Alright, fine. Completely new weapons which are the most powerful in the game, on top of 8 new abilities which make life much easier? Absolutely not. Ab-so-friggin-lutely not.
Maybe this existed in the original Last of Us for PS3, but I don't recall seeing it. Either way, this is a horrible tactic. I could not believe that there were DLC packs with weapons and abilities that legitimately gave people a substantial upper hand, both in attack power, resource generation, and other aspects. You know me; I'm a DLC, must-have-all-content whore. I am not supporting this. Clearly tons of people are, because I'm being taken down by the high-powered pistol and Spectre, but I will not endorse this practice. I've never seen something this bad in another competitive shooter, or anything Microsoft exclusive. CoD gets new weapons occasionally, but they are not intrinsically better than the existing weapons. I could be wrong here, but this seems like it's gone too far.
This needs an honorable mention. Normally, I need a minimum of three full games (that are already out) before I will buy a console. It's what made Day 1 Xbox One so easy, there were a ton of great games on launch. For this system though? All it took was PT, and the rumor that I am getting a raise in two weeks, and I threw my money into a pit.
I have been playing the past 3 nights as soon as the sun went down, with my fiancee curled up beside me under a blanket, terrified to look at or away from the screen. This truly is a creepy, psychological, terrifying masterpiece from the mind of Kojima. I have never been so scared at a video game, or movie now that I think of it, and if the full game is even a quarter as good as this teaser, I'll buy it Day -1. (This is me one-upping CoD's Day 0). Going back at the final puzzle tonight. Can't seem to get it to occur, so why not spend another few hours in the most terrifying Groundhog Day reference since, well, Groundhog Day.
I'm happy. Little grievances along the way, but nothing too annoying. I expect some small hiccups, I had similar issues with game loads on the Xbox One, so I'm not too worried. Then again, these have since been fixed on the X1. As for the exclusivity and DLC issues, F 'em. I'm buying Destiny on Xbox One, and I'll continue executing honkeys who think just because they paid for a high-powered pistol, they're better than me. Guess what? Now I'm smashing your head in with a 2X4. Satisfying.
And that about sums it up; satisfying. So far, this console has satisfied what I wanted it to do, and I know that with some decent exclusives finally around the corner, it will truly become a stellar system. Although, stacked next to my Xbox One, I still don't see what all the hype is about. Yeah, Microsoft has screwed it's fair share of pooches, but when you go system to system, side by side, I don't see PS4 as having the upper hand. Xbox doesn't either (except for me personally in terms of games, which I'd argue are still better right now). I think we really have complementary systems here.
To each their own. But for me? Both.
The Scholarly Gamer