Engadget (pre-patch, 'first 48 hours' impressions):
Mashable (Part 1 of 2)
When I reviewed the Wii U last November, I wrote that Nintendo had “a lock on the future of big-idea gaming.” But sometimes big idea gaming isn’t what captures imaginations (or hearts, or wallets). Sometimes refinement’s enough — taking an imperfect idea and perfecting it (or further trying to). That’s what $400 for a PS4 buys you this time around: a system that feels like something that’s been around the block off the block, instead of a feature-incomplete, overpriced collage of half-baked apps and feature hypotheticals. You’re still buying a promise, but for once it feels like a promise made on solid, well-trodden ground.
Read more: PlayStation 4 Review: Sony’s Comeback Console | TIME.com http://techland.time.com/2013/11/13/playstation-4-review-sonys-comeback-console/#ixzz2kXBfHiVv
We usually conclude our hardware tests with a verdict, but until we've spent more time with the user interface, and tested more of the key features - like Vita Remote Play - we can only offer up some preliminary thoughts.
There's some stand-out technology here for sure. Sony has handed in a high quality, traditionally console-sized box that runs a cutting-edge processor with bags of graphics power and has done so in a well-designed enclosure, that may not be ultra-cool, but dissipates heat well and remains fairly quiet in warm ambient temperatures. However, the first order of business once we have the kit in our offices will be to ratchet up the heating to see if the unit remains as quiet during the summer months. The only doubt we have here comes when the system is pushed to the limit - the extra 20W consumed by the UI in combination with the game sees fan noise increase significantly.
The PS4 hints at plenty of other possibilities. Local network play via the PS Vita has an enormous amount of potential. The PlayStation App and even the Playstation Camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the PlayStation 4 beyond the hard core audience it currently seems so intent on courting. Unlike the PlayStation 3, Sony's latest effort was built to evolve.
But the PlayStation 4's focus on gaming — and only gaming — is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve — better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 — but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We're just waiting for a place to spend it.
The PlayStation 4 appears to deliver on most of these commitments but, like the Wii U last year, the brunt of the console's most highly-lauded features are coming in hot. In fact, nearly every feature other than the ability to play retail games was enabled via a system update only a few hours before this writing.
That makes a detailed, timely review problematic, but we've done our best to delve into the PS4's big ticket features and answer as many questions as we can. Given the circumstances, we'll be updating this review as we dig further into Sony's slanted console.
The good: The PlayStation 4 serves up dazzling graphics, runs on a simplified and logical interface, and boasts a fantastic controller. It's also $100 cheaper than rival Xbox One and has the upper hand on indie and day one digital-only offerings.
The bad: Triple-A titles are lacking at launch, and the PS4 won't come close to matching its predecessor's gaming or software library for months -- or possibly years. PS3 games aren't compatible, though Sony is hinting that its Gaikai game-streaming service will open the door to retro gaming in 2014.
The bottom line: The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, blazing interface, and near-perfect controller make it a worthy successor to the PS3, but it would be wise to wait for more titles and features before you buy.
Powerful internal specs
Cheaper than the Xbox One
Less used game restrictions
No internet connection required
Controller feels great
PSN subscriptions needed for multiplayer
PlayStation Eye camera sold separately
Still the potential for third-party DRM
No exact release date or launch lineup
While casual games on smartphones and tablets have captured some of the game industry’s dollars, consoles aren’t going anywhere. They’re still the best way to enjoy immersive, interactive escapism, and the PS4 represents a new high-water mark in delivering that experience.
There will inevitably be hiccups with the PS4’s online functions at launch – it’ll be a minor miracle if Sony manages to avoid major problems – so early-days buyers should be prepared for delays.
For serious gamers, it’s not really a question of “if” they’re going to buy a PS4, but “when.” Despite the massive install base of the current generation, developers are shifting their resources to the newer, more powerful machines. It won’t be long before all of the good games are coming out exclusively on next-generation consoles, with the PS3 and Xbox 360 eventually resigned to the same dustbin filled with Famicoms and Sega Dreamcasts of eras gone by.
And one final note: unless you’re a PlayStation loyalist there are other choices in the console market you might consider. So stay tuned, next week I’ll have a review of the PS4’s main competitor: Microsoft’s Xbox One.
With the PS4, not only do games look, perform, and play so much better than on its predecessor due to the new processor and 8GB of RAM, but thanks to the easy-to-use design of the UI, interacting with the PlayStation Network services and features, or with friends socially is simple and seamless—exactly how it should be.
The next generation of PlayStation is here. Greatness awaits you on November 15th. See you on the PlayStation Network.
Engadget (pre-patch, 'first 48 hours' impressions):
The PlayStation 4 is fast. The DualShock 4 is the best gamepad Sony's ever created. In 48 hours spent using the PS4 without its extremely comprehensive Day One patch, there are only so many feelings to feel about Sony's latest game console. We are in such a position this morning, having spent the past two days locked away in Engadget's Brooklyn office kicking The Playroom's AR bots around and shooting Helghast with the new DualShock 4.
The Playstation 4 is a solid video gaming system, even without any comparison to the Xbox One. There's no one feature that could be called the Playstation 4 selling point, but instead, it's several smaller upgrades, like better graphics and improved controllers, that together create a gaming experience greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Mashable (Part 1 of 2)
After seven years of waiting, we have finally experienced next-generation gaming. Sony's PlayStation 4 gives us hope for more powerful, jaw-dropping video games, and leaves a lot to the imagination for the future.
The PlayStation 4, in contrast, is a simpler system, and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s smaller, easy to set up, and doesn’t come with anything you don’t need. It focuses on games and, at least in the initial batch of games, it’s delivering more power. You need to pay for PlayStation Plus to play online, but Sony refused to hide other features behind a pay wall, and you get Resogun and Contrast free on day one with your subscription.
I've been playing games, interviewing developers, and traveling for the past 48 hours, so expect more stories from now until launch covering many of the features and games of the PlayStation 4. If you have questions, please ask in the comments. Sony wanted to focus on games, and by God they've succeeded in that goal. This is a hell of a system.