This Week’s Purchase: PlayStation 4

titleIt’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I haven’t been writing as much as I’d have liked to. Still, Christmas is over, and now it’s back to me doing the one thing I enjoy more than actually playing videogames; talking about them. This week I’ve finally got my hands on the PlayStation 4, and will be sharing some early impressions, opinions, and advice for potential buyers.

01What I Bought

So I purchased a PS4, no more, no less. This shouldn’t be as unusual as it is, but the sad truth is that if you currently want to walk into a shop and buy Sony’s latest console, you can’t (unless you’re willing to also purchase a tonne of unnecessary crap you don’t want with it). As I’m currently writing this, the only PS4 bundle in stock on the game website retails for £699.99. I know this happens with every console, and I still remember being forced to buy a bunch of DVDs with my PlayStation 2, but it’s still pretty shameful, and retailers shouldn’t be taking advantage of the console shortage in this way.

Anyway, I stuck in a last minute pre-order that got me the console in time for Christmas, and for the fairly reasonable price of £349.99. The PS4 will presumably be that price again around the end of January, so I’d advise potential buyers to wait instead of paying an extraordinary price to pick one up today. It’s also worth noting that because of these forced bundles many buyers have been left with games they don’t actually want, and these are going cheap online. Killzone Shadow Fall may have sold over 1 million copies, but a lot of these are now on eBay and I was able to pick up the game for under £30.

With some smart shopping the PS4 quickly becomes the cheapest way to enjoy next generation gaming. Throw in a couple of free titles for PlayStation Plus members and I found myself with a new console and 3 games all for around £380. It’s certainly less than I spent on the Xbox One.

killzoneThe Console

Apparently other people also own the PlayStation 4, so I’m going to try not to cover anything that’s already been said about the system a million times. My own experience has so far been extremely positive, but I’m still spending more time on the Xbox One thanks to a larger selection of quality exclusive games. If Knack had been better and Drive Club hadn’t been delayed then things could have been different, but right now Xbox One is the console I’ve been recommending to my friends. The future for Sony’s system looks incredibly strong however, but right now it’s worth asking yourself how much you really like Killzone before rushing out to purchase the console.

There are several things I prefer about the PS4 however, the first being the console’s aesthetics. It is an exceptionally well designed piece of hardware that simply looks great. It also gets bonus points for the ability to position it vertically (seriously, am I the only person who does this – it saves so much space). Whilst the packaging is fairly bare bones, it’s obviously what’s inside the box that counts, and the PS4 is undeniably better looking than the Xbox One.

Whilst it doesn’t yet rival Xbox Live as a social experience, the PS4 does have some really cool exclusive features not found on Microsoft’s console. Remote play with the PlayStation Vita actually works, and Sony’s handheld can be used as a controller/second screen flawlessly with the PS4. This is a drastic improvement from the PS3, and turns the concept from an impractical gimmick into a genuine alternative to purchasing a second Dualshock 4. You’ve also got PlayStation Plus, and free games is always a winner in my book. It’s a serious cash saver, and as Sony is now supporting the programme on three consoles the savings are bigger than ever.

02Red Controller

What is the world coming to? I can understand that the console itself is in high demand, but it was a dark day the accessories also went out of stock. I was personally waiting for the Magma Red Controller to drop below £59.99 but apparently enough people were mad enough to buy it at that price to not only put it out of stock, but force prices on eBay into excess of £90.

But there is another way, and I’ll leave you with this final tip. As I currently write this, Play Asia has both red and blue Dualshock 4 controllers in stock for £44.60, and they are (of course) completely region free. The downside is that postage is around £12 and it’ll take a week to arrive, plus there’s a very real risk that you might have to pay customs charges. Also if you’ve read this previous article of mine then you’ll know that I’m reluctant to recommend Play Asia after my last experience, but the service was much better this time around, and it was the only way to get the red controller I craved!

On a final note, the postage will stay the same if you also order some other stuff, so you’ll be saving money if you do all your importing in one go. Here’s a list of some cool stuff you can’t currently get in this country: PlayStation Vita 2000 Slim, PS Vita 64GB Memory Card, BlazBlue Chronophantasma,  Ys: Memories of Celceta, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, Muramasa Rebirth (retail version).

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