The PlayStation 4 is the most powerful games console on the planet. With more graphical power than the Xbox One, 32 times more system memory than the PS3 and a firm focus on pure gaming experiences rather than media mojo, it has established itself as the next-gen console to beat. It’s a games console built by gamers for gamers. It won the hearts and minds of many from the word go, with lots of prospective next-genners left feeling alienated by some of Microsoft’s bizarre policies and choices for the Xbox One – many of which were reversed as a result of a backlash.
Coming in at ? 350, the PS4 is also ? 80 cheaper than the Xbox One, making it appear terrific value. It doesn’t come with the PlayStation Camera (the One does come with Kinect) but this can be bought separately for ? 45 if you so wish. The differences between the PS4 and Xbox One are actually evident before you even switch them on. Despite the two consoles both sporting similar half-matte half-gloss finishes and containing very similar internal components, they really couldn’t be more different.
For a start, the PS4 is small and sleek in comparison to the enormous VCR-like square cuboid of the Xbox One. And this means that the PS4’s box is half the size and weight of the Xbox One. The Sony console can be extracted from its packaging and plugged in and booted up in a couple of minutes. Xbox One on the other hand comes in a huge, hulking box. It’s fiddly to open and unpack, and it’s full of little compartments, carboard and plastic to get in the way and make a mess with. The environment was not a concern for Microsoft when it designed the Xbox packaging, clearly.
This is the kind of streamlining that typifies the PlayStation experience with PS4. It’s a console designed for gamers to play games and in this respect it could be described as more of spiritual successor to the PlayStation 2 – still the best selling games console the universe has ever known. Design One look at the PS4 and you know you’re seeing Sony hardware. It’s slim, sleek and jet black, roughly the size of a second generation PS3 Slim. The full measurements are 275 x 53 x 305 mm. It’s a lot more compact than an Xbox One, which is longer, taller and squarer.
In a feat of engineering worth tipping your hat to, and in spite of the PS4’s slim stature, Sony has tucked the power supply inside the system, leaving no external power brick to trip over. The Xbox One on the other hand retains the power brick of the Xbox 360. PS4 sports a sloped, asymmetrical design. That’s its largest departure from PlayStations past. It lies flat on its belly by default, but can go up on its tiptoes with the help of a plastic stand, sold separately for ? 16. 99. On its face is a slit of a mouth, a slot loading Blu-ray disc drive. To its right are two powered USB 3. ports, which can charge your DualShock 4 controllers when the system is turned off, a feature the PS3 sorely lacked. Along the top, or the side if you’ve opted for the stand, is a light, which glows blue when you boot it up. It breathes some life into the otherwise cold industrial design of the system. Turn it on and it blinks a yawning hello. Inside, the PS4 is all business. It has a custom single-chip processor that combines an eight core x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” CPU with a 1. 84 teraflop GPU based on AMD’s Radeon tech. That’s backed by 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, and a 500GB mechanical hard drive.
Sony claims that the PS4’s overall performance is ten times that of the PS3. You can also remove that 500GB drive and replace it with a larger drive, or an SSD for better performance. Sony says these do it yourself upgrades will not void the system’s warranty. Those two USB ports are the PS4’s only front facing connections. In the rear you’ll find HDMI, Ethernet, a digital optical audio out and a proprietary auxiliary connection for the PlayStation Camera. For wireless connections, the PS4 uses 802. 11 b/g/n for WiFi and Bluetooth 2. 1 for its wireless DualShock 4 controllers.