At $399, the PS4 is currently the most expensive console in this hardware generation. It wasn't always like this: the Xbox One was first bundled with a Kinect and it cost $499. However, Microsoft noticed the PS4 was consistently outselling them so they introduced a version that cost $399, sans the peripheral.
When Microsoft sold the Kinect-less Xbox One at $349 during holiday 2014, they enjoyed a boost in sales so they decided to reintroduce the price cut in mid-January 2015. While Microsoft said the reduction isn't permanent, they mentioned no end date.
As for the Wii U, it comes in two variants: the 8GB basic version at $299 and the 32GB deluxe set at $349. Whichever variant you choose, the Wii U is cheaper than the PS4.
Of course, the PS4 won't always be stuck at $399; but if you're interested in getting one, perhaps you should wait for a slim version which will probably be sold at a lower price point (more on this later).
Sony's line-up of upcoming exclusive certainly look promising. Some of the potential standouts for 2015 include:
There's just a problem: all those promising games aren't here yet.
Yes, there are already a few exclusives available such as Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, LittleBigPlanet 3, and The Last of Us Remastered, but that's just the thing--there are only a few of them. It's hard to justify a $399 purchase for a console with a still-meager selection of exclusives. Third-party games don't really count since they can be played on other platforms, which you may already own.
Make no mistake--the PS4's exclusives library will most likely be just as terrific as its predecessor, but it just isn't there yet.
Interruptions are a normal part of online services, but PlayStation Network's outages are exasperating because they happen a bit too frequently. Off the top of my head, I can recall at least four instances when PSN went down during the last six months:
Granted, Microsoft's Xbox Live goes through many outages as well, but Sony appears to be a favorite target, which is probably why their properties suffer frequent cyberattacks. The problem is especially pronounced now that PS4 owners are required to pay for online multiplayer.
The Sixaxis controller could last around 18 hours, while the DualShock 3 was good for over 20. The DualShock 4? About seven to eight hours on average. Some attribute this short battery life to the light bar, while others say it's the vibration, speaker, or even the touchpad.
You could squeeze out more hours by dimming the light bar, disabling the rumble feature, and turning down the speaker volume, but you'd most likely never hit the 13-hour mark.
Whatever the cause of its poor battery life, the DualShock 4 feels more like a wired controller since it almost always needs to be plugged in.
When you buy a game disc at a retail store, your $60 is roughly broken down as follows:
Obviously, this breakdown may vary (e.g. Sony presumably won't charge royalties for its own games), but that's the general idea.
This breakdown, however, would be different if you buy a digital game at the PlayStation Store. At the very least, costs for a) the retailer, b) production + shipping of discs, and c) returning unsold games should be eliminated. Sure, there may be server maintenance costs for digital games, but this is minimal compared to the savings.
And yet, people are being charged full price, or sometimes more. Sony's reason: they don't want to undermine retail. Things may be looking up, though; the PlayStation Store seems to be holding sales a bit more frequently of late. Let's see if Sony keeps this up.
The Digital Living Network Alliance (or DLNA) is a non-profit organization founded by Sony and Intel. It's also a technology standard for sharing media over a home network between various devices like PCs, smartphones and TVs.
The PS3 supported this standard, which is why you can stream videos and music from your PC to the console. It's a particularly useful feature, especially if your PS3's hard drive is low on space. Best of all, it lets you watch movies on your couch (and not at your desk).
Unfortunately, the PS4 doesn't officially support the DLNA standard. There's a way around this, but it involves installing Plex Media Server on your PC. However, you have to pay for a subscription to get the Plex app on your PS4. To avoid this, you can access Plex through your PS4's browser, but this method is a bit fussy.
There have been rumors that the PS4 will soon support DLNA. That day hasn't arrived yet, though.
The PS4 has only two USB ports. So if you already have a couple of controllers, you can't plug in any additional peripherals simultaneously in the future, unless you get a USB hub. However, getting more USB ports in upcoming PS4 models is doubtful because they'll probably be slimmer and cheaper, which means there won't be any more room.
The PS4's camera costs upwards of $50, but apart from face recognition, voice commands (which is also possible with headsets with a mic), and capturing your expressions of horror while playing games over Twitch or Ustream, there's not much reason to get the peripheral since the games that support it are few. As of this writing, the camera can be used in tandem with games such as:
This list would probably grow over time, but you might be in for a wait. Based on the number of games compatible with the PS3's PlayStation Eye, the PS4's camera might not get much support either.
A slimmer PS4 model is inevitable. The original PlayStation had one, and so did the PS2 and PS3 (which had two variants). It's also highly likely that when the slimmer PS4 arrives in store shelves, it will be sold at a lower price point. Because of this, you may want to hold off on that PS4 purchase.
Take note, however, that the slimmer models of previous Sony consoles arrived a few years after the release of its portlier versions. The PSone came out five years after the original PlayStation; the PS2 "slimline" arrived after four years; and the PS3 Slim started selling before the PS3 phat's three-year mark.
That being said, a slimmer and cheaper PS4 model is a pretty good reason to wait it out.
Have you played all (or even just half) of the notable games available on the PS3? The list is nauseatingly long. The top exclusives alone (e.g. the Uncharted trilogy, Metal Gear Solid 4, Demon's Souls, LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2, Infamous 1 and 2, God of War III, and The Last of Us) will already take quite a bit of time to play through.
And you know what? The selection of excellent third-party PS3 games is even wider.
If you already have a PS3, you owe it to yourself to experience all the great games it offers. And since the PS4 isn't backward-compatible, there's certainly no need to make the leap to the PS4 just yet.