24-30 January 2014 #691

Time to play


Having defined and subsequently dominated the console gaming industry with the PS1, PS2, and PS3, Sony unleashed the latest iteration of its popular PlayStation consoles, the PS4, in November last year. While console and PC gaming have always drawn the more serious gamers amongst us, the convenience of mobile gaming has seen a large demographic lean more towards casual gaming on mobile devices. However, with the PS4, console gaming is back with a big bang.

Straight out of the box, the PS4 looks the part, while packing a lot of power under the hood. Black with sharp, angular edges and a blend of matte and high-gloss plastic, it truly appears next-gen. Also included in the box are a power cable, a game controller, a micro-USB charger cable, a HDMI cable, and a mono earphone. The PS4 runs on a x86-64 AMD Jaguar right-core chip CPU, with graphics powered by a 1.84 TFLOPS AMD Radeon engine, and is backed up by 8GB of DDR5 RAM, which might seem like incoherent technical jargon, but suffice it to say, the PS4’s specs are in line with a mid- to high-end gaming PC.

All those specs allow for a visually striking user interface which is quick, smooth and simple to navigate around. The real fun starts when you boot up your first PS4 game. All devices now ship with 500GB of on-board storage, which will be utilised mainly to store game data. All games now require a one-time installation, whilst an addition hassle to gamers, is forgivable as this installation allows for quicker game loading times.

Post installation, the games looks stunning, the Helghast city in Killzone: Shadowfall looks enormous, the Nou Camp stadium in FIFA14 feels positively gigantic, with stunning details which has to be seen to be believed. The PS4’s controller, the Dualshock 4, has also been tweaked from the Dualshock 3, for the better, which allows for easier controls and comfortable gameplay. The built-in audio speaker and the headset jack on the controller now make for more immersive gameplay, with particularly the option to plug-in headphones for game audio proving to be quite handy, especially during night-gaming.

Selling for around $500 in the US, the PS4 console is grossly overpriced in the Nepali market at Rs 70,000. Local gamers, it’s time to butter your aafno maanche in bidesh.

Yantrick’s verdict: The PS4 makes a strong case in favour of console gaming and is a machine excellently backed up by great specs, killer graphics, and with the gaming library set to expand in the coming months, Sony’s console is set to be the home of gaming once again.

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