Sony announced it sold one million PlayStation 4s on its first day, and now the company has revealed that it shifted 2.1 million units of its next-gen console during November… well, for the 16 days that the PS4 was on sale.
That’s a good way towards the 5 million target that it is aiming to reach by March 2014, and it comes at a time when the PS4 is still not widely available in all parts of the world: Japanese gamers must wait until February 22, for example.
Arch-rival Microsoft also sold one million units of its Xbox One console on launch day, but we’ve yet to hear of an updated figure from the company.
Images via TNW
With the success of SnapChat, Line and others, many have been wondering who will own the next big messaging service. Now, we’re not saying it’s necessarily the next big thing, but it is interesting to us that PingTune (formerly named Tuneit) has appeared with a service which slices off a fascinating niche of the messaging space with an app for music fans that want to send slices of music to each other in an easy and simple way. The startup, based in London’s ‘Tech City’ in the East, has also just raised £1m ($1.6m) worth of investment to do it. The seed investment comes from Rupert Hambro (former Chairman of Hambros Bank, currently Chairman of JO Hambro) and Dominic Perks (serial entrepreneur and active investor).
PingTune is an iPhone app which lets users search for music from sources like YouTube and SoundCloud, then simply message friends with that track. You can also choose a specific section of the tune or video to send, which, if you think about it, works quite well when you want to tell a friend something which just the chorus in a song is talking about. Clearly the flirting possibilities are endless.
CEO Henry Firth says “We saw that people were sharing music on social networks, but it can be clunky. Copying links between windows is hard work on a mobile phone. We wanted to make that process easier… so we built PingTune.” PingTune’s 12-strong teams consists of staff formerly with Yahoo, Spotify, Skype and Sony.
He says the business model will eventually be selling mp3s and other music-related purchases.
Note Spotify’s partnership with Tango and Sony’s campaign with Kik, speaks to this trend for music and messaging getting together. Messaging could well be the next wave we’ll see in this space.
Now that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are both on sale, we are officially in the next-generation of console gaming. For many of you, deciding which one to buy is going to be the toughest shopping decision you’ll make this holiday season.
Buying a console is a highly personal decision, but it’s worth outlining the specific use cases that might tip you one way or the other. While I don’t have a deep loyalty to either Sony or Microsoft, you should know that I bought an Xbox One because it best fit my overall gaming/entertainment needs. You can also check out our occasional gamer guides for the PS4 and the Xbox One if you need more help deciding.
If you’re a hardcore gamer that’s only going with one next-gen system, you’ve probably already settled on a PS4. In the run-up to launch, Microsoft ceded the hardcore territory to Sony in order to go after mainstream appeal, and not much has changed now that both machines are in the wild.
Equivalent games already look better on the PS4 than the Xbox One. Since you’ll be keeping your console around for a few years, that gap will likely widen as developers take advantage of the PS4′s extra computing power. Also, for those of you interested in broadcasting your gameplay, the PS4 includes support out of the box, while Microsoft is still putting the final touches on Twitch streaming support.
The PS4 also appeals to buyers on a tight budget. If you don’t need the PlayStation Camera, then the $100 price difference is a significant point in Sony’s favor. If you’ve already got an Apple TV or other set-top box, you’re unlikely to get the most out of the entertainment features.
Sony’s launch line-up is weak; its best shots at a killer PS4 exclusive will come next year with Infamous: Second Son and Uncharted. If you’re a fan of the original Infamous titles on the PS3, Second Son should be enough to sway you, and earlier Uncharted titles set the bar for a PS4 version extremely high. Other interesting exclusives coming next year include The Order: 1886 and Drive Club.
The PS4 also includes a few perks, like early access to the Destiny beta, extra gameplay and in-game items. For instance, the PS4 version of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has a timed exclusive for a few extra missions. These types of benefits aren’t likely to change anyone’s mind on their own, but they do add up.
With its leaner profile and sleeker design, the PS4 beats its rival in the looks department. The Xbox One isn’t exactly an eyesore, but it is huge and boxy. Most of you probably wouldn’t choose a console just based on looks, but we’re not here to judge.
The Xbox One is designed to serve as your living room’s primary media device, so it may be the better option if you’re looking for an all-in-one system. Unlike the PS4, the new Xbox has an HDMI input that can be used for watching live TV.
Microsoft’s offering also includes support for DLNA media streaming, so you can send videos, photo and music to it from other devices. The PS4 doesn’t include it, though Sony has said it is looking into adding it.
One caveat, however, is that the Xbox One’s live TV support is very barebones. You won’t be able to access your DVR recordings using the Xbox’s controls, so you’ll still have to keep your cable box remote around. If you have a complex or unusual setup, the Xbox One isn’t likely to live up to the promise of all-in-one.
You’ll also need to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for premium features and apps like the OneGuide TV interface, Skype, Netflix and Internet Explorer. If you’re only using the console occasionally, it’s hard to justify the $60 per year subscription fee. By comparison, Sony requires its $50 per year PS Plus service to play online multiplayer on the PS4, but you won’t need to subscribe to get access to the console’s Netflix and Hulu apps.
As for games, the Xbox One has a stronger exclusive lineup at launch, but the PS4 should catch up early next year. I’m personally excited about the potential for Titanfall to be next year’s must-have game when it arrives on the Xbox One next spring. However, the title will also be available on PC and Xbox 360, so you’ll still have a shot at playing it even if you go with the PS4 for your next-gen system. There’s also the Xbox One’s upcoming Halo game to consider, though the franchise has lost some of its magic in recent years.
The Xbox One’s Kinect handily beats out the PlayStation Camera in terms of features and third-party support. Voice commands on the new Xbox are deeply integrated into the system. The PS4 also has voice control either through the PlayStation camera or the included mono headset, but it’s not as advanced.
The main argument for waiting out the launch window – other than the devices simply being sold out – is the issue of hardware reliability and software kinks. We had to send back the first PS4 we tested because it fell victim to the blinking blue light of death. Unfortunately, the Xbox One has its own issues too, so you’re taking a risk buying either early on. Both firms maintain that the problems only affect a small amount of customers.
You might also want to wait until the end of the launch window (March 2014) to see how the second wave of exclusive games fares. 2014 is shaping up to have some great games on both platforms, but plenty of those titles could also turn out to be duds.
Of course, waiting could also save you some money. Polygon has an interesting piece tracking when price drops and new models occurred for the last generation of consoles. There’s no guarantee it’ll happen so quickly this time around, but it’s a safe bet to keep saving.
The conversation around the next-gen consoles has centered around the PS4 being best for gamers and the Xbox One is being tailored for users who want an all-in-one package. That characterization may feel reductive, but, based on the time we’ve spent with both systems, it’s also pretty accurate.
Still, there are plenty of exceptions. The PS4 may be designed with gamers in mind, but its best titles haven’t arrived yet. Meanwhile, the Xbox One’s entertainment features are likely to be a step down for anyone who has spent a bit of time optimizing their living room setup.
Then again, you could always just buy both.
Follow this link: PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Which one is for you?
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Read more from the original source: #6: PlayStation 4: Launch Edition
If you listen closely, you can hear it: the eye of the console storm. We are between technologies and the big hardware makers know it. It’s a move from an optical-disk-based, high-heat standalone device. To paraphrase William Gibson: the future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed and its on that uneasy plane the new $399 PS4 firmly sits.
This new console is, arguably, the last console to be released before a number of massive shifts in the industry will force sweeping changes to hardware and software. Onlive, though a failure, offered the promise of a cloud-based graphics system that could entertain without heavy hardware. Steam has convinced gamers they don’t need disks. 4K, while still a whimsical feature, is the future, and toys like the Ouya and Oculus Rift point to a leaner gaming business model and new interfaces. In short, the PS4 is the best of last generation’s consoles and, as such, deserves to be looked at as Sony’s last stand and the doorway to an amazing future.
At first glance you can see a certain PC pedigree in the angular lines and large case. There are two hidden buttons – touch-sensitive shards of plastic, really – that turn the console on and eject the well-hidden Blu-ray disk drive.
It has 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and a 500GB hard drive that will store games and video content. There is no external storage – presumably 500GB will be enough and if it isn’t you’re going to be juggling the 30+GB games that you download. There is a single HDMI port on the back next to an optical audio port as well as an “AUX” port for the optional $60 PS4 camera.
The controller is rounder and I’d say a bit more comfortable than the PS3 controller and puts it more in line with the soft edges of the 360/Xbox One controller. There is no power brick and you can, if you wish, simply swap out the HDMI and power cable from the PS3 and plug it into the PS4.
The controller itself includes a number of interesting features. First there is a built-in gyroscope and Eye-compatible light that allows for some very Wii-like interaction features. It also includes dual rumble motors and a small speaker that can transmit audio as necessary. Battery life has been strong although I haven’t fully tested the controllers in the short time I’ve had the console. The PS4 itself includes a wired headset for in-game chat and cables to charge the controllers.
You will notice a Share button on the controller which represents Sony’s move to grab a more social gamer. The console records the last fifteen minutes of gameplay and clicking share lets you post screenshots to Facebook or Twitter or edit and upload video to Facebook. This active social interaction comes into play on the dashboard where you find shared snippets by your friends. This is an amazing discovery engine and will probably drive the further adoption of downloaded content.
If you have a PS Vita you can use it as a remote screen, playing games right on the small screen while you use the TV for other purposes. It worked fine but I’d worry that relegating a Vita to a second screen isn’t a good use of the PS4′s resources. The PS4 iOS and Android apps, designed to allow you to control various aspects of gameplay as well as social networking – were also barely baked.
Pairing the Vita
The Vita Mirroring the PS4
Sadly my initial experience was marred by some problems. Long load and install times were common. Major parts of the interface – the store, for example, are actually rendered WebGL – and sometimes slows down in graphically rich environments. Application switching, especially out of games and into the dashboard, is far quicker than the previous generation but you still sometimes need to quit games to perform other actions.
This is a brand new device and, for the most part, I’m very optimistic. The games are gorgeous (if a bit trite) and everything is surprisingly smooth. One of the best features, especially for parents like myself, is an option to play any game without a lengthy update. The PS4 disables online play if you don’t update, but you can at least get a few licks in before you wait 45 minutes for the server to respond.
PlayStation Plus is another improvement to the experience. For $49 a year this feature enables many of the online-gaming features including multiplayer gaming and special game discounts. It’s an obvious play to create an Xbox Live-like feature but it definitely improves on the catch-as-catch-can attitude towards online gaming of the previous generation.
Does the PS4 need a video store, music service (called Music Unlimited), and a web browser? Not really, but they don’t hurt. I suspect there are so many places people go to get video and music now that the PS4 is not a dedicated source anymore. However, the PS4 does not support DLNA streaming which should give folks with large audio and video collections pause. Sony could improve this in the future but as it stands it’s an inconvenience.
Full screen browser
The launch titles available for PS4, including Call Of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and the unique platformer called Knack, all look amazing on the PS4′s hardware. Previous gen consoles, while smooth and detail rich, are no match for the amazingly life-like lighting effects, motion, and environment details. Make no mistake: this is really next-gen stuff.
The included title, Playroom, shows off many of the PS4′s capabilities but is more a demo than a full game. To play it you waggle the controller around, flicking little augmented-reality characters in an on-screen representation of your living room. It’s very cute, but not a serious contender for game of the year.
This isn’t a game review so I’ll reserve passing detailed judgment on the titles. Sadly the introductory titles are interesting at best and poor at worst. Knack is a cute game featuring a Rayman-esque robot that grows as he battles trolls. The story is odd and not particularly compelling but the gameplay is smooth and the graphics are whimsical yet surprisingly detailed. All of these games are proofs of concept, titles that offer promise of things ahead. Are they the enough to amuse the casual fan? No, and there is no reason to update unless you’re looking for console-agnostic titles like Battlefield. These titles look great on the PS4 but they also look fine on the PS3 (and Xbox 360 and PC).
My list of PS4 negatives is very short. The fact that DNLA is now missing is a big deal. The launch titles are poor. The stored is bogged down and installation isn’t nearly as fast as it needs to be. These can and will be remedied and if they’re not then Sony will have to decide how to react to the backlash.
You also can’t play PS3 games on the PS4, a sad state of affairs for many who don’t want to spend $60 updating their collections. There is some hope, however, for owners of very recent PS3 games. For $10 you can download “updates” to these titles on the PS4 that require the PS3 disk to run. So far few major games – most notably GTA V are compatible with this service. There is also some talk of live streaming of PS3 games but there is no promise that ownership of a PS3 disk will get you access to the stream. In short, this console slams an iron curtain on the past.
You’re also going to be disappointed in the pricing. The $60 PS4 camera adds quite a bit to the $399 price tag as will another controller and a few games. While the console is $100 less than the Xbox One, the price is deceiving especially given the previous problem of backwards compatibility. In short, you can’t open the box and play without dropping at least another $60 for a launch title.
None of these bad points are particularly egregious but they add up to one clear thing – the PS4 isn’t quite ready and won’t be until some of the standout titles like Watch Dogs and Infamous: Second Son reach stores. That’s no reason to avoid this console, just a reason to wait a few weeks (or months) for the platform to mature.
In the same way that the PS3 massively improved on the PS2 so does the PS4 improve upon the last generation. The graphics are stellar, the media offerings quite complete thanks to Sony’s partnerships, and the controls and hardware are quite usable. PC gamers will definitely see plenty to love on this powerful platform.
Sony knows how to make a nice console. The design is understated and lacks the glossy bulbosity of the PS3. It is almost completely quiet and dissipates heat nicely, even in a confined space. It is the closest you’re going to get to a powerful PC in your living room and until devices like the Steambox hit the shelves I dare say this is about as good as it gets.
My prediction is that the PS4 (and the Xbox One) will go strong for about five years and peter out – and be replaced by the turn of the decade. This console has to tide over the console gamer for years and it will be a tough slog. 4K TV will become commercially popular and, because the console doesn’t support 60fps 4K playback, there will be another console after this one. The PS4 will also be the last console with an optical drive (much to the chagrin of GameStop execs, I’m sure). The console will sell well once the titles match its capabilities.
As it stands, today, however, it’s inherently difficult to recommend that you rush out and purchase a PS4 this season – but that shouldn’t stop you. It’s a solid platform that is dedicated primarily to gaming. There are few distractions – no TV interaction, few voice controls – and the entire device shows a dedication to gaming that isn’t present in competing consoles. The graphics, thanks to a powerful graphics processor, are stunning and everything looks better. The potential for greatness is right there in that angular black box. Sony and its partners just have to fulfill it.
Who is the PS4 for? It’s for die-hard Sony gamers. It’s for fans of major franchises who want PC-quality graphics in the living room. It’s for first-time PlayStation users who are looking for the state of the art. It’s not for the casual gamer – yet – and it’s not for the title-specific gamer who is, say, looking for something massively engrossing not available elsewhere. In that respect even a well-stocked iPad or Android tablet beats the PS4, at least in terms of game selection and playability. Sony has polished the PlayStation experience to a high shine and it’s clear that they knew exactly where to tweak the PS3 to make a true next-gen console. Now they have to figure out how to make it a compelling game platform in a world where most gaming is done on a 4-inch screen and not a 4-foot TV.
We are at the eye of a storm. It took a decade for the console to reach this quiet place and I suspect the next generation will bring us back into a storm of wild change. Until then, the release of the PS4 is a breather on the road to the next-next-gen and it’s a welcome one.
Original post: The PS4 Is Sony’s First Shot In The Next-Gen Console Wars
The PlayStation 4 officially launched yesterday, but Sony has a problem on their hands. Customers are pouring into the company support forum as well as Amazon to report that their consoles were dead out of the box, with over 58 pages of complaints at time of writing.
When attempting to turn the console on for the first time, customers are experiencing a flashing blue light, no video, repeated crashing or the device simply not booting at all.
Many customers are extremely frustrated and have posted 1-star reviews on Amazon. Here’s one of the negative ones:
Game DOA. Blinking blue light and I can’t do an exchange because there are no more in stock. So I had to go through Sony and will have to wait 2-3 weeks. This is so not cool.
Sony said to IGN in a statement today that less than .4 percent of consoles are affected and that it thinks these consoles are “isolated incidents.”
Hold the power button for 7 or so seconds until the system turns off. Make sure your HDMI cable is firmly connected on both sides and turn your PS4 back on. If you PS4 displays a white light, it has succeeded in performing the HDMI handshake and should work fine.
If you’re still having issues the best way to get your console fixed is to contact Sony support.
Read Next: Our review of the PlayStation 4
Read more from the original source: Sony customers report receiving bricked PlayStation 4 game consoles
PlayStation 4 Killzone Launch Day Bundle
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: November 15, 2013
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Read the original post: #6: PlayStation 4 Killzone Launch Day Bundle