Introduction from Evgeny Vildyaev. The uniqueness of the Mobile-Review audience is that our readers are ready not only to argue in the comments, but also to share their vision of a particular event or gadget. In the last PS4 Pro article, seasoned gamers were unhappy that the newcomer missed many points. Then I invited them to try their hand at our Android – blog. One of the readers responded to my invitation and prepared, in my opinion, a very cool text about the console. And now the floor is given to our author.
Talking about consoles is boring. The newest one on the market for more than a year, everything has been written and filmed long ago – unboxing, first opinions, reviews a month later, “half a year with a playstation 4”, “hidden features of xbox one”, “top best games on nintendo switch” … know every little thing. And to tell those who are not interested is somehow ridiculous. “Do you have a minute to talk about the savior of our single player, Sony?” But, on the other hand, since you had the opportunity to describe your experience of using all current consoles, why not? Without trying to ignite holivar – the opinion of a person who plays a lot and does not give preference to any particular platform.
We start with Sony.
Just because I started with Sony myself. No, of course, at one time I went through the ubiquitous Dendy and Sega Mega Drive II, but the PlayStation was truly desired and unattainable. As a nine-year-old, it felt like having a PS at home was like having a personal McDonald's from that Macaulay Culkin movie. The PlayStation was not a thing you owned. She was an hourly-paid attraction at a special club near the school. But, in the end, I got the cherished prefix – much later, in 2003, when the PS2 era was already coming to an end in the rest of the world. In the absence of a PC, I was glad of this too. And so it happened that while my classmates were mastering CS1.6 and the first half-life on the local network, I, gritting my teeth, broke through the Siphon Filter 2, the Crash trilogy, Resident Evil 3, Driver 2 – I can't remember everything. But I know for sure that in the end I have accumulated about forty discs in five years. Fewer games than I currently play in a year.
I look at the picture and literally hear that sound
All this drawn-out flashback is needed to consolidate one thought – I'm used to playing on consoles. I never have the thought: “Oh, this is a first person shooter, how am I going to play it with a gamepad?” I'm just going through. Would I lose to any skill player with a mouse? Indisputably. The mouse is more accurate and efficient. But I'm not used to using it, I'm uncomfortable, my wrist is aching, my left hand loses the keys it needs, my little finger gets tired of reaching for the shift. Not to mention my dislike for Windows, but I'll come back to that later on the Xbox. In general, the PC is not mine. While PS is not just “mine”, but the same, native from childhood, the default console.
So, naturally, PS4 was my first (and only three years after its release) console of the current generation. The original “veil” was replaced by Pro a year and a half ago, and a couple of weeks later a 4K HDR TV was bought for this business. When the new equipment was already installed, and the old one still remained, I spent several hours comparing the picture produced by the conventional and pro consoles on fullHD and 4K TVs. Despite expectations, the main benefit of the upgrade had nothing to do with performance – no amount of HDR or 4K can match the transition from 40 “to 55”. The first impression was: “How did I play before?” I have a three-meter distance between the sofa and the TV, and I did not suffer using a forty-inch screen. Although I had to look closely at some of the interface elements. But after a couple of weeks, the diagonal of the new TV began to be perceived as a necessary minimum. In all games, everything is perfectly visible, but the thought of buying a TV ten inches more still comes.
As for the graphics itself, HDR is most noticeable. The first game I tried out 10-bit color mode in was The Witness. I launched it in the evening in a dark apartment, and, to be honest, life did not prepare me for this. After 20 minutes, my eyes were ready to bleed out, but after turning off HDR in the game settings, I immediately wanted to return everything back – the picture seemed so dull and lifeless to me. A year and a half later, I can say that HDR in games often looks much better than in movies, where the difference is not always visible. Good news for those wishing to save money: HDR is supported not only by the more expensive pro console, but also by the Slim version. But the usual PS4 is out of work. Bad news: a TV with an honest ten-bit matrix will cost you the same amount compared to which the difference between the two versions of the curling iron is a breeze. By the way, be careful – the market is full of relatively inexpensive TVs with declared HDR support, which in fact are analogous to the HD-ready panels that were actively sold at the dawn of the 1080p standard. That is, they are able to perceive an HDR signal, but they cannot show it in all its glory. The usual eight-bit matrix is installed.
The main advantage of PS4 Pro over other revisions – three times more powerful hardware – can be used either to increase the resolution in games, or to achieve the coveted gaming 60 fps. A PC gamer who accidentally looked into our cozy corner, reading this article from his ultra-wide monitor with a refresh rate of 144 frames, choked on tea at this place with laughter. After experimenting with different modes, I decided that the difference in frame rate is more noticeable for me than in resolution. No, the difference between 4K and FullHD modes can be noticed, but only by comparing directly. In everyday use, and even with a fairly good TV that can level the disadvantages of lower resolution output to the matrix, the picture does not cling to the 1080p picture. 60 fps, in turn, by itself, seems to add clarity to the game.
Help Aloy find 10 LZ differences
In the end, Sony did an excellent job of dealing with the “underpowered” generation. Choosing PS4 Slim, you will not lose anything that users have “firmware”. On the other hand, if you already have a 4K TV, it's worth overpaying. The difference in price (in comparison with the cost of your TV set) is small, but then unnecessary doubts will not gnaw “what if the game would look better on the proshka?” And, at the same time, Pro does not provide experience of a different level – these are all the same games, only they look a little better, and even then – only a select few. The console itself is still unhurried, especially when (this is my case) 1.5 TB of games are stored in its memory (just over a hundred titles).
The main question that I want to answer in these notes can be formulated something like this:
“If I only plan to buy one console, why should it be a PlayStation? Xbox? Switch? ”
How do I do without this frame in the article on choosing a console?
And in the case of PS, the answer is unambiguous: it should be considered for purchase in the first place if you are interested in exclusive games of internal Sony studios. It might seem like this answer is obvious and applicable to all consoles, but later on I'll explain why it isn't. And PlayStation is just exclusives. Bloodborne, Horizon, Uncharted, TLOU, God of War, Persona 5, Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Shadow of the Colossus, GT Sport – if none of this interests you, then feel free to buy an Xbox.
Why are these games so good that you need to take a console for them? I'm not the kind of person who can answer this question rationally, sorting everything out on the shelves. For starters, a terrible admission: I believe in metacritics. Many accuse gaming (and not only) journalists of venality, but I consider it conspiracy and paranoia to believe that you can buy everyone at once. And, importantly, my views are based on personal experience. If the game has high ratings, then most likely I will like it. There are exceptions (now it will be a little painful) – I left the third “Witcher” after 7 hours. But usually an 85+ metacritic score means I'll have a great time. Genres, platforms, studios – it's all secondary. I play games. Not in platforms. Therefore, when a significant number of games of interest to me are typed on the console, the question of buying is closed. PlayStation is a platform where the question is closed by default. Sony's gaming division is a publisher with a very high efficiency. For one unsuccessful Knack there will be four excellent Uncharted. You can laugh as much as you want at the “monotony of third-person action games”, but the fact remains that in 2018 Sony games are one of the locomotives of the industry. And going through them on YouTube means staying on the sidelines. Therefore, let's not talk about exclusives, but about everything else. Here's what you get with PS:
The OS is quite convenient and focused exclusively on games. They are the center of the interface. Launched the console, selected a game in the horizontal list, ready. Yes, you can watch YouTube or Netflix, search for something in the browser or play an mp4 file from an external media, but this is the default minimum for a home console, which Sony does not try to move further. I don’t presume to judge whether this is good or bad.
The cost of games is acceptable – 4,000 per release day has long become the standard for the console market, but a rare game will not get on sale for the first two months after the start of sales, and the discount is usually 40-50%. Considering that your digital collection can be “shared” on a friend's console, then you can safely divide the prices by two more. Although I note that the legality of this method is in doubt – Sony itself does not unequivocally answer the question of the legality of such purchases, but it also does not punish users who practice sharing games. By the way, you can share your PS Plus subscription. This can help users who are sorry to give about four thousand rubles a year as “online tax”. Yes, in addition to access to online services, the offer includes games, but personally, in 5 years of paying for PS Plus for PS4, I have never received the game that I really wanted. And it makes sense – the games that I really want, I buy. I don't have to wait for them to be given free. In the first – dry – year after the release of the new generation, at least once I launched every title that Sony added to the list of proposals of the month. There were some interesting indies, but nothing that I myself would pay attention to. Recently, the range of games available by subscription has become more interesting. Although I myself knocked out the coveted platinum in Bloodborne two years ago, I was very happy for everyone who has not yet played, and now they will try. Still, PS Plus is not something I'm happy to pay for. This is an annoying necessity, even though Sony is trying to sweeten the pill with “free” games.
Of the 138 “positive” games in my library, hardly even 50 have been launched at least once
To the question “figure vs. disks ”. I don't have a single box of PS4 games at home – I haven't bought physical editions for about a year, but I have sold all of the available ones. Yes, the purchase of games on the secondary market with the subsequent exchange for something new allows you to play, if not for free, then for money almost invisible to the budget. But, firstly, I’m too lazy to bother, and secondly, with this approach, I have to urge myself in passing the next game in order to buy a new one. And I can run up to five titles in parallel. In addition, a set-top box shelf is located above my TV. I don't want to get up from the couch every time and reach out to change the disc. And the last reason is from the category of curiosities. I jokingly call it the “vaper problem in a poorly ventilated room”. Glycerin settles perfectly on the discs. Before use, you have to wipe them thoroughly, or even completely wash them under the tap. It's a strange occupation – drying a disc with a towel for four thousand rubles.
Sony online services delight with interruptions at an enviable frequency. Of course, the PlayStation Network works more often than not, but while playing an online game like Destiny, I heard quite a few complaints from the teammates I met in the game about problems with logging into the network. The reasons may be different – somewhere Roskomnadzor has gone too far, or simply planned prevention is being carried out. Or the provider issued one IP for the whole house. And Sony is very zealous to protect PSN from DDOS attacks after one unpleasant incident in the winter of 2011 and blocks addresses from which many requests come. I personally once had to change provider's home after I could not log into PSN for two months (!) In a row. In general, getting an error when trying to log into PSN is a common thing, even an eyebrow no longer twitches. It is also worth noting that PS Store is the only store that is unable to provide me with download speeds wide enough for my rather modest forty-megabit channel. Even Nintendo can, but Sony cannot. On those rare days when the stars are in the correct position over the PSN servers and I see the coveted 5 (megabyte download) number in the 'firmware' interface, I bow to the console and whisper “arigato”.
But I must admit that in the last couple of months the situation has improved markedly.
The gamepad is comfortable, but nothing more. While the PS4 was my only console, I was pretty skeptical about the perennial criticism of Sony controllers. But after buying two other consoles, my sympathies for the DualShock 4 cooled in exactly the same way as the attitude towards the PS3 gamepad changed with the transition to the new generation. Ergonomics aside – there are no things that are equally comfortable for everyone. But among the unambiguous shortcomings – the oak vibration, which has not changed, perhaps, since the time of the first dual shock, and a short battery life. Until recently, I was sure that a gamepad with a charge that lasts for 7-8 hours is the norm. As a result, I passed a microUSB cable from behind the sofa solely in order not to run to the TV while my party members grumble at me because of the leaked boss in the raid. Because one hundred percent of the battery may not be enough from morning to evening. And no, this is not a marriage and not a worn-out battery – now I have a second dual shock with the same problems.
And the last thing you need to know about the console is it's noisy. Not to mention the slim version, but the regular PS4 was famous for its poor cooling system. She coped with her task – the consoles did not burn out like the representatives of the previous generation (at one time I had an annual ritual of replacing the drying out thermal paste in my fatty PS3), but at the same time howled with all her might. PS4 Pro behaves better – even at peak loads it does not emit the scary sounds typical of the original revision. However, launching any game adapted for 4K resolution is accompanied by an annoying high buzz of the cooler. After experience with the other two consoles, this noise is especially noticeable. Therefore, I prefer not to play on PS without headphones. Special thanks, by the way, to all console manufacturers for the inability to connect a regular Bluetooth headset to the console. Only various games, with a special USB dongle. In the case of Sony, this is especially funny. I have a TV and console manufactured by this company. And their own headphones, which I cannot connect either to the TV or to the set-top box, despite the presence of Bluetooth in all three devices. Moreover, if I had decided to buy a special wireless PlayStation headset, it would still not work with the TV. Standardization, 2018.
However, what to talk about if the Japanese have already sold me this nice piece of plastic at a bargain price of 1,890 rubles, calling it a “vertical stand”
The perplexed reader at this point is probably wondering:
“It turns out that PS4 is a console where, in between beautiful exclusives, I will play the multiplatform on not the most powerful hardware with an uncomfortable gamepad and through an unstable online service. What about the benefits? Will this thing have advantages? ”
And here I go back to the beginning of the note. If you are interested in games, I don’t need to “sell” you a PlayStation. You already bought it. Or your tastes are very specific. For better or worse, Sony has found itself in a position in recent years where gamepad battery life, cooling system noise, and lopsided online service get lost in gaming. They found a balance between their Japanese origins and Western gaming traditions. It's not the most powerful console, but it's not the weakest on the market either. Where blockbusters coexist with original Japanese games (something that is lacking in the maximum mainstream Xbox). The main advantage of the PlayStation is variety. Yesterday you played a third person shooter and today you played a turn-based jrpg. During the day you crush the gods in the single God of War, in the evening with friends you play something from the PlayLink series.
PlayLink is a separate conversation altogether. A small experimental project on the topic “What if we make a hub for board games from the console?”. So that you sit down with your smartphones in your hands as a cozy company of close friends and play a game of something simple and fun. There is no need to deal with the rules, pass each other a piece of instructions, argue about discrepancies. When I first ran a quiz called “It's You!” At a party, I expected to have fun in the next 15 minutes. But after the first round, I suddenly heard: “Let's get some more!” And then again and again.
You can play many It's You games before the questions start to repeat.
And, in the end, in the market where publishers massively embed various kinds of monetization into their AAA projects, where every second title is trying to make a game-service in the open world (see Shadow of War), there are not many companies that invest big money in singleplayer. Sony is one of the biggest publishers of this kind. And for the sake of this it is worth purchasing their prefix.
So what's the difference that I can't change my stupid PSN nickname? But it was on this console that I played Persona 5. The best game in the world, by the way (say whatever you want – I will not give up). Then I learned that the next project of its authors – studio Atlus – will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
Best Game Ever
And so it happened that a PS4 exclusive sold me a Nintendo console.