Playing with the PS4 during E3

Me, playing with the PS4 during E3

The PlayStation 4 will ship later this year and since many people may pre-order it based on pre-release information available on the web (like I did), I thought that posting a hands-on review based on the experience gathered from the initial launch and from on our “hands-on” experience of the console at E3 would make sense. By now, most of the PS4-related information is expected to remain unchanged until the public availability, and basically you’re not going to get to know much more (besides launch titles) until the retail units arrive, so here is everything that we do know about PS4. Let’s see if it is for you.

PS4 Specs

I would like to get the “specs” out of the way fairly early. I realize that this is important for many readers, so we need to include it, but history shows that consoles with less favorable specs can still do very well if they have a proper combination of price, good games, exclusive games and accessories. However, here are the raw specs:

PS4
CPU8-core AMD “Jaguar” 1.6GHz
GPU1152 cores
On-chip memoryNo
On-chip bandwidthN/A
Memory8GB GDDR5
System Memory Bus Width256bit
System Memory Bandwidth176GB/sec
USB 3.0Yes
Blu-RayYes
Storage500GB user-removable
External StorageTBD / Optional
Cloud StorageYes
NetworksWired Ethernet, WiFi B/G/N
Bluetooth2.1
Region lockedNo

Official specifications page at Sony.com

Fortunately for PlayStation 4 fans, this is currently the console that has the leading specifications. It is in many ways comparable to the Xbox One, but the PS4 manages to pull away in terms of theoretical graphics performance, thanks to the presence of 50% more graphics raw power than its Microsoft nemesis (Xbox One got a small GPU frequency boost recently btw). At E3, demos on both platforms looked great, but you should keep in mind that Xbox One demos were sometime running on PCs during the show, so we will have to wait a little more to be 100% sure about the Xbox One performance.

PlayStation 4 Industrial Design

ps4-hrdware-large7

In the real world, the PS4 looks a lot smaller than what you may expect from the photos (here is a side-by-side photo with PS3, XB360 and XBOne). We found it to be slim and the design is quite elegant and minimalist. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we’ll give you a lot of photos to look at, but let us know in the comments what your own take on the matter is. Here are the photos, so take a look for yourself:

The PS4 doesn’t come with a “power brick” like the Xbox One does. This has made some noise recently, and if you really care about that particular detail, you will be happy to know that the PS4 power supply is integrated into the console and that the cable is just a regular slim electric cable. Phew.

Ports

In terms of functional design, the PS4 will be able to either stand like a mini-tower, or rest on its side, “set top box” style. The main controls (Power, Eject) and a couple of USB ports are hidden in the space in between the two console sections. It’s discreet but very accessible at the same time. In the back, users will find additional ports: 1x full-size HDMI, 1x Ethernet, 1x SPIDF optical audio and another USB port.

2x USB discreetly placed in the front

2x USB discreetly placed in the front

The back also has ample cooling vents, and if the early PS3 provides any indication, one has to wonder how loud the fans are going to be. Unfortunately, trade shows are a terrible place to form an opinion on this, so we will get back to that down the road when I can play with one in a more quiet environment.

More ports in the back and a simple power connector

More ports in the back and a simple power connector

Filed in Gaming. Read more about PlayStation, PS4 and Sony.

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