Sony's PlayStation 4 won't launch to consumers for another two days. But the tech press has already put the first of the next-generation consoles through some of its paces.
"Sony has created a small, attractive system that also happens to pack more powerful hardware than any other console. It's an impressive technical achievement, and compact enough to fade into your entertainment center." (Via Polygon)
The console itself has a smaller footprint than the PS3 it's replacing. The power supply is internal, which cuts down on the bulk of cables. It features hookups for HDMI, digital audio and ethernet. (Via Sony)
The redesigned controller is garnering early praise — fixing complaints with previous versions of the gamepad. It features wider, textured grips; concave triggers and analog sticks that naturally fit with your fingers; and will charge via USB even when the PS4 is in standby mode. (Via Sony)
Ars Technica dubbed the PS4's menu systems more organized and functional than those of the PS3's, though at press time its console hadn't yet received the update that unlocked most of the software features.
After an update to the latest software — a download, install and restart process that should be familiar to PS3 users — The Verge found flagship tricks like remote play worked just as advertised.
The PS4 brings some triple-A games with it from last generation — upgraded versions of "Battlefield 4" and "Assassin's Creed: Black Flag," for example. But Kotaku found the launch exclusives aren't anything to write home about. (Via Machinima)
"We have played some games on it, and, well, they're launch games. They're ok, not amazing. One of the reasons I'm not yet recommending you run out and get a PS4 is that, as cool as a lot of the system is, there's no game on it that you just have to play and can't play anywhere else."
So: faster internals, a controller that leaps better than its predecessors, functional and useful software, and early games that don't stand out or underperform. (Via Sony)
The widely held early impression is the PS4 holds a lot of potential, but it's too early to see exactly how Sony's latest console will shake out. More comprehensive reviews are expected Friday, when the PlayStation 4 is released to the public.