We've now had the PlayStation 4 in our possession for more than a day.
I'll give a bigger rundown with thoughts on the system next week after I get some real time in with it over the weekend.
For now, with the console out Friday, here are my initial thoughts after playing with the console for a day.
Love: Charging the PS4 controller in Standby mode
Yes, you can finally charge your controllers while the PlayStation isn't powered on! Just set the PS4 in standby mode, plug the controller into the PS4 with the USB cable provided, and you're good to go.
The system and controller glow a bright orange while charging. It takes a little under two hours for a full charge.
It's nice so you don't have to leave the console running all day or evening. Of course, you can also charge the controller while playing, but that defeats the purpose of a wireless controller.
Hate: Extra PlayStation controllers don't come with their own USB port to charge more than one controller at once
This was really annoying.
By itself, a PS4 DualShock 4 controller costs $59.99. You would think you would get a USB cord to connect to the PS4 to charge along with it, right? Wrong. I thought I received a lemon at first, but the back of the box confirmed my suspicions.
Yes, it tells you to use the same cord that came with the PS4 to charge both controllers. Guess, if we want to charge more than one DualShock 4 at once, we need to buy that cord separately.
Love: Typing Shortcut with the DualShock 4 Controller
You'll find you do a lot of typing on the PS4 interface at setup — adding in your accounts, logging into the PlayStation Network, apps like Netflix, etc. If you start uploading a lot of screenshots and video, you'll most likely be using the PS4's onscreen keyboard to write out text describing that video. The process can be a little slow.
Do yourself a favor and click down on the right joystick. Life will get a little easier.
You should see a circle hover over your keyboard. Using the motion control sensor built into the controller, you'll be able to move your hands to hover over and select letters faster in order to type. I found the shortcut saved a little time while typing.
Here's how typing looks normally on the PS4. Notice the square box around the letter.
Here's how typing looks after pressing in the right joystick:
Hate: The Avatar selection is awful.
While playing around with the PS4 settings, I figured I would change my Avatar (gamer icon) to something better than the default smiley face you get.
However, this is what I found.
Maybe I'm spoiled by Microsoft's rather thorough options for Avatar customization with the Xbox 360, but this layout and the options seem a little outdated. Lemmings were on there!
What makes it worse is that there are no descriptions of the Avatar options. It just looks like a list of random icons bunch together. For some reason, there's room for random items such as a snowflake and watermelon.
Love: Sharing screenshots / video
I can't stress enough how easy the PS4 makes this. If you’ve ever tried capturing video and screens using a capture device, you should be pretty satisfied with this feature.
Taking a screenshot is as easy as tapping the "Share" button on the PS4 controller or, if you have a camera, saying "PlayStation take screenshot." We prefer hitting the share button.
From there, the PS4 not only takes a screenshot, but it will also capture video of up to the last 15 minutes of gameplay. You'll be given the option to "share" a video or screenshot straight to social media. Unfortunately, you can't upload group shots. Still, this is pretty cool.
Video gets uploaded to Facebook — yes, you have to connect your account if you want to share — while screenshots can go to FB or Twitter.
I'm usually wary of connecting my social media accounts to anything, so it's a bit of a deterrent to have the PS4 connected to my Facebook. You are able to select which groups of friends (if any) you want to be able to see the content you upload.
The people at Sony told us in the future you may be able to upload to other places in addition to FB and Twitter. If you're capturing gameplay, you can livestream to Twitch or UStream, something we haven't tried yet.
Hate: We can't delete screenshots and video we've taken.
No, seriously, where's the delete button?
As much as I love the ability to take screenshots and video to share with friends, it seems like this is the biggest problem. How do you forget to add a delete option for screenshots taken?
Sure, the PS4 comes with a whopping 500 GB, so this won't be a problem right away. But factor in game downloads (PS4's exclusive "Killzone: Shadow Fall" takes up 39 GB) on top of video and screenshots to that and it will add up — especially if you're capturing a lot of video gameplay.
When I get to max capacity, what then? Hopefully, Sony will be adding in some sort of delete feature otherwise I sense a lot of angry gamers in the near future. There is a day-one update patch that will come with the PS4. We're wondering if this is one of them.
Brownie points: The Playroom
This is Sony's built-in PS4 game that uses the DualShock 4 Controller and PlayStation Camera to their full potential.
Think of it as something similar to Wii Sports that came with Nintendo's console. The purpose of this is to really get you acquainted with the Touchpad, the sensitivity of the rumble feature in the controller.
The first thing I did was play around with all of these little robots that are "put" into your controller. You shoot them out of the controller using the Touchpad and they hang out with you wherever you are. They then interact with each other, the world around them.
As for the robots, where'd they go? You can head inside the controller to find your little robots just hanging out. Move the controller around and they'll start slipping and sliding. However, start hitting the buttons on the controller and you notice they'll start to dance together. If you get really fancy, you're able to make the little robots dance on command.
Other than that, there's not too much to do here. You can play around with two other augmented realities, one of the controllers features and another with a flying bot. You can also pick up a few Trophies if you're into collecting game achievements. Figuring out what they are is half the fun.
Hate: You can't play The Playroom if you don't have the PlayStation Camera.
The Playroom comes installed on the PS4, but if you don't have the camera, you can only watch a video teasing the feature. The camera doesn't come with the PS4 console. That will cost another $59.99.
You won't be missing out on much without it as the Playroom is just a giant toy essentially, but it is cool to try out.
Mixed: The DualShock Touchpad is cool, but I haven't had much reason to use it yet.
Along with the Playroom, Killzone: Shadow Fall also takes advantage of the new controller feature, as players can assign commands to an OWL drone in single-player campaign mode.
There's a lot of potential there for what it can do. We've been told future game developers will choose how to use the Touchpad, if at all, in games.
The console freezed up on me once while I turned it on. Normally, that's fine because I'll hit the "power off" button and reset the console. That was a bit unsettling for two reasons. 1. You primarily use the controller to turn on the system and it wasn't working. 2. I had trouble finding the actual power button on the PS4. It's kind of hidden.
Neither are actual buttons. Instead, they're motion sensors. Hover your finger over the power or eject buttons for them to work.
I haven't played too many video games yet on the console. I downloaded DC Universe for free and Netflix to see how they work on the PS4. The graphics are solid. We tried out "Need for Speed: Rivals" and as someone who has played previous incarnations of the game, the cars and maps look awesome.
We also tried out "Knack." If you're familiar, that's a PlayStation exclusive. It's a cute action adventure game, but that's not an exclusive title that's going to have you hankering for the PS4.