Finaloly! (I like that word. Leave me alone.) Launch day for Sony’s PlayStation 4 had seemed so far away when I pre-ordered it on Father’s Day, and then suddenly it was here and the days have flown past since with me firmly planted in comfort with bevvys, snacks, and Twitter which I mostly ignored.
Launch Day was an interesting time for me and very different from other friends who have shared their experience with me. I did not stand in line for five hours, like my nephew who had pre-ordered his at Best Buy. I did not camp out, freak out, or otherwise have fits of impatience. No, I went to my local GameStop in the mall a little after 10 in the morning to pick up my PS4 games and ensure I really did pay off my system, then went back home to play Minecraft and work on server and mod edits. I did have lapses of anxiety each time I looked at the clock, but the time passed.
I also spent time idling on Aarchon, a MUD I recently started playing. If you don’t know what a MUD is, it’s how we MMOed back-in-the-day before things went all fancy-pants graphical. It was all text-based, baby.
When 10 pm rolled around, I returned to my local GameStop where they rung me up for my pick up and wrote the number “23” on my receipt which I have kept for posterity. This marked my place in line. If you didn’t pre-order, you weren’t getting one at midnight, because they weren’t doing sales. You had to be paid-in-full or too bad, so sad, come back at 10 am.
So, I went home after that. It’s only a ten-minute drive and I wasn’t going to stand there and hang out for two hours when my PS4 and place in line were secured. I planted myself at my desk and returned to Minecraft and downed me an energy drink because exhaustion was setting in. I had hardly slept the previous two nights because the mattress at my other home sucks.
When 11:20 rolled around, I went back out to warm up the car then headed back to the Mall where I wandered around for 10 minutes thinking about survival plans were I trapped in the mall during a zombie outbreak. I made mental notes of the candy store, the cookie store, and sporting goods store and wondered what use that hideously decorated x-mas tree in the center of the mall could possibly have.
Energy drinks have strange effects on squid brains.
11:50 line-up time! We all arranged ourselves in order, a few people too tired and struggling with numbers. To my left. a group of three bitched about the XBox One, and to my right, a guy spoke to me of the joys of shooting people in the face and toosh. I liked him. He was my kind of people. The left moved their complaints of a lack of an RPG launch title and how Kinect sucks, and to my right, the girlfriend of the guy who had been speaking of the joys of killing revealed herself to be an anti-violence hippy. Yay. And also… um… that violence? you know it’s all fake, right? Just cause he and I enjoy aiming for faces and other body parts doesn’t mean we’re nuts and gonna do it IRL. Srsly.
So, the store manager took a picture of us around 12:00 and at 12:01 the line started moving. It only took me about five minutes from that point before I held my adopted PS4 in my arms and headed out of the mall with the rest of the herd recharged on endorphins of finally having the damned thing.
I got to my car, drove home, barely remembered the house alarm code, and shambled back up the stairs with my new electronic baby. I sat on my bed bleary-eyed looking at the thing. I wanted to do an unboxing video, hook it up, give it a go, or at least deal with any updates and what not, but I literally was nearly dozing off. A nap was in order, and 8 hours later, my disco nap was over… I know. For shame.
It was a fun experience. I’m still glad I went to the midnight launch and got my PS4. It meant I didn’t have to go anywhere and I could just relax. I did my unboxing video with my phone and hooked it up and whipped up some eggies for breakfast during some updates. Coffee came later when my brain reminded me I hadn’t any.
So, I played the hell outta that thing, took cute kitty pics, and am quite pleased with the system. I didn’t realise the graphics would be that much more of an upgrade. In simple terms, it’s like playing a PC game on the highest graphical settings for the first time. Everything just pops and looks amazing and you think to yourself, “Now this is art.” Playing Battlefield 4, I spent as much time looking at stuff as I did trying not to die. The amount of care and detail that went in to create the environments is just amazing. It really does add to the play experience.
I have also played Warframe, Contrast, Resogun, and watched the opening cinematics for DC Universe, and it’s all very gorgeous. Killzone I’ve been putting off for a stream Monday, in which my kid bro can enjoy checking it out along with any other interested friends ‘n followers, and my dear friend Jen just gifted me a copy of Need For Speed Rivals, so I will be tearing up the streets today as soon as I’ve finished up this post and have a plate of nachos.
I did an interface tour for my channel at the request of a friend of mine who was interested to see what it’s like and have a store tour. I went ahead and did that with my phone. I rather like it. The biggest change I’ve wanted forever is being able to do stuff without having to exit an app/game. That was annoying. It’s nice to be playing a game, and then just pull up the XMB (I don’t know if the name changed) and browse the store, check friend profiles, change settings or whatever, and then just hop back into my game and carry on. Very nice! FINALLY!
Being able to livestream directly from the thing to twitch or Ustream is also nice, along with the ability to watch streams from the console. I tried that feature out yesterday doing a livestream of Battlefield 4. It was great fun to do.
There are just a few disappointments I have felt with the system:
1. The PS4 controller doesn’t feel as well built as the DualShock 3. The plastic feels flimsy and it’s not comfortable for me to hold for long periods. The wings are too long and my arthritis isn’t happy. I don’t like the lip around the analogue sticks; it bothers my thumbs and it’s just gonna wear away over use and look funky. I don’t like how it feels more rubbery than the DualShock 3.
2. There is crap on PSN. No full demo trials, no classics, and just a sparse handful of games to pick through. This is to be expected, but I’d have thought they would have the 1-hour trials going and at least classics ported. Having a free $10 to spend, I really expected to blow it on a classic game.
Only two unhappy faces for the entire thing. That’s pretty good. The second will change over time and the first, well, I’m sure in time I’ll find a good 3rd party controller that won’t wreck my hands. Everything else is just a preference thing I can ignore in the heat of battle.
You can watch my unboxing and interface tour below.