2013’s console of the year: Sony PlayStation 4

PS4 main console

The release of the PS4 was one of the most anticipated moments for gamers in 2013. Since the release of the PS1 back in the early ninties the Playstation has grown to become the most sought after console of all time. With the recent release of the PS4, it isn’t showing any signs of backing down.

History lessons

The PlayStation name has firmly cemented itself within the minds of gamers all over the world. And to think it almost never existed. The idea for the Playstation was born back in the days when Sony (together with Phillips Electronics) developed a CD that enabled graphics, data and compressed audio to run simultaneously. With this innovation games could run more advanced graphics and audio. Nintendo quickly took notice and approached Sony to start making their first CD-Based console.

But because of certain disputes concerning their contract, this was never realised. Sony still decided to continue with the development of a disc-based console. The technology they used, however, was created in its partnership with Nintendo and when they got word of this, Sony was promptly sued. Luckily Sony won the case and production of the PlayStation was resumed. In 1994 in Japan, and a year later in Europe and America, the PlayStation was released and turned out to be a monumental success. Although Sega also released a disc-based console, the Sega Saturn, it was dwarfed by the rapid rise of the PlayStation name.

Build and Design

The PlayStation 4 is a handsome piece of equipment. It’s half-matte, half-gloss, smooth jet black exterior makes it seem like something you would find in Batman’s batcave or in Darth Vader’s Death Star. Its asymmetrical design makes it look like a futuristic art piece built on sacred geometry. The full measurements for the console are 275x 53x305mm which makes it smaller than its rival, the Xbox One. It can either sit on its belly or, with an additionally bought stand, can be placed on its side.

PS4 eye camera

On the face side you will find a slot loading blu-ray disc drive with two USB 3.0 ports placed to its right. These ports can charge your DualShock 4 remotes, even when the system is off, a feature not present in the PS3. These controllers can be used wirelessly using the consoles 2.1 Bluetooth. At the rear you will find ports for HDMI, Ethernet, digital optical output and auxiliary connection for the PlayStation Camera.

Apart from the actual console you will get one DualShock 4 remote together with its charging cable, a HDMI cable, a power cord, and a single earbud with microphone. Even thought you are provided with this earbud/microphone combo you are able to plug any headphones into the headphone jack.


The PlayStation 4 is nothing short of an amazing, hardware wise. Presently it is the most powerful gaming console of all time. Beneath its space-like exterior, it boasts 8GB RAM, 500Gb hard drive space and an AMD Radeon Tech eight core x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” CPU with a 1.84 teraflop GPU. If you feel 500GB space isn’t enough, don’t worry. The drive can easily be replaced by a larger one, even a Solid State Drive (SSD) if you’re looking for increased performance. And you can do this all by yourself as Sony doesn’t consider this a breach of the system’s warranty.

DualShock 4 controller

This is the controller that comes standard with the PS4. It still retains the same basic shape as the DualShock 3 but has been slightly altered to solve some of the minor problems Sony received from users. The two analog sticks are slightly indented at the top, making it easy for your thumbs to comfortably and firmly control them and they are now also spaced further apart. Though, it is important to say that many feel that the Xbox One remote fares a lot better when it comes to comfort. The two trigger buttons have also been extended resulting in a much more comfortable grip for your hand. You will feel it when playing games that require you to regularly use these buttons.

PS4 controller

Some more prominent differences are the new “start” and “select” buttons and the introduction of the touchpad and headphone jack. The “select” and “start” buttons are now the “share” and “options buttons”. They also no longer feel like buttons on a toy phone but now more resemble the eloquent clicks of a mouse button. The new touch pad can be found nestled between the “share” and “options” buttons and takes up most of the free space on the remote. It acts in the same way a touchpad would on a laptop and the entire pad can also be clicked.

It is a great navigational tool and feels great to use. Even though it feels like the same solid click no matter where you push on the touchpad, it can actually sense where you are pressing it. This is because each edge of the pad (left, right, top, bottom) acts as its own button. Although it has little use now it doesn’t seems to negatively effect the layout of the controller. Gamers that are used to the DualShock 3 won’t have any problem adjusting to this remote. It’s feels like the same controller, just a little better.

Then there’s the clever addition of the headphone port, meaning you can now directly plug-in your headset to your controller. This will be a graciously received addition to those who don’t own wireless headphones and don’t have insanely long cables.


The PS4 is light-years apart from the PS3 when it comes to gaming. You no longer have to wait ages at loading screens when playing high-end titles, as it loads quickly thanks to the 500GB drive. The installation that takes place after you’ve inserted your game for the first time is also extremely fast. The current titles available on PS4 do not yet do the system’s capabilities justice, yet the graphics look brilliant and given some time we will see a graphical quality that should melt brains. Currently there aren’t too many titles to choose from but those available presently (Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, COD: Ghosts, Killsone: Shadow Fall, etc.) will be sure to keep you busy until the next string of releases.

A bright blue future

The Playstation 4 certainly has a bright future ahead of it. It has already proven so as it has become the fastest selling console of all time, almost twice the amount of its rival, the Xbox One. It is one of the most attractive consoles to grace this earth and firmly holds the title of “Most powerful console in existence.” No matter what way you look at it, the PS4 is an exquisite console and it will only get better.

Wiehahn Diederichs


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