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PlayStation 4: One Year Later

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

On November 14th of last year, I skipped out on all my classes before a friend and I headed to the next town over to kill time until the PlayStation 4 launched at midnight. It had been a long nine months since Sony revealed the system, and I was eager to begin the next generation with a fresh start. It’s been a full year since that night, and as I started reflecting on the PS4’s first year, I figured I’d get the Gaming Trend staff together for us to all talk about how we felt about the PlayStation 4 365 days later and what we hope we’ll see in the future.

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Kenneth Shepard

The PlayStation 4 and I have had a pretty casual relationship since I got it on launch night. For the first month or so I played Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Contrast and Resogun and then there was a pretty long lull until Infamous: Second Son came out in March.

Following Infamous, there were more gaps before and after The Last of Us: Remastered.

I’ve played over a dozen games on the PS4, but I still have only kept three of them, being Infamous: Second Son, which I think is a game that will stick with me this generation because of how much I related to Delsin’s relationship with his brother Reggie, The Last of Us: Remastered, which I think I’ll appreciate more in five years than I do a year after the game originally came out on PlayStation 3, and Injustice: Gods Among Us, which I mainly play right after CW’s Arrow and The Flash because I’m in the mood.

I’m just now getting to the point where I’m playing games on PlayStation 4 pretty consistently, but I still don’t get the sense that the PS4 is my “primary console” yet. Granted, I don’t feel like the PlayStation 3 can claim that either, so we must finally be in the transition point between generations.

Looking forward I see games like The Order: 1886, Bloodborne and most importantly Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Persona 5 coming out next year that have me incredibly excited for the PS4’s future. 2015 is going to be the year that my PlayStation 4 and I finally get into that committed relationship I’m ready to be in with it.

Despite a slow 2014, I think PlayStation 4 will hit its stride next year when it’s bringing out more quality, Sony-published games. Sony’s my favorite first party, and yet I’ve only played two games in 2014 that came from its first and second parties, one of which is a re-release of an admittedly incredible game. I’m ready for Sony to do on PlayStation 4 what it does best: nurture its own catalog of IP with games that matter and have invested people behind them

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Spencer Campbell

It’s been a rough year convincing myself my PS4 was the best purchase. Every game I’ve played on it has played incredibly, but as far as exclusives go, the PlayStation 4 has so little to offer compared to the Xbox One.

I’ve been jealously watching everyone I made fun of a year ago for buying the “downgraded” Xbox One playing its exclusives and I’m a bit disappointed by the offerings the PS4 had this year. I’m worried I got caught up in the hype of processing power.

At the same time, I’m glad to be playing all of the cross console releases on PS4. The DualShock 4 is leaps and bounds above the Xbox One’s controller, with its segmented d-pad and reliable triggers, and graphically the gap between PS4 and Xbox One have been separating more and more as the year has gone on, even if that split has been happening more slowly than expected.

At the same time I stay hopeful that next year I won’t be writing the same comments. Exclusives like Bloodborne, The Order 1886, No Man’s Sky, and others make me pretty excited to have a PS4 for next year even though it might not have performed quite as well as I had expected in 2014.

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Sean Lama

The PS4 has been inline with my expectations for its first year of release. The console landscape is typically barren relative to the mid/latter years, not every game maker is willing to invest in big projects for a new-generation console before the user base is large enough to warrant it. I love how small budget games appear to be flourishing on the PS4, it’s fantastic to see games like Resogun, Towerfall: Ascension, and Velocity 2X in top form. It’s also cool to see games born on the PC, such as DC Universe Online, Diablo 3 and Planetside 2 finding new life on Sony’s console.

The dashboard and the infrastructure that powers it have ensured that the PS4 is the place to go if you want the least amount of hassle while playing your games. I’m primarily a PC gamer with a high-end rig and a 1440p monitor, but I find myself opting for the PS4 versions of some games because it’s simply a pleasure to turn on the system, start a game, and jump around between applications. It feels good to pre-purchase a game digitally and have it ready to go on launch day with no fuss – not that I can’t accomplish this on a PC, but the PS4 handles the process like a champ.

The only unsettling aspect of the PS4 at the moment is that the framerate coin seems to have landed on a 30fps standard instead of 60. It’s cool that ports like Diablo 3 and The Last of Us can handle a higher fidelity, but it’s disappointing to see 2014’s heavy hitters all settling for less. Or, in Call of Duty’s case, wavering under the pressure. My dear hope is that, as developers continue to master the PS4’s hardware, they figure out how to push the standard up, because I honestly can’t imagine playing PS4 games at 30fps for another 7-10 years (or however long this console cycle lasts).

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Justin Pauls

As an Xbox One owner with limited budget, I have been watching the PS4 from a distance. I’ve owned and played with the Dual Shock 4 controller and unlike the previous generation, I don’t think the controller will hold me back from a purchase. Really the reason I still don’t own one is that for the limited time I have for gaming, there haven’t been any exclusives that have drawn me over. The PS3 was a delayed purchase for me, and its Blu-Ray and multimedia streaming options far outstripped the competition and made it a must-buy.

This time around that doesn’t exist (at this time Microsoft’s offering supports miracast, external drives playing music and movies as well as uPnP streaming and MKV files). There are a few indie games exclusive to the platform that I would pick up as well as inFamous and The Last of Us, but with the little time I’ve spent playing games on the PS4 nothing has said “you must buy”. For reference, I’ve owned Xbox One since day one, and at the time had both a 360 and PS3 (both are gone now).

Had I gone with the Playstation 4 instead, I doubt I’d have had any real regrets – it’s a really good time to be a gamer. Too bad there aren’t more hours in the day!

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Matt Welsh

I had a really difficult time deciding between Xbox One and PS4 last fall. My Xbox 360 was my primary console last generation, and while I would still turn on to play my PS3 every few months for exclusives, I primarily identified myself as an Xbox gamer first and foremost. After the public relations disaster that occurred after Xbox One’s unveiling, the hype train for PS4 had reached full speed and I ultimately decided to hop on.

I remember being very excited in the days and weeks leading up to PS4’s November release. I already had my launch games picked out and was preparing for the console’s midnight launch. I got home that night and immediately got to work on Killzone: Shadow Fall, which I expected to be my go-to launch title. While it was certainly fun, I quickly realized that my anticipation for the console (and its launch games) were a tad overhyped.

To be fair, the console had quite an impressive launch. I sunk enough time into Lego Marvel Superheroes, Assassin’s Creed IV and Resogun to get the platinum trophy in each of them. Those were all great games, but none of them were system sellers. I was glad to have a PS4, but wasn’t exactly playing anything on it that felt truly revolutionary.

The first half of 2014 felt the same way. I played plenty of Infamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs, but neither of those were the system-defining moment that PlayStation 4 still lacked. As with most new console debuts, the first year suffered from a draught of games, while early adopters continue to look out for their first killer app.

It has now been a full year since my PS4 purchase and I don’t regret it one bit. The console quickly defined itself as my go-to platform of this generation and there’s plenty of third-party titles to enjoy on the console. That said, there still has been a single game that has defined the platform yet. I recently bought an Xbox One, and while that console still doesn’t have its first killer app either, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection easily beat out any of the exclusive titles that Sony has to offer this season, in my opinion. The console continues to be my primary platform, but I still eagerly await that a megaton game release that can only be played on PlayStation 4. Hopefully early 2015 grants my wish.

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Stefan Alexander

Sony and I have a long history together. Ever since the original PlayStation pulled me away from my Nintendo exclusivity back in 1995 (dude…), I’ve been a Sony-boy through good times and bad. My friends and I skipped school to camp out in the cold for the PS2, nabbed the PS3 at launch, and I’ve been currently playing the fourth itineration of the PlayStation for almost a year now. And so far the system has been everything I’ve hoped for and much, much more.

To be completely honest, my expectations were pretty diminished after braving the PS3’s run. It’s not that I had a problem with the games, The Uncharted series is still one of my favorites of all time and I’m one of the few people who actually got a kick out of what Sony did with motion gaming. It’s just that none of my friends ever really got on board with the PS3 and I felt completely out of the Xbox 360 loop. I feel like I completely missed out on last Gen’s online gaming experience simply because none of my friends were on my system.

Now the circle is complete. For whatever reason, all my close friends have decided to jump ship from Xbox and are back on Sony gaming with the PS4. Now I finally know what I was missing. For me, the PS3 was a great single player system, I had some great times, but nothing really beats the thrill of taking down missions together or chatting it up with your bros after a long day of R.L.

So, Personally, I love the PS4. I love its speed and graphics and the way it can remote play on the Vita when someone else is watching the tube, but most of all, I love how it’s become the chosen system for most of my friends…just don’t get me started on how I feel about my Wii U…

PlayStation 4: One Year Later

Ron Burke

Obviously running Gaming Trend means I need to have every console, so I picked up both systems at launch. The PlayStation 4 has, by a wide margin, seen the most use over the last year, but surprisingly we are starting to see that turn in the industry. That wasn’t always the case at my house though…

Throughout the previous generation it was my Xbox 360 that saw the most use. Rocksmith, Rock Band, DJ Hero, Dance Central, Borderlands, Skyrim – even if I owned some of those on PC, I played multiplayer with all of you on the Xbox 360. The PlayStation 3 was always doing work as a media server, as a Netflix box (it does have the best interface on that system), and to handle the many fantastic exclusives that Sony brought our way, but it really was the Xbox 360 that saw the most attention in my house.

This last year has seen the death of gameplay as the most important thing, sadly fostering the rise of the often-pointless debate over framerate and resolution. Microsoft dropped the ball on their hardware and misjudged the desire for 1080p from its consumers, and the market has reacted. Most companies want their game reviewed on the PlayStation 4. The fight is far from over, but you’d be hard pressed to say that the first year didn’t solidly belong to Sony. This war is just getting started…

So what are your thoughts on the PlayStation 4’s first year? Were you satisfied or let down? Does the future of the console have you excited? Let us know in the comments.

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