A parent's guide to the PlayStation 4

Just your basic buyers’ guide for concerned parents (who are probably just as eager as their kids to try out Sony’s new flagship console)

A lot has changed since the early days of video gaming, when the onscreen violence was blocky or highly animated, not realistic enough to merit much attention.  Today’s high-powered consoles (particularly the upcoming 8th generation) however, are capable of delivering the kinds of visuals that boggle the mind on large HD screens, making semi-realistic-looking encounters possible.  Naturally, this might concern some of the parents out there; especially those who haven’t even touch a controller in ages.  If this all sounds somewhat intimidating to you, rest assured that there’s no need to worry, the PS4 is a multi-faceted entertainment console that’s more than capable of providing fun for the whole family.

PS4 Parents Guide

To put it succinctly, this is the type of machine that will energize and electrify your home.  Even those with little to know experience with modern video games will be able to pick things up rather quickly and begin gaming – the PS4 is just that intuitive (in short, if you can use a smartphone or tablet, then you can use the PlayStation 4).

What makes the PS4 such a great console?

In case you haven’t already heard, 8th generation consoles like the PS4 are said to be at least 8 times more powerful than their predecessors (ironically enough).  This essentially means that when you load up one of the new forthcoming titles on the console you’re going to be treated to even more amazing graphics, lighting effects and detail than you’re used to.  For all intents and purposes, the PlayStation 4 behaves much like a super-powered gaming PC.

Inside the PS4 you’ll find multi-core processors and other components which have been specifically designed by some of the top graphics tech companies for the console.  In other words, you’ll not only be able to play extremely detailed and memory-intensive games with no drop in performance, the PS4 is also capable of doing other things simultaneously as well.  So, while you’re playing that new fancy game you can also stream your gameplay and carry on video chat.  All in all, the multi-tasking capabilities of the PS4 seek to make it into a must-have for every home entertainment center. It should be noted that the console is in high demand, you might want to see our importing PS4 guide on how you can still get your PlayStation 4.

The all-in-one solution

Speaking of the ability to do more than one thing at a time, the PlayStation 4 might also be a perfect all-in-one solution for your home’s entertainment needs.  The rise in availability of streaming services has now made it possible for the average family to completely forgo things like conventional cable TV services.  Now, with the capabilities of the PS4 to tap into a bevy of different channels (in terms of services, apps, as well as television programming), you might be able to completely streamline your home entertainment center, placing the console at its very heart.  For instance, you can access movies via a variety of different sources, check out the news, watch your favorite sports teams in action, listen to some tunes via free internet radio, browse the web, and more.  Likewise, with the PS4 and PSN (PlayStation Network) now allowing gamers to actually view the gameplay of other people in real-time, some people might even want to enjoy watching the other peoples’ antics as a form of after dinner entertainment.  Furthermore, the PS4 comes loaded with a Blu-Ray player, which means that you’ll have access to an entirely new level of experience with your movies, assuming of course you have a good TV and taste in films, of course.

Full List of PS4 Accessories

Accessories for the PlayStation 4:

PDP Energizer 2X Charging Station for PS4
POWER A DualShock 4 Controller Charging Station
Nyko PS4 Smart Clip
Nyko PS4 Charge Base
Orb Elite Chat Headset – PS4
Orb PS4 Vertical Console Stand
DreamGEAR PS4 Player’s Pack
Orb 3M Controller LED Charge Cable – PS4
PDP Afterglow 5.1 Dolby Headset – PS4
Orb GP3 Gaming Headset – PS4
Orb PS4 Dual Controller Charge Dock – PS4
Orb PS4 Thumb Grips – PS4
Orb PS4 Camera TV Clip and Wall Mount – PS4
Turtle Beach Ear Force P4C Chat Communicator – PS4
Venom USB Play and Charge Cable – PS4
Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 Control Pad – Blue Wave
Orb Wired Chat Headset – PS4
Dual Charge Cable for PS4
Turtle Beach PS4 Ear Force PX4 Wireless Headset
Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 Control Pad – Magma Red
Orb 3M Controller Charge Cable – PS4
Call of Duty Ghosts Ear Force Phantom Wireless Headset

Other capabilities and possibilities

Of course there are other things the PS4 can do with regards to remote play and support.  For example, if one of your kids owns a PlayStation Vita, then you’re in luck because the console supports remote play.  What is remote play, you ask?  Well, in short, it means that the person with the Vita can actually connect to the PS4 and make use of its abilities while another person or group is still using it.

So, maybe everyone’s playing a game on the big screen and someone comes into the room wanting to watch a movie, all you have to do is hand them the Vita and they can stream the content to the device without affecting everyone else.  Similarly, the Vita can also be used for remote play, which essentially means that it can accept streamed gameplay from the PS4.  Additionally, tablet and smartphone owners will also be able to connect their devices to the console, using them for various purposes either in-game or even as a remote control.

OK, so what about the games?

Even with all its capabilities, the PS4 would be pointless if it wasn’t going to have some excellent games specifically designed for it.  If Sony’s launch lineup for the new PlayStation console is any indication of things to come then we should expect truly great things.  Some have even commented that the first batch of games available for the console represent the strongest showing of any of its previous launches.  Even the ultra-popular PS2 didn’t have such a strong lineup to work with when it was originally released.  At the same time, through demonstrations at various tech and gaming trade shows like E3, we already know there are some truly terrific titles which are headed our way in the very near future (early to mid-2014). Take a closer look at the current PS4 launch games for more details.

As far as family-friendly game choices are concerned, parents should definitely pick up “Knack”, it’s more of a typical heart-warming platformer – the kind of game that’s both fun as well as memorable.  Of course there are plenty of other choices available too, like FIFA 14 and Madden NFL 25 (for sports aficionados) and racing titles like DriveClub, which is due out soon.  Naturally, if shooters are your thing, there’s plenty of games to choose from, like Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty: Ghosts.  However, if open-world action and adventure is more your speed, you absolutely must pick up Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag as it is perhaps the greatest pirate / seafaring-themed game ever created.

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