With the official PS4 launch less than a month away now it’s time to begin prepping and examining all the details concerning game releases as well as the console itself. Much has already been said about how this next generation of consoles is going to up the ante in terms of performance and capabilities (which we will most certainly cover again here), but what remains unseen is how Sony’s new flagship gaming unit is going to affect the industry as a whole. Right now many analysts are looking at the situation and thinking that it’s very possible that the PS4 might very well become one of the most successful launches in history, perhaps even eclipsing the sales of the PS2 in the long term.
Just looking at the PS4’s amazing launch title list is evidence enough that PlayStation Inc. really has their stuff together this time around; it’s perhaps the strongest-looking initial title list we’ve ever seen (up to this point). This is a group of games that covers the gamut, so to speak – from big budget blockbusters of every shape, size and genre, to more passive titles. Regardless of their aim(s) though, each one of these games brings something unique or extremely interesting to the table. Let’s examine several of them, shall we?
Games available at launch
First off, there are the heavy hitters, like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, FIFA 14, Knack, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Each one of these titles brings something to the table that gamers expect to encounter (in terms of experience). In the adventure / exploration area, you’ll find no more interesting choice than that of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which basically embodies a whole new genre unto itself in many ways.
Having spent quite a lot of time with the game on a 7th generation console, it’s apparent that “AC IV” is THE pirate / old-school sailing and free-roaming game that many have no doubt been waiting for since the days of “Sid Meier’s Pirates!”. Seriously, the level of freedom inherent in this game, not to mention the size of the map, is pretty incredible, definitely a step in the right direction for the AC franchise. On the PS4 however, you’re going to see Black Flag light up like never before due to the extra capabilities and horsepower that’s present, of course. In short, it’s a game that you’ll definitely want to pick up ASAP.
Next up we have “Battlefield 4”, which some have even went as far to say is perhaps the most graphically amazing-looking title that’s (soon-to-be) available for the PS4. Regardless of whether or not you’re a hardcore FPS fan, the technical abilities of BF4 are such that you’ll likely be quite mesmerized by its looks alone. One can imagine loading up the game on a large HD screen and getting lost in the action for hours, perhaps even weeks. Similarly, there’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts”, which is a continuation of the winning formula which helped to turn the CoD franchise into a household name (and perhaps even sell quite a few 7th gen. consoles too). In this installment, subtitled “Ghosts”, we find even more refinement of the gameplay model, including additions to the oft-lauded multiplayer, all of which will likely delight the more serious gamer. Likewise, “Killzone: Shadow Fall” is a continuation of the Sony exclusive series and a dedicated first-person shooting extravaganza in its own right. Aside from its stellar visuals, this game will also perfectly demonstrate what the PS4 is capable of doing upon its launch – definitely a plus for dedicated Killzone fans and those who enjoy FPS action. The point is, there’s plenty of great options available for FPS junkies at launch on the PS4.
Moving on, we have “Knack”, which is your expected platformer which was designed to have more of a mass appeal (across all age groups). Don’t get the wrong idea though, this isn’t a children’s game we’re talking about here, Knack offers the sort of experience that adults will also enjoy. Part of what makes this game work is of course, the PS4 itself, which is able to deliver the goods in terms of required graphical assets.
For those who ARE looking for a more kid-friendly title, there’s “Angry Birds: Star Wars”, which is obviously a theme-based game. This oft-humorous crossover is a delight in terms of its gameplay (which tends to be 2D fort-assault-based) and its wonderfully-themed visuals and sound effects. Although it isn’t really pushing any envelopes in terms of its visuals of capabilities, such games are still worth playing, especially if you’re into the Star Wars movies and Angry Birds games, obviously. Conversely, if you’re looking for something entirely different (if not a bit light in the gameplay department) there are titles like “Contrast” and “Flower” which are offer entirely different experiences which many might label as “nonstandard”.
Sports fans aren’t being neglected either though, as clearly evidenced by the availability of FIFA 14, NBA 2K14, and Madden NFL 25. Naturally, FIFA 14 is one of those major legacy games which fans have been waiting for, especially considering that the PS4 / Next-gen. version features an entirely new engine which is able to deliver unparalleled graphics and a more realistic A.I. interface. Seriously, anyone with a passing interesting in football / soccer will want to pick it up, no question. Of course basketball and American football fans are also not without something to chew on, as clearly evidenced by NBA 2K14, and Madden NFL 25, both of which are said to be fun in their own way(s).
Those who might be on the lookout for an entirely different type of gameplay experience might want to check out Just Dance 2014, Putty Squad, Pinball Arcade, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Resogun, Skylanders Swap Force, Sound Shapes, Super Motherload, or Tiny Brains. Anyone who enjoys a more physical experience (as well as popular music) will likely want to pick up “Just Dance 2014”, as it delivers a slightly updated experience apart from previous additions to the series. “Resogun” and “Sound Shapes’ are more traditional (yet pretty-looking) side scrollers, the first of which is a rather nostalgic shooter and the latter, a musically-themed title. “Skylanders Swap Force” offers an entirely different type of experience involving what might be referred to as “augmented reality” due to the fact that you can place collectible statues on an included platform only to have them come to life inside the game itself. Lastly, we have “Super Motherload” and “Tiny Brains” which are both excellent puzzle-based titles which not only look intriguing but offer hours of enjoyment as well.
The Accessories & More
In terms its bundled accessories, you’re only going to find one controller and a simple earpiece included in most standard packages. Of course if you spring for the version with two Dualshock 4 controllers that won’t be the case, but nevertheless you’ll still be missing the “PlayStation Camera”, or Eye. While you might not need it right away (most games retain full functionality in its absence, after all), it’s definitely something that’s worth picking up sometime shortly after launch due to the fact that developers are working on games which will integrate it into the mix. Of course the (PS4) console itself will make use of the “Eye” via voice commands and the intriguing “PlayRoom” which acts as a tech demo of sorts. The new camera is so precise that it can actually track two players at the same time, for instance, if they were engaged in some split-screen multiplayer action and suddenly switched seats, the screen would also shift accordingly.
Full List of PS4 Accessories
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
Gamers who plan on taking advantage of the PS4’s ability to link up with the Vita or perhaps a smartphone / tablet, might want to consider grabbing one of Nyko’s “Smat Clips”. (Speaking of which, get a Vita.) The small, cheap attachment allows a person to effectively attach their smartphone to the Dualshock 4, for instance, making it easy to keep track of what you’re doing at all times (or perhaps facilitate random internet searches and answering phone calls / texts in a pinch). The company also manufactures a charging base which allows you to power up your PS4 controller with ease – definitely worth checking out if you’re the type of gamer who always seems to find themselves running out of juice. Another thing to consider is the HDD. The PS4 comes with a 500GB HDD, that sounds like plenty, right? Just imagine installing several 50 GB games, soon enough your entire hard drive is packed with data. Read this guide on how you can easily upgrade your PS4's HDD.
If a more intense, immersive gaming experience is what you’re after, you might also want to consider picking up a quality pair of gaming headphones. Sony’s Pulse Elite Edition Headset is a truly great product for just such an application, especially considering that it is fully compatible with anything accepting a small stereo headphone jack and it also includes a wireless USB dongle as well, also check out our list of top headsets that will be compatible with the PS4. This particular unit is able to handle lower bass frequencies and even vibrates during periods of intense action.
There you have it, that’s the important stuff to keep in mind as the PS4 launch date nears. How are you going to prepare?