(Updated 05/10/2013) Perhaps one of the greatest things about the release of a new gaming console is that you can count on specific bundles to be made available for individual types of gamers. Admit it, there’s something slightly magical about tearing open that packaging, laying your eyes on the device for the first time, and of course, loading up that initial game. Even if you’re a fairly “well traveled” gamer, the satisfaction experienced when delving into that fancy new console on the first day of its release seems to conjure up the kind of giddiness you might have experienced as a youngster during the holidays. However, if you really want your primary experience with the PS4 to be a lush, memorable one, you are going to need to carefully choose which bundle to purchase.
As was the case with the last couple of generation (like the PS3 and Xbox 360 for example), retailers are eagerly bundling together the PS4’s launch titles with consoles along with varying accessories. Needless to say, it’s very important that you take the time to make the right choice with regards to which particular package you ultimately go with. If you haven't read our PS4 buyers guide, then you should check this article out too, which offers information about all of the launch titles and the different accessories available. The main decision here of course, hinges around which specific game(s) you end up electing to play first on your new console. This might be a relatively easy choice for some to make - a simple matter of just going with one’s instincts. Others however, might not be quite as headstrong with regards to the choices that are available.
Arguably, you could say that the list of PS4 launch titles is so strong that it’s nearly impossible to boil things down to one choice. If this accurately describes your feelings in this issue, then consider either picking up multiple games and/or randomly choosing a bundle. Naturally, not everyone might have the finances set aside to purchase multiple titles right away, even though Sony’s new console is fairly affordable, the price tag is still seen as a significant personal investment as far as consumer entertainment is concerned. Well, at any rate, the purpose of this piece is to help those who might be “on the fence” to make up their mind so that they can finally put in their pre-order with confidence (note* - many retailers have already apparently sold out of many bundles apparently, so be sure to shop around for the specific package you’re after before settling on something different).
First off, the main price difference in most PS4 bundles hinges around whether or not there are two controllers included. For instance, if a two-controller package costs around $519 (£326), the same bundle with only one controller will be priced at $459 (£289). Anyone who prefers to engage in multiplayer activities with local friends (who like to frequently drop over and might not have a console of their own) would likely be best served by opting to just go ahead and get two controllers. Similarly, people who consider themselves to be primarily single-player type gamers should probably get the cheaper bundle.
Now, onto the bundles…
"Standard Edition" Bundle
This is the basic bundle which comes with no extra games or accessories. If you're happy to buy all games and accessories separately, then this bundle might be ideal for you.
"DualShock 4" Bundle
If you plan on using your PlayStation 4 regularly with friends, then you probably wont want to constantly be sharing a single control pad. If you fall in to this category, then the DualShock 4 bundle is most likely for you. The bundle comes with one extra DualShock 4 controller.
The main draw of this particular package is the enchanting game, “Knack”, of course. Designed to appeal to perhaps a slightly younger audience, Knack is not only a lot of fun and extremely vibrant, it’s also not quite as demanding in terms of its gameplay. Don’t’ get the wrong idea though; adult gamers will also love Knack too. It’s actually an excellent platformer that’s both memorable as well as very artistically creative.
“Killzone: Shadow Fall” Bundle
Whether you’re one of the many Killzone devotees or simply someone who loves action/adventure within the context of a First-Person shooter amidst a Sci-fi backdrop, the “KillZone: Shadow Fall” bundle is probably a good choice for you. Moreover, the game itself offers up an excellent demonstration of what the PS4 is capable of in terms of its hardware prowess as well.
“Drive Club”, “Need for Speed Rivals” Bundles
Of course those who tend to enjoy driving games should probably avoid the platformers and FPS / shooters entirely and go with something like the “Drive Club” or “Need for Speed Rivals” bundles. Simply put, both titles not only features stunning visuals, but in the case of “Drive Club”, also heavily promotes a burgeoning “car culture” community via the PSN. Anyone who prefers driving over shooting or exploring should definitely consider picking up one of these two bundles.
“Battlefield 4”, “Call of Duty: Ghosts” Bundles
Most of those who have experienced “Battlefield 4” first hand at one of the many trade shows / expos are already touting its virtues publicly; some are even saying that it’s the best launch title available for the PS4. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy the purpose, gameplay or setting of BF4, you simply can’t argue with the fact that it is without a doubt one of the most graphically advanced titles out there and certainly takes full advantage of the PS4’s extra horsepower. Whether you’re looking for a great, well-rounded and epic FPS experience or a title that’s able to offer an unparalleled multiplayer experience, Battlefield 4 will deliver it. Similarly, “Call of Duty: Ghosts” also boasts some of the finest FPS action around as well great graphics and of course, an interesting story to delve into. As you might expect, there’s also some truly excellent multiplayer modes available in CoD: Ghosts as well.
Obviously, sports fans (particularly those who love basketball) might be better served by the “NBA Live 14” bundle. Improving upon the formula of NBA Live 13, this installment provides you with enhanced graphics as well as some new features. The same line of thinking also applies to the “Madden NFL 25” bundle, which offers those who are addicted to American football an opportunity to delve deeply into the game like never before. Additionally, there’s even an “EA sports” bundle (which is slightly more expensive) that includes 3 titles – NBA Live 14, Madden NFL 25 as well as the highly anticipated “FIFA 14”.
Anyone who considers themselves to be a hardcore gamer or a devout open world adventurer should strongly consider the “Watchdogs” Bundle. Aside from its stellar visuals, unmatched detail-oriented gameplay and massive world to explore, Watchdogs is perhaps one of the more well-executed PS4 launch titles. Moreover, the game even features a very unique multiplayer element which is deviously spectacular.
“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” Bundle
Last, but certainly not least, we have “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”, the open world pirate-themed epic which is perhaps the finest game in the series thus far. For those who prefer open-world exploration, adventure, loads of in-game features, RPG’s, stealth-based tactics, or titles based in oceanic environments, the ACIV: Black Flag bundle is perhaps the best choice. Simply put, there’s just so much to do and see in this game that it’s incredible.
If you're after the complete package, then you'll want to go for the "MegaPack". This bundle comes with two two PS4 Dual Shock 4 Controllers, Killzone 4 Shadow Fall, and the PS4 Camera. You won't need to worry about buying an extra controller with this bundle. When you consider that Killzone 4 Shadow Fall pre-order price is around £50, and the PS Eye too, you could save money buying this package.