The Playstation 4 is the first game console I've bought at launch since the Super Nintendo. That was more than a half a year ago, and I don't think I've played it more than once every couple of weeks since then.
It's not that it's a bad system, or that I regret buying it. I still think it's the best choice of the big three, but that's not really saying a whole lot. Things that have left me a little saddened are...
Free Indie Games The best launch title for the PS4 was by far Contrast. Yes, it was glitchy and short, but it was also beautiful, imaginative, fun, and touching. The title single-handedly justified for me the whole Playstation Plus membership that is required for online play. $15 a month, but I can get free indie games? That's a deal.
There hasn't been a game like Contrast since.
I just downloaded Vessel, hoping to be proven wrong about this point, but it's just another slightly pretty, but ultimately lackluster title that I could just as easily be playing on my ancient laptop in a browser. I was hoping that by supporting the PSN through a Plus membership it would incentivize a huge number of indie titles. Now, I feel a little cheated whenever my membership automatically renews.
I'm Playing PS3 Games On one hand, this isn't so bad. I traded in a bunch of big PS3 games to Game Stop to knock the price of my console down, and now I have them back again but with all the DLC already included. I think I may have technically made money on that deal, but I'm too lazy to do the math.
While that's cool, there's still no arguing that the two games that have gotten the most play on my PS4 are the remasters of Tomb Raider and The Last of Us. Both great games, but what's the point? There's nothing in either of them that I really needed to see in any better quality, and I'd argue the opposite is actually true. This brings us to...
No Backwards Compatibility I have three different Playstations hooked up to my TV because I am still playing games from as far back as the PS1. It's nice to have remastered PS3 titles, but I still can't just download something like Final Fantasy XII onto my PS4 (Or PS3 for that matter). Somehow in this day and age, with gaming at an almost magical level of technology, it's still impossible for me to have one machine that will play all my officially licensed by Sony and in no way stolen or pirated games.
I wouldn't even complain if they would just make more things available in the Playstation Store. Sony has been extremely cagey about how much of it's huge past library they are going to offer, and until they do I'm going to be firing up my PS2 to play Dragon Quest 8 until the PS4 gets a decent RPG.
One of the reasons I'm considering a Wii U is because not only is it getting the new Xenoblade, it will still play the original Wii one. Maybe Nintendo had the right idea with their more upgrade approach after all.
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The Touchpad is Very Meh Using the touch pad that takes up so much of the real estate of the PS4 controllers is still a chore for two reasons.
The first is that it's just really not that fun to use. It's a good idea, I grant you, but I've never once opened a menu with it on the first try. Maybe that's not a problem the younger generation has, but it drives Grampy Ham-Hands crazy when I can't get the freakin' thing to go where I want it.
The other annoyance is that it has pushed the basic pause feature off to a corner that is hard to find when you're in the middle of a firefight and suddenly need to go take the cookies out of the oven. Look, no matter what game it is, the big button in the center should stop the game when you touch it. That's what it's there for.
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Even the Apps Don't Work as Well These days PS4 in my house gets most of its work hours in as a Netflix machine. However, I've given up trying to do that because the streaming service seems to have constant problems. This is a pretty big deal when you're trying to quiet a five-year-old by getting the next episode of Pinkie Dinkie Doo up and running.
The sad thing is that when that happens I just turn off the PS4 and turn the PS3 back on. It's never the other way around. The PS3 Netflix always works when the PS4 doesn't. Hell, my old Wii still picks up Netflix better than the brand, spanking new PS4.
I understand that all things considered the PS4 is still a very new system, and that a few years from now much of what I'm complaining about will probably be moot. Still, when I first got the console I wondered if the world really needed the upgrade in the first place, and so far I'm still wondering.