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Should I get a PlayStation 4? Features, Specifications & What You Need To Know

Updated on November 16, 2013

The Next Gen System: PlayStation 4

Are you excited about the next generation of consoles? After several years, PlayStation 4 is finally here and the Xbox One home console will also be releasing soon. But does the PlayStation 4 live up to all the hype? Is Sony going to be successful against the Xbox One? Before you decide to buy the PS4 or are thinking about buying one in the future, there are some important details you should know.

PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible!

Contrary to popular belief, the PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible. You will not be able to play your PS1, PS2, or PS3 video game discs. Also, digital copies purchased on the PSN on the PS3 console will not compatible either. If you have a lot of PS3 games that you play, then you may want to wait to get the PlayStation 4 since you can not play older video games on the new system. It's probably best you keep your PS3 console.

Sony has stated, however, that eventually the entire PlayStation library may be available because of the cloud and streaming capabilities. Currently, however, you will only be able to play brand new launch titles like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Battlefield 4.

PS4 Console (front view)
PS4 Console (front view)

How Important Are Graphics To You?

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Graphics and Performance on PlayStation 4

The graphical leap between going from the PS2 to the PS3 was significant because of high-definition. Although the graphics are better in PlayStation 4, it will be less of a jump compared to previous generations. Lighting, shadows, and facial details will be improved. Environment texture edges will look better and will appear more clear in newer video game titles.

PS4 Main Specifications

GPU: Radeon 7870-derived GPU with 18 compute units (Xbox One has 12 units)

CPU: 8-core AMD Jaguar/Kabini x86-64 CPU

Memory: 8GB GDDR5

Hard Drive: 500 GB hard drive that can be replaced/upgraded later

Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will have basically the same graphics power, however, the PS4 may have an advantage in overall performance because the memory is GDDR5 RAM (opposed to Xbox One's DDR3).

Example of PS4 Graphics

Killzone Shadow Fall Video Game
Killzone Shadow Fall Video Game

What will be main reason for buying a PlayStation 4 in future? (or reason why you got one already)

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No External Storage but Internal Power Supply

Unfortunately, the PS4 will not allow you to use external storage. If you were hoping to use an external storage device like a USB then you will be disappointed. The only storage you can use is the removable hard drive. The Xbox One, on the other hand, allows for external storage.

What is nice about the PS4 is the fact that it has an "internal power supply." This means you do not have to take up extra space like the Xbox One's power supply brick.

PlayStation 4 is cheap compared to Xbox One

If you want a cheaper next generation console and do not care about the Xbox One's Kinect, then the PlayStation 4 may be for you. The PS4 is $400 opposed to the Xbox One which is $500. Bear in mind, though, the camera is sold separately with the PS4. If that is important to you, then the cheaper price may not sound as appealing to you.

What Comes With PS4

  • PlayStation 4 system x1, Wireless controller (DualShock 4) x1, Mono headset x1, AC power cord x1, HDMI cable x1, USB cable x1

Are you mad that you can't play PS4 Multiplayer FREE?

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PlayStation 4 Online Is Not Free

If you were hoping to play mutliplayer for free online like PS3, then you will be disappointed. A "PS Plus" account is needed which costs $50 a year. However, unlike Xbox One where you need an Xbox Live Subscribtion, you do not need a PS Plus subscription to use apps like Netflix.

For people who only play single player, this may not be a negative issue. However, anyone who plays multiplayer should be aware of this.

Additional Specifications of PS4

  • Storage size: 500GB hard disk drive, user removable*
  • External dimensions: Approximately 275 x 53 x 305mm
  • Mass: Approx 2.8kg
  • BD/DVD drive (read only): BD x 6 CAV, DVD x 8 CAV, Blu-ray and DVD playback, no audio CD support
  • Input/Output: Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port x2, AUX port x1
  • Networking: Ethernet x1, IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
  • AV output: HDMI out port, digital out optical port. SD output is supported for lower-resolution displays. HD output at 720p, 1080p and 1080i.

Are you an Xbox 360 player, but considering getting a PS4?

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Should I Get A PS4 for the Exclusives?

24 games were available at the launch. Depending on what game franchises you prefer, you may or may not want to get a PS4. Many of the games that are/will be available for both Xbox One and PS4 are games that you can already play on last generation consoles (e.i. Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty Ghosts).

Microsoft has games like Halo and Gears of War as exclusive franchises. Dead Rising 3 is only available on Xbox One. Sony has Killzone and God of War. At this point, however, it's hard to predict which console is going to have more exclusive games in the future.

Anyone who decides to buy a PlayStaton 4 may have to make compromise. For example, if you really want to get a PS4 then you will not be able to play Halo. But if Xbox exclusives are not your preference then it will not matter.

Keep in mind, however, many video games are available on multiple platforms. So even if you do get a PS4 and can't play certain games, you probably won't miss out on too many overall.


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      Cutrina Moore 3 years ago from Jackson, Louisiana

      It is a downside that the PS4 is not backwards compatible. I think that is an excellent feature for all systems to have since some gamers still like to play their older games. Nice post.