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PlayStation 4 console: should you buy into the next gen?

It’s sold over 25 million units worldwide, released some of the finest games in the past decade and created one of the smoothest online experiences to date on a console – yet you still don’t have a PlayStation 4 sitting underneath your telly.

The price is probably a major factor, what with a standard console setting you back more than £400. What’s more, the graphical improvements over the PS3 are only incremental. This isn’t the visual revolution that marked the shift from the original PlayStation to the PS2 – it’s more of a confident evolution.

Does all this mean you should skip this generation of consoles and hold onto your PS3? Not a jot.

Because under the hood of the PS4 there’s hardware and software that the PS4 can’t touch.

So let’s look at some of the finest features of this gaming powerhouse.

PlayStation 4 console

PlayStation Now

One of the few factors that’s hobbled the PlayStation 4’s meteoric rise is its lack of backwards compatibility. After all, wouldn’t it be ace to use your PlayStation One discs and play Sony’s rich, two decade-long back catalogue without having to pull your old consoles out of the attic?

The PlayStation 4 has found the ideal workaround with its PlayStation Now service, a streaming app that allows you to rent from a rich back catalogue of games and experience some of the finest titles ever developed.

A 30-day rental period will usually cost around £5.99, giving you ample time to complete your bona fide classic.

Twitching with features

Whether you understand the appeal or not, social media has become as aligned with gaming as Facebook has become aligned with ‘likes’. We’re sharing content more frequently, with Let’s Play videos and people posting their achievements and trophies on Facebook.

And PlayStation 4 Consoles have hopped on the social media bandwagon in style. Teaming up with video streaming site Twitch, you can now seamlessly broadcast your game-playing sessions to a global audience.

In addition to this, your Facebook account can be connected to the Sony Network, enhancing the chatroom abilities of the console. Your mobile phone can even connect to the network using the PlayStation App, so you can chat to your pals and arrange for a time to play a game when you’re near your console.

The Plus experience

One of the main gripes against the PlayStation 4 is that online play now has to be paid for via the PlayStation Plus service. And while the extra cash is irritating, a 12-month subscription only works out to £3.34 a month.

With the Plus subscription, you’ll also gain access to a new batch of free games every month as well as regular discounts on major titles.

Really, can you think of a reason to not buy a console?

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