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    PlayStation 4: everything you need to know

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    Philippe Gloaguen
    @philippegloaguen

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    La PlayStation 4 Sony is one of the three major video game consoles currently on the market, along with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It was marketed in late 2013 as part ofeighth generation of home consoles and is the second best-selling Sony console of all time, after the hugely popular and unrivaled PlayStation 2.

    All about PlayStation 4

    Following the reduced success of the PlayStation 3, Sony was strongly determined to correct its mistakes and to offer a console with the mass appeal of the PlayStation 2, but with more computational power and more functionality. The Japanese giant has focused on controller improvements (DualShock 4), social features that allow players to stream and share gameplay and remote gaming. As is customary with any new console, PlayStation 4 also offers improved processing and graphics capabilities.



    Technical features

    Single die APU including:

    • Central processing unit
    • AMD64 Jaguar (x86-64)
    • 8 core to 1,6 GHz
    • 256 KByte first level cache
    • 4 MByte second level cache

    Graphics processing unit:

    • GPU AMD Radeon Liverpool 800 MHz
    • Pixel Shader Model 5.0
    • 64 Shaders of unified type
    • Pixel fill rates from 25.6 gigasamples per second
    • 64.0 gigatexel per second texel fillrate
    • 32 Render Output Units
    • Overall performance declared in floating point: 1,84 ~ 1,86 TeraFLOPS

    Low-power ARM processor for secondary background operations.


    Memory:

    • 8 GB (512 MB x 16) Unified GDDR5 RAM / VRAM (system and video)
    • System bandwidth 177 GB / s
    • 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM (for secondary purpose)

    Operating system:


    • Orbis operating system (based on FreeBSD 9)

    Disk Drive:

    • Blu-ray Disc 6xCAV (27 MB / s), compatibile DVD-ROM 8xCAV (11 MB / s)

    Archiving:

    • 500GB / 1TB HDD (replaceable)

    Communication:

    • Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
    • Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
    • 2x Super-Speed ​​USB 3.0
    • Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
    • Proprietary output for PlayStation Camera (AUX connector)

    Audio / video outputs:

    • HDMI ranging from 480p to 1080p (4K on PS4 pro)
    • Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (optical)

    Dimensions and mass

    • Width: 27,5 cm
    • Depth: 30,5 cm
    • Height: 5,3 cm
    • Mass: 2,8 kg

    PlayStation 4 features

    Social functionality: Released just as streaming games were gaining significant popularity, PlayStation 4 allows players to stream the game and upload screenshots with the click of the Share button.

    Updated controller: The DualShock 4 controller sticks are easier to use and its triggers offer greater precision. The controllers are rechargeable and have a share button that allows gameplay and screenshots to be uploaded. DualShock 4 has Wii-like motion tracking and also has a light bar at the top that can change color depending on the gameplay. At the center of the same, we find a touchpad, whose focus is to offer the possibility of accessing new features and options while playing a game.


    Remote playback: The controller isn't the only thing that can control the console. Smartphones, tablets and the PlayStation Vita handheld console can communicate with PlayStation 4 and control certain features such as media. Plus, Remote Play is available for all games, so we can play full PlayStation titles on Vita anywhere in the world, while the console does all the processing from our living room.


    Backwards compatibility: PlayStation 4 cannot play any physical games from previous PlayStation generations. The only way to do this is through theemulation. The versions of these titles have improvements such as: improved resolution, Trophy support and some typical PlayStation 4 features: Share Play, Remote Play and the Activity Feed. While PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games can be purchased and played directly on the console in digital format, PlayStation 3 games can only be played via

    PlayStation Now. This is a streaming service that contains a huge library of titles from the past PlayStation. For more details regarding the service, we refer you to our in-depth article.

    PlayStation Slim vs PlayStation Pro

    Sony is famous for reviving its consoles in a “Slim” version, just a couple of years after the initial release. These thinner versions typically offer a physical difference rather than a difference in functionality, and with the PlayStation 4 Slim that hasn't changed. PlayStation 4 Slim is 40% smaller than the original version and features numerous aesthetic and design improvements, while maintaining the same hardware specifications. The PlayStation 4 Pro boasts a significant increase in size due to the increased processing power.

    The significant difference in functionality and performance occurs only with the PlayStation 4 Pro. While the Slim version can only handle multimedia content in 4K quality, the PlayStation 4 Pro can also play 4K gameplay, as long as you have a 4K TV with HDR support. Gamers can benefit from better graphics, resolution, visual effects and rendering. The Pro version was the most powerful home console on the market until the release of Xbox One X in November 2017.


    There are many 4K TVs out there, but not that many 4K TVs support High Dynamic Range or HDR. Where an increase in resolution from 1080p (often referred to as Full HD) to 4K can often mean improved detail in games, adding HDR means that the colors in every aspect of those games are more vibrant and lifelike.


    PlayStation 4 Slim

    • Price € 299
    • Dimensioni 265 x 39 x 288 mm (2,1 kg)
    • CPU AMD Jaguar 8 core (x86-64) GPU
    • GPU AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP)
    • Memory 500GB / 1TB
    • Optical Out No.
    • WiFi 802.11b / g / n (2.4GHz + 5GHz)
    • Uscita AV HDMI 1.4
    • Power consumption 165w
    • Streaming 4K No
    • USB3.0 (x2)
    • PSVR Support Yes

    PlayStation 4 Pro

    • Price € 399
    • Dimensioni 295 x 55 x 327 mm (3,3 kg)
    • CPU AMD Jaguar 8 core (x86-64)
    • GPU AMD Radeon (4.2 TFLOP)
    • Memory 1TB / 2TB
    • Optical Out Yes
    • WiFi 802.11b / g / n (2.4GHz 5GHz)
    • Uscita AV HDMI 2.0
    • Power consumption 310w max
    • Streaming 4K Sì
    • USB3.0 (x3)
    • PSVR support Yes (advanced)

    The biggest functional difference between the original PlayStation 4 and the slimmer PlayStation 4 is the power consumption. Sony claims that the PlayStation 4 has a maximum draw of 165 watts, compared to the original 250 w of the first version. This change in power consumption means that the PlayStation 4 Slim consumes far less power when performing the same tasks, even when in standby mode. The electricity bill also benefits.

    Sony has decided to use the same CPU for both models while the change is the GPU which is more than double on the PlayStation 4 Pro. There is also an updated version of the HDMI standard that passes from 1.4 to 2.0, but there is no there is no immediate difference in performance for the video output. Games that have struggled to maintain 30 fps or 60 fps on a standard PlayStation 4 in the past are able to deliver a more consistent experience on PlayStation 4 Pro thanks to 'boost mode'. This basically means that games that seem to stutter a little on a regular PlayStation 4 will appear smoother on a PlayStation 4 Pro.

    Finally, memorization is an extremely important thing to keep in mind. Every PlayStation 4 game takes up hard drive space, even if purchased in-store retail mode. Games must be at least partially installed on the console before they can run, so storage is critical. If you buy games digitally, they will take up even more space on your memory drive. While you can purchase an additional storage HDD for the PlayStation, the 2TB option available with some versions of the PlayStation 4 Pro is the best.

    4K and HDR on PlayStation

    PlayStation 4 Pro also offers 4K video streaming and enhanced graphics on supported titles. Developers have the ability to offer titles (labeled PS4 Pro Enhanced on the packaging) with superior graphics and / or better performance on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Not only are most new PlayStation games made to support this advanced feature, but many of the most popular games of the past have received updates to improve their performance and / or graphics. As for HDR support, all versions of PlayStation 4 are technically capable of producing HDR images thanks to a software update. However, they do it only from a multimedia point of view and not for games, the latter is an exclusive feature of the Pro version.

    PS4 Slim

    • HDR output Yes (via an upgrade)
    • Streaming 4K No
    • 720p remote playback
    • Remote Play 720p

    For PS4

    • HDR output Yes
    • Streaming 4K Si
    • 1080p remote playback
    • Remote Play 1080p

    What about PlayStation VR?

    The performance of PlayStation VR is something entirely different. PlayStation 4 Pro was built to better support PlayStation VR. Due to PlayStation VR's high focus on framerate, what we see in Pro Enhanced titles is more detailed and smoother than what we see on television. Present one 5,7-inch OLED screen, a built-in microphone and 3D audio. The viewer is also suitable for movie nights, in fact it allows you to watch Blu-ray 3D in a fantastic stereoscopic 3D.

    Limited Edition

    The overall design of the PlayStation 4 console probably doesn't have a major impact on the final purchase decision, but it's definitely something to consider. When a game that Sony considers extremely popular (see Death Stranding) comes out, usually in conjunction with the launch, a limited edition version of the console is also proposed. The only detail to keep in mind with limited edition consoles is that they are almost always in the PlayStation 4 Pro version.

    Among the most sought after we have:

    PlayStation 4 Pro 2TB – 500M Limited edition

    Sony has unveiled a limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro to celebrate a huge milestone - over 500 million PlayStation consoles have been sold since the original PlayStation debuted. The celebratory console is presented in a translucent blue as are the accessories. Since only 50.000 pieces have been made, the price to get one is really high.

    PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary edition

    Are you too young to remember the original PlayStation? Or maybe you're just longing to keep your darling childhood console again? This edition gives you the best of both worlds, with the iconic original PlayStation design and the ability to play the greatest games available on the market today for PlayStation 4. Finding one at human prices has become virtually impossible.

    PlayStation 4 Pro – God of War

    Of course, the most loved and acclaimed game of this generation of consoles could only have a limited edition model. Kratos makes his mark in this God of War PS4 Pro Limited edition in a stunning silver finish. The symbols on the console are inspired by the ax he uses while playing. The controller features the same silver finish with themed insignia God of War.

    Metal Gear Solid 5 Special edition PlayStation 4

    Inspired by Venom Snake's robotic arm, the console features an elegant reddish color, the Diamond Dog logo and a line of gold finishes. Needless to say, if you're a Metal Gear fan and have some extra cash, this is definitely the console for you.

    PS4 Pro Death Stranding Limited edition

    Edition dedicated to the latest PlayStation 4 exclusive: Death Stranding. The console is signed by Kojima himself and the artist Yoji Shinkawa. The dominant color is white, with two tar-colored handprints on the shell. The peculiarity of the console lies in the color of the Dualshock 4, transparent yellow, which recalls the BB present in the game. The console is still available in the market at affordable prices.

    PlayStation Store and PlayStation Plus

    Il PlayStation Store is a virtual shop operating 24 hours a day, 24 days a week. It allows you to:

    • Download the latest games
    • Access discounts and offers, including add-ons, games, and much more
    • It allows you to make purchases from any device (PC / Mac, tablet and mobile devices

    Il PlayStation Plus instead, it is the subscription service (monthly, quarterly or yearly) designed to be the main one for online gaming on PlayStation 4, but at the same time it allows members to access exclusive discounts, two free titles per month and more.

    In detail:

    Saving the game through the Cloud

    One of the perks of a PlayStation Plus membership is the ability to save games to the Cloud. If you feel your storage is limited, the ability to move some of your saves to the cloud may free up space for more. Plus, you can access your saves from anywhere. That way, if you're going to play on a different console, your precious saves will always be available without having to carry around a USB drive.

    The available cloud space is huge, 100GB for PS Plus members for 2019.

    Instant Game Collection

    If you're looking to expand your game library, a PlayStation Plus membership is a great way to do it. As a Plus subscriber, you will have access to two free PlayStation 4 games every month. Once you have redeemed the game, it will remain available as long as you have an active PS Plus membership.

    Online multiplayer

    If you're looking to play online multiplayer games, PlayStation Plus membership is pretty much the only option. There are some free games that allow you to play online even without a subscription, but they are very few.

    Business Business Business

    In addition to all the other benefits mentioned so far, with a PlayStation Plus membership you will have exclusive access to some pretty significant discounts, up to 80%, on PlayStation titles. Plus members usually have the added benefit of receiving an additional 10% discount.

    The cost of a PlayStation Plus membership may vary. For most, the best option is to purchase it annually for $ 59,99. At first glance it may seem expensive, but if we consider that it will also be possible to receive 2 free games per month, the cost of the subscription pays for itself.

    If you would like to try the service, a 14-day trial period is available.

    Sharing games on PlayStation 4: everything you need to know! 

    Games are expensive and not everyone can afford to buy more titles a year for € 70. As digital is more and more popular, it is becoming rarer that we lend physical copies to our friends or family, but if you are looking for one way to share your digital game library, there is a way to do it on PlayStation 4.

    Here are some of the ways to share games on PlayStation 4.

    Deliver!

    Depending on the game and its online features, you can still give the disc to a friend. If you're not sure how sharing a disc with a friend will work, refer to the how-to video below:

    Digital sharing

    When it comes to sharing digital copies of games, it's a little more complex. The games available on a console are determined by which user is set as the primary account on that system. If you want to access your friends' PlayStation 4 game library, all you have to do is log into your console and then set that PlayStation as your primary system.

    In the old days, if you wanted to borrow a game, you had to go to your friends' house to do it. You will now go to their house to look at their game library and by setting your console as the main PlayStation 4, you will be able to enjoy all the content.

    If you are not entirely sure how to do this, you can always refer to our practical guide.

    An advice

    You should only share digital games with people you know and implicitly trust.

    And what about family sharing?

    Game sharing and family sharing are slightly different. Family sharing allows families to effectively share the PlayStation Plus benefits of an account with everyone else playing on that same console. It works similar to game sharing as the PS Plus membership account will need to activate the PlayStation 4 as the primary console. Once this is done, any account on that console can play online multiplayer and games downloaded from the primary account, regardless of whether theirs is the account with the active subscription.

    How to set up game sharing on PlayStation 4

    • Log into your account on the PlayStation 4 console used by your friend or family member.
    • Go to the settings.
    • Select Account Management.
    • Select Activate as Primary PlayStation 4.

    Once this is done, friends or family can download all the games from your library to their console. They can then log into these on their accounts, even if you are not logged in on their console at that time.

    While this process can be done with an unlimited number of people, only two people can play the same game at the same time, which means you can't share your library with all your friends. While game sharing is a great way to help offset game costs, there are a few things to keep in mind. If su needs to make major changes to your account, you need to redo the process. This is also true when you or your friend / family member purchase a new console.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that if the PlayStation Network experiences downtime or outages, the games you own digitally will not be available to you, but will instead be on the console that originally purchased the game. It's an annoying thing to deal with when it happens, but thanks to the fact that the PlayStation Network is reliable (most of the time), you don't have to worry.

    Do you play digitally, yes or no?

    What are the benefits of going digital?

    There are some key benefits to digital games:

    Space saving: if you are a gamer with an endless thirst for new games but have a limited amount of space (physical, mind you), then digital could be the way to go. With hard drives taking up very little space, the library can continue to grow without the space doing the same.

    Get the games first: If you want to start playing on the day the game is released, digital is probably the best way to do it. Often with digital versions it is possible to pre-install the game and by the time midnight strikes, you can already start playing.

    Monetary savings: If you are looking to save some money, check out the PlayStation Store. In what appears to be an obvious attempt to compete with Steam, PSN has offered pretty incredible discounts in recent years. Physical retailers are often unable to offer such attractive discounts, especially with a great and multifaceted membership like PlayStation Plus. If saving is your number one priority, digital may be your best bet.

    Are there any advantages for buying physical games?

    Safe! Physical game purchases may become less popular as the years go by, but they're not completely outdated like our favorite musician's CDs. Can you remember the last time you went to a store and bought a physical album? Probably not.

    Visibility is the key: Some like to see all games stacked in neat little rows, and this in a digital library simply can't be done. It's a great way to show off your collection to friends. If you like having a visible game library to look at and proudly display, then physical games are the right choice for you.

    Resale value: One thing digital games simply can't offer (for now) is the ability to resell them to someone else. If you're the type of person who ends a game and never starts playing it again, it might make sense to bring it back to the store where you bought it or perhaps sell it privately.

    Support for local shopsAnother good thing about buying physical games is that it gives you the opportunity to support local game stores in your area. If you want to make sure that game stores don't follow the video store route, then this is something to keep in mind.

    Is it worth installing an SSD on PlayStation 4?

    SSDs offer speed, stability and storage. An SSD (or solid state drive) has no moving parts. In recent years, SSDs have become much cheaper than in the past. That said, they are still more expensive than their mechanical (HDD) counterparts.

    But is it worth buying and installing an SSD on PlayStation 4? A few years ago we would probably have said there were better ways to spend money. Recently, however, SSD prices have dropped dramatically. While the SATA interface on the PlayStation 4 may not be able to take advantage of every bit of speed an SSD has to offer, the fact that the prices are much more reasonable than they were in the past would make us lean towards buying. Also considering the fact that PlayStation 5 will use SSDs instead of traditional HDDs.

    Reliability

    A mechanical disc is certainly still a viable option for some people. They are even cheaper than an SSD but have a major problem, namely durability. When it comes to durability, the SSD wins. A mechanical hard drive has moving parts, which can make it susceptible to damage and wear. While a mechanical drive may only be the best solution when it comes to the price factor, it cannot outweigh an SSD in terms of speed and durability.

    A small selection of the best PlayStation 4 games

    One of the main reasons to buy PlayStation 4 is for exclusive titles. Exploring the PlayStation Store from the console, or even online, can take hours and the only thing you'll get from it is wanting a bigger wallet. To help you choose, take a look at our tips and which titles are currently or which you absolutely must play.

    Fantastic and extravagant adventures:

    Yakuza 0

    The Yakuza series, on the sly, since 2005 has made its way over the years. With an almost annual release, one would think that the series has by now given it all. However, the Yakuza Remastered Collection has been released in recent months, showing that the series is becoming more and more popular and that there is still a lot to do and explore.

    Gothic horror:

    Bloodborne

    So far, From Software has done one thing and done it well: brutalizing players with difficult games. Bloodborne is not a sequel to the “Souls” series but rather a spiritual successor. The streets of Yharnam, a city very similar to 19th century European ones, have been plagued by a plague. A hunter, apparently for no reason to be there, in that place of pain, blood and death, is tasked with clearing Yharnam of infected monstrosities.

    Old Meets New:

    Horizon: Zero Dawn

    If you are looking for a beautiful game with a great story and compelling gameplay, Horizon: Zero Dawn is for you. The Guerrilla Games title takes the crumbling cities of the old world and combines them with a surprisingly primitive future. At least, it would be if it weren't for the gigantic mechanical beasts roaming around. The landscapes may seem spartan at first, but there is a lot to discover beneath the depths of the ruins.

    Super heroes:

    Marvel's Spider-Man

    Marvel's Spider-Man hit the scene last fall and quickly became one of the best superhero games ever made. Peter Parker is no longer a kid and over the years he has built up a nice roster of formidable enemies. Fortunately, taking them out is a lot of fun.

    Hunting for treasures:

    Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

    Naughty Dog has reached its peak with A Thief's End. You will be hard pressed to find another more refined or cinematic game like the latest installment in the hit series. From Scotland to Madagascar, Nate and his brother will have to travel the globe to find precious pirate treasure.

    They are not zombies:

    The Last of Us Remastered

    Before Naughty Dog finished Nathan Drake's story, they leapt into a whole new world with The Last of Us, this time taking us to a post-apocalyptic world. Trading traditional zombies for infected humans called Clickers, The Last of Us follows two characters, Joel and Ellie, as they travel across the United States to find a cure.

    Adventure as an introspective journey

    The goodness of JRPGs:

    5 person

    If you are a fan of JRPG games and have never played Persona 5, perhaps now is the time to do it. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and best accomplished JRPGs ever, it has garnered a multitude of awards and nominations, definitely worth the effort.

    Galactic Adventures:

    Ratchet e Clank

    Developed by Insomniac Games (the same as Marvel's Spider-Man), the game is a reinterpretation of the original title, animated by stunning new graphics and details on PlayStation 4. While a young Ratchet hopes to join the Galactic Rangers, he crosses his path with Clank, a bad bot. Their journey will take them through multiple worlds with a wide variety of powerful and unique weapons.

    Absolutely not to be missed:

    God of War

    The wait for the new God of War franchise was long, but it was worth it. The series has eight titles under its belt and one might think that it has gone on for a while. However, developer Santa Monica managed to breathe new life into the series.

    There are so many other exclusive titles on PlayStation 4 and these are just some of the best. Overall, PlayStation 4 has story games that you won't be able to find on other platforms.

    PlayStation 4 as a blu-ray player

    Regular Blu-ray has a resolution of 480p to 1080p so that everyone can enjoy HD movie with the best sound and video quality. Ultra High Definition or UHDs take the resolution to 4K and often include extras like HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio support.

    Put simply, the difference between watching a Blu-ray and a UHD Blu-ray on a 4K UHD TV with a decent sound system is more than noticeable. It's also worth pointing out that UHD Blu-rays are often more expensive than regular ones, but in many versions they often include a standard Blu-ray for those interested in making their movie collection obsolescence-proof.

    You will need a little more for 4K

    The Blu-ray player in all versions of PlayStation 4, from the 2013 original all the way up to the Pro model, is a standard 1080p Blu-ray player. It uses the same processor used to ensure visually intense gaming experiences and is one of the fastest Blu-ray players available on the market. The control interface uses the PlayStation 4 controller by default, but you can choose to use a universal multimedia remote control. There are also several streaming apps available on the console, such as Netflix and YouTube, so you can use the platform for streaming. You can even watch live TV with a PlayStation Vue subscription.

    The console lacks UHD Blu-ray support, even on the PlayStation 4 Pro, which means you won't be able to play UHD Blu-rays. Otherwise the PlayStation 4 Blu-ray player is nothing short of fantastic.

    Why should you buy a PlayStation 4?

    PlayStation has a lot to offer, particularly in the exclusive games department. While Microsoft has shown a commitment to growing its first-party portfolio with the acquisition of new game studios, Sony already has several developers churning out quality content for years, be it new IPs or established franchises.

    Titles like The Last of Us, Uncharted, God of War, Spider-Man, and Horizon: Zero Dawn have all been heralded as some of the best games ever made and are all only available on PlayStation. Where Microsoft seems to be pushing for more social experiences, Sony is doubling down on high-quality single player experiences that are sparking great interest from critics and fans alike.

    Larger community

    Sales of PlayStation 4 consoles reached 110 million units, making those of Xbox One pale. The data reports that PlayStation Network monthly active users exceed 94 million, while Xbox Live's 64 million monthly active users. While cross-play functionality is slowly gaining ground, if you want to play with your friends, you will probably need a PlayStation 4.

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