PS4 Launch Guide
The Sony PlayStation 4 kicks off the beginning of the next generation of video game hardware tomorrow Nov. 15th for $399.00. So in case you are planning to pick one up here’s a few things you’ll want to know and or keep in mind before that shiny PS4 becomes the newest member of your family.
Pre-order or Die
If you haven’t already pre-ordered your PS4 system and were hoping to walk into a store and just pick one up on launch day, you may be very disappointed. Stores were pretty much sold out of launch day shipments, via pre-order, shortly after the Microsoft announcement that told gamers used games wouldn’t work. (This has been rectified since then) but for the most part a lot of early adopters haven’t switched and locked up PS4s early. If you are extremely lucky you might be able to find a retailer with generally low traffic who hasn’t had all their stock accounted for, like a Target or K-Mart, but call and double check. Sony has stated that they plan to have more systems out to market in the following weeks in order to combat a complete drought of available systems through the holiday season but I’m willing to bet at the very least you’ll be waiting until Black Friday if you can’t get one tomorrow.
Day 1 Patch
Remember all that cool stuff Sony said your PS4 can do? Remote Play using your PS Vita, party chat, game spectating, recording game play for upload or streaming? None of that will work without first connecting to the internet and grabbing the day one update. Without it your PS4 would only be able to play disk based games, even Blu-Ray movies won’t work without the software patch. So if you were planning to use this on something like a nuclear sub or a less outrageous location with no broadband internet, then at the very least try to download this patch from somewhere that does before hand.
Consider PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Plus is Sony’s online pay service, since they offered online multi-player for free on the PS3 they needed a way to bring in some kind of revenue similar to Microsoft who had an annual fee for their network. On the PS3 PS Plus gave subscribers access to free games monthly, usually titles that had been released only a few months earlier, this included titles for Vita and PSP, as well as massive discounts on online store items like even newer games or DLC. This time around on PS4 Sony has moved the online multi-player behind this service so like Microsoft you will have to subscribe to play online with friends. Unlike Microsoft however you’ll still be able to access any other paid apps like Netflix or Hulu Plus without being a PS Plus member but in my opinion it is worth it. The free games offered through PS Plus made it so that I was never without something to play on my PS3 or Vita despite spending no additional money past the yearly fee of $50
Sony released the free PlayStation App for IOS and Android yesterday, which gives you access to a lot of services and information connected to your PS4 like the PlayStation Store and your friends list where you can see what they’re playing when you can’t get online. Microsoft has had its Smart Glass app for Xbox 360 on the market for a while now and while that does let you see what your friends are up to and control your dashboard menu to a degree, it doesn’t let you purchase content to be downloaded to the console which is a very welcome feature of the PlayStation App, though there’s not much info on what updates if any will come to Smart Glass for the Xbox One launch next week.
Last but not least you’ll need to get games for a gaming console after all the dust settles from the launch, check out the November Release Calendar to see what will be available for PS4 on launch day and the following weeks.