Social Event – PlayStation 4 Lockdown (25/10/13)

Playstation-4-System-Hardware

PlayStation 4

Me and another Student on my course (Jason Pook Click his name to see his blog and post on this Event) attended a lockdown at GAME in St. Stephens, Hull for one of the biggest and most anticipated games consoles due for release this year, the next generation of games console “The PlayStation 4”. As me and my friend already had our consoles pre ordered (Him slightly longer than me) we was both very anxious to get our hands on the console and see if our hype is exaggerated or is in fact normal, and let me tell you for the short time me and my friend got to play on the console (Roughly 30 Minutes due to GAME and a PlayStation representative wanting a fair rotation on the system, there was only space for 50 people due to it being a small shop and only 6 consoles set up) I was not in the least bit disappointed with the time I got to spend on it.

The Smooth feel of the new controller is amazing, I was a little dubious as there is a completely new touch pad, “Was it going to get in the way of gameplay and make me do things I don’t want to do” let me shed some light on this. The controller, even though it is a little bigger felt even more comfortable, the analogue sticks felt like they had a lot more grip and really made you feel in control. As for the touch pad, I couldn’t think of how it would fit into games and how it could be a fluid transition between the buttons, analogue and touch pad felt like second nature to me after just a few minutes of playing. The triggers, I felt, on the PS3 where at times finicky or I would not press them properly and slip right off failing or compromising part of a mission, the new triggers now feel like triggers and sit extremely comfortably under your fingers, like they are meant to be there.

Here is a Fantastic quote on the new Dual Shock 4

“Its a big step forward from what we have [on ps3]. It feels incredibly accurate and with really high quality materials it feels solid in your hands. There are tweaks to the indentation on the sticks, where you have your thumbs on them- we’ve slightly raised them so there’s more precision. These slight changes make a huge difference. It feels like your in control” – Hermen Hulst- Co founder Guerilla.

On top of the controller is an all new LED Sensor bar, Similar to the PlayStation Move Controller and used in conjunction with the camera to provide you with some intense and entertaining gameplay. The camera is positioned just like any other camera, at the foot or on top of your TV. We got to play on the Playroom which is a programme that comes with the console and maximises the controller capabilities using the Axis, The Sensor Bar, The Touch Pad and Everything in between. The Playroom gives you a futuristic style game of air hockey which uses the sensor bar on the controller to indicate your position on screen and the touch pad to slide your paddle and block the puck, Even tho I got absolutely dominated on this game (7-1) I still had an absolute tonne of fun playing, it got very tense when he was close to winning and I came back with a point the whole scenario just added to the enjoyment of playing, another cool feature on this game is that you can use the axis (Motion sensor) to bend the arena and confuse your opponent. The Playroom has many other features which I wont go into now but I will say that it will be coming pre installed or be free to download on every console, Hopefully you are better than me!.

Moving on to some of the games we saw at the lock down, they had a lot of trailers for games on the PS4 and a choice of only 3 games to play the demo of. First we have FIFA 14 a franchised that I never really found myself drawn to, never the less I decided to go toe to toe with my college friend Jason, the results of this game where less than satisfactory, but for my first game I apparently did some good defending to only concede 2 goals. As for the gameplay I can not speak from experience with playing the PS3 or Xbox 360 version but I can speak from a Games Designer point of view, The game handled very well, after some minor hiccups with the controls and lack of experience, it felt very fluid and smooth, the graphical aspect was phenomenal the grass, the players, even the crowd you can see the level of detail that has gone into designing them and the overall feel of the game and being in a crowded room you could almost see the tension, we had a crowd of people around us playing FIFA, I have been to football games live and the atmosphere in the room could be described as such only on a smaller scale.

Another demo we got to see was Contrast, this is not a next generation exclusive game, this is a mystery game based around cabaret, fair grounds and illusion, this game is a puzzle game of sorts in which the game allows the player to switch between being a solid being or being a shadow to over come certain obstacles, this game will also be on the PC in the Steam Store. Here is a short trailer showing off the game.

The Final demo we got to play was a game called Knack. Knack is a games designed to push the processing power of the PS4 and as a Games Design Student you really can appreciate the power of this machine. Knack has a look and feel of the Ratchet and Clank franchise which we both said almost in unison, there is a point in Knack where you break a box or a crate (or something of that nature) and all these tiny crystalline shards would fire out of this box as it broke and all be magnetised to your character and growing in size and power, we both felt like this was like when ratchet breaks a box and bolts come out and are magnetised to him and he then, in turn, uses those bolts to buy better equipment and become stronger. Another similarity is when after becoming this hulking monster you then have to press a button to shed it all and become small enough to fit through an air vent and you crawl through a shaft to get inside a building where upon which you are confronted by guards having to press the button again and magnetise all those shards back to you to face the guards, once dispatched you come across a group of laser impassable in your current state, to which you de-magnetise yourself once again to become small and made of a clear material as to not disturb the lasers and activate the alarms, this again felt like ratchet and clank when you take control of clank. Overall this game was stunning visually and gameplay wise very simple and very engaging.

“What we’re seeing here is a game that fully utilizes the processing power of the PlayStation 4 system, bringing massive amounts of graphic pieces together to tell a story that’s not just impressive graphically, but in its ability to blur the lines between storyline and gameplay as well.” -Slashgear, Chris Burns.

The PlayStation is set for release in the UK on the 29th November if you haven’t got your pre order sorted yet get it done, most shops are no longer guaranteeing for release day any more but get your orders down for before Christmas Holidays.

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