Finally. After seven long (and wonderful years) we are about to take those exciting and tentative first steps into the next generation. On Friday November 15, Sony's PlayStation 4 will be released in North America, followed by a European release on November 29.
To help you, we've put together a comprehensive PlayStation 4 launch guide. Below you'll find everything you need to know on the games, accessories, hardware and more.
PS4: The Ultimate Q&A
1:00 - Does PS4 require an external power brick?
1:19 - Can you replace the PS4 hard drive?
2:58 - Which screen resolutions does PS4 support?
3:15 - Does PS4 support 4K video?
4:50 - Does PS4 support 3D games and video?~
9:22 - How much will PS4 games cost?
12:00 - Does PS4 download and install system updates and game patches automatically, and in standby mode?
14:25 - How long does it take to fully charge the PS4 controller?
16:00 - Can I use the PS3 controller, or Move, on PS4?
18:00 - Do I need PlayStation Plus to play PS4 multiplayer?
22:25 - Will my PS3 trophies transfer over to PS4
22:55 - Do I need a PS Plus membership for PS4 live streams?
23:10 - Can I stream PS4 on Twitch, UStream or YouTube?
24:35 - Does PS4 support external HDMI video capture?
- PS4 launch unit review
- Killzone Shadow Fall Review
- Knack Review
- Resogun Review
US PS4 launch games
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Titles
- Flower (November 15) - Trailer: "thatgamecompany's video game version of a poem, exploiting the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity. Player enters various flower's dreams to transform the world. And hopefully by the end of the journey, you change a little as well..."
- Sound Shapes (November 15) Trailer: "Equal parts instrument and game, Sound Shapes gives everyone the ability to make music. Play through a unique campaign that fuses music and artwork into a classic 2D platformer. Create your own unique musical levels with all of the campaign content and share with the world. Sound Shapes creates an ever-changing musical community for everyone to enjoy at home on their PS3, or on the go with their PS Vita."
- Flow (November 29) Trailer: "Initially an MFA thesis, flOw is a game about piloting an aquatic organism through a surreal biosphere where players consume other organisms, evolve, and dive into the abyss. With an embedded design of DDA (dynamic difficulty adjustment), players with differing skills levels can intuitively customize their game experience and enjoy the game at their own pace."
- Escape Plan (November 29) - Review: "Escape Plan features two hapless characters, Lil and Laarg, who have been captured and need your influence, skill and brainpower to escape from a dark labyrinth of irreverent puzzles and traps. By interacting with the environment and influencing Lil and Laarg, only you can help them survive each deadly room before their captor and nemesis, Bakuki, recycles them and turns them into his minions... or sheep."
- Killzone Shadow Fall - Review: "Killzone Shadow Fall takes place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3. Set in an era of interplanetary colonization, it focuses on the conflict between the Vektans and the Helghast, two rival colonist factions inhabiting a distant planet. For three decades, both factions have lived side by side, separated by an enormous security wall - but now their cold war is about to go hot."
- Knack - Review: "Mankind must turn to Knack, an unlikely hero, to protect them from a dangerous new threat. The unassuming Knack stands at a mere three feet tall, but thanks to the power of mysterious ancient relics, he can transform into a powerful brute or even a gigantic wrecking machine. Knack is mankind's only hope for turning the tide against the invading goblin army, but trying to harness the true power of the relics could threaten to put the whole world at risk"
- Resogun - Review Trailer: "An intense fast-paced shoot em' up developed exclusively for the PS4 system. Unleash a diverse array of devastating weapons including lasers, missiles, overdrive, and nova-bombs to blast hordes of enemies and rescue the last survivors from distant galactic colonies that are under ruthless attack from an evil alien invasion force."
- Angry Birds Star Wars - Trailer: "Based on the Star Wars movie prequels, use the Force for good against the greedy Pork Federation or choose a much darker path. That's right; for the first time ever you can "Join the Pork Side" and play as the fearsome Darth Maul, Emperor Palpatine and many other favourites"
- AC IV Black Flag - Current Vs. Next-gen video | Review | Feature: How Ubisoft built AC4: "Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag begins in 1715, when pirates established a lawless republic in the Caribbean and ruled the land and seas. These outlaws paralyzed navies, halted international trade, and plundered vast fortunes. They threatened the power structures that ruled Europe, inspired the imaginations of millions, and left a legacy that still endures."
- Call of Duty Ghosts - Review | Interview: "Call of Duty: Ghosts ushers in the next generation of the franchise, delivering a all-new gameplay experience built on an entirely new story, setting and cast, all powered by a new next-generation Call of Duty engine. Ten years after a devastating mass event, America's borders and the balance of global power have changed forever. As what's left of the nation's Special Operations forces, a mysterious group known only as ''Ghosts'' leads the fight back against a newly emerged, technologically-superior global power."
- DC Universe Online - Trailer: "Assume extraordinary powers and become a hero or a villain in DC Universe Online, a high energy action title that features a combat system designed to deliver a fast-paced adventure experience."
- FIFA 14 - Review | Interview: "FIFA 14 ups the ante with impressive numbers: 600 clubs, 31 leagues and some 16,000 players. For the first time, these include the top divisions from Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Big name pundits and commentators provide their thoughts on each match, and depending on which teams are playing, the chat reflects the situation. Heavyweight clashes between bitter rivals might see the commentary team discuss each manager's tactics and selections, as well as new additions to the squads and even previous performances in the same fixture. You'll also hear score updates from other matches, some of which may influence your tactics."
- Battlefield 4 - Review | Interview | Interview: "Only in Battlefield can you demolish the buildings shielding your enemy. Only in Battlefield will you lead an assault from the back of a gun boat. Battlefield grants you the freedom to do more and be more while playing to your strengths and carving your own path to victory. In addition to its hallmark multiplayer, Battlefield 4 features an intense, dramatic character-driven campaign that starts with the evacuation of American VIPs from Shanghai and follows your squad's struggle to find its way home."
- Just Dance 2014 - Trailer: "Get in the party mood and dance to over 40 of the hottest hits. With exciting new features and the coolest moves, Just Dance 2014 is your new party expert. With your PlayStation Move motion controller in hand - shake, slide and groove to chart-topping artists like Ke$ha, One Direction and Lady Gaga. For the first time you can put your dancing prowess to the test on a global stage as you face off against opponents from around the globe in World Dance Floor mode."
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition - Review: "What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat? Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition features DC Comics icons such Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman, in a dark tale of power and corruption. Heroes and villains engage in epic battles on a massive scale in a world where the line between good and evil has been blurred. Remastered for next-gen technology, the PS4 system version features touch pad functionality, video sharing and streaming so you can witness the destruction as your friends knock lumps out of each other using the world's mightiest warriors."
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Preview: "Take control of more than 100 of your favourite characters as Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine and more unite to stop Loki and a host of other Marvel villains from assembling a super-weapon capable of destroying the world. Chase down Cosmic Bricks as you travel across LEGO Manhattan and visit key locations from the Marvel Universe, such as Stark Tower, Asteroid M, a Hydra base and the X-Mansion."
- Madden NFL 25 - Trailer: "Take to the American football field and unlock the power, precision and creativity of the legendary NFL game series."
- NBA 2K14 - Trailer: "NBA 2K13 was a monstrous release for the world's #1 NBA video game franchise, with more than 38 Sports Game of the Year and "Best Of" mentions. NBA 2K14 will raise the bar yet again, providing the best basketball gaming experience for legions of sports fan and gamers around the world."
- Skylanders SWAP Force - Preview: "Embark on an exciting new adventure with the Skylanders and the SWAP Force. For generations, the SWAP Force protected the volcano that replenishes Skylands' magic. That is until an epic battle caught them in an eruption that blasted them apart, sent them to Earth and gave them the ability to swap powers. Only you can mix and match their tops and bottoms, put them on the new Portal of Power and save Skylands."
- Contrast - Blog: What is Contrast?: "Contrast is a mystery centred around cabaret, live jazz, fairgrounds, acrobatics and illusions. But it's no ordinary show! Through the marvels of modern technology, Contrast is coming to a Steam, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 platform near you, louder than radio, faster than telegraph and more risqué than Lady Chatterley's Lover! No more waiting in line for popcorn, no more pushy crowds, no more scalpers, this is the real deal!"
- Pinball Arcade - Trailer: "Pinball Arcade features exact recreations of the all-time greatest pinball tables from Williams, Bally, Stern, and Gottlieb together in one game. Every flipper, bumper, sound effect, and display pixel has been painstakingly emulated in astonishing detail."
- Super Motherload - Trailer: "Set on Mars in an alternate Cold-War era, Super Motherload is a 1 to 4-player couch co-op digging adventure with storyline by Image Comics' Kurtis Wiebe, a fully voiced cast of Soviet and American characters, and a procedurally-generated world that changes each time you play. Purchase powerful upgrades and supplies for your mining pod as you progress and prosper, as well as rare special abilities with random availability. You, the player, work for Solarus Corporation, an inter-planetary mining operation that has developed the infrastructure needed to harvest the precious resources of Mars to meet demand back on Earth. Soon after being dropped on Mars, you begin to discover that things aren't quite as they seem."
- Tiny Brains - Gameplay demo: "With a whimsical 3D art style, Tiny Brains challenges players to escape a mad scientist's nefarious puzzles as one of four mysteriously powerful lab rodents. Using each tiny brain's unique power - Create, Vortex, Teleport and Force - players collaborate to beat intricate levels and escape to freedom."
- Warframe - Trailer: "A third-person, co-op focused action game at its core, Warframe situates players as members of the Tenno race, newly awoken after years of cryo-sleep into a solar system at war."
EU PS4 launch games:
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Titles
- Flower - Trailer
- Killzone Shadow Fall - Preview
- Knack - Preview
- Resogun - Trailer
- Sound Shapes - Trailer
- Escape Plan - Trailer
- Flow - Trailer
- Angry Birds Star Wars - Trailer
- AC IV Black Flag - Current Vs. Next-gen video | Review | Feature: How Ubisoft built AC4
- Call of Duty Ghosts - Review | Interview
- FIFA 14 - Review | Interview
- Battlefield 4 - Review | Interview | Interview
- Just Dance 2014 - Trailer
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition - Review
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Preview
- Madden NFL 25 - Trailer
- NBA 2K14 - Trailer
Warframe - Trailer
- Contrast - Blog: What is Contrast?
- Pinball Arcade - Trailer
PS4: What's in the box and accessories
The PlayStation 4 comes equipped with a 500GB hard drive. Sony has said the PS4 will not support external hard drives, at least not at launch, but the console's internal storage is upgradeable. This was more recently confirmed by an FAQ posted on the PlayStation Blog.
"PS4 is equipped with a 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive. Users can choose to install a new hard drive so long as it complies with these standards, is no thicker than 9.5mm, and is larger than 160GB."
Sony's new controller was designed with the help of major first-person shooter developers, and it features a tweaked button placement, a touchpad at its centre body, a 'share' button and a headphone jack for social interactions.
At launch, PC gamers will also be able to use the DualShock 4 to play games on their Windows machines. Sony's Shuhei Yoshida has confirmed the controller's "basic functions" such as "the analogue sticks and buttons" will "work just fine". He did not say whether updates to the driver could introduce support for the touch pad, motion sensors and light-bar.
As well as the standard black version, the DualShock 4 will be available in 'Wave Blue' and 'Magma Red'. The colour variations will be available at a recommended retail price of €59/£54, and will be released in North and Latin America later this year for $59.
Out of the box, the PlayStation 4 will include a Mono-headset which plugs directly into the DualShock 4's headphone jack.
Sony support for wireless stereo headsets will not be available at launch but will be introduced later. Turtle Beach has also said the Ear Force PX4 headset will be available at launch and "some other third-party headsets may support basic audio and chat functionality on PS4", but Sony Computer Entertainment does not guarantee it. The PS Vita system's headset is also fully supported.
The standard PlayStation 4 will not include the new-and-improved PS Eye, but the camera will be available separately for $59.99 MSRP/£54.99 (Amazon currently has a pre-order price of £44.00).
Although PlayStation group chief executive Andrew House says says the camera provides a number of user-interface bonuses.
"PlayStation Camera is a newly developed camera for PS4 that incorporates two highly sensitive cameras that can recognize the depth of space. In addition, users will be able to login to their PS4 with face recognition and are capable of using their own body movements or voices to enjoy games more intuitively," he said.
"The PlayStation Camera is capable of sensing the colour of the controller's light bar to judge the positions of multiple players sitting in the same room. PlayStation Camera is also compatible with the PlayStation Move motion controller, reflecting players' in-game movements more accurately than ever in PS4 titles that support it."
Other accessories available in North America at launch include a vertical stand for the PS4 ($14.00 MSRP/£24.99), and the DualShock 4 charging cradle ($29.99 MSRP/£15.99), which lets users charge two controllers at the same time, independently of the PS4.
PS4 user's guide
Sony has published the PS4 user manual in full here. The website features detailed information on hardware, settings, games, friends, messaging, party, video/TV, music, browser, sharing and more.
North American bundles
- Amazon: Battlefield 4 launch day bundle with 12-months PlayStation Plus subscription
- Amazon: DualShock 4 bundle
- Amazon: Killzone bundle
- Amazon: Knack bundle
- Amazon: Solus unit
- BestBuy: Solus - $399.99
- BestBuy: Killzone bundle with 12-months PlayStation Plus subscription
- Walmart: Console with choice between Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Watch Dogs, Call of Duty: Ghotsts - $517.96
- Walmart: PS4 with choice of Call of Duty: Ghosts, PS Eye and DualShock 4 - $459.00
- Amazon: Solus - £349.99
- ShopTo: Killzone bundle - £399.85
- ShopTo: Killzone bundle and Knack - £445.85
- ShopTo: Killzone bundle and 12-month PlayStation Plus subscription
- Game: Solus - £349.99
- Game: £399.99