REPUTATION

If you’ve accumulated quite a few trophies on PS3 and/or Vita, fear not, because all of these trophies are retained on PS4. Your PS3, Vita and PS4 trophies are all pooled on your PlayStation Network ID, so if you retroactively go back and earn more PS3 trophies, they’ll show up on your PS4 without issue, as soon as you sync them with the servers anyway. Your hard-earned trophy work on prior PlayStation offerings is perfectively preserved and backwards-compatible on PS4!

Trophy prompts on PS4, as well as how they’re presented when uploading to Facebook, are also more smooth and detailed. They’re no longer just blobs of messy, broken text on Facebook prompts, even if they don’t currently display games. In-game trophy prompts on PS4 still aren’t quite as responsive and quick as they are on Vita either, though they no longer cause gameplay stutters and delays in prompting like they often do on PS3. A black box just appears in the upper left corner of the screen showing your trophy’s name, and the conditions for it, and then it instantly vanishes after a few seconds, with the familiar trophy popping sound from PS3 and Vita, naturally.

Trophy HUDOne neat addition to checking trophies on the PS4 however is the ability to see the percentage of players of a certain game that earned that same trophy. You’ll get a sense of trophies that are easy to get, and are more rare to earn, ranging from ‘Common’ to ‘Rare’ to ‘Super Rare’ to ‘Ultra Rare’ when calculating percentages of who attained them. We appreciated a lot more of our accomplishments in certain legacy PS3 titles in particular when we saw that we were among only 2-3% of players to earn certain trophies!

It’s another little thing, but it’s a great way for gamers to feel a higher sense of accomplishment with earning certain feats, while further motivating avid trophy hunters to be among an esteemed 1-3%! Not only that, but it allows developers to gauge trophies that are either too easy or perhaps too difficult to attain for the average player, likely leading to improved and more reliable trophy rosters for PS4 and Vita titles, going forward.

Sure, you still can’t change your PlayStation Network ID at all, nor upgrade a ‘sub account’ with parental controls, which is still rather baffling to us, but it’s great to see that trophies are more addictive than ever to amass on PS4!

THE VERDICT

Compared to the more multi-purpose and wide-reaching ambitions of the Wii U and the Xbox One, the PS4 is a conservative refinement of PlayStation sensibilities that truly feels like it was made by gamers, for gamers. This is very much a machine that almost entirely markets itself to people who actively enjoy playing video games, and its set of features are all about providing an accessible, but comfortable way to take your gaming experience as far as it can possibly go with modern technology, while still offering music and movie services and other such perks that already exist on PS3.

We have to say, the PS4 truly is the perfect console for hardcore gamers! It’s beautiful, it’s user-friendly, it’s very well put-together, it improves the PS3’s design flaws left and right, and it’s got a huge variety of great games both at launch and on the horizon to enjoy for both PlayStation newcomers and PlayStation veterans! In most respects, Sony has never produced a better console at launch than the PS4!

HOWEVER, that’s not to say that the PS4 is completely flawless. As understandable as high server traffic is at launch, the questionable stability of its day-one update and tendency to boot and prevent online access, both in games and in the PlayStation Store, is really annoying. It’s also annoying to have to own a Vita, a smartphone and/or a tablet to take advantage of some of the console’s coolest new features, especially if you like the idea of managing your PlayStation lifestyle on the go. If you already own a Vita, then you’ll be very glad you stuck with the handheld leading up to the PS4 launch, as its value goes up tenfold with Sony’s new console! If you don’t have a Vita already however, you’ll likely groan at the idea of paying hundreds more dollars just to take advantage of things like Remote Play.

inFamous- Second Son - GameplayIt’s also difficult to deny that the PS4 isn’t nearly as drastic a leap in gaming technology compared to prior PlayStation upgrades. Oh yes, the graphics are noticeably improved, the processing power is noticeably improved, and some of the PS4’s features couldn’t even be dreamt of on PS3! Still, the graphics aren’t the staggering improvement that was offered with the advent of the original PlayStation, the PS2 or the PS3, particularly not at launch, and none of PS4’s new features, including the Share Button and idealized Remote Play, truly feel like a ‘game-changer’ at this point. Like we said, the PS4 ultimately feels like a conservative upgrade as far as PlayStation hardware goes, lacking the bells and whistles of the Xbox One’s multi-purpose functionality in particular, and preferring to simply stick to what works for gamers.

Even then however, the PS4 really does live up to its promise for avid gamers, even if there‘s less incentive for anyone else to own it over Wii U or Xbox One at this point, and even if there‘s still a few kinks in some of its features right now. PS4 may be more of a hop than a leap in functionality compared to when PS3 launched in 2006, even if its power boost is undeniable, but it’s a worthy upgrade and a friendly, compelling console with loads of potential to be explored. If you already love PlayStation, then this is an upgrade worth getting excited about and worth owning! If you have yet to join the PlayStation family, but really love video games, then the PS4 offers the best incentive yet to join the PlayStation fold, even if it won’t blow you away with any of its supposed innovations at this point.

PS4’s conservative design runs the risk of rendering it one of the less remarkable PlayStation consoles in the long-term, but it also sets it up for delivering on its promise of being all about the video games. If you agree with its function-over-form philosophy for the next generation of console video games, then this is certainly the console for you!

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Brent Botsford has reviewed video games, movies and television for over a decade. He is also a Twitch Affiliate at twitch.tv/venuszen , presenting new, retro and independent games as the, "Sixth-Handsomest Gamer on the Internet', VenusZen.

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