Parents’ Buying Guide To The Playstation 4

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If you are thinking about buying your kids a new video game console for the 2013 holiday season, you might end up facing a tough decision. Don’t despair: We’ll be covering the pros and cons of each, so you can make the right decision for your family. This week we’re going to breakdown the recently unveiled Play Station 4. Keep in mind, Sony just previewed their new console and full details will not be available till after the E3 conference in June.

As a parent, the first question you most likely want answered is, “How much is this going to cost me?”  Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t released that information yet, but we can hazard a guess of between $400 to $600. Personally, I can’t imagine a console on the market this year coming in north of the $600 mark. Just keep in mind that there will most likely be a crappy lower price point on the “budget” model. Historically, budget models are severely impaired and usually require you to go out and purchase additional peripherals.

Let’s move on to the things we do know. The PS4 will not be backward-compatible, which means your and your kids’ collection of PS 3 games just became nifty video game coasters. The good news is that it appears used PS4 games will be playable on the new Playstation. Keep in mind that game developers could take steps to force you to purchase a “unique code” that must be entered when accessing the online features of a pre-owned game. I’m betting Sony is going to push downloading full games, rather than have you purchase a physical copy.

Rest assured that the PS 4 will come with a Blu-Ray player, though they haven’t specifically talked about it yet. Wi/fi will of course be built in, along with HDMI and a S/PDIF for compatible surround sound. The good news here is that you won’t have to upgrade your TV or speaker system. Yes, an Ethernet plug is included as well.

ps4 controller

The controller looks very similar to the previous model’s with the addition of a small two-touch touchpad in the middle. I’m especially glad Sony didn’t evolve to a huge tablet, like Nintendo recently did, though you can rest assured that kids are quick to adapt to whatever new controller comes to market. Luckily, the PS 4 will be able to charge these controllers while in standby mode. This should ease the burden of worrying if you have enough juice to play the next LEGO game.

With an 8-core AMD processor and 8 gigs of GDDR5 ram, you can expect much-improved graphics than offered by the PS 3. Though the jury is still out if this will justify spending hundreds of dollars on a system that is brand spanking new, one thing’s for sure: Technically the PS 4 completely outperforms its predecessor under the hood. Considering how old the PS 3 is, this comes as no big shock.

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Finally, let’s talk about what really matters: The games. The launch titles that have been announced so far for the Playstation 4 are overwhelmingly targeted to an older crowd. That’s great for mom and dad gamers, but it really leaves their children in the dark. Given the available information, it looks like the PS4 is aimed at adult males and not families with pre-teen kids, at least at its launch for the holiday season. We’ll know more this summer, but for now, my advice is to skip buying this console, unless you want to play it for yourself. Once we know more about the PS4 and the Xbox 720, we’ll be able offer a comparison that includes Nintendo’s struggling Wii U.

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