Yesterday saw the official Sony Philippines launch of the much anticipated PlayStation 4. Sure, it came out earlier in other gaming stores, but yesterday's event is a pretty big deal. Until now, Sony Philippines hasn't really supported a game console from launch. The PlayStation 3 was eventually supported, but that came late in the unit's lifecycle. Gamers here in the Philippines, especially us console peasants, have been clamoring for official support since both Sony and Microsoft have operations here. So, yes, we now have it!
I'm not going to talk about what the PlayStation 4 is or its specs, since if you're reading this, I'm going to assume you're a gamer on the fence about getting one or you're unsure from which store you should get the console. For details on the event and the specs, check out Unbox.ph and PinoyTechBlog. They're fantastic reads.
In this post, I'll be talking about what to consider when getting a PlayStation 4 here in the Philippines. But before that, I wanted to briefly discuss my experience with the PS4.
Dualshock 4 is AWESOME
I know I'm going to be stoned for saying this, but the Dualshock 3 is one of my favorite controllers ever. While that statement just erased any gamer cred I had left, let me tell you that the Dualshock 4 just felt... right. Even with my stubby Asian hands, it just fit nicely. The buttons are still very familiar, with the exception of the share and option buttons - those take some getting used to.
However, despite the convex design of the sticks, my thumb still managed to slip off a few times. That may just be human error, though.
I was able to clock in a few minutes with Knack, and to be honest, it wasn't anything great. It's your standard platformer. All Knack is, is an exercise in the way the PlayStation 4 can deliver vibrance (to the point of oversaturation) and handle a large amount of particles on screen at once.
Motion tracking was something of a flop with the PlayStation Move and the Kinect. They were gimmicky and there were no must-have games that required them. Most gamers just ignored them. Still, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are amping up the technology on both of their motion controls. I gave it a go and I gotta say, I'm impressed. The PS4 camera is pretty accurate. I still don't want one, though. EDIT 1/26/2015: I ended up buying the bundled camera for Just Dance 2014 and 2015. Don't judge.
Okay, now, let's talk about the considerations.
Here are the official Sony prices:
Barebones PS4 (comes with the unit, a DS4 controller and a mono-headset for chatting) goes for Php 24, 999. EDIT 1/26/2015: These go as low as 18,995 now.
Killzone package (comes with everything above plus Killzone: Shadows Fall) goes for Php 26,899
Battlefield 4 (comes with everything the barebones package and Battlefield 4) goes for Php 27,399.
STILL NO HDMI CABLE WTF SONY EDIT 1/26/2015: This is my bad. It totally comes with one.
If you're thinking that these packages are more expensive than other stores or even other Sony stores abroad (Hong Kong, I'm looking at you), you'd be right. But consider this:
While the reported lemons make up only less than 1% of total units produced, the possibility of buying a brick is still there. Some stores will offer replacement, but what if they don't?
Sony Philippines Offers Warranty
This alone makes the price worth it. The PS3 didn't get official support until late in its life, and when yours broke down, you couldn't take it to Sony if you didn't buy it from Sony stores. They wouldn't even take a look at it. Consider that this is a new console and there will always be a chance that it is defective. The launch PS4s are the worst PS4s that are ever going to be produced. Of course they'll get better (slim, super slim models, etc.) but if you're taking the risk with a launch unit, then you better take precautions.
Do We Get PSN Support?
The long and short - NOPE! We still can't register our own physical addresses. We still have to make up some bullshit address in Hong Kong or Singapore or do that 90210 trick for R1 accounts. We still have to perform workarounds to register our credit cards, which may actually not be such a bad thing. And that may also mean we don't get PlayStation Now, which just sucks all kinds of balls.
So Should I Get From Sony?
The warranty is a pretty damn good reason to get your PlayStation 4 from Sony. Even people from a popular Pinoy PlayStation forum agree with me.
As for me, I'm still waiting for a few more killer apps. I'm still happy with my PS3. The first game I really wanna try on the PS4 is probably Metal Gear Solid V. And since BF4 multiplayer progress carries over to next-gen consoles, I think I'll stick to my PS3 for now. Plus I have no money, I'm poor, and the initial number of units were limited, so chances are, I'd have to save up for a few months.