PS3 v PS4: is it worth forking out for an upgrade?

ps3ps4imageThis November, Sony is finally unleashing the successor to the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, but many gamers are wondering if it is worth splurging on the new console when the current one is still going strong.

The PlayStation 3 was first released in 2006, and since then has had a number of must-play games released for it. As recently as June, around the same time that the PlayStation 4 was unveiled to the public during E3, developer Naughty Dog brought their survival horror masterpiece The Last Of Us out on PlayStation 3.

The game scored high critical praise, receiving 10/10 from many publications, as well as delivering a commercial success for Sony. There are countless other classics on the console that gamers may not have yet had time to play, and more still to come, including the much anticipated Grand Theft Auto V.

However, if you are a gadget geek and need to have the latest and best technology, pre-ordering the PlayStation 4 from Littlewoods early would be a safe bet. Featuring 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, it is custom built for sleek, smooth gameplay. Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft recently revealed that the definitive version of the next title in that franchise, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, would be for PlayStation 4, featuring “immersive graphics and superior wave simulation” to all other versions of the game. For many hardcore fans, that will be reason enough to invest in the new model.

The PlayStation 4 will also have exclusive new games from existing fan favourite franchises, including Infamous: Second Son and Killzone: Shadow Fall. It will also have Transistor, the next game from Supergiant Games, and online racer Drive Club, developed by British based Evolution Studios. The latter will allow competitive play, as well as giving users the ability to set up tournaments and cup competitions via an exclusive app for smart phones and tablets.

As well as the technical improvements and new games, Sony have also improved the way games are played by redesigning their Dualshock controller. As Tech Radar noted in their review of the Dualshock 4, the new controller fits better in the hands, and the response times have been improved. It also has a couple of brand new features, including a small trackpad at the top and a share button, which will allow pictures and video of gameplay to be shared with friends and social networking sites.

In short, the PlayStation 4 is a definite buy for gamers with their hearts set on staying up to date with all the latest machines. However, those players who still have a PlayStation 3 need not worry. When speaking to Japanese gaming site Famitsu, Sony insisted that they would not abandon the PlayStation 3, and that the shift to the next generation would be a gradual process.

If you do take the plunge, there’s talk of making old games available for PlayStation 4, which would be a marked improvement on previous consoles being totally incompatible with discs designed for older models. You still won’t be able to play your PS3 discs as they are, but by 2014 you might be able to stream vintage classics through a ‘cloud’ system – an innovation that will definitely seal the deal for many gamers still nostalgic about PS1’s Crash Bandicoot.

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