5 Reasons to buy a PS4 today (and 5 reasons to wait a while)

PS4 DualShock 4
The PS4 is here: buy today or wait away?

With the PS4, Sony hopes to correct some of the mistakes that it made with the PS3.

The new console features a tried and tested 64-bit x86 architecture, making it easier to develop for, and Sony has trimmed its machine of media frills to concentrate on delivering a pure gaming experience.

Best of all, perhaps, the PS4 is cheaper than the rival Xbox One by £80 in the UK. Should you buy one now? Or bide your time? Let's discuss...

1. The PS4 is the most powerful next-gen console

Despite the fact that Microsoft boosted the CPU and GPU performance of the Xbox One before going into production, the PlayStation 4 is still the more powerful of the two next-gen systems.

On paper, the specs show that it's got an eight core x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU, 8GB of DDR5 memory (the Xbox One uses older DDR3), a 500GB hard drive, and a powerful 1.83 TFLOP Radeon GPU. In practice, developers have suggested that the PS4's memory reader is 40-50% faster than the Xbox One and its Arithmetic Logic Unit is 50% speedier.

How does this shake out in terms of performance? With the confirmation that Call of Duty: Ghosts only runs at 720p natively on Xbox One but runs in full, glorious, pixel-perfect 1080p on the PS4, we think you have your answer.


2. The PS4 is the best games machine

Sony has gone back to its PlayStation roots. The PS4 is a pure games machine, unencumbered by the media frills that adorn the Xbox One. The launch line-up offers some spectacular 1080p gaming experiences at 30fps, such as fighting the Helghast horde in Killzone: Shadow Fall and sailing the beautifully-rendered seas in Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag.

There's more to come in 2014 too, with DriveClub, Watch Dogs, Destiny and the tasty prospect of a PS4 Uncharted title. And don't worry if the 500GB hard drive seems a little small for all these AAA games. The PS4's internal HDD can be upgraded. The Xbox One's can't.

3. The PS4 has the best sharing features

The PS4 ships with Sony's new DualShock 4 controller, which benefits from a higher-quality design, superior feel/grip, a MicroUSB port for easy charging and a 3.5mm headset jack. It also has a dedicated 'share' button that enables you to share screenshots and gaming videos across the PlayStation Network, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch and Ustream.

This social aspect is right at the heart of the PS4 experience. The PS4 makes it easy to see what your friends are up to, chat and even extend your gaming to a PS Vita. While the PlayStation app lets you use your smartphone as a second screen to manage your content. Take that SmartGlass.

PS4 interface

4. The PS4's launch day bugs have been exaggerated

There are bugs and niggles with any new product, especially one as complex as the PlayStation 4. Reports of 'blinking blue light of death' that caused some PS4s to shut down due to connectivity problems are nowhere near as catastrophic as the Xbox 360's fatal 'red ring'.

In fact, Sony has revealed that only 0.4 per cent of launch consoles have suffered from it. With one million units sold on day one in the US, that's a tiny number. Nothing to be worried about. Most modern products aren't perfect from the get-go and so being an early adopter means that you have to take these problems on the chin. You are, after all, one of the first to own a product that will be fixed, improved and refined as time goes on.

5. The PS4 is the best value console

Easy one this. Priced at £349, the PS4 is £80 cheaper than the £429 Xbox One and represents tremendous value for money. Yes, you could argue that every Xbox One ships with a Kinect as standard. But early reviews suggest that the new Kinect is imprecise and that it will take some time before games and apps make full use of it. Even if you add in the equivalent PlayStation Camera (£44.99), you've still got £35 and a penny left to put towards a next-gen game or a couple of Blu-ray flicks. Nice.