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Early PS4 Reviews Are In… and Somewhat Mixed

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Early reviews of the PS4, Sony’s next generation gaming console, are in, and for people with pre-orders or plans to stand in line on launch day the verdict on whether the console is a smart buy is strangely mixed.

I say mixed because many of the arguments made in the reviews going live today aren’t necessarily based on judgments about the PS4 itself. Instead, many reviews seemed to have focused on the device’s hardware, then came to a final decision based on the titles users can expect in the next few months.

Take Polygon’s review. After heralding the arrival of Sony’s next-generation console and singing the device’s praises when it comes to technical prowess, the outlet turns its attention to the console’s launch games saying, “… the PlayStation 4’s focus on gaming – and only gaming – is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve – better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4 – but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it.”

Best Buy, GameStop, Target and Walmart plan to sell the PS4 on November 15th to users who didn't pre-order.

In effect, the outlet seems to be recommending that would-be early adopters simply hold off on the console until they see games they like.

Joystiq’s review of the PS4 doesn’t call out launch games as a particular problem, thankfully. That being said, the company does – some would say, unfairly – call out some of the PlayStation’s optional accessories.

“The PlayStation Camera is not included with the PS4, but I’m including it in this review for one simple reason: Sony very much wants you to buy a PlayStation Camera.” A few paragraphs later the review concludes with,

“If the PlayStation Camera is meant as competition for Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, it’s not quite there yet. Whereas the Kinect offers almost complete control over the Xbox 360′s UI, the PlayStation Camera’s functions aren’t nearly as pervasive. Voice commands can launch some applications, but not others. Your voice can launch Sony’s Music Unlimited app, for example, but not Netflix. And even so, Music Unlimited can’t be controlled with voice after it’s launched.”

Finally Games Radar, broke the console’s characteristics into two categories that users will either love or hate. Its review lists the console’s operating temperature and launch titles as among the things users will hate. It does conclude that users will love the console’s new controller, the upgraded PlayStation Store and the PS4’s unique remote play feature for PS Vita handheld users. The outlet thinks that the the PS4 is a worthy upgrade saying, “Sony has vaulted us into the next generation with style, delivering a powerful system that’s sleek, speedy and most importantly, user-friendly.”

GottaBeMobile will have its own review of the PS4 after the console’s launch on November 15th. The PS4 will cost users $399.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

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