Over 50 gamers descended upon Deepdale Retail Park last night, all keen to test drive the new PlayStation 4 console ahead of its release in November.
Videogame retail giant GAME had set up a number of ‘GAMELockIns’ around the country throughout October, where eager punters could try out Sony’s next-generation console for the first time after store opening hours. After queuing in the freezing cold, customers were rewarded with the chance to try out some of the PS4’s launch games – including Knack and FIFA 14 – as well as complimentary pizza, courtesy of the local Pizza Hut.
Since its reveal at the Electronic Entertainment Expo – or E3, as it’s better known – back in June, Sony’s latest darling has had limited public appearances. It was first publicly playable in the UK in September at the Eurogamer Expo 2013, a huge spectacle of a trade show at Earl’s Court in London, with over 70,000 attendees.
Last night’s event proved to be a little more intimate at GAME’s rather modest Deepdale branch. Sony provided six PlayStation 4 units, a number of games, and even their own representative to answer any questions.
Attendees had the chance to go hands-on with the DualShock 4 controller for the first time, and it seemed to impress those we asked. The new pad features a number of improvements over the PlayStation 3’s DualShock 3, with changes having been made to the analog sticks, triggers and general ergonomics of the iconic Sony design.
The DualShock 4 gets rid of the almost legendary ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons, in their place ‘Share’ and ‘Options’. The PlayStation 4 continuously records your last 15 minutes of gameplay, and hitting the Share button will allow you upload clips and screenshots to the PlayStation Network, Facebook or Twitter. You can even livestream your gameplay and commentary to the ever-popular broadcasting website Twitch.
Unfortunately, Sony had disabled most of the OS features for this event, and so the focus was on the games. A number of titles were available to demo, including the first next-gen iteration of EA Sports’ wildly successful FIFA franchise.
Another popular choice was Knack, an action-adventure game from Mark Cerny – the man behind much of the success of the much-revered Crash Bandicoot.
There were also a number of indie games to get to grips with, including the brilliant Octodad: Dadliest Catch, a game in which you play as a clumsy octopus. Octodad has somehow managed to successfully integrate with human society, with largely hilarious consequences.
The moody-20s-noir adventure Contrast impressed with its creative gameplay and gorgeous environments. It will be available as a free download to PlayStation Plus members on the day of launch, after racing sim DRIVECLUB was delayed. Other launch games such as the absolutely stunning Killzone: Shadow Fall were teased, but not playable.
The PlayStation 4 will launch in Europe on November 29th with an RRP of £349. It competes in the eight generation of videogame consoles, alongside Microsoft’s Xbox One, and the Wii U from Nintendo.
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