by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 6th September, 2018
If you're on the edge on getting a console, you have every right to feel that way. After all, PC gaming is living through its best times with almost every multiplatform game being released for the platform. Excluding first-party PS4 and Switch exclusives, every recent game can be played on PC. And not only that but a large percentage of those multiplatform games are incredibly well optimized and tweaked to enable perfect control using mouse and keyboard combo.
We've seen games like Forza, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, and games coming from Japanese developers such as Ni No Kuni 2, Yakuza 0, Dark Souls series, and Monster Hunter World landing on PC which would be impossible just a couple of years ago. And some of those like NBA 2K and Dark Souls games are already established themselves as strong PC titles. And the fact that all current and future Xbox first party exclusives will find their way on PC just further cements the statement that PC is the best platform to play games right now.
The higher starting cost of hardware is alleviated with a lower average cost of games. PC games usually go on sale much sooner than their console counterparts as well as permanent price reductions. And you can use Xbox One or DS4 controllers without any problem on a PC, with both being officially supported. So, hook a PC up with your TV, grab a wireless controller, sit comfortably in your favorite sofa and you can get the same experience as with a console, only with better graphics and frame rate.
And now you probably think why we talk in superlatives about PC as a gaming platform considering the title of this article? Well, because the PlayStation 4 is, alongside PC, the best gaming platform right now. And if you don't have one now is the perfect time to get it. Here's why.
A new PS4 Slim with a hard drive of 1TB can be bought for below $300. If you find one on a sale it can be yours for around $250. Compared to a price needed to pay to get an average gaming PC capable of running modern games on max settings at 1080p resolution we look at a 2x lower price, at a minimum. If you opt for a beefier graphics card capable of running games at 60fps you will have to pay up to 3x more!
And even if we take into account getting a PlayStation 4 Pro instead of a PS4 Slim, the device can be bought for less than $500, which is noticeably lower than any 4K capable PC. Granted, the Xbox One X is a much more powerful machine selling for the same price, but the number and quality of PlayStation exclusive games assuage the fact that the PS4 Pro is a less powerful console. And in case you already own a gaming PC there's no need to get the Xbox One X because all the good Xbox One games (except Halo and a couple of others) are available for the PC. On the other side, skipping the PS4 Pro in favor of Xbox One X will leave you short for dozens of PS games that can't be played anywhere else.
Add to that the cost of a quality mouse and mechanical keyboard along with a solid controller for sports and racing games and you look at an investment of over thousand bucks, which is pretty high in case you just want to play some games. And 99 percent of PC games (excluding Steam Early Access games) can be played on the PS4. In case you already own a gaming PC by getting a PlayStation 4 you will receive access to more than a dozen excellent PS4 exclusives which have to be played by every gamer.
Microsoft did a horrendous job regarding Xbox One exclusives. Aside from Forza games, the console has less than 10 (around five?) first party exclusives and a good chunk of those (Quantum Break, Sea of Thieves, Super Lucky's Tale, ReCore) are of questionable quality. And lots of those exclusives can be played on a PC (Gear of War 4, Forza 7, Forza Horizon 3 and 4, Upcoming Halo Infinite, Dead Rising 3 and 4, all three games mentioned above, Ori and the Blind Forest, Ryse: Son of Rome, Cuphead, etc.) so you can get practically all Xbox exclusives on a PC excluding Halo games and Sunset Overdrive.
On the other hand, we have the Nintendo Switch and that one has a much better first and third party exclusives library. Super Mario Oddysey, Splatoon 2, new Zelda game along with some Wii U rereleases and some cool third party games like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle make quite good video games collection. But the fact is that the Switch lacks (and will lack) in AAA multiplatform titles. The other thing is that the console is relatively new so all exclusive games sport full $60 price. And don't expect for those games to go on sale relatively soon because Nintendo is notorious for keeping full price stamps on their games even half a decade after their original release. You can get cheaper games only by getting used games or by watching sales at third-party sellers.
And then we have the PlayStation 4, a console that offers by far the biggest exclusive games library. Bloodborne, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Until Dawn, Infamous Second Son, new God of War, Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Killzone: Shadowfall, Detroit: Become Human, The Last of Us Remastered, Ratchet & Clank, Persona 5, Knack 1 and 2, Driveclub, Gran Turismo Sport, all Yakuza games except Yakuza 0, the upcoming Spiderman game, and the Last Guardian are just some of games you can play exclusively on the PlayStation 4.
There are dozens of other excellent exclusives we forgot to mention, making the PS4 the ultimate choice when it comes to exclusives. And the great thing is that, in case you plan on getting the console, most of these games come really cheap (they sport a price of around $20 on the PSN store, Amazon, or other sellers) or can be bought for much less during sales. If you're after used games, you can get most of them for bargain bin prices, making the console a great investment for those who want to play quality games but don't have lots of cash to finance all those titles.
If you're don't know what to play and don't own a PS4 and Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4 is a much better choice because it has dozens of marvelous exclusives and most of those sport much lower price than exclusive games for the Nintendo Switch. And the console also has a solid number of PlayStation 3 remasters for all those who skipped playing them on the PS3, and they all look great.
While the PS4 already has by far the best library of exclusive games, Sony will release many more excellent exclusives in the future. Spiderman (which was already described as the best Spiderman game and one of the best superhero games ever to be made) is coming out in just a couple of days, and the game is another example of just how better PlayStation exclusives are compared to other consoles.
And in 2019 we will get lots of additional exclusives that should be additional incentive to get the PlayStation 4. Days Gone is an open world post-apocalyptic zombie game that should offer amazing visuals, emotional story, and tense survival gameplay. Ghost of Tsushima looks like a perfect samurai game. It features superb graphics, realistic faster-than-light combat, and it deals with an interesting historic event of Mongolian invasion of Japan that no one visited before, whether in a movie or a video game.
Then we have the second part of The Last of Us, which should offer bloody and viciously brutal combat along with continuing Ellie's story and enemy AI that looks smarter than in any other game we saw. WiLD is an interesting open world game set in prehistoric times that offer unique survival gameplay and should be one of those sweet sleeper hits PlayStation 4 is full with. We also have Dreams, a spiritual successor of Little Big Planet games that should allow players to create amazing levels and whole games with its powerful editor, on top of providing an excellent single-player campaign that revolves around an imp who can visit various wacky dream worlds.
Concrete Genie is a cute indie game where you play as Ash, a boy living in a town called Denska, which will be transformed from grey and deserted fishing town to a vibrant and colorful place filled with street art made by Ash. Medievil, one the best games from the PS1, should arrive in 2019. The game will offer its superb hack and slash gameplay along with updated visuals worthy of PlayStation 4. And finally, we have Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's new game that looks like some extremely weird SF post-apocalyptic tale filled with strange characters and haunting enemies. It has the best visuals we've seen on any PS4 game and a star-filled cast featuring Mads Mikkelsen, Norman Reedus, and Guillermo del Toro.
There are other, smaller exclusives that should arrive between now and the end of 2019, making the PS4's game library even better. And if you get the console now you will finish playing numerous exclusives just in time for all of these upcoming games to get their first price reduction.
While not really a reason to buy the console right now, VR support is important because if you want to check out VR content and your PC is too humble for VR games, getting a PlayStation 4 will allow you to play lots of cool games in virtual reality. Games like Skyrim and Doom VFR support PS VR and there are also numerous other VR games that offer virtual reality experience for cheap, and many of those are PlayStation exclusives. On the other side, many PC VR games can also be played on a PlayStation 4.
While PlayStation VR cost just $200 and that means that you can play VR games for just $500, a price of HTC Vive and just $100 more expensive than the Oculus Rift. But bear in mind that, in case you want to play VR games on a PC you have to shell out around $1,000 for a PC capable of handling virtual reality games. And while PS VR doesn't offer as quality VR performance compared to a beefed up PC equipped with Oculus Rift or a Vive, it does offer plenty of its more than a humble price point.
If you want to play multiplayer games you need PS Plus subscription, which is quite affordable if you get a 12-month access ($60). And aside from enabling multiplayer PS Plus comes with other benefits. First, it offers additional price reductions during PSN sales. Next, it offers subscribers exclusive game sales. But the best thing on them all is the fact that every month you can get a couple of free games in case you own PS Plus subscription.
While free games weren't really top of the line during the last couple of years, Sony really pushed the ante in 2018. Some of the games you could've got this year for free include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Ratchet and Clank, Bloodborne, Dead by Daylight, Rayman Legends, Heavy Rain, Destiny 2, Mafia III, XCOM 2, Beyond: Two Souls, Trials Fusion, Knack, and God of War III remastered.
As you can see, PS Plus free games went from indie classics and solid AA games to full-fledged AAA titles, and the trend will most likely continue. If you check out Xbox One free games (Games With Gold) for 2018, it is clear that PS4 is the winner for 2018 when it comes to free games. So, this is a great time to get a PS4 because you can be sure that PS Plus free games will feature some proper PS4 blockbusters in the coming months and years. All you have to do is to get the console, see what you've missed and buy those games and then to simply wait for new PS Plus free games to arrive.
You shouldn't worry about finding people to play with your favorite online games despite the fact that Sony refuses to allow cross-platform multiplayer. This is because the console sports a huge online community. PlayStation 4 sold in around 74 million units by the end of 2017, and the console sure beat 75 million units sold by now. Out of those 74 million-plus owners almost 40 percent are subscribed to PS Plus.
That's around 30 millions of people who can play games online, around the total number of Xbox One units sold by the end of 2017. And since that console also poses a subscription-based paywall to access multiplayer (Xbox Live Gold), that means that the PS 4 has a humongous online community, around twice as big as the Xbox One and bigger than all other consoles combined. And since most games do not offer cross-platform multiplayer (and most, like FPS games, won't offer at all because PC gamers who play with mouse and keyboard) PS4 is the best choice for those who want to get a console for multiplayer games.