Slim, sleek and almost unnoticeable under your TV, the PS4 oozes living room entertainment appeal with understated features, but undeniable processing power lying beneath.
It’s a supercharged gaming scenario for those ready to jump into the next generation, and one that’s clearly been embraced by developers, too, with hundreds of games already in process.
One of the PS4’s primary pushes has been to meet the needs of gaming communities, and this system has definitely been built to share. Taking social connectivity to the next level, you can immediately share your best gameplay moments with friends with a simple press of the new “Share” button on the controller.
And what a controller it is. Perfectly weighted, with a built-in speaker, touchpad, glowing light sensor, rumble capability, and all your usual sticks and buttons, this is almost a console in itself, save for a screen.
That ever-popular second screening feature has been more than tackled by the PS4’s ability to convert your PS Vita system into a full blown PS4 gameplaying device over Wi-Fi, for when you’ve hogged the main TV too much.
Smartphones and tablets can also connect to the PlayStation ecosystem wherever you are, whether you want to remotely purchase new titles, or simply watch your pals playing while you’re on the move.
It’s truly incredible technology, but after you’ve wiped the drool from the hardware, turn your attention to the games you’ll be hoping Santa slips in your stocking this Christmas.
Killzone: Shadow Fall: £48
“Beautiful, bleak and brutal” pretty accurately sums up Killzone: Shadow Fall, which takes place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3.
Set in a time of planetary colonisation, the game focuses on the conflict between the Vektans and the Helghast, two rival factions inhabiting a remote planet, separated by an enormous security wall.
And now it seems their cold war is about to run hot. As Shadow Marshal Lucas Kellan, your missions range from quiet infiltrations to all-out combat.
You’ll need to be methodical and ready to adapt with a wonderful collection of weaponry and other mechanised assistance that makes full use of the controller’s new touchpad, making you feel like you’re operating not so far from this future, too.
One of a number of PS4-exclusive launch titles, Knack is aimed squarely at younger gamers, placing you in control of a shape-shifting robot, created to help neutralise a goblin threat that’s taken over the previously peaceful land.
With slick cartoon-style visuals and flickers of the fun that Sony developers will have with the new console’s additional powers, it’s a solid early release for those too young to pick up a sniper rifle or head into a post-apocalyptic future.
Need For Speed Rivals: £44.99
The popular racing franchise makes a rubber-burning return to the console world, dropping gamers behind the wheel of both sides of the thin blue line, daring them to cross that line as either a cop or a racer to gain any advantage in the street’s ultimate rivalry.
You can choose between two distinct career experiences, each with its own set of high-stakes challenges, rewards, pursuit tech and, of course, cars.
What’s interesting here is that the ‘AllDrive’ mode destroys the line between single player, co-op and multiplayer, as friends can be seamlessly connected to one racing world where their races and chases can collide at any time.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: £49.99
LEGO tackles another hugely-popular fictional world for its first next-generation outing, catapulting the band of high-powered Marvel Super Heroes into their own original story.
You take control of Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine and many more comic-book faces, as they unite to stop Loki and a host of other familiar villains from assembling a super-weapon capable of destroying the world.
It’s arguably the best LEGO and Marvel game to date, and that’s got to be considered a superhuman effort when you look at the back catalogue both series can already be proud of.
Assassin’s Creed IV: £48
Shiver your timbers and swashbuckle your way into 1715, where pirates rule the waters of the Caribbean and have established a lawless Republic.
Among these outlaws is you, a lethal young captain named Edward Kenway, and while your notorious exploits earn the respect of legends like Blackbeard, they’ll also draw you into an ancient war that may destroy everything the pirates have built for themselves.
It’s open-world adventuring at its finest, with jaw-dropping visuals and a terrific mix of sea combat and island exploration.
The PS4 titles may be priced a little more steeply than their predecessors, but this one’s worth every single one of those pieces of eight.