Sony PS4 hands-on pictures and video

We'll be 100 per cent honest, this is not a real PS4 you're looking at. It's an empty shell - well, nearly - that is used by magazines and websites to get photos of the console before the real hardware is ready. While that means we can't do much reviewing, it does mean we get to do two cool things. First, we get to see what the box will look like, and second, we can compare it to our PS3 slim.

And, we have to say, when the PS4 arrived in an anonymous backpack wrapped in bubble wrap, we were more excited than we should be about something that doesn't work. But this is the next generation of gaming here, and we honestly can't wait to start playing both the PS4 and Xbox One.

First impressions though, and the PS4 is tiny. We thought the Xbox One was a decent size when we had the photo sample of that to play with a few weeks ago, but the PlayStation makes it look massive. The styling won't be for everyone though, and Mrs Pocket-lint really didn't like it at all, and said the One was much prettier. That was a big surprise, because the PS4 certainly looks more "now" than the One does.

The PS4 is a challenge in two regards: firstly, it's a fingerprint magnet. Certainly the glossy bit is, and even the matte part can take some finger grease and turn it into a big deal. What we love though, is the way the ports and Blu-ray disc slot just vanish into the machine. If you look at the PS4 on its own, it really looks like it has no connections, everything is just so well designed into the case.

But at the back, you'll see the usual optical digital, HDMI and Ethernet socket which are all you need, along with the USB sockets, to get your console working for you. Sony is offering an optional camera with the PS4, which might explain the lower retail price - about £50 cheaper - than the Xbox One, which comes with the new Kinect controller.

And speaking of controllers, the redesigned version that comes with the PS4 is actually a big improvement. For one thing, it fits our larger hands a bit better. It feels more comfortable for long use too, it's much smoother and the grip just feels better. It is, in short, an all-round improvement.

So, there you have it. From a look at the exterior, we're excited. Both the PS4 and Xbox One have made some worthwhile changes from their previous versions, and while some won't like the design of one, or the other, or even both, they are still going to be utterly brilliant when they launch. Now all we need to do, is find the money to buy one of each.



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