The PS4 Legacy (Remembrances and Recommendations)

The PS4 is in an interesting spot.

On the one hand, it's still receiving new releases and probably will for a while. Its games arguably carried the PS5 for some time, as the 5 is just now starting to build up enough notches in its belt in terms of true exclusives. The PS4 was in many ways the winner of its console generation and has tons of staying power because of that and because of its deep library.

On the other hand, even though the PS4 is not dead, it's definitely entering a kind of twilight as it gets subsumed by the PS5 with not much reason to look back because...well, what does the PS4 really have that sets it apart?

For me, the PS4 was both exciting and disappointing. It was the first console I bought in ten years after setting video games to the back burner for a long period of my life. It was pretty riveting to open it up after a long console hiatus and play then-cutting edge stuff like Nier: Automata, DOOM (2016), and the Yakuzas. But it wasn't all good news. The PS4 didn't have a ton of exclusives (which to me are the soul of any great console), at least not ones I loved (God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn were solid playthroughs, but neither meant much to me personally). Looking back, some of my personal favorite PS4 games were basically just remastered PS3 titles (looking at you, Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen). The PS4 also introduced me to long wait times for updates/patches and the odd feeling that most of the discs I own are just glorified download codes. The UI is all clean, but almost antiseptically faceless and impersonal, so I don't much like hanging out in its menus. Still, this thing is the most powerful gaming machine I own and there's a lot of great stuff I still need to play on it (like my unfinished copy of Bloodborne, whoops).

Anyway, the really exciting thing for me about the PS4 is that we're now at the point where most of the games I want for it are $20 or less, and that to me is when the fun begins.

So, what do you think the legacy of the PS4 will be? How will gamers remember it? How will YOU remember yours? What are some of your favorite games and exclusives? Should I buy that Sakura Wars reboot? Is Dreams actually good? Was The Last Guardian unfairly hated? Tell me all about that PS4.

Despite flirtations with some others, I do think that the PS4 controller is my favourite ever. I went back to it after a while recently and it was like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes.

The console itself is not one of my all-time favourites (my least favourite PlayStation maybe?), but I love that controller and use it on whatever devices I can.

@“billy”#p140110 It‘s a really good controller. I don’t like the d-pad too much, but I feel like most controllers really disappoint there. Everything else is great. I love the big middle button. I use PS4 controller for most of my steam / emulation needs these days.

A bit of a cheat as it is an exclusive, but since it is the only game I have ever platinumed, the PS4 is to me, the Bloodborne machine. I played that game more than any other on the machine, talked about it with people more than any other, fully broke open my importing habits to get the European GOTY edition, etc etc. Unless the do a remake like they did for Demon's Souls, I will always have to have a PS4 around to play that game.

If I had to look back and reflect I think the PS4 represented a time in my life where I spent a lot of time playing multiplayer games with friends.

This isn't in a sad 'woe is me' sort of way but more as a 'life moves on' sort of thing. Myself and my partner (at the time) were in our mid-20s studying and working part-time. We spent a lot of our downtime playing multiplayer games together and with our friendship group.

Games ranged from Destiny 1, GTA online, and especially FF14. We also tried out a lot of other multiplayer games - like getting a bit too drunk playing Minecraft online. It was a good time overall. I met a lot of IRL friends through party chat and still stay in touch and catch up to this day.

I'm in my early 30s now working full-time and live with a new partner. The friends I used to play with are obviously in the same boat - they have partners, jobs, mortgages, kids etc. It's a bit sad a first but you adjust, grow up, move on, and then life just ah ah ah finds a way.

So there is that! But also Bloodborne duuuuudeeee.

Playing on my PS4 largely coincides with when I lived with one of my buddies between 2016 and 2022. After a lot of multiplayer games on the Xbox 360, I largely reverted back to older tastes with the PS4 and devoured rpgs and action games like the child that I am and also dumpster dived myself into checking out the tripe that was being given away on PS Plus in the console's pre-PS5 twilight years. It also ended up being my Yakuza machine once the 3-5 remasters were released, and I daresay that was the case for a lot of people.

Off the top of my head I've taken more time off work to play PS4 games than I have other systems. I'm certain that I took time off at least for Dragon Quest XI, Nioh 2, Borderlands 3, Trails of Cold Steel 3, and Ys VIII.

Fundamentally it represents a time in life in which I'd not long moved to a different city, made new friends, and the time that my general health (as much as it can reasonably be with multiple disabilities) was as good as it's ever been. I don't have it hooked up to any screens any more and I've been close to selling it a few times, and for a long time its controller was the one I used for PC games until I realised that the Epic store doesn't recognise it.

Cool system, fond memories.

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@“rearnakedwindow”#p140101 For me, the PS4 was both exciting and disappointing. It was the first console I bought in ten years after setting video games to the back burner for a long period of my life.

hey, me too. maybe because of that reason, the ps4 doesn't inspire the same sense of awe and wonder in me that other consoles/eras do. i think this also coincides with AAA development homogenizing and sagging under it's own weight. maybe this a short-sighted thing to say, but i think the ps4 also marked the beginning of incremental change for main stream games? it's hard to see the _gameplay_ gap between something like MGS2/3 and MGS4 happening between the ps4, ps5, or even ps6 equivalents.

that said, definitely reinvigorating my love for gaming. yakuza, dark souls/bloodborne, nier, persona 5. all experiences i cherish. i still don't understand why i sold it for a ps5.

maybe one day ill get a ps4 and mod and hack it somehow

thatd be neat

thats probably a little while off though

im still honkin on my ps3

The PS4 gave me Gravity Rush 2 so I will forever love it

My Ps4 story is kinda a family story in some instances. First when the Ps4 launched I had spent that entire previous generation on Xbox 360. The Ps4 launched an I was not an economic point where I could justify buying one. So I did the stupid thing trying to win one from taco bell whenever a work lunch happened. My wife who has more a mind for the fmaily finances worked out a scenario and later on got me the PS4 for my birthday. The great thing early on was most games still had demo's so there was plenty of free sample play to go around.

The Ps4 was also the console where my son went from playing simpler games with me in co-op to his own games as he grew from child to teen. Now he has his own friends to co-op with but I have the great memmories of starting out with simple lego, skylanders and disney infinity games, then later we played lots of indie games like rocket league, helldivers, alienation, lovers in a dangerous space time, overcooked etc. Even I was the one who started fortnite before it became the go to school yard game for him.

I liked having system dashboard themes, I miss that on PS5.

I enjoyed playing ps3 remakes of games I had missed, uncharted series, Wipeout collection and last of us. I enjoyed blood bourne, Infamous, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Metal Gear The Phantom Pain.

I didn't like how slow the ps store ran on my system and the lowbit rate of its videos.

I did like the controller!

Now since upgrading to a PS5 we don't really have a reason to keep the PS4 but for some reason as maybe a memmory of the times I enjoyed with my son I keep it.

Lots of good stories everyone!

The ps4 has the best blu ray player of all the consolea that have them, as far as I can tell (though I never tried the xbone) because the UI stays out of your way. I‘ve been wanting to keep it to turn it into a region b blu ray player but apparently that doesn’t work, unfortunately! I still use it for blu rays sometimes when I'm watching a commentary at 1.5x speed.

Yo, the PS4 rules. Loads of great games for all tastes but especially some of those Japanese games for cool people.

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos, EDF 4.1, 5 AND 6, Neo TWEWY and something almost everyone slept on; Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (technically a PS3 game but the PS4 version is better and has more stuff).

It ain't no PS2, but I think it was the best place for cool stuff that gen.

@“Chopemon”#p140180 I own Tokyo Twilight but still haven't played it it! I always think about but other things come up. It just looks so darn fascinating!

@“MovingCastles”#p140184 it is! Extremely cool episodic high school occult X Files. The strategy bit isn't what it could be but you learn the optimal way to play pretty early and can focus on the vibes.

OP nailed it with a lotta nom-bloodborne exclusives, but looking at my collection, it‘s the 2nd largest library i have, for reasons also mentioned by the OP: it’s been largely cheap for years now, with the exception of a few titles like godzilla (man that ones prolly terrible but i wish i could've played it…)

the vast majority of my collection is ports - it's a fantastic spot for rpgs, shmups, horror, VNs, classic series revivals and just having like a whole damn series in one place (yakuza! sonic! mega man! resident evil! most of souls!)

like, switch's library has it beat out, but ill be revisiting things here for years to come. honestly though, if i didn't have anything but rez infinite, i'd still praise the library

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@“Chopemon”#p140180 Onechanbara Z2 Chaos,

crap, onto the list that one goes

@“Chopemon”#p140186 I'll have to try and keep it more front in mind then! From memory I believe you named dropped Kowloon Highschool Chronicles which I believe is from the same developer. Both look super interesting thanks man!

After the hubris ridden PS3 and looming threat of the Xbox taking away game ownership, the PS4 was a shining star. You could tell Sony listened to developers about the complexities and weak GPU of the PS3, and their older business practices of selling and reselling discs were now a potential feature instead of status quo. This resulted in a win for both developers and consumers, and the console did not disappoint. Felt like it was everything the PS3 promised but failed on (1080p games, huge library, mostly good framerates).

This presentation from Mark Cerny really sealed the deal when it was finally shown to the public. Still kinda sucks that the hardware had to be homogenized, but bespoke technology became too much of a gamble at that point for the reasons he points out. Software always drives the hardware, so make something easier to make software for.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLWc9KlklTw

While by no means a powerhouse, it still pulled off some awesome stuff, even early on. Resogun and Killzone Shadow Fall still look amazing:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3859/14514691693_6ea88c5954_o.gif
https://giffiles.alphacoders.com/342/34230.gif

These games are 10 years old.

The PS4 began to blur the generations and console divisions, which is why it can seem unremarkable now though, especially if you started playing PC games. Most of the games for it also came to everything else. That feeling of finding weird region console exclusive games went away, which is overall a good thing since people can actually find and buy them pretty easily now.

I have a massive backlog of games for it since I graduated college, got a career, and had a kid during the last 10 years. But it's nice to know that I can pop the discs into any console and enjoy the games I have in the future. Definitely still worth picking up and the softmod scene will keep it alive (I just bought another one recently...)

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@“rearnakedwindow”#p140101 So, what do you think the legacy of the PS4 will be? How will gamers remember it? How will YOU remember yours? What are some of your favorite games and exclusives? Should I buy that Sakura Wars reboot? Is Dreams actually good? Was The Last Guardian unfairly hated? Tell me all about that PS4.

I'll start with the simplest question. I bought the PS4 in 2019 because I had a steady salary for the first time in my life and had no responsibilities, but more importantly because I didn't want to miss on games like Bloodborne or NieR: Automata the way I did with NieR or Drakengard 3 (think Drakengard 3 or even Chaos Legion -yeah, Chaos Legion), and because well, didn't take full profit from the PC and couldn't at the time because my PC was a toaster to play things like Disco Elysium.
These 4 years have been a wild ride, and partially due to buying the PS4 to a friend of my best friend for 200 euros at the time. During that time, I got into a relationship, met several people online that knew a lot better than me in videogames, got into here, started living in my house with my mortgage and stabilizing my life with a good salary. But, at the same time, the PS4 made me recall with real good memories of being a teenager with my best friend and trying both AAA, AA and niche games, and in shitty weeks where work was hell, it help me unbend myself in solitude and play a lot of loooong games, from JRPGs to VN or beat'em'up games (I blame Brandon and all of you for lmade me like Yakuza games). I'm thinking of leaving the PS4 and reuploading it considering I'm thinking about tweaking the PS3 and stay with that system for retro games, so there's that, but I don't know if I'll do that this or the next year.

As for my experience with the PS4:

  • - As long as it worked, I agree with @"exodus"#3 that the Blu-Ray was nice and even some films that were there I bought it on the PS Store (for example, Daguerrotype was there). But well, unlike Brandon I had the issue that every time I put a BluRay in there, it would get stuck for weeks.
  • - The controller was the nicest out of all the bunch, since I feel was bigger and felt more ergonomic in my hands compared to other systems.
  • - It's not exclusive to the PS4, but as some of you said, really nice to buy cheap games if you want to look for, and the PS Extra sometimes had several games that were neat. Some great experiences I had: Humanity, Zanki Zero, Missing (I did not finish it), Lost Judgment, Yakuza 0.
  • - While the indies have been amazing, exclusives were far few and between, and the AAAs were dull as fuck. I think some of the shadow parts were not only this, but also the noise. I think we all had the amazing airport noise banging from our home.
  • - I'm curious for your opinion on free games by the PS Store. I thought everything prior to the PS tiers was very nice to get some extra discount and exclusive games, and while the service is not bad, it is very disappointing. Also, knowing the PS4 didn't have retrocompatibility was a pain in the ass for me.
  • As for games, I'd say NieR: Automata was a nice but flawed game that was followed by the Replicant remaster, but the game or games that defined my generation were several VNs, remade or not (428 Shibuya Scramble), the Sega games (blaming y'all for the Yakuzas and Judgments) and a reconnection with the JRPG genre (Trails of Cold Steel, FFXV, SMT Nocturne and yeah, Soul Hackers 2, etc). And the big exclusive, of course: BLOODBORNE (and Death Stranding, even).

    As for The Last Guardian, I'll replay it again some time later.

    @“exodus”#p140179 this. ps4 was my first bluray player. also, the ps5 bluray player sucks. you can‘t even tell how far you are into a movie on the ps5. it’s so dumb.

    what i always think of when i think of the ps4 is that e3 2013 presentation where they bodied MS who had unveiled a totally awful drm strategy that involved making people pay for the rights to play a used physical copy of a game on their console. evidently sony had their own drm scheme in the works that had a lot of similar aspects but they saw how unpopular this made ms and backed off of it.

    i also remember getting a ps4 a few motnhs after launch and grabbing thief(2014) and killzone : shadowfall as my first games. totally underhwhelming and the library didn't have much going on at all in the first year or two. resogun rules tho. also strider(2014) owns as well.

    as far as legacy i'm not really sure. it continued the tradition of boxes you can use to play videogames with minimal hassle. ps5 continues that. it did finally seem to make having an all digital game library on console viable.

    I got at PS4 pro several years after it came out as my “getting into big person consoles” experience. I got it ahead of Sekiro‘s release so I could play through a few of the fancy graphics games before that came out. I platinumed Horizon: Zero Dawn and Sony‘s Marvel’s Insomniac‘s Stan Lee’s Spiderman not out of enjoyment for the games (they were fine) but because they were pretty and I’d basically never really played anything more graphically intensive than Halo 3. Although I ended up playing way more Bloodborne and Elden Ring, I think those big first-party open-world blandish but beautiful games are the “quintessentially ps4” thing for me.

    _Bloodborne_ is my overall favorite on the console for a few reasons, but my fondest memory is of playing _Persona 5 Royale_ 30-60 minutes a night at the end of the day. That was the game that got me over my life-long disinterest in the anime aesthetic.

    Those PS+ games were also a defining part of the experience. They've continued onto ps5 of course, but that was the first time I'd ever had someone throw free* games at me before and I certainly got my money's worth between _Yakuza: Like a Dragon_ alone. Fun to try out weird stuff I'd never heard of and wouldn't normally try. There was one that was like _Fortnite_ but you had magic spells instead of guns.