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Review: The PlayStation 4 Is Fast And Fun, But Needs Time To Grow

We live in a world where every other day there's a new iWhatever, a new tablet, just something. In video game culture, though, those moments aren't so prolific. As we celebrate the arrival of the PlayStation 4, we break down the ins and outs of the next-gen goliath.

Admittedly, two days is not really much time to get a fully actualized feel for the PlayStation 4. But, then again, you can learn a lot about a console in less than 48 hours when it's been broken down ever since the announcement of its launch earlier this year.

After downloading and installing the Day One 1.5 patch that activated many of the system's features, the PlayStation brand ushers gamers into the "next generation" with new features, a focus on social media and streaming, and a boosted emphasis on hardware that will surely pack a wallop when you play those first party titles.

The initial thing you'll notice when you navigate the revamped dashboard is how clean and speedy everything looks and feels. We opened up the web browser to note how fast the PlayStation 4's processing speed was. Running a custom eight-core AMD CPU, the PlayStation 4 was a dream when navigating online. Easy to punch in your favorite sites (VIBE.com, anyone?), the results were instantaneous and without lag. The PlayStation 4, which is capable of 1.84 teraflops performance, should be capable of much more in years to come — but for now, it was a joy and a pleasure. The physical box itself, designed by Mark Cerny (Knack), is a play off of the PlayStation 2 incarnation that gamers still love so dearly. Sharply-edged, drenched in ebony, the PlayStation 4 is roughly 11 inches wide by 2 inches tall by 12 inches deep and weighs just 6 pounds. Certainly, this looks better than the Betamax design of Microsoft's Xbox One, and slims down on the weight the PlayStation 3 had when it clocked in at nearly 11 pounds and was designed at 13 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 11 inches deep.

During a marathon play through of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, the system became heated after a 10 hour timeframe, its rear-panel ventilation grid (which included HDMI out, Ethernet and an auxiliary port for the PlayStation Camera) and recessed side partitions allowed the PlayStation 4 to easily transfer heat from the internal parts such that it would remain lukewarm to the touch. Initial reports before the console's release noted overheating and failing systems, but our review unit didn't experience any of those existential problems so far.

With this console, it is very clear that Sony wants its number one spot back after falling to Nintendo and Microsoft in previous years. The "wow" factor is noticeable from the moment you power up the PlayStation 4. The first time you see the crisp graphics, rendered textures, and detailed characters and objects, your eyes may take some time getting used to enjoying 60 frames per second.

Aside from the lush graphics on the screen, gamers will revel in the updated PlayStation 4 controller. The overhauled DualShock 4 is prepped for next-gen enjoyment. After using it heavily for 48 hours, Sony was right in keeping with the same concept since the PlayStation 1. The controller feels great in your hands, one can feel the added texture to the back of the controller, and the redesign allows for easier indication as to where your thumb is when you place it on the Sixaxis or the back trigger buttons. There's now an illuminated "Lightbar" between the triggers, faced forward, which identifies the player for multiplayer and can be partnered with the PlayStation Camera to enhance motion control. The Lightbar is also capable of feeding back color-based status information, such as a character's health state, or tagging letters upon the PlayStation 4's onscreen keyboard. On the gamepad's bottom, the DualShock 4 has a new, standard-size headphone jack that will allow gamers to play quietly during the late night or enable voice chat, without needing the $60 dual-camera PlayStation Camera.

Another noteworthy change is the touchpad, which is a nod to the PlayStation Vita that lets you play games with one finger. Resting in-between the traditional d-pad and the face buttons, the touchpad is a depressible, dotted, and smooth that was very responsive. At the time of review, we weren't able to put it into action, but during the PlayStation 4 demo, gamers will be able to call plays on NBA 2K14 or bring up your mechanized assistant in Killzone: Shadow Fall by swiping in a certain direction. Along with the removal of the "start" and "select" buttons in favor of the "share" and "options" buttons, the PlayStation 4 has doubled-down on its purpose to be the world's first social streaming video game console. The share, obviously, allows you to upload videos or photos to your favorite social media hubs (see: Facebook, Twitter), while the options button will allow you to invoke context-sensitive menus. The Remote Play functionality allows gamers the ability to stream their gameplay live through Twitch, which is a great and well-implemented feature that will surely become very popular as we go into the next year. Through your PlayStation Camera, you can become a gaming legend through the TV sets of other gamers around the world. All in all, this means the DualShock 4 is equipped with some of the smartest updates to ever grace the gaming community in years.

The social streaming segues us into the improved Cross-Media Bar, which may become background noise as we go deeper into the console's life. New features such as the "What's New" section expands into a three-column feed showing everything you, your friends and interested parties have done on the PlayStation Network. Displaying when you or your friends start games, broadcast live Twitch streams, or even earn trophies could be easily ignorable or an rewarding experience depending on your gameplay preferences. If you are a true social butterfly, the PlayStation 4 offers you an ability to keep up with not just what your friends and family are doing now but what they've done recently. The downside to this is that the PlayStation, much like all social media streams, promotes ads and PlayStation products every few screens which could become annoying very quickly.

While you can send a "real name" request to your PSN friend online, the cumbersome back-and-forth process of requesting and accepting the offer could prove to be equally annoying to newcomers.

Still, for all the updates, bells and tweets, the common thread that seems to maligned the PlayStation 4 is the lack of quality Day One titles. DriveClub and Watch_Dogs have both been pushed back until 2014, which angered a lot of gamers, but that is not the only red flag. The PlayStation 4 is missing a game from one of their first-party studios that can be called a true blockbuster. During last night's (Nov. 14) countdown, Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 was teased to millions, but with that not a Day One release, it makes the other titles look flat. The PlayStation 4 has a surprising 23 games slated for release, but many on the list are already available for the PlayStation 3. Titles such as Knack, Contrast, Resogun are aimed to distinguish themselves from the pack, but only the latter two are causing any excitement.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is a great looking game, which is no surprise given the power of the "Jaguar," but boy is it a beautiful experience! Right now, this game is the one that will keep fans walking in the door, but the lack of premium titles at launch gives its competition, the Xbox One, a slight advantage. A plus for the PlayStation 4 is that now game installs are both compartmentalized and prioritized. You can play your game as it downloads. This feature never slowed the progress of the download or the game while being played, which is a reward all in itself.

With Sony's PlayStation 4, they've managed to fix some of the problems from previous consoles, introduce new and impressive features, and indoctrinate the gaming community into the next generation of play. The console's redesign is beautiful; the DualShock 4 controller is totally 21st Century with the introduction of the "share" button, and Sony's launching of an iOS PlayStation App allows you to keep in tune to your console even when you're away from the system. Clocking in at $399, the price is $100 less than the Xbox One, which is out one week later, but falls short in the exclusive gaming department.

The announcement of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 does a lot to quench the thirst of hardcore gamers, but with it being so early in the game, the PlayStation 4 needs a little bit more time to grow if it wants that number one spot back.

Don't believe us?! Take a look at the breakdown of the PlayStation 4 in this video below:

The PlayStation 4 is in stores now. Will you go out to get yours? Or wait until next year when there are more games?

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Stephen Curry Inspired By 9-Year-Old To Provide Curry 6 Shoes For Girls

Proving to be more than just an expert shooter from the free-throw line, Stephen Curry has managed to do right by the majority of the people in his life, including a young girl he's never met.

After receiving a handwritten letter from 9-year-old Riley Morrison, the precocious kid pointed out one minor issue with the Golden State Warrior's latest Curry 5 shoes — the sneakers were not manufactured in girls' shoe sizes.

hey @stephencurry30 can u help? pic.twitter.com/3jwuEc776B

— Liz Plank (@feministabulous) November 26, 2018

"My dad and I visited the Under Armour website and were disappointed to see that there were no Curry 5s for sale under the girl's section," the aspiring basketball player wrote.

Quickly swooping in for the save, the 30-year-old athlete responded with a written note, saying, "I appreciate your concern and have spent the last 2 days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue." Continuing the letter, the father-of-three went on to say, "I am going to send you the Curry 5's now and you will be the first kid to get the Curry 6."

pic.twitter.com/2Yhz69rysE

— gu-c (@guchawney) November 29, 2018

In a statement to VIBE, Dean Stoyer, VP, Global Brand Communications for Under Armour explained the shoes were intended to be worn by girls and boys.

"Thanks to Riley and Stephen, we’re correcting a simple yet critical error. We’ve actually offered Curry signature footwear in youth sizing for boys and girls since the initial Curry 1; however, labeling that youth sizing for “Boys” and not designating for boys and girls, was simply wrong," he said. "Beginning now and moving forward our youth sizes will be properly labeled on UA.com to reflect co-gender “Grade School” sizing, and on boxes beginning with the first youth sizes of the Curry 6 delivering this spring."

Working diligently to correct the mistake, Curry proceeded to invite the young fan to an event for International Women's Day in March.

Looks like everyone wins, including Riley and girls all over the nation.

READ MORE: Stephen Curry And Viola Davis To Executive Produce 'Emanuel' Doc On Church Shooting

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Wu-Tang Clan Taps Teyana Taylor To Model New Lipstick Collab

On Thursday (Nov. 1), the iconic hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan announced to Billboard that they teamed up with Milk Makeup to launch their first-ever cosmetics line with Teyana Taylor as the star of the campaign.

Wu-Tang, who is heavily inspired by Chinese culture, are no strangers when it comes to extending their brand beyond music. In the past, the Staten Island group has had a line of sneakers via a partnership with Nike and spent this year launching an apparel collection of streetwear for different seasons.

However, this is the first time the group hopes to reach to the hearts of ladies everywhere with the new lipstick collection. Wu-Tang's RZA told Billboard that his wife is a fan of Milk Makeup products. "My wife has a cool perspective about makeup [because] in her youth, she was in the modeling circles," RZA said.

"She is a fan of Milk Makeup's products, and when [Rassi and I] talked about forming a collaboration that reflected our NYC sensibility, and philosophy makeup became the unique and unpredictable choice," he added. "The Milk Makeup collaboration was spearheaded by my wife."

The 46-second commercial for the limited-edition product features Teyana Taylor performing karate moves on a roof with the NYC skyline in the background. Dressed in an all-black battle suit with long sleek black hair, Taylor is focused on her kung-fu styled moves as the video goes into slow-motion.

Taylor, who featured Wu-Tang on a remix to her 2018 single "Gonna Love Me" spoke with Milk about the new venture. "[Working with Milk and Wu-Tang] was a no-brainer. I have been a huge fan of Wu-Tang forever and I love the modern energy of Milk Makeup. When I saw the quality of the lipstick with the custom-sculpted dragon on the bullet, I was impressed—it's like a work of art."

The limited-edition collection is currently available exclusively on MilkMakeup.com. Each of the lipsticks can be bought separately for $55 each or all together for $440. Along with the collection comes a 24 karat gold compact mirror ($75) and a makeup pin set ($18) that can also be bought separately.

Will you be buying one for the holiday season?

 

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WU-TANG X MILK MAKEUP 美 AVAILABLE NOW - We are unleashing a ❗️limited-edition❗️collection of 8 luxe Lip Colors in collaboration with Wu-Tang that balances sacred Chinese ingredients with high-payoff colors. - The longwear Lip Colors, each named after the eight earthly elements of the I Ching Trigrams ☯️ are housed in a specially-made component, revealing a custom-sculpted dragon upon opening. 🐲CHI (high shine red) 🐲SACRED (rose gold glitter) 🐲FIRE (matte orange red) 🐲FLOW (high shine rosy beige) 🐲FREQUENCY (purple glitter) 🐲SOURCE (high shine burgundy) 🐲CYPHER (high shine brown) 🐲RUCKUS (high shine hot pink) - Our #wutangxmilkmakeup Lip Colors available NOW exclusively on milkmakeup.com - Video features ME! Original beat produced by @RZA Campaign video produced by @whoodencollective

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39am PDT

READ MORE: Teyana Taylor Enlists Wu-Tang Clan For “Gonna Love Me” Remix

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Virgil Abloh's Moët Collaboration Goes The Cool Kid Route With Free Tape Dispensaries

Virgil Abloh's collaboration with Moët & Chandon is pivoting towards an interactive leg thanks to an unveiling of custom-wrapped bus shelters (stops) with the Abloh's signature "DO NOT DROP" tape.

From Friday (Nov. 2) to Nov. 20, those in the Chicago area can stop by a bus stop and find them decked out with Abloh's design. Bus shelters wrapped with Abloh's signature design include the Art Institute of Chicago with two additional placements in the Chicago neighborhoods of Printer's Row and near Greektown. Abloh previously announced the limited-release of the brand's first-ever liquor brand collaboration in September.

The free tape dispensaries will be available from 9AM-5PM today. Abloh previously spoke with Harper's Bazar about the idea behind the design. In addition to staying true to Moët's timeless legacy, the designer wanted to make the design as treasurable as possible.

"I was inspired by the idea of what champagne means. How it can be symbolic of an achievement, a celebration, it has a sort of upper-echelon emotion attached to it," he explained. "So the design I applied to it, as a figure of speech in a way, in my voice, using Helvetica and quotes, to say... treasure the moment, "do not drop," it's fragile. That was a way to, in contemporary speak, merge these two ideas together."

The 750ml “ready-to-wear” design can be purchased for $60 at retailers nationwide, as well as online at Clos19.com. The 38-year old happily celebrated the new partnership last month at New York City’s New Museum.

Check out the sleek design below.

READ MORE: Virgil Abloh’s Moët & Chandon Collaboration Is Too Cool To Sip

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