PlayStation 4 Launch Memories

Circumstances have made this week deadly negative on Push Square, so we’re looking to inject a little more positivity into proceedings by remembering the PlayStation 4’s launch. It’s been 12 months since Sony dropped its next-gen system onto store shelves in North America, and we’ve decided to bring our team together in order to take a look back at some of our memories from that occasion. Of course, as with anything on this site, we don’t want this to be a one-way conversation, so we want to hear your stories in the comments section, too. Did you go to a midnight launch? Which game did you play first? Have you had to scrimp and save to get your system? Let us know.

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Sammy Barker, Editor

I was lucky enough to get my PS4 a little while before the European launch, so I was pretty much in sync with the North American release. However, my memory of 15th November is very much getting up at around 04:00AM UK time in order to report on the All Access event. Geoff Keighley had been hyping up new announcements all week, and, of course, they didn’t amount to much – even if we did get confirmation of the next Uncharted game.

As for the system itself, I was understandably excited during the setup process of the new machine – but that promptly turned to panic. I distinctly remember the console freezing during the firmware update procedure, but fortunately, after a reboot, all was well. The first game I loaded up was Killzone: Shadow Fall, and I remember showing the opening stages of the first mission to family and friends several times over in order to see their reactions.

Despite lots of discussion about diminishing returns at the time, pretty much everyone was impressed; in fact, only my Mum mentioned that it looked “exactly the same as all of the other ones”. She must have been using her crystal ball again, as that’s pretty much what all of the yet-to-be-released reviews said as well.

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Kell Andersen, News Reporter

I started writing for Push Square a fortnight before the PS4 launched. In other words, I joined during arguably the busiest and most exciting month in the site's history. With that said, I didn't get the system until a month later, as its unprecedented demand meant that Australian store shelves were woefully understocked. This made the wait almost unbearable, but at the same time, meant that the payoff was so much sweeter.

The first game that I played on my shiny new black box was Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and to this day, it is still one of my favourite experiences on the console. I remember the opening scene, in which you explore a vast and secluded jungle; deftly leaping from tree to tree, as an orange sun sets in the background. It was the sort of new and interesting experience that I had been hoping for when I bought Sony's new console, and it was the sort of experience that I would continue to have as the months wore on. I like the PS4. I like it a lot.

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Nicola Hayden, News Reporter

While I may have not been able to afford a PS4 until closer to its birthday, I still have good memories of that monumental period: I visited my local game store for a special preview night fuelled entirely by free chocolate, cola, and pizza. Even though I attended by myself, it truly felt like the event was for the players, as everyone came together regardless of gender and age to share their first experience of next-gen.

I distinctly remember huddling around watching others try titles, as there was obviously not time to play everything on show. I remember the laughs from the crowd as I got married in Octodad by smacking my bride in the face with her ring. I remember the rage of one guy after dying repeatedly seconds after a checkpoint in Knack. I remember the sounds of disappointment from behind me as I missed the final jump in the Contrast demo and had to start the puzzle again from scratch – and the round of applause when I finally made it.

For me, my memory of the PS4 launch is how it brought gamers together – and it continues to do that for me today. Whether it be playing Dynasty Warriors 8: Extreme Legends in co-op or watching someone stream Dream C Club on Twitch from Japan, the next-gen Sony experience has gotten stronger because of its dedicated community.

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Joey Thurmond, Reviewer

Before I even had my PS4, I already had the games that I wanted. The US retail store Target, for some strange reason, was selling PS4 titles a couple of days before the system came out with a Buy 2, Get 1 free deal – who could pass on that? I drove over to the closest one in the cold night and was lucky that they had what I came for: Knack, Battlefield 4, and Killzone: Shadow Fall. It wasn't until several days later that the console’s launch came, and while I didn't go to the midnight launch (not really my kind of thing), I walked out of my local GameStop in the afternoon with a huge grin on my face, safely secured the PS4 in the back of my car, and drove home as fast as the law would allow me.

The sleek console was so incredible to look at as I pulled it out of the box later on, and the controller was better than I could have imagined; I've used the DualShock since childhood, so when I laid my hands on the fourth iteration, I was shocked at how much that I loved it. The best part about turning the PS4 on was hearing the ethereal main menu music, though, which really captures the beauty and power of the console – I must have listened to it for several minutes!

When I popped in my three games, Battlefield 4 and Shadow Fall's opening moments blew my mind with their graphics, and Knack was a nostalgic throwback of pure fun that was a nice counter to the serious shooters. Although the games turned out to show their flaws over time, I knew that this was only the beginning of the next generation. A year later, I'd say that Sony has met those expectations decently, but give the PS4 one more, and it'll be a must-have console that lives up to its name and motto of being "for the players”.

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Marcello Apostolico, Reviewer

Exactly one year ago today, I remember heading over to Best Buy with my girlfriend to pick up Sony's latest console; I took the day off from work just so that I could bask in the glory of gaming on the PS4. On launch day, I picked up Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack (which I thought was a great game, and was also my very first review on Push Square), and my girlfriend bought me LEGO Marvel Super Heroes as an early Christmas gift (which was my second review on Push Square). Upon booting up the system, the very first game I fired up was actually Resogun, and what a phenomenal game that was (and still is). The PS4 has seen a fairly solid first year for the most part, and it shall only get better, as we all know that greatness awaits.

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Nathan Michalik, Reviewer

My PlayStation launch day experience was, honestly, fairly typical. Like many others, I was to call off work ahead of time – but unfortunately, I spent the entire day waiting for my package to arrive, and subsequently wore myself out. The first thing that I forced myself to do was upgrade the hard drive as soon as it did show up, and then I spent the entire evening slaughtering the Helghast in Killzone: Shadow Fall – I probably stayed up until about 04:00AM streaming the campaign.

Sadly, by the time that I was ready to try some other launch titles, I passed out on the couch. The system’s since become a part of my daily life, though; whether I’m watching Netflix during lunch or playing Final Fantasy XIV with friends to do our daily quests, it’s quickly established itself in my household.

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Simon Fitzgerald, Reviewer

The PS4 launch was a very exciting time for me, as I’d enjoyed my time with the PS3, but I was dying to get my hands on Sony’s mystical new box. There were a few choices to pick from, and I went for the Mega Bundle. This included the console, two DualShock 4 controllers, the PlayStation Camera, and Killzone: Shadow Fall. Upon launch day, I ran home like an excitable puppy to see the big box in my living room. I unpacked it, and the first game that I played was actually The Playroom.

I found this a great demonstration of all of the things that the console can do, but I quickly turned my attention to Killzone: Shadow Fall, and gawped at its graphics. All in all, I had a really great day, and I’m still really excited to see what’s around the corner for the PS4.

What are your memories of the PS4's launch? Which games did you play first? What were your first impressions of the DualShock 4? Reminisce with us in the comments section below.