At the station

March 12, 2016

I suddenly got myself a console again. On a Monday lunch, no less.

It all started, of course, with Firewatch. I had decided to play, and so set about finding a good way to do so.

The unsurprising case of the weak computers

Turns out Firewatch needs a modern computer to run. I looked to see if either of my computers were likely to run the game well and the Firewatch FAQ, in so many well-put words, clearly said no. I am well aware my macs are pretty weak by modern standards, but I did not expect Firewatch to be a game of very high demands. Most likely, this just shows how long I have been out of checking game requirements and trying to run even modern-ish games.

My Firewatch ambitions ground to a screeching halt, the gears started turning in my head.

I looked up and found myself checking the prices of a Playstation 4, while sending off chat messages to various people hoping that perhaps someone would say the right thing to talk me out of this sudden purchase.

No such luck, my friends like games too much. One confirmed the Playstation as the right way to go right now. Another wished me luck and said I would soon find myself 500 hours into Destiny.

I managed to push the breaking point off the weekend, only to promptly break down on Monday, order my console in the morning and picking it up on the lunch break.

White Playstation 4, with Star wars stormtrooper figure on top White Playstation 4, with Star wars stormtrooper figure on top

Weird how things go, right?

I will probably have a lot more to say over time, especially about games, but here is a fun thing which struck me as I was setting up the actual console:

Input delight

Setting up was easy, even going through all the required registrations, password entries, confirmations and connecting of accounts bordered on pleasant. The main reason it felt sort of fun, really, was that it got me reaquainted to the console way of handling input. You have a custom controller with all these possibilites, and Sony make clever use of most of them even for chores like text entry. Most buttons map to shortcuts like space, delete, numeric input and so on, but the real delight was how they put everything I have heard about text entry on the Apple TV to shame. You see, the main addition to the controller is a touch surface, and you can slide your finger across it to move a glowing dot across the letters laid out in qwerty-fashion on sceen. Swipe around with a finger on the left hand, using the X button to pick each letter as you cross it. So much better than stepping back and forth on a line of letters, and pressing a button instead of tapping the touch surface (it clicks too, but it never occured to me to see if I could click it to pick the letter) ensures you never slide off target when selecting.

On top of that, Sony offers completion suggestions. Actual, useful completion suggestions. Sugestions which do not force themselves into your text unless you select them, I might add. In no way does it beat a bluetooth keyboard for speed, but I have never had more fun entering registration information into a console.

And then what?

Then I dove into Firewatch, taking two nights to finish (mostly because I had other pesky chores to attend to before starting on the first night).

Next up: Unravel, another quirky, emotional and deeply beautiful experience.

This is starting well, Playstation. I think we can be friends.