Part One: What’s in the Box?
The PlayStation 4 is attractively packaged, arriving in a surprisingly slender box that feels much more compact than previous generation console boxes (especially the original PS3 and Xbox 360). It isn’t quite an Apple product, pared down to the absolute minimum amount of packaging space, but those who enjoy keeping their old console boxes around won’t have to fret too much about storage space.
Inside the box, users will find the system itself, the DualShock 4 controller, the AC power cord, a USB cable for use with the controller, an HDMI cord, a mono headset, and the prerequisite manuals and warranty information (which also include a free month of PlayStation Plus, a free month of Music Unlimited, and a $10 voucher for the PlayStation Network store, the lattermost of which is particularly appreciated).
The HDMI cord is a nonessential but appreciated inclusion – I did not need it myself, but the cord is good quality and I may have use for it further down the road – while the mono headset is of such absurdly cheap quality that I cannot imagine most users experimenting with it more than once, let alone ever taking it out of the plastic wrapping. Audio recorded through the headset sounds very good, but the earpiece itself is extremely uncomfortable, and the headphone wire is undesirably prone to tangling. It is no great matter, though – just grab any old pair of stereo headphones with a microphone you may have lying around, and you should be good to go.
Otherwise, everything is perfectly in order, with the only glaring omission being a vertical stand for the console – and then only because the stand is pictured on the box itself, and has been in most of the PS4 publicity photos. The lack of the stand isn’t a huge disappointment by any means – the PS4 can be stood upright just fine without the use of a stand – but the exclusion is a mildly perplexing one, especially since, in the United States at least, Sony is not currently producing a vertical stand of their own. Users who want one will have to buy a third-party product.
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