1. It costs $400.
That’s a lot. It’s still $100 less than next week’s Xbox One, though, and maybe your definition of “a lot” differs from mine.
2. It’s not backwards compatible, so it doesn’t play PS3 games.
Backwards compatibility might as well be a dead issue at this point. The Wii U can play Wii games, but the PlayStation 3 dropped that feature shortly after it was released, the Xbox 360 required downloads to play a select number of Xbox titles, and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One won’t play any older discs at all.
3. Online play is no longer free.
Up until now PlayStation Plus has been an optional subscription service that offers free games each month to PlayStation 3 users. With the PlayStation 4 it becomes Sony’s true answer to Microsoft’s Xbox Live, with a mandatory $50 annual fee if you want to play any games online. New consoles come with a free month of the service, but after that you’ll have to pay to play your favorite shooter or sports game online.
4. You will need an HDTV, as it only outputs in HDMI.
This might be a moot point in 2013, but the only way to play a PlayStation 4 on a standard definition TV right out of the box is if you own an HDMI to RCA converter box or cable.
5. Parents are in control
A suite of parental controls allows caregivers to restrict access to content on the PS4, with various control settings for games, the built-in web browser, Blu-ray discs and non-game apps. However the PS4 will not be able to tuck kids into bed and read them stories. Yet.