Having just looked at everything we love about the PlayStation 4, it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t also touch on the stuff that needs improvement. Of course, the PS4 will only get better with time (after all, the PS3 is a very different console today than it was seven years ago), but let’s take a quick look at what Sony should focus on in the short term.
No MP3s, CDs or DNLA
Let’s be fair; ever since the PlayStation 4 was announced, Sony has barely put a foot wrong in its PR campaign, consistently outwitting the competition in almost every way. However, the decision to launch the console with no support for MP3s, CDs or DNLA was quite frankly idiotic. Currently, the only way to listen to music on PS4 is though Sony’s own Music Unlimited service, which many saw as an attempt to force people to join the music streaming service.
Understandably, gamers made no secret of their displeasure, prompting Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios, to tweet that he’s spoken to the PS4’s technical guys in Japan about the possibility of patching MP3 and CD support in. Although it’s not quite confirmation, it definitely appears to be a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
Dynamic Menu niggles
In terms of usability, it was always going to be difficult for the PS4’s main menu to match the PS3’s XMB. That said, the Dynamic Menu does a good job of emulating its predecessor’s ease-of-use, and even improves it in some ways (for example, how fast trophies sync, and the responsiveness when using the menu while in-game).
However, it’s still not quite perfect. It looks great, but it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for; a problem which will only worsen over time, as you add more games to your library. It’s also unfortunate that you can’t sort or filter trophies, and the amount of ‘New’ notifications can often become unwieldy; particularly when they refuse to disappear!
Lack of PS Camera support
Unfortunately, Sony has a history of introducing new products or features to the PlayStation family, and subsequently failing to support them. We hope this doesn’t happen to the PS4’s Camera, but the early signs aren’t exactly encouraging. Other than Dynamic Menu voice control, to date the only significant use of the camera is in The Playroom, which comes pre-installed on all PS4s. Although it’s fun, and the tech is great, we definitely need to see more uses before we’re sold on the camera.
Some of the more unique aspects of the DualShock 4 controller are also suffering from a lack of support right now; the light bar, touch pad and speaker are all potentially awesome features, but have so far been underutilised in most games.
The Share button
On the surface, it may seem a little hypocritical to include the Share button in our list of both good and bad things about the PlayStation 4, but hear us out. The truth is that, although the range of options available at launch was a good start, it still needs a lot of work before it can become the generation-defining feature it deserves to be.
For a start, it would make a nice change to be able to upload gameplay videos to YouTube rather than just Facebook. The option to view friends’ screenshots and movies straight from the PS4 would also be very welcome, as would a more robust video editing suite (which could maybe include support for commentary and annotations). Once improvements like this are made, the Share button will genuinely be a game changer.