In our final article looking back at the first six months of the PlayStation 4, we’re taking things in a slightly different direction. You see, as someone much cleverer than the PS4 Attitude team once said, ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’. And so, having just discussed everything that’s awesome about Sony’s latest home console, it’s really in the best interests of the universe’s karmic balance that we also offer a little constructive criticism.
No MP3s, CDs or DNLA
Four months ago, we would have bet money that CD, DNLA or even just plain old MP3 support would have been included on the PS4 by now, but unfortunately we’re still waiting patiently (well, maybe not that patiently). We know they are coming eventually, but their continued absence on the console is frankly baffling in our modern, technology-focused world.
The lack of these basic features is made even stranger by the fact that SHAREfactory, the PS4’s new video-editing software, allows gamers to use their own music in their movies. This currently requires tracks to be saved onto a USB drive, at least until MP3 playback is supported natively. A few months ago, Hideo Kojima even announced that players could import their own music into Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; a feature that, unsurprisingly, isn’t in the PS4 version. Come on, Sony, sort it out!
Dynamic Menu niggles
Unfortunately, basically all of our small complaints with the PS4’s Dynamic Menu from four months ago are still present today; in fact, if anything, the biggest problem has actually worsened. Early adopters now have six months’ worth of games on their hard drive and, as predicted, sifting through them all to find exactly what you want can be fairly annoying.
Currently the only way to sort your games and apps is in the order you last played them, so if you fancy going on a game you haven’t played for a while, you have to search through potentially dozens of icons. This could easily be fixed by giving us more sort and filter options, or even the ability to create custom folders. It’s a similar situation with PSN trophies, as for some reason the PS4 doesn’t allow you to sort games alphabetically or by platform, even though the PS Vita does.
Lack of PS Camera support
Just as it was four months ago, the only significant use of the PS camera to date has been on The Playroom, which is pre-installed on all PS4s, but requires the camera to play. It’s great fun, and certainly proves that the technology is there, but it remains the only real example of the hardware. True, you can also use the camera for voice commands in Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and for PlayStation Move functionality in Octodad: Dadliest Catch, but it is still very underutilised.
Of course, one future application of the PS camera will be with Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset. Although precise details are thin on the ground, the camera will be able to track the headset, as well as the DualShock 4, allowing for even more immersion. It’s an intriguing concept, but we’ll have to experience it for ourselves before we’re completely sold.
Not enough true exclusives
With over 70 titles currently available on PlayStation 4, it certainly isn’t suffering from a shortage of games. However, one specific type of game that it arguably is slightly lacking in is exclusives. To date, we can only think of four games of note that can’t be played on any other platform; launch titles Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Resogun, and March’s inFAMOUS: Second Son.
Four true exclusives in six months isn’t exactly amazing, especially considering that certain other consoles we could mention had more from day one. The problem is that most ‘exclusives’ on PS4 are also available on either PC or other PlayStation consoles, so many gamers won’t yet feel the need to upgrade. Don’t worry too much though, as there are loads of awesome-looking PS4 exclusives on the way (including Driveclub, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, N++, The Order: 1886, Rime, Shadow of the Beast and Uncharted), and no doubt we’ll see a lot more at E3 next month.