Many PlayStation 4 owners report that Destiny: The Taken King has shown up on the dashboard of their consoles without warning, even if they do not own the game.
This week, many PlayStation 4 owners turned on their consoles to discover that Destiny: The Taken King was suddenly listed on their PS4 dashboards. The icon, which has quite literally appeared overnight, is even showing up on PS4 consoles even when the owner doesn’t own Destiny, or has expressed any interest in Bungie‘s best-selling game.
The icon, when clicked, will take users to a page on the PlayStation Store, allowing them to buy the popular shooter and begin downloading. One NeoGAF user has also noted that the listing directs users to the most expensive Destiny bundle available.
But rather than being an accident, or even a bug or a glitch, the game is actually being listed due to the “personalized, curated content” feature of the PS4. This feature, according to Sony, “has the ability to learn about your preferences”. The idea is that the PS4 will learn what sort of games and content its users enjoy and will let them “discover content pre-loaded and ready to go”. Not all PS4 owners will have seen Destiny: The Taken King listed, or any other pre-loaded content for that matter, as it only shows up if automatic downloads are enabled. The tricky part is that automatic downloads have been enabled by default since PS4 system software 1.75
While the Destiny listing can be removed easily enough, by going to Settings, then System, then Automatic Downloads and then disabling ‘Featured Content’, some PS4 owners have expressed concern that this feature is opt-out rather than opt-in. They say that although the listing wasn’t exactly a nasty surprise, it is concerning to know that this feature was automatically switched on and it has led to some concern about what other features and access Sony will enable by default in future.
Moreover, some have called this a misuse of the game recommendation feature, saying that they can no longer trust it. They say that there is now no way of telling which game is being listed because they might want to play it and which is there as part of a paid-for advertising campaign. And not only that but some have criticized Bungie and Activision’s policy for making money from the game, saying that this, along with Destiny‘s new microtransactions, are far too aggressive.