With inFamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, The Order: 1886, and more, the PS4 has a fair amount of exclusive games and PlayStation Plus memberships dole out several free games every month. These are just two reasons why the console has been selling tremendously well and has now sold over 20 million units across the world. But despite these stellar sales, many PS4 players agree that the console lacks in one key area: system updates.
Unlike Microsoft which updates its Xbox One with smaller features each month, Sony updates the PS4 every few months or so with lots of larger features, though there may be improvements to system stability in between. Last week, PS4 update 2.50 introduced Suspend/Resume and the ability to backup data via a USB, but there were still several most-wanted features missing.
It’s unclear when the next PS4 system update will arrive but when it does, these are the five things that we’d like Sony to include.
1. DLNA and CD Support
First of all, it needs DLNA support. DLNA support allowed our PS3 to do things like stream music and videos from our computers or play media stored on a USB stick. For users who already had media downloaded, it was a lifesaver as they wouldn’t have to pay for services like Netflix or Music Unlimited just to access it all over again. So if the PS3 was able to do all that, why not the PS4? Furthermore, Sony was one of the companies that created DLNA in 2003 so it seems odd that they haven’t introduced it to its top-selling console.
Also strange is the fact that the PS4 doesn’t play CDs. While music streaming and digital downloads are a huge part of the music industry, CDs are still alive and kicking and for many people; most of their music library exists in the physical form. With the PS4’s recent Spotify integration it seems even more unlikely that the console will get CD support in the future, but not having it is a huge oversight.
2. Gifting Games and Wishlists
There are lots of things that the Steam Store can and should be faulted for (e.g the Discovery Queue not coming up with accurate suggestions and the fact that the store’s homepage is still cluttered post-Discovery update) but the ability to gift games is not one of them.
People can browse the PlayStation Store on a computer, their PS Vita, PS3, PS4, or the PlayStation App so whether it’s a grandma buying a gift for a grandchild or a PlayStation player buying a game for someone on their friends list, there would be a way for them to buy it. It is already possible to gift PSN vouchers so being able to gift individual games seems like a natural progression.
Going hand in hand with this is a PlayStation Store wishlist. People add games to their wishlists for all sorts of reasons: because they haven’t made their mind up yet and sometimes because they can’t afford them. With so many sales taking place and with games being offered on PlayStation Plus, a wishlist would help people keep track of when games are on offer or when they’re free, leading to more PS Store purchases. A wishlist would also give people a list of things they should buy as gifts too.
3. Fix the Messages
Other than the massive issues with the PlayStation Network over Christmas, Sony has been doing its bit to prove that PS4 is built for multiplayer. There are plenty of free-to-play games (such as Blacklight: Retribution and Warframe) and they have also introduced Share Play. With this in mind, it seems unusual that one of the key components of multiplayer gameplay, messages, is tricky to use.
The main issue that PS4 users have with the messages is that they take a ridiculous amount of time to send. They take so long to send, in fact, that in many cases it’s just quicker to send the recipient a tweet, a text, or even just give them a phone call. While the feature still works, it’s stopping people from jumping right into their games with their friends and it sours the experience.
Thankfully, the problem is probably down to Sony’s servers as at peak times, messages take even longer than usual to send. That means with a few improvements to the way PS4’s communication with Sony’s server network, these issues can be eliminated and players can get on with communication.
4. Twitter, Facebook and Skype Apps
Speaking of communication, a suite of messaging apps could also make the PS4 a more social experience. Players are already encouraged to stream their gameplay and share with friends so this would be an extension of that.
The PS4 already features the ability to share screenshots on Facebook and Twiter and find friends on Facebook, so why not go one step further? Having dedicated apps for both of these social media sites could also encourage people to connect with others players in the community. For Sony, that would be great news as it would not only provide more reasons to play the games themselves but it could also help people decide which games to buy.
Meanwhile, a Skype app would be a good idea for Sony as they already sell the PlayStation Eye camera for PS4 and a Skype app would prove how useful it is to own one. The only flaw in this is that Skype is now owned by Microsoft, and Sony would have a hard time convincing its rival to build an app for its console.
5. Overhaul ‘What’s New’
Something that is also helping PS4 players be more social is the ‘What’s New’ section. When connected to the PlayStation Network, What’s New provides players with an overview of what their friends have been up to, including the games they’ve been playing, the apps they’ve been using, and the trophies they’ve earned. PS4 update 2.50 even allowed players to jump right into a game with their friends if they saw their friends playing it on What’s New.
But unfortunately, What’s New’s design is flawed. Not only is the interface extremely cluttered, there is no way to choose what shows up on it. For example, if users only want to know about the games their friends are playing (and not the trophies they’ve achieved or apps they’ve used) or if they don’t want certain players to show up on it at all, they have no way of customizing it.
As many people have asked for a new PS4 UI altogether, What’s New could get a much needed revamp in the next update.
Which PS4 features would you like to see included in the next system update?