Five Ways that the PlayStation 4 Can Improve

The PlayStation 4 has been out for over two years now, but that doesn’t mean Sony has everything figured out when it comes to the system. There are a few outstanding features that the console is lacking, and some functionality that could use modifying. We put together a list of five features we would love to see the PlayStation 4 implement, so sit back and enjoy our constructive complaining.


 

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Let us play PS1 games on PS4

Sony may have introduced a select few PlayStation 2 titles to the PlayStation 4’s online store, but PS1 games are still non-existent on Sony’s newest system. On one hand, people may feel that it’s strange to want to play such old games on new systems. However, considering that the PS3 allowed users to buy and play PS1 games, it’s unfortunate that these same users aren’t allowed to play their purchased PS1 games on the PlayStation 4.

Sony offers PS Now, a subscription-based streaming service that allows you to play PS3 games on your PlayStation 4. If Sony wants to continue to publicize and grow PS Now, why not throw PS1 games into the mix? Better yet, add PS1 games to PS Now while also adding them to the main store. Whether or not you find the idea of playing old classics like Final Fantasy 8 or Castlevania appealing, it can’t be argued that from the business side of things, Sony is missing out on a lot of profit that would come from PS1 games on PlayStation 4.

Saving audio files to the system and playing CDs

This complaint is a little nit-picky since the PlayStation 4 does have some decent functionality when it comes to playing music either on its own or while playing a game, but seeing as you could save audio files on the Xbox 360, it’s not much to ask its following generation of consoles to do the same. Yes, being able to play music through Spotify or through a USB memory stick while playing a game is great, but Spotify doesn’t boast every tune out there, while switching a USB stick in and out of the system can be an inconvenience. If Sony is serious about making the PlayStation 4 the all-in-one, go-to media player, it needs to implement functionality that allows people to use it as a proper audio player.

On that note, it is baffling that the PlayStation 4 isn’t able to play audio CDs. Whether or not you think they are outdated technology, the reality is that decent CD sale numbers are evidence that the medium isn’t dead yet. The Xbox 360 and PS3 allowed users to both play CDs and copy them to their hard drive, while the Xbox One only allows users to play CDs. If it is a security issue that is stopping Sony from allowing users to copy files to the hard drive, then the company should have figured out a way to make their console secure without removing two basic feature: playing audio CDs and saving audio files to the system.

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Turning off the controller’s light bar or changing its colour

When Sony introduced the DualShock 4 controller, a few people wondered whether its front light bar would have any sort of practical use. As it turns out, it doesn’t – yet. Sony original designed the controller with the light bar because it can be used for tracking by the PlayStation Camera for Sony’s upcoming virtual reality headset. The issue with this is clear – not everyone is going to be playing VR, at least still for a few years, especially considering the latest news that a PlayStation VR bundle will set you back $499 USD.

With a battery life that is less than spectacular, Sony should allow PS4 owners to turn off their controller’s light bar and save some energy. This easy fix would also satisfy gamers who can’t stand the reflection of the light bar in their TV set. As an aside, if the colour of the light bar has no effect on gameplay, why not let users modify the colour to anything they wish? It would be a nice bit of added customization. Sure, being able to change the colour is also practically useless, but without VR, so is the controller’s light bar.

Let us skip those darn logo animations!

This one isn’t a complaint aimed directly at the PlayStation 4, but rather at games in general. Every time you boot up a game, you have to sit there for a minute or so watching as the developer’s logo, the physics engine’s logo, the publisher’s logo, legal text, and so on, play out on screen. I understand the value for a business to make their logos recognizable to gamers, but when you have already paid $60 dollars for a video game, you shouldn’t have to sit through this part every time you boot up the game. Imagine having to sit there in your car listening to all the companies that made parts for it before you drive off, or having the chef list every single ingredient and its producer before you bite into your sandwich. Not very fun, is it?!

I’d love to see a developer that allowed the user to set an option on what happens when they boot up the game. For example, if the game is an RPG, the option could be set so that it always loads up the latest save file. If it’s a sports game, then the game would immediately go to the specified franchise mode or online league. It would make things that much more convenient for gamers, while not punishing them with making them wait, even after having dropped a large amount of money on the game.

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Change the Quick Menu, please

Sony sure has an interesting way of organizing the so-called Quick Menu when you hold down the PS button, and by “interesting”, I mean stupid and inconvenient. You are presented with five options, two of which I have literally never used in my life: logout of PS4, and switch user. Even more asinine is the fact that these two useless options do nearly the exact same thing. The “Logout of PS4” options logs the user out and then asks them to sign in as a different user, while the “Switch User” option allows you to switch to a different user without logging out the original user. Why Sony thought these options necessitated priority on the Quick Menu is something I can’t figure out.

What Sony should realize is that most people want to do one of either two things when they hold down their PS button: turn the system off or turn the controller off. Yet, these options are not in the first set of five in the Quick Menu, although Sony does include the option to enter rest mode. While the option to turn the system fully off is in the next sub-menu, something as simple as turning off a controller is incredibly obtuse to do.

Instead of being in the first menu, or the sub-menu, it will be in a third menu where you can turn off the controller. Oh but wait, Sony also allows an easier way to turn off the controller, by holding down the PS button on the controller for 10 seconds. 10 seconds! When it takes me only 4 or 5 to go through their terrible Quick Menu, I won’t be holding down a button for 10 seconds. Yes, this whole complaint comes down to seconds wasted here and there, but it’s the fact that Sony can’t build a convenient Quick Menu that boggles my mind.


What features would you like to see added to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or WiiU? Are there any features from past generations that you would like to see in the current one? Drop a comment below and let us know.

Daniel Podborochynski

A Canadian who loves video games, soccer, sandwiches, reading, cats, dogs, Aphex Twin, bike rides, Fallout, Daft Punk, barbecue, and beer.

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