Those who have been with the PS4 from the very beginning will likely end up being frustrated with its lack of certain features. Some of the most basic PS3 functionality — including ‘friend online’ notifications — isn’t even included yet, and while the PS4 3.5 update (codename: Musashi) will rectify that particular issue, there’s still a ton more stuff the PlayStation 4 needs to be worthy of that £40 PS Plus subscription.
It’s good to see Sony slowly adding new features, but we can only hope they add the right ones. The PS4 3.5 Update is looking like a good start, and this in mind, here are the top 5 features IGCritic wants to see introduced — whether that’s with Musashi, or in the future.
Homepage folders and organisation
For the player that likes to dabble in all those free PlayStation Plus games, the PS4 home screen can quickly become an endless stream of similar looking icons. The games will pile up, your library will begin to overflow, and anything you don’t use regularly will slowly vanish into the depths of PlayStation hell.
If the PlayStation Vita can receive a folders upgrade, there’s no reason the PS4 can’t follow suit. It’s been well over 2 years at this point, and that means a ridiculous number of games are now strewn across our home screens. A quick click on the ‘TV and Video’ app will yield a drop-down menu, so why isn’t this used for every icon?!
Musashi is bringing with it a ton of exciting features (appear offline ftw!) but this particular one would make many a gamer wet their collective pants.
Theme customisation and backgrounds
After playing the Uncharted 4 beta, many users’ PS4 consoles are now packed with some epic, rope-swinging screenshots. Sadly, those snaps will never be given the glory of being displayed as a PS4 background.
Strangely enough, there’s no pre-built theme customization readily available with the PS4’s operating system. You can alter the font, but that’s about it. And while changing the typography is a very useful feature — ahem, sarcasm, ahem — we should be given a bit more control over the personality of our console. After all, we shelled out over £300 for it!
Game gifting and wishlists
If you’ve never been in PlayStation-love, it’s that beautiful moment when you bond with a fellow gamer over a mutual obsession with teabagging, headset-cussing and kill-whoring in objective modes.
Naturally, your friends’ birthday arrives, and you figure you’ll treat them to a wide variety of PlayStation Store goodness. Maybe you want to gift them the fifth instalment in the main Uncharted series, UnKarted. Fictional, wish-based projects aside, being able to give the gift of games would be an extremely neat feature, especially at Christmas.
It may surprise you to learn then, young Padawan, that this won’t be an option. The PlayStation Store on PS4 does not boast any game gifting or wish lists of any kind. You can’t even ask people what they want without giving the surprise away. A wish list function is present on the web store, but it’s something we need on console in order for it to become that all-encompassing entertainment hub. Unfortunately, the PS4 3.5 update doesn’t offer this but hopefully this will be reviewed in the future.
Everyone loves trophies. Everyone with a pulse, anyway. It can be easy to get overly-engrossed with meticulous trophy collecting, and they’re are a fine way to extend the shelf-life of an otherwise short-lived experience.
That being said, frustration can rear its head in certain areas. Some trophies, like those featured in the recent Batman: Arkham Knight community challenge pack, are difficult to obtain and even worse, they don’t let you track completion progress. You have to beat a certain map three times without getting hit, yet there’s no way to tell how many times you’ve done it without manually keeping count.
There are more extreme examples than this, and it’s a pain on the whole. Trophy stat-tracking could be built-in to your PS4 trophy display, allowing you to quickly check on a the progress of a specific gold, silver or bronze. Sure, some games have a stat menu readily available for such circumstances, but a lot of games don’t, and this would be a nice little addition to Musashi.
PSN Name changing
We’ve all heard the stories. The myths, the whispers. The naysayers, stating it can’t be done. Even the head of SCEA himself, Shawn Layden, gave numerous excuses in a chat with IGN. And yet, despite years and years of begging, Sony won’t budge on the matter.
Xbox owners have enjoyed this functionality for many years, a tantalising USP for those debating which console to purchase. Us PlayStation owners have been left in the dark, and this seemingly legendary feature has been left frustratingly out of reach.
Those looking to unite their social media handles with their gaming personas are out of luck, unless you don’t mind losing all those trophies. We can use our Facebook profiles on the PS4, but it still feels like a weak offering, a tool Sony have given us in the hopes we’ll forget about name-changes.
All-in-all, the PS4 experience is hit and miss. The games are great (and plenty) but the operating system is lacking in certain areas. It takes Sony months and months to pull a new update out from their rear, but despite this, the future of PlayStation looks bright.
So, for all the latest on Musashi, PS4 3.5 update and beyond, keep it locked to IGCritic.