WARNING: INCOMING RANT; The Battlefield Evens Out; Key PS3 Features Not Included With Successor

Sony seems to be shitting the bed a bit as we loom closer to the full launch of the 8th generation of video game consoles.

A few days ago, Sony released a large FAQ regarding the PlayStation 4 and it’s features. Or rather, lack thereof.

Many key features that PlayStation 3 users used quite frequently and loved are being omitted from the successor’s hardware specifications.

From the FAQ (Questions in bold, answers in normal font):

Can I listen to audio CDs using PS4?

No, PS4 does not support audio CDs.

Will I be able to play MP3s on PS4?

No*.

*We appreciate your feedback and are exploring possibilities.

Ok, not a huge deal. I don’t know too many people who use their game consoles for music playback anyhow.

Is there a way to rename my Online ID on PS4?

No. But PS4 does give you the option of allowing your friends to see your real name in addition to your Online ID. You can also choose to import your Facebook photo to be used as your PSN profile picture if you wish.

Again, not a big deal for me. I don’t play too many online mutiplayer games so there aren’t too many people miffed at me to the point where I might need to be incognito. At least I don’t think so…

Will everything transfer from my PS3 system’s PlayStation Store account to my PS4, including Trophies, games, and movies I’ve purchased?

PS4 does not support playback of PS3 games. Trophies are connected to your SEN ID, and will transfer seamlessly to your PS4.

I was under the impression that much of your content would transfer to the PS4. I understand why PS3 games would not do so, as backwards compatibility is a thing of the past (and they’ll make a fatter profit per unit on PS3s), but I imagine that PSX/1 and PS2 games should be able to be played. Hopefully this will be addressed soon.

When playing disc-based games on PS4, do I need to install data to the hard drive?

Yes, all PS4 Blu-ray Disc games must be cached to the hard drive to ensure a smooth gaming experience. However, certain titles may not require you to wait for the game data to be fully cached before starting gameplay. In order to start playing disc-based games, users will need to insert the game disc into PS4 just like on the PS3 system.

Will users be able to replace PS4’s stock 500GB hard drive? What hard drive sizes are supported?

PS4 owners will be able to replace PS4’s standard hard drive. PS4’s hard drive is used to store downloaded game and video content, game save files, gameplay movies and images, and more.

What type of hard drive does PS4 use?

PS4 is equipped with a 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive. Users can choose to install a new hard drive so long as it complies with these standards, is no thicker than 9.5mm, and is larger than 160GB.

Will users be able to connect an external hard drive to expand storage on PS4?

No, this feature is not supported on PS4.

Ok, this gets to be a bit of an issue. It’s fine that you can swap out the stock hard drive, but to even get 1.5 times the memory you’re looking (at time of writing) at least another $70. It has already been documented that Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadowfall are both 45GB+ installs.

This does not bode well if you’re looking to have a large game library as you’ll only be able to fit 8-9 games tops at a time, as some of the hard drive will already be taken up by system software. This was an issue for early adopters this console generation, as the 20GB - 80GB hard drives eventually were simply just not enough space.

This leads to a large pain in the ass with having to delete games, re-download and re-install games later that you may want to play.

Will PS4 support media servers or DLNA support in order to stream videos or movies from a home PC?

The PS4 system does not support client functionality* for media servers.

*We appreciate your feedback and are exploring possibilities.

This one seemed to be the big pisser for most. Many people I’ve spoken to (both tech-savvy or hardcore gamers and casual adopters) have used their PS3s as media hubs.

I imagine this has a lot to do with Music/Video Unlimited, being that they are Sony’s proprietary streaming services. Since they are subscription based, I imagine that Sony wants to draw in more revenue from these sources.

The outcry was so bad that Shuhei Yoshida himself responded to the backlash via his Twitter account (issues related in the FAQ were noted with an asterisk).

Another issue with this is that their main competition, Microsoft and their Xbox One, have confirmed that they are in the process of getting their console DLNA certified and that it will support mp3 and audio CD playback.

The only large issues I have are the mandatory installs and iffy wording about PlayStation Store content. I have 10 titles for my PS3 and I haven’t even had the thing 6 months. Granted, the system is seven years old and I couldn’t see myself filling the system up very quickly, but it is a problem nonetheless.

Many fans are crying foul at the aforementioned axing of features, but the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to this are that Sony has been open and honest since the beginning.

They have kept true to their word about used games, no console level DRM, and earned a lot of good will in the early days especially due to the lower price point.

Another point in their favor is that Microsoft (like much of the time since the Xbox One’s initial announcement) have decided to keep quiet about their system. We don’t know what surprises await with the Xbone’s release just a week behind the PlayStation 4.

Sony has not broke my faith, but it has made me question them a bit.

So how about you? Do you go with the devil you know, or the devil you don’t?

(Archived rant, original post from Tumblr on November 7th, 2013)