13 features the PS4 needs to be a kick-ass console

PS4 dualshock 4
The features we want to see added to PS4

Now Sony, it's not that we're not grateful for the PS4. It's so shiny (well, half shiny), pleasantly shaped and ever so full of games at 60fps.

It's still the best selling next-gen console and it's a more capable gaming machine compared to Xbox One. But there are just a few niggles we'd like ironed out sooner rather than later.

We're not ungrateful in any way for the intuitive UI, great social features and easy ways to share screenshots and gameplay but we are a bit like eighth generation Oliver and just want a little bit more.

Here are the thirteen features that we'd like as soon as possible. Please.


1. CD and file playback

Get a beautiful soundtrack CD with your super shiny special edition? What happened when you put it in your eighth generation console? Ah yes: unsupported disc. We hate to be one of those kids who points to their friends as the reason they should have something but Xbox One /has/ been able to play CDs since release. Shuhei Yoshida was apparently surprised by the reaction to the inability to play compact discs – y'know, the format that Sony championed way back in the late '70s – and has promised an update to remedy the situation at some point this year. Call us old fashioned but this would be a good time to throw MP3s into the mix too.


2. A choice of backgrounds

What's your favourite colour? Blue? How lovely for you. Oh wait, it's not blue? But if you had a choice, would you go for blue or blue? Don't you just love losing all meaning of words that end in 'ue'? After the beautiful dynamic themes resting peacefully behind our XMBs for so long – Journey scarves! Batman with a fluttering cape! - it's been slightly depressing not to be able to switch out even the colour of the PS4 background. Needless to say this will be appearing in a future update complete with swirling new-gen console particle effects but even the Xbox One has 21 background colours for its tiles and Microsoft made that.


3. Sharing on YouTube

Thankfully now confirmed as coming in an update, the lack of a share to YouTube option has been only been conspicuous in its absence. Yes it's been great to be able to get videos up to Facebook and stream to Twitch and UStream but the lack of YouTube has meant a lack of true shareability. And for something with its own dedicated Share button, all made up words about sharing should apply. Here's to the many hours ahead of endless PS4 Lets Plays and your perfect assassinations immortalised on the internet forever.


4. DLNA streaming capabilities

While it's brilliant to be able to stream to the PlayStation Vita for bedtime, or indeed bathtime, play, it would be handy to be able to stream in the other direction too. DLNA streaming was handled nicely by the PS3 but as yet there's no sign of it on PS4. With so many media devices vying for our attention in the living room, it would be just peachy to send photos and video straight to the big screen via the PS4. Apple might not support it natively but just about everyone else does and there are plenty of apps that can make it play ball. Overall it would make a superior and even more seamless experience to go from gameplay to our own personal content.

game assist

5. Game assist

Dreaming of the day you cam smugly guide a friend around that tricksy puzzle in Dark Souls/The Lego Hobbit? Dream a little longer, friend. Sadly game assist has been delayed for the foreseeable future. Powered by Gaikai cloud streaming, this neat dangled carrot of a feature wasn't even something we knew we wanted but when it was announced at E3 2013 it felt just a little bit like a taste of the future. With PlayStation Now flexing its Gaikai muscles later this year, it looks like once that's up and running Sony can hopefully start to implement it across the board and we won't be leaving friends stuck for too much longer.


6. 3D playback

So for those of us who bought 3D TVS, the lack of 3D Blu-ray playback on the PS4 is a tad unfortunate. Not that Sony has spent forever extolling the delights of three dimensions for years or anything! The PS4 does have the ability to play 3D games but since release there haven't been any compatible titles to discuss. While 3D gaming certainly has a lot to do to win us over - Project Morpheus could do it wonders - the option for three dimensions would be a positive update and make all those 3D Blu-rays on the shelf feel slightly less redundant. Poor dusty Jurassic Park.


7. Instant suspend and resume

Now might be the time to say that we wouldn't be asking for so many of these things if we hadn't been told we would get them in the first place. Instantly getting back to my place in a game wasn't at the forefront of my mind until Mark Cerny mentioned it and suddenly moving the analogue sticks and hitting the X button just seemed like a total slog. This is still currently in the works at Sony - recently confirmed by Yoshida - and will put your PS4 into its sleepy orange-lit low power state until you want to return to the game, making PS4 life that little bit better (and lazier).

Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a writer and presenter specialising in tech, games, and horror entertainment. Thanks to the latter, she needs to avoid nightmares and regularly reviews the latest sleep tech for BBC Scotland, TechRadar and T3. Her specialist subjects include mattresses, weighted blankets, and sleep aids.