The lights are on
We've had the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for roughly a month
now, which has given us time to familiarize ourselves with the ins and outs of
the two systems we will be spending way too much time with over the next
several years. Like a family member you are intimately familiar with, it's hard
not do develop some pet peeves with these systems. Here are 10 easily
correctible things Sony and Microsoft could do to smooth out the platforms.
Streamline Friend InvitesMeeting new people and catching up with old friends is one
of the best parts about modern gaming. Sony has largely righted the ship with
regards to its approach to socializing on PS4, but we have one niggling complaint.
It takes way too many button clicks to get to the actual friend invite after
you've received one, and if you reject an invite it doesn't delete it. You need
to click the options button and do it there. Both instances should be a
Introduce Dashboard CustomizationI'm sure many adore the flowing dashboard art and
contemplative, ethereal soundscape that constantly plays in the background
after you boot up the PS4. But after hearing this elevator music for the 100th
time, I was ready to forgo sound altogether. You can turn off the music in the
settings menu, but no options exist for changing your background. Personalization
is a major part of user interfaces in everything from cell phones to remote
controls, and we would love it if Sony allowed us to put our own personal stamp
on the PS4 dashboard.
Let People Change Their PSN NamesReiner once went by the Xbox Live name BeerJesus, but after
the 7,000th flippant comment about the name in Call of Duty lobbies,
he decided it was time to become The Artist Formerly Known As BeerJesus. Someone out there on PSN
also regrets his or her off-the-cuff pick for a PlayStation identity. Do the
right thing, Sony, and set them free.
Turn Off The Controller GlowWe get it – you can emblazon the DualShock 4 controller with
different colors to match the on-screen activity. This is an interesting flair (kind
of) when applied to games. You know when it absolutely sucks? When you're using
Netflix or another app and the controller is sitting on your coffee table
emitting an obnoxious glow. Please let us turn this off. Think of all the
energy it would save!
Lose The Annoying Health And Safety MessageQuit acting like an overbearing mother and please remove that annoying message we're forced to read every time we boot our systems. Video games are a non-contact sport. We'll be fine.
Re-Surface The Friends ListThe Xbox 360 was unrivaled in its approach to making
socialization a destination. The Xbox One, on the other hand, must be
embarrassed of your friends, because it does its best to hide them under a
collection of menus. Please bring our friends back to the forefront where they
Stop Automatically Recording Meaningless GameplayGiving gamers the ability to showcase cool video clips on a
timeline is a great idea. But we're all less likely to check out these
timelines if all the videos are meaningless clips of people clearing boards on
Peggle or ranking up in Battlefield 4. These should be reserved for videos that
people actually think are cool.
Give Us A Download Queue And Storage ManagementMicrosoft thinks it knows best when it comes to managing
your storage. It's wrong. We would like to be able to prioritize which installed
games stay and which ones go after we all inevitably run out of storage space
given the minuscule hard drives the Xbox One ships with. While we're at it,
could we please have a download queue that shows whether or not any progress is
being made on a title update download? Thanks!
Let Netflix Use Its Superior User InterfaceWe get it, Microsoft. You think your Metro design is sleek,
functional, and sexy. If you want to use it for your official apps, that's
fine, but don't make Netflix conform to the same design parameters. It limits
the amount of choices users have on screen while browsing films, and it looks
worse than the Netflix offering on every other platform.
Fix The PartiesIf
we want to join a chat session while playing Battlefield 4 right now, we need
to exit out of the game, accept the chat invite, turn party chat on, and then
rejoin whatever game we were playing. Xbox parties, now with red tape! Also,
you can't chat with someone who is playing a different game than you. Please go
back to the old way of doing things, Xbox. It was much more efficient.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.