Sony PlayStation 4 FAQ Reveals Presence (And Absence) Of Features

by Mike Futter on Oct 30, 2013 at 08:58 AM

As we previously mentioned, Sony has posted a new document pertaining to the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 at launch. We outlined the list of release titles, and the surprising news that the console won’t allow for USB devices to expand system storage. Here are some of the more minor details.

If you’re hoping to borrow a game from a friend before a digital license purchase to cut short download time, you’re out of luck. The PlayStation 4 requires that you delete the disc data before you can install a digital copy.

Music fans will be disappointed to learn that the PS4 does not support audio CDs or MP3s. It also doesn’t have a visualizer.

In addition to the features that will be activated by update 1.5 (like Blu-Ray playback and online play), the PlayStation 4 will be missing a couple of other things. You won’t be able to share your controller over the internet to get help from a friend right away. You also won’t be able to use wireless stereo headsets (even Sony branded ones) as we previously detailed.

If you are currently using the PlayStation 3 as a media server, you might want to hang onto that console. The PS4 won’t be able to serve that role.

At launch, the PS4 will have full parental controls for sub-accounts, and you will be able to download updates while the console is in standby mode. This is different than suspend/resume mode, which also won’t be featured at launch.

Sony has stated that day-and-date digital releases are a goal, but that it’s up to publishers. Be warned that if you are hoping to go exclusively digital this generation, Sony isn’t guaranteeing that all titles will fit your plan.

There is some good news for importers. The PS4’s games aren’t region locked. This includes digital purchases. Sony does recommend you stick to your own region for those to ensure the best experience, though.

PS3 and PS4 users can technically play together (as they likely will when DC Universe Online arrives). They wont be able to voice or video chat with each other, though.

Finally, there is no more waiting for patches to download. You’ll be able to play your game while that happens. You will need to restart your game to implement the new content, though.

The full blog is extremely detailed, and we expect that it will be updated many times over the coming days. There are titles we were surprised to see absent from the list of release day games, and there may be some clarification about other elements.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]


Our Take
Some of these facts were known previously, but some are still a surprise. I expect that we’ll see most games available digitally when they arrive at retail, but I’m surprised that Sony is leaving that up to publishers. I’m also surprised at the little things missing like audio CD playing and a media server. I think the absence of the suspend/resume feature is also interesting, even though it’s something we’ve known about. Here’s hoping that the gaps are filled in quickly so early adopters can make the most of their new systems.