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.
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).
13 features the PS4 needs: 2
8. USB video content support
While USB sticks can be plugged in for game saves and screenshots, video content is currently a no. Add in the lack of MP3 support and that's most USB media options off the cards. It's most certainly an admirable anti-piracy feature but in these heady days of YouTube, video content doesn't always have to be illegal versions of Game Of Thrones and the lack of support for any media whatsoever is a definite loss to the overall functionality of the PS4. We know an update can fix all this so this would be nice sooner rather than later.
9. Instantly streaming demos
Another feature tied heavily into the Gaikai cloud streaming service, instant demo time is a delightful dream of trying games without that pesky loading bar getting in the way. While we're always grateful to try anything for free, the current demo set up on the PS Store still involves a hefty wait time, with many games downloading the whole lot onto your PS4 anyway before asking for the magical money key to unlock the rest. Gaikai streaming will remove all this and hopefully we'll see this feature before the end of the year so all we'll have to worry about in future is the speed of our broadband.
10. Reduced download times
Like Captain Planet and pollution, Mark Cerny promised to reduce loading times down to just about zero with the slightly terrifying prospect of the PS4 getting to know our specific likes and dislikes and then downloading content accordingly. While it might be a little scary to find just the content you are looking for already waiting on your menu screen, it would be a step in the right direction to find the newest Walking Dead or Wolf Among Us sitting there as soon as it's available on the store. However when it comes to spending actual money, it would be nice for my PS4 to know I'll want Assassins Creed Unity but I'd still rather I made the decision for it. The little Templar might buy the wrong season pass.
11. Better PS Store pricing
If Sony wants us to start doing this online buying thing and pre ordering to make the most of the upcoming preloading feature, then prices are going to have to get a little more realistic for triple A titles on the Store. Steam doesn't seem to have taught anyone anything yet so visit the pre order section and you're met with a wall of £54.99s and £64.99s for virtual products. While this might be the in store price, it's still more attractive to buy in a physical shop with reward point offers and possible discounts. A sub £50 asking price would make us question whether it's worth the walk to the shops in the first place.
12. Trophy noises
Due to the fact that no one except that commuter on the bus who always sits behind you leaves their keytones on, it's only natural to do the same with the PS4 and turn them off as fast as humanly possible. However, for us trophy hunters, this has the distinct disadvantage of removing the iconic and ever-satisfying 'Pling' when we've added another virtual piece of silverware to the cabinet. It's fine to see the notification appear at the top of the screen but like Pavlov's Dog we like rewarding noises, dammit. Surely there's a downloadable little switch Sony can pull to disconnect these two sound effects and let us aurally enjoy each mini metallic pat on the back as it happens?
13. Stop being camera shy
Other than it recognising your smiling face when you turn it on – which is nice, because, y'know, FRIEND - there's very little that the PlayStation Camera is actually doing other than gazing fondly across the room at you. It's excellent for voice recognition but other than the PlayRoom with its flickable robots and giant rubber duck, there's very little else for the Wall-E alike to do when it comes to games. More camera friendly titles than just Just Dance would be agreeable. We're not looking across at Fantasia: Music Evolved and sighing heavily. No. Not us. If nothing else, Project Morpheus will make it all worthwhile when it uses the Camera for advanced head tracking.
What PS4 features would YOU like to see in future updates? Let us know!