If you own a PlayStation 4 but don’t own Destiny, you may have noticed that the sci-fi shooter popped into your library today. Of course, if you click-through to actually launch it, the PS4 will take you to the store page to buy the game for $60. But this is all part of a little-known option that Sony calls “featured content.” This is when Sony downloads things to your system that it thinks you will like — and maybe it’s just a coincidence that the thing it thinks you will like is a game it’s spending a ton of marketing money on.
Sony warned us that it would do this a couple of years ago.
Gaming is in its golden age, and big and small players alike are maneuvering like kings and queens in A Game of Thrones. Register now for our GamesBeat 2015 event, Oct. 12-Oct.13, where we’ll explore strategies in the new world of gaming.
“As the [PlayStation 4] learns your likes and dislikes, we can take [personalization] a step further,” PlayStation 4 designer Mark Cerny said at the system’s reveal event back in 2013. “You’ll discover content preloaded and ready to go on your console by your favorite creator or in your favorite genre. Our long-term vision is to reduce download times of digital titles to zero. If we know enough about you to predict the next game you’ll purchase, then that game can be loaded and ready to go before you even click the buy button.”
This sounds like a bright and shiny future — and one that I’d maybe even welcome given PlayStation Networks’ miserable download speeds. But that really doesn’t feel like what is happening here. Instead, Sony is putting a commercial for a game it has a big stake in into my game library with the hopes of pushing me over the edge and buying it.
And I checked — my PS4 did not download any Destiny content. The only thing I have is the icon for the game to take me to buy it.
Thankfully, this “featured content” is something you can turn off. Here’s how you do it: