Sony has confirmed that the PS4 will feature somewhat limited media functionality compared to its predecessors. The new console won't support audio CDs, won't allow you to play MP3 files and can't be used to stream media from a PC.
But you can listen to a custom soundtrack if you subscribe to Sony's Music Unlimited service. How very convenient.
The news comes by way of a recently-released FAQ, which buries the info deep within the details. Here are the relevant questions and answers, unedited, for your perusal.
Can I listen to audio CDs using the PS4 system?
No, the PS4 system does not support audio CDs.
Does PS4 include a music visualizer feature?
Will I be able to play MP3s on the PS4 system?
Will the PS4 system support media servers or DLNA support in order to stream videos or movies from a home PC?
The PS4 system does not support client functionality for media servers.
Hmm. Though the PS4 is definitely designed primarily to appeal to gamers first and foremost, the lack of this basic media functionality is a little odd for an expensive piece of living room tech that will take pride of place under your telly. However, it all starts to make sense once you read this question...
Will I be able to play background music while I play PS4 games?
Yes, the Music Unlimited streaming service will allow you to listen to music while you play PS4 games. A subscription to Music Unlimited is required.
Well great. However, at least Shuhei Yoshida is looking into potential future options. "Thanks for the feedback to the lack of MP3 and DLNA support at the launch of PS4," he tweeted. "I'll share with the PS4 Dev team for future consideration."
I daresay that many of you already have devices for media streaming (and accounts with third-party entertainment services), so this won't be an issue whatsoever, but it's worth bearing in mind. What do you make of it?
We intend to plug the PS4 into the Xbox One's HDMI-in port and see what happens.