"It Caught Us Off Guard"
Sony has always maintained that the PS4 is designed first and foremost as a gaming machine aimed squarely at gamers. #4theplayers, indeed. The evidence is plain to see: powerful hardware, a breadth and variety of software, alongside a coherent message competently delivered.
Unfortunately their laser-sharp focus on gaming led to the PS4 lacking DNLA support, MP3 functionality or even the ability to play audio CDs... leaving Music Unlimited subscription (or, erm, your smartphone) as the sole way of playing custom soundtracks. Sony's Shuhei Yoshida contends that the missing features aren't just a cynical ploy to sell some subscriptions, rather they were "caught off guard" and will get round to adding the functionality "eventually."
"There are so many people who passionately reacted to our announcement about the fact that there’s no MP3 support and DLNA support on day one," Yoshida told Giant Bomb. "It’s not like we actively decided “Yeah, let’s not do this feature so that people will subscribe to Music Unlimited…” It’s not like that.
"Like we’ve been saying, the focus has always been on game features. And some of the features that we wanted but we couldn’t get in on day one… game features… we’re very disappointed and worried about not having them on day one, and that’s always been of higher priority.
"We didn’t really think about MP3 or DLNA. We thought “we’re gonna do that eventually… We’ve been doing it with all the products.” So it caught us off guard. People don’t really talk about these features right? But when we said “We won’t have it” some got really mad and said “I cancelled the preorder!”
"So as we speak the teams in Japan and in the US, the system guys, are discussing on how and when we can put these features on PS4."
That's good news, at least. In contrast, the Xbox One will play audio CDs and feature DNLA media streaming via PlayTo, but this is a far cry from the Xbox 360's convenience as a Windows Media Extender client. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure why Microsoft's machine calls itself an "all in one" device without the ability to act as a proper streaming media client out of the box. It bothers me more than it should.
Does it bother you? Did you "get really mad" and say "I canceled the preorder?" Could you care less? Tell us.