This time last year, I wrote some New Year Resolutions that we gamers should take to get the most from gaming and many of those points still stand today. Tempting as it was to adjust that article for 2014, I thought I’d set some resolutions for the Sony’s PlayStation 4 so it can have the best year possible. It’s not going to be easy, especially with a resurgent Microsoft seemingly overcoming shooting themselves in the foot for most of 2013. Sony has a narrow lead right now, but here are 10 Resolutions to make sure they stay in front throughout 2014.
Unchain the share button!
I hope Sony earned a lot of money from Ustream, Twitch and Facebook for ignoring YouTube at launch, but enough is enough. We know YouTube support is coming, but we need it sooner rather than later so I don’t have to keep uploading videos to Facebook and then stripping them out to upload to YouTube – letting us put captured media on a USB drive would be handy too. The quality of captures isn’t what we hoped, with a low resolution for pics and a dark feel to the video, so some improvement there would be nice.
If Sony wants us to keep bothering with the likes of Twitch they could do with sorting out the archiving so it saves our streams for later viewings. We’re not all live-streaming celebrities, so live broadcasting makes us at best feel like someone that’s turned their TV to face out the front window for attention, or at worst like some nutcase shouting Biblical damnation at pigeons in the town square.
RRPs go back to normal
We get this every generation. For a few months, the default price for a game seems to be at least £50 to take advantage of early adopters’ desire to play the latest shiny thing on a console that they spent the rent money on. But six months later, gamers can afford to eat again when new games return to £40.
But at the same time, we wouldn’t be massively surprised to see retailers and publishers stick to their guns and say the £50+ RRP is here to stay. I’ve been paying around the £40 mark since the days of the Mega-Drive in the early 90s and some N64 games were released at £60. Think about how the costs for everything from from crisps to Mars bars to cigarettes to electricity to Council Tax has skyrocketed with inflation et al and it’s a miracle we’re not paying closer to £100 for games. Or maybe digital will provide respite for our wallets? Bwah ha ha ha!
Ever notice how Blu-ray playback was slightly different to DVDs on the PS3? Bit of a pain in the arse wasn’t it? Well, most of us survived without stumping up more cash for a remote, but if Sony don’t release a firmware update for the controls on PS4, I might just lose my shit. Pressing O to pause instead of X or Start Options seems to be a hangover from the original Japanese design (where X and O are generally reversed). Please sort it, I just got the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions and a Rocky boxset on Blu-ray and can’t cope much longer.
Give us folders!
Most keen PS4 gamers will already have a decent-sized game collection in addition to the retail games they picked up at Christmas thanks to the numerous free-to-play titles on PSN. And then there’s the handful of demos for the likes of FIFA 2014 or Trine 2.
But why do we have to view them all as one long messy list, ordered only by what we last played? A list that doesn’t even have the little JPEG placeholder picture pre-loaded if you want to scroll through more than a handful. What’s all that memory doing anyway?
The PS3’s XMB system was fantastic for anyone keen to organise their collection into personalised folder groups. For example, I have some for Games, Demos, and PS Plus Games I Should Really Get Around to Playing. It took an age for Sony to add folders to the Vita (in the form of still-not-great bubble pods), fingers crossed they let us tidy up their mess sooner this time. If you think this isn’t important, you should probably tidy your room before your mum burns all your stuff.
Add media file support
When Sony said the PS4 wouldn’t support MP3 or CD playback I wasn’t too bothered to be honest. But I feared this also meant that they would stop supporting video files. There was no confirmation of this until I had a PS4 of my own and I stuck in a USB drive packed with video content only for the console to ignore me, not even acknowledging I’d plugged anything in. Rude.
The backwards step that is the PS4’s attitude to media file playback is bewildering given how accommodating the PS3 was. Sony has at least said they’re going to add MP3 support later on. Fingers crossed they add in video support too. For some, I imagine streaming content from a computer or PC would be better. But for those of us that pay our own electricity bills, USB support takes preference.
Calm down with mandatory installs
The huge install sizes dwarf those seen on the PS3 and are going to fill our 409GB (true story) drives in no time. The likes of Killzone (39GB), Assassin’s Creed (22GB), a few demos and F2P titles meant I only had about 300GB left after my first day. We’re just going to have to get used to clearing them out sooner than usual. To be fair they take almost no time to install, unlike the Xbox One where they take ages and players can’t even see how much space they have left.
Iron out the wrinkles
There still seems to be a few technical gremlins causing occasional problems when using the home screen menus or accessing the PSN Store. All too often, I’ll get stuck on a blue screen and have to back out and try again before being allowed in. Facebook Trophy integration has been hit and miss since launch too. After the terrible launch day, where many of us struggled to log onto the network, things have got much better. But there’s room for a bit of polish yet.
Give Gaikai to the world
We’re not even sure what Sony’s plans are for the streaming service, but we’re hearing that Europe might not actually get it this year! We imagine streaming previous generations of PlayStation’s back-catalogue is going to play a large part in things and it would be great if we get to try it this year at least. I’ve been impressed with the quality services like Netflix have been able to fit through our narrow broadband in the UK and am hopeful games can cope too. But how is Sony going to monetise such services? I’m hoping for a reasonable flat monthly fee for unlimited access. With LoveFilm ditching games and Blockbuster closing, there’s a real gap for game rental services right now.
Show off the games
Stop teasing us with tiny hints that someone might be working on a God of War game or ‘announcing’ a game with just a logo (hello, Uncharted) show people why they should invest in a PS4. Microsoft isn’t going to stop waving Titanfall around anytime soon and Sony really need start some wang-waving of their own.
I’m really looking forward to Infamous, but I know it’s not going to be a bona fide system seller to Joe Public. Show us some footage of the new Uncharted that makes that E3 demo look like Wallace & Gromit, show us Kratos starting a fight against a Dragon in China, show us a driving game that’s not DriveClub, just show us something that blows our mind!
Keep up the good work with PS Plus
We love PS Plus, even on a “bad” month there are at least two good games given away. We’re not expecting to get massive games like Killzone or Assassin’s Creed IV anytime soon (don’t be shy though), but indie titles like Resogun and Contrast have been a good start and we hope further down the line we’ll see some full-sized next-gen titles in addition to the stripped down version of DriveClub we’re getting soon.
That’s all from me folks, but we’d love to hear your opinions on what resolutions any of the consoles, handhelds, PC gaming or you as gamers should be taking in 2014 too!