Here at BadCoyoteFunky, we are huge advocates for Sony’s primary video game console, the PS4. Lately I’ve had some thoughts about the functionality of the Playstation.
While I do love me some PS4, sometimes I find myself struck with nostalgia and so I’ve been loading up my PS3 with some classic titles like Syphon Filter, Tomba, Twisted Metal, Crash Bandicoot, and more. (Sidebar: Spyro the Dragon as an adult is the easiest thing ever). A handful of these can be played on a Vita as well.
On PS3, I just got through a round of Ratchet: Deadlocked HD, a hidden redemption only acquired when purchasing Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault. And now I’ve begun crawling my way through the Resistence franchise. Clearly I’m on an Insomniac Games kick.
I’m always on the lookout for discounts on the Playstation Store, usually through the mobile app. On top of their semi-regular weekly deals, there are sometimes flash sales which usually contain the best gems. As a result I was able to pick up Shadows of the Colossus HD for $3.99. After my credit roll of the Last Guardian, I felt moved to return to Team Ico’s previous magnum opus. $4 well spent.
However, going back a console generation has really brought me to appreciate some of the PS4 system features. Immediately, I felt the slow clunkiness of the old UI. For example, just opening the PS3 Playstation Store took FOR-EV-ER as opposed to the immediate gratification you find with the instantaneous loading time that is the PS4 Store. Creating folders on a PS4 is as simple as a selection from the options menu, while on PS3 you had to spell out the folder name EVERY GODDAMN TIME!!! And the remote play from PS3 to your PSP or Vita? Borderline useless.
Lets talk about some of the best Playstation features available right now.
Remember when you used to turn on your console, load the game, select your save and then get into playing? With update 2.50 we saw the fulfillment of one of the PS4s major promises, which was the instantaneous reload of your saved game state. Within 30 seconds you can have your PS4 on, game loaded and 3 kills deep.
Which of my friends are online right now? What playlist am I listening to on Spotify? Is my chat volume too loud? By holding down the PS button, your game pauses and brings up a small but useful menu on the left side of the screen with handy access to all of these controls along with power and device options. Most of these useful tools required returning to the main menu and making a selection from there. Now its available immediately.
Remote play was marketed as a huge selling point to offer the Playstation Vita as the perfect counterpart to its home console brother. Little Big Planet 3 (soon to be part of the Playstation Plus February 2017 line-up) boasts on its loading screens that with remote play you could be sitting on the toilet right now! With Sony leaving the Playstation Vita almost exclusively to the JRPG crowd, PS4 Update 3.50 introduced Mac and PC users to the Remote Play App for their computers. With the aid of a micro usb cable, or optional dongle, you can stream your game to your computer leaving your TV free for… well… TV I guess. I use this feature ALL the time. I wouldn’t recommend PVP but I have definitely completed my fair share of Destiny bounties using my laptop while in bed.
PS4 has a surprising amount of accessibility features. Aside from the common Closed Captioning, and the less common Text to Speech, Zoom, and voice control with a microphone, PS4 also has the ability to customize button assignments. I’ve had friends with dexterity issues able to play first person shooters for the first time due to being able to adjust the button mapping so they can appropriately kick some ass. While I am a die hard Sony man, many of these features are also available on the Xbox One.
Hey you! Yes you. With the PS4. Why are you so sad? Too many games but not enough space on your hard drive? Boy do I have some news for you!!!
Sony has released the details for the next system software update, 4.50 (Sasuke) for the Playstation 4 which adds support for the applications to be housed on the external drives up to 8tb. This feature requires USB 3.0 which should allow transfer speeds fast enough to run games off of the connected drive but the saved game data will continue to remain on the internal storage.
Recently, after I found myself furiously uninstalling games trying to juggle the last remaining 30gbs of space my PS4, I upgraded my measly 500gb of storage to a hearty 2tb (which math tells us is 4x the space). And after backing up my data to a external drive, downloading the PS4 system software to a flash drive, cracking open the console, replacing the internal hardware, installing the OS, and restoring my data, I can fully appreciate the appeal of a plug and play expansion. Now you too can live a bountiful life of storage excess.
Hark! Rejoice! Thou shalt have space once again.
Other notable improvements mentioned with 4.50 include a more compact quick menu with more party controls, Custom background images using in game screen shots, a simplified notifications list (Finally), and Playstation VR will be able to enjoy 3D Blu Rays in stereoscopic 3D
Those who have signed up for the beta should be receiving their invites now.
No word yet on a release date for the PS4 4.50 update