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The PS4 is an incomplete system

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

Let me preface this by saying I purchased a PS4 at launch. But unfortunately, in its current state, it is an incomplete console. That's not to say it's a bad console -- because it's not by any means -- it's just lacking notable features that make it a must-buy, even three weeks after its launch.

Earlier today, the second week anniversary of the Xbox One's launch, I wrote my opinion of whether or not Microsoft's next-gen system was worth a purchase right now. It isn't. Similarly, neither is the PS4. 

The PlayStation 4 has had a week advantage in the United States and while we've seen a few minor updates released, none of them have drastically altered the system to make it a must-buy this holiday season.

Still lacks the quality games

The PS4 was criticized heavily for its lack of must-buy launch titles. Killzone: Shadow Fall was probably its biggest game and even that fell short of blockbuster expectations. It's not that the PlayStation 4 is lacking a variety games, but it is lacking quality games. And with any new console, the catalog just isn't there yet -- as evidenced by the lack of a free PS4 game for the month of December.

To Sony's credit, the PS4 does offer a number of games that cater to many different tastes. Coupled with third-party titles, the PS4 has a good selection of first-person shooters, platformers, free-to-play titles, and indie games. But when Resogun -- for as good as it is -- gets the highest reviews out of all the launch titles, you know there's a problem. 

The games will come. Looking ahead we have Destiny, The Order: 1886, a new Uncharted, and Ubisoft's Watch Dogs to name a few. The problem is these are months away.

Still no MP3 playback or DLNA support

Shortly before its launch, it was discovered that the PS4 lacks MP3 playback and DLNA support. This understandably upset a lot of gamers who have enjoyed both of these features on the PS3. To have them removed on a "next-gen" console is inexcusable. 

Now Sony has said they are looking into adding support for these feautres, but they've yet to really expand upon the the initial response of Shuhei Yoshida. 

Admittedly, I originally thought this issue was being blown out of proportion when it first came out. "I'll never be affected by this," I said at the time. That was before my wife attempted to play a CD through the PS4 so she could listen to Christmas music while decorating the house. It didn't work and I was forced into using Sony's own Music Unlimited, a monthly service that one must pay for to stream music through the PS4. No thank you. Oh, also, my 30-day code didn't work. Needless to say, I was a grinch that day.

Where are the apps?

I know, the PS4 is a "gaming" machine. It doesn't need apps. For the most part, I agree with that. But I find it somewhat odd that a system -- in which Sony emphasizes connected sharing experiences -- doesn't have an app for YouTube, easily the world's largest video sharing platform. Yes, there's a workaround, but how is there not an official YouTube app available on the system at launch? 

On the plus side, the PS4 does offer Hulu Plus, Amazon, Netflix, Redbox Instant, and a few sports apps, but it's also missing an NFL app. In America, that's a pretty big deal.

No YouTube uploading or video archiving

As I mentioned, the PS4 is hailed as a gaming machine with an emphasis on sharing your gaming experiences. To that end, the PS4 allows you to capture gameplay and upload it to Facebook, while also giving users an easy option for streaming on UStream and Twitch.

Am I missing something? Oh yea, there's no YouTube integration. Again, I find it odd that a system that embraces video sharing can't upload a video to the largest user-submitted video site. Also, you can't archive your Twitch streams yet. 

Is the PS4 worth a purchase?

Like I said, I already purchased a PS4 on day one. I pre-ordered it months ahead of time knowing it would have a relatively weak launch lineup. That doesn't mean I believe it's a must-buy console this holiday season.

My complaints aren't exactly a deal breaker, but they are features you'd expect on a "next-gen console." For most, the simple ability to play games make the PS4 worth $400, but the biggest problem is that there aren't many games. The future does look bright with the release of Destiny, The Order: 1886, Infamous: Second Son, and Naughty Dog's new Uncharted, but for now I'd recommend waiting.

Tags: PS4, PlayStation 4, Sony

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