9 Stupid things the PS4 doesn't do yet

PlayStation 4 Screenshot - 1158210

I’ve been using the PlayStation 4 for a few months now, and even though it's mostly been a Battlefield 4 box, I’ve enjoyed it a lot. The Dualshock 4 is a joy to use, and the interface is incredibly fast compared to my bloated Xbox 360 dashboard. PlayStation Plus is, of course, a huge benefit. There's a lot to love, but it'll need a few updates before it feels like a fully-featured, next-gen console. Here are nine dumb things I really wish my PS4 could do.

1) Proper Cloud Syncing for Saves

Cloud Saves on PS4

My girlfriend and I play shooters together, and we’re both snobs who need our own consoles and hate split-screen. The result? We’re probably one of the few households to own two PS4s, and that means we’ve dealt with a fair amount of cloud save issues. The bottom line is this: I don’t want to have to think about whether my save files are up-to-date on the console I’m about to use. If my profile is on a PS4, my saves should be too. The last thing I should have to do is manually upload and download saves from cloud storage or wonder why my progress in a game is mysteriously missing.

2) YouTube video uploads

Youtube on PS4

So you build this video sharing aspect into your console, to the point where the controller itself is built with sharing in mind. Then, you give people the ability to save gameplay clips and upload them to...Facebook? The lack of YouTube integration on the PS4 is a huge fail at the moment, and makes the clip recording aspect of the sharing feature seem useless.

3) Better screenshot management

Instagram on PS4

Speaking of sharing aspects being nearly useless -- the screenshot feature lacks the ability to upload screenshots on social media services that specialize in photos, like Instagram. Worse, there’s no reason why you can’t do whatever you want with screenshots. Even on Vita, I can take a screenshot and email it to myself or plug my Vita into my PC, then grab the screenshots and use them however I want. Future updates should provide easy and unlimited freedom for such a basic feature.

4) Decent streaming quality

Streaming Quality on PS4

I’ve yet to watch one of these Twitch streams of my friends playing PS4 without massive compression issues, dropped streams, or audio syncing issues. I understand this is a new service, and Sony obvious has some kinks to work out, but I can already watch crystal clear streams of tons of PC games through Twitch and Ustream.

5) Cleaner menus

Too many steps

As a regular Battlefield 4 player, I go through the same routine every time I load up my PS4. It involves looking up my friends, inviting them to a party, creating the party, and accepting it all. The amount of drilling down through some of Sony’s menu design is just too much. Inviting a friend to a party should be no more than one button press in the friend’s menu, because if the 360 can manage that, the PS4 certainly better be able to.

As more and more games come out, I’m already worrying about how the PS4 will handle it all. The interface is clean right now, with only a handful of games to play, but I’m already scrolling through a surprisingly long list of items on my homepage, and I’m already having a hard time navigating the storefront. Sony should address this sooner rather than later, while it still doesn’t matter much.

6) Remote play controller mapping

Remote Play controller mapping

Remote Play is a really cool idea, but the shortage of buttons on the Vita compared to the PS4 has led to some poor decisions from game to game. Any game that unnecessarily uses the rear touch panel on the Vita should probably offer an updated control scheme or two. PS4 devs should look at what Vita games like Killzone Mercenary do to fit a lot of functionality into less buttons and go from there. The front touch screen could be a huge help, and I don’t see why a game’s UI couldn’t adapt during remote play as well.

7) Better voice chat options

Better voice chat options on PS4

Maybe I just play games differently than other people, but sometimes I’m chatting with a friend online and other people in my room want to hear the full conversation (Pro-tip: you sound like less of a lunatic when your loved ones can actually hear both sides of a game-related conversation). This was an easy option on Xbox 360, where players could opt to have the voice chat audio come out of a headset, the TV speakers, or both. The PS4 offers no such option.

8) Basic video playback off of a usb stick

usb stick video playback on ps4

I know it’s not in a console maker’s best interests to allow people an easy solution for watching pirated TV shows, but if a console from 2005 can do it, it still makes the new console look bad. I use Netflix on PS4, and I might even rent a movie or two down the line, but if the only way I can watch Sherlock without spoilers is by grabbing it online, I’d like to at least have that option on PS4. It’s worth noting that there are entirely legitimate uses for video playback off of a USB stick as well, but we all know what most of you are doing.

9) Personalization options

Hope you like blue on PS4

How about a little home screen personalization? Maybe I don’t like blue that much. On the Vita I can change the backdrop of my home screen to different colors or new wallpaper images entirely. I’m free to customize how my games are organized too. I know we want everything to be automatic and simple in next-gen, but options are nice too!

Do you have your own complaints and nitpicks? Share them in the comments section below!

Enjoy random thoughts about the latest games, the Sega Saturn, or the occasional movie review? Follow me @JoeDonuts!

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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