Nine Cool Facts About The PS4's Interface

Nine Cool Facts About The PS4's Interface

We watched the PlayStation 4's interface in action this morning at Sony's big review event, and we got to see some of the cool little hardware quirks that make this system really feel next-gen.

Seriously. For a while I've been sceptical about these new machines, but once you see the PS4's interface in action, that old PS3 UI will start to feel pretty damn obsolete. (Keep in mind that these are all hands-off impressions, but we've got the system in our office and we'll have tons of coverage throughout the week, including a full review on Wednesday at 9am Eastern.)

Straight from my notebook, here are a few cool things you should know about the PS4's interface:

You can have two groups of PSN friends: regular friends and "true" friends. To be true friends, or BFFs, you both have to agree. Regular friends will just show up on your lists and games by their handles, but the machine will display true friends' real names, so you don't have to keep remembering that SexCowboy77 is actually Kirk Hamilton.

Multitasking is super-easy. If you double-tap the PlayStation button on the DualShock 4, you'll swap between your last two applications. So if you play a game, then pause to look at your friends list, it's easy to switch back to where you left off. No saving required. This is the future!

There's a whole hub for broadcasting. This is a system built for sharing and streaming — Sony's so into this stuff that they even put a share button on the controller. The PS4 will automatically record up to 15 minutes of your gameplay, and you can edit/trim that footage using a snappy interface that seems to work well. (We didn't get our hands on it, but we'll have more definitive thoughts when we do.) You can also broadcast live gameplay on Twitch or Ustream, and you can search for keywords on the system's broadcast hub to see what people are sharing at any given moment. This could be big.

The homepage shows what your friends are doing. You'll see things like "Stephen just started streaming Knack" or "Evan is playing Killzone: Shadow Fall." You can interact with your friends from that page.

As you download a game, you can start playing it almost immediately. It'll take a minute or two for the system to install enough data for you to start a game, but you won't have to wait for the software to download completely — which is good, because these games are big. Different games will allow you to prioritise based on how you want to play while they download — Call of Duty: Ghosts, for example, will let you choose whether you want to start playing single- or multi-player, and then you'll download the bits accordingly.

Playing as a guest will let you sign in on other peoples' PS4s. You can just choose "play as guest" and sign in on your own account. It'll automatically wipe all of your data when you're done with the machine.

You can watch Netflix without a PlayStation Plus subscription. OK, so this isn't a fun fact about the UI, and really, we already knew this would be the case, but it's pretty damn cool that Sony isn't locking this stuff behind a paywall. On Xbox One, just like on the 360, you'll need Xbox Live Gold to use Netflix and other media services.

The machine is designed to stay in stand-by mode. And it'll charge your DualShock 4 while it's resting. FINALLY.

The PS4 is shaped like a parallelogram. Not a rhombus. Just FYI.



      You look in your reflection on your PC or something?

        You look in your reflection on your Console or something?


        *edit* ok so that was just tongue in cheek...but ya'll mustve forgot your tampons today.
        but oh wellz


        Last edited 13/11/13 11:10 am

          The thing with PC's is all that 'ultra' resolution, come at an increasingly high price, and specs are variant between pc's from one home to another, so one person could have extremely better frame rate than the others, and gain advantages through other pheripals, though with console, all the specs are same, and the only difference is skill, at least IMO thats how i see it. PC Master Race my ass.

            Lol yea. When I was playing the original DOTA on my PC, my friends would sometimes all cast their spells at once not because it'll hit me...but because they know it will lag my ass for an easy kill...
            haha #needmoreRAM

            I own a PC and I got my XBone paid off from EBgames for the midnight launch. PCs are not that expensive. Mine I bought about 3-4 years ago for about $1600. A bit expensive but considering I own 150+ on steam because I buy A LOT. I have saved so much more than buying console games.

            Those guys above are a bit douchey for saying master race and you're just as douchey for saying consoles are better. They're different, you can't compare them. End of story.

              @hondasushi didn't say consoles are better than PCs. He simply suggested that they offer more of a level playing field in multiplayer competition.

              "PCs are not that expensive. Mine I bought about 3-4 years ago for about $1600. A bit expensive". You make lots of sense.

              You can find amazing deals for console games too. You just need to look. I know for a fact that I've spent more on my PC than all my consoles.

              My PC cost me around $1800. Built not bought. I've had it for a year now.
              I have 128 steam games (Let just say they cost me $5 a game) - $640
              9 Origin games - $150

              Altogether $2,590

              I bought my PS3 slim in 2010. Everything else I bought this year mostly because I want to start a collection of games that I grew up with.

              I have:
              A backwards compatible PS3 - $350
              A PS3 Slim - $320
              A PS2 - $20
              A PS2 Slim - $30
              A PS1- $20
              A PS1 Slim - $10
              A PS Vita - $250
              A 3DS - $350

              About 30 PS3 games (Not including free from PS+) - $400
              About 60 PS2 games - Bundled with backwards compatible PS3
              About 30 PS1 games - $150
              5 PS Vita games - $120
              1 3DS game - Bundled with 3DS

              Altogether $1,920

              Now remember this is what I bought and own. I am not saying you didn't save more with your PC than you did console. But in my instance. It was hard for me to spend more on consoles and handhelds than it was for PC.

              Lastly, of course we can compare PC's and consoles. The reason why they're different is the reason why we compare them.

              P.S. I never said consoles are better than PC's.

                A PS2 - $20
                A PS2 Slim - $30
                A PS1- $20
                A PS1 Slim - $10

                thats hardly the norm or relavent to most people

                  Here's an example of a PS2 on eBay.


                  Seems normal and relevant to most people.

                  If you check out your local charity store or thrift shop you'll also find great deals.

                  EDIT: noticed its non functional. however if you keep searching you'll find a good deal.

                  Last edited 13/11/13 4:22 pm

                  no i meant most people dont go buy second hand last gen consoles.
                  i know some do, but the majority dont or already own it

                  so you dont factor in that cost.

                  At the same time. You need to compare like for like. Like how much it would cost you to buy the same games accross the different platforms

                  it will be cheaper for PC.
                  And i will note that in terms of exclusives, they are always more expensive because they have a monopoly on you, so its not necessarily a good thing for the consumer

              its tongue in cheek


            so one person could have extremely better frame rate than the others, and gain advantages through other pheripals

            because you cant buy better custom controllers right

            and fps at the upper end of the spectrum gives SOOO much advantage over other players. cause like all the worlds top pc gamers are pro because they use $500 mice and have gtx titan sli setups

            becuase Fat4l1ty became a pro with his $10000 gaming setup right.

            and because PC gamers who have cheap setups dont have the option to turn down the graphics settings either right?

            Oh shit customisation. What an inferior characteristic

              and because PC gamers who have cheap setups dont have the option to turn down the graphics settings either right?

              Exactly this. When you turn down your settings, would you not be at a visual disadvantage in comparison to someone with a better system on higher settings?

              In terms of power and visuals. PC can take that with ease. But how much they cost in comparison to consoles. There's no arguing consoles are cheaper.

                no graphically you are playing the same game.

                If you played BF4 which is a very detailed game on Low settings, it is stil very playable. The graphics dont suddenly turn into 5 inch pixels
                they simply use less lighting, shadows and less detailed environments and textures. But the game would be still very playable

                The main advantage anyone can have over the other is in terms of framerates, but again, can be made equal if you adjust the settings which dont give you much disadvantage. Just a sucky experience. Funnily, if you turned down the graphics to a console level on PC. everything is playable lol

                But how much they cost in comparison to consoles. There's no arguing consoles are cheaper.

                And i dont understand why people keep mentioning this. You can build a gaming pc for really cheap

                In fact if you were THAT strapped for cash, you shouldnt be gaming anyway
                but if you had to, a $500 gaming pc is possible to give you at least a console level experience, PLUS it will do alot more than just play games.

                The advantage as i have kept emphasising is that you have a CHOICE to upgrade it or even downgrade it as you choose. as no matter what it is value for money since pcs do more than just play games

                and its hard to compare like for like in pricing because launch price of PS3 was $700, you can buy one now for $250-299 (we are talking new not second hand)

                so if you take the median price of around $500. Thats basic gaming pc pricing.

      I was referring to my dislike of Sony's UI. I've always hated it, very user unfriendly. Where did PC's come from?

        triggywiggy was making a joke about you saying "ewww" because you saw your reflection in your monitor, to redirect from suggesting that the UI looks bad

        So since the topic was about consoles, i twisted it to say saw your reflection on the PS4 console.

        its all tongue in cheek. Everyone is taking this so seriously

          Yeah all nerds please go away. Kotaku AU is usually so chill.

    Netflix AUS?
    Article is still in .au right?

      the xbox one will have netflix for aus don't see why the ps4 wont.

        I think you may be getting the very different Quickflix confused with Netflix. NetFlix doesn't officially service Australia.

    I'm seeing lots of streaming FROM the PS4, but no streaming TO the PS4. Cancelled my pre-order due to no DLNA support.

      Seriously?! That was the main selling point to you?! Can I has your pre order then?! god damn

        Yeah this feature will most likely come back due to demand, its very popular.

        It was very handy feature even though I now have a Sony media Centre which does all of that anyways.

        That or just make yourself a media server (pi/android versions work great for under $100 investments)

          No i know its handy but like you said you just bought a dedicated media server - My Blu Ray also acts as a media server in the same way - I was just perplexed this guy said he cancels his preorder because of that?! lol - go buy a media server if you want one!!! I wanna play games haha

            Or you know, only require one device in my theatre room not 6!

            It's a completely valid statement to expect your ps3 successor to act as a media streaming device to your tv.

            I haven't cancelled my ps4 as I always intended to wait a bit (a mass backlog of ps+ games to keep me occupied for a while) but no dlna support means I likely won't get one until they do offer that support. Why would i want an extra device to do that simple thing when my ps4 should?

            I don't know a single person who has a ps3 that doesn't use it to stream content from their PC/server....unless they have a 360 :p so it's a valid gripe now that we are used to it.

              I get your point but i prefer clutter and good connectivity sometimes over simplicity and a shitty media server... PS3's streaming was ok but horrible interface and I know a lot of people who gave up on it a long time due to its unreliability etc - I just use the USB in my BD system or plug the lappy straight into the tele via HDMI - Is that all too hard these days?! lol

                Well I have all my content on a server. And through the magic of universal media player I can get all that content to play on the ps3. My tv will stream content as well but it is far more temperamental on file formats etc. so in my experience the ps3 works pretty well compared to the two tvs and a blu ray player that will also do the same thing (only worse)

      But its coming in the second update!

        Not confirmed at all, a single site posts this rumor with no sources to back it up and now somehow it's a fact?

          Agreed. I will believe it when I see it. I'm sure they will offer it at some point. But I think they kicked a massive own goal here and gave xbone some fodder for attacks back on the ps4 (when they were slaughtering them with a similar 'well we can do this properly' marketing campaign)

      Really? I call bullshit. Pretty much everything has dlna support. Use something else.

      A $100 WD TV Live SMP does way more than the PS3/XBOX ever did for media. I haven't looked back since I bought mine. I also don't care that the PS4 won't stream media, play music, or any of that other stuff, because so much other stuff in the house already solves the problem.

        yup, i picked up the wd live tv hub with 1tb internal storage, best decision ever!
        sure the fact the ps3 does this is great since i dont have to get another wd for the bedroom i just use the ps3 BUT its not a deal breaker

        im quite happy to buy the best device (for my budget) for each function, ie wd tv live hub for streaming and media, ps3/4 for games and blu rays, simple

      So your ps3 was going to disappear into the nether when the ps4 got plugged in?

    True friends sounds like a positive step, but I'd rather it wasn't real name centric or require both parties to agree. Not because of privacy reasons, although that's an understandable concern, but because I'd rather just be able to set whatever name I want for anyone I want. SexNinja6969 is Gary Oak, but I know him as Blue, so I'd rather just set it as 'Blue From Kanto'. Likewise I may only recognise a Kotaku user by the name they use here, so their real name isn't useful, and their PSN name may be different to their Kotaku name, so I'd rather just be able to label them as 'DogMan (from Kotaku)'.
    It seems like a complicated solution to a simple problem.

    Last edited 12/11/13 2:23 pm

    And it’ll charge your DualShock 4 while it’s resting.

    All hail console Jesus! Hallelujah!!

      What? That feature that the Xbox360 has done since 2006? Jesus I don't get the appeal of the playstation anymore it was cool when I was younger but now they are mud compared to competitors

        Microsoft tried to force people to use batteries all the time and Xbox 1 does the same thing. I like to charge my controller without the burden of paying $10 for 3 months use of a controller.

      De nada.

    With all this streaming and dl of large games, you would think Australian Service Providers should at least upgrade data quotas or provide some unmetred services for consoles.

    The PS4 is shaped like a parallelogram.
    Well... pedants would say it's a parallelepiped... But, as next-to-no-one knows what the hell a parallelepiped is, "parallelogram" will do. It's better than "rhombus", which is just outright incorrect.

      Well, I'd probably correct someone if they said a camecube was shaped like a square. But then, that actually has 'cube' in it's name so it would be extra daft.

        nintendo have been tricky with naming their consoles before though, my nintendo 64 didn't have 64 sides

    I'm pretty sure the PS3 could charge your controller when it was off if you have remote play on.

    It's Shaped like a box going fast. Xbox looks like it's not moving

    It's certainly an improvement from the PS3/XMB but it still hasn't got anything on the XBOX dash! It's like looking at a Foxtel UI compared to Windows 8.1 and W8.1 looks hell cool compared to most things on the planet with a UI..

    Though I'm still getting the PS4 after my the XONE reaches my shores first!

    Last edited 12/11/13 6:16 pm

      W8.1 looks hell cool compared to most things on the planet with a UI

      ...said nobody ever.

    Don't know where to post this but if Sony are going to go back on their rent/lend game promise then I will be there with a big fat smile :)

    (Not that I'm an xbox fanboy, just because everyone was so smug about MS's initial policy)

      Reason why i believe this is bull. 1) they saw the backlash from Microsoft doing this. 2) Only source is yours from what i can tell. 3) there would be an article on here if this were true.

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