Missing PS4 Features Still Coming, Sony Says

Missing PS4 Features Still Coming, Sony Says

Way back in February of 2013, Sony indicated that the PS4 gamers would be able to put their console in sleep mode while playing a game and briskly return to it later. They also said that gamers could enlist a friend to take over a game via the Internet from another PS4.

The PS4 currently does neither of these things.

Scuttled features? No, says Sony.

"Our team has been working on it," Sony's head of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, told me last week when I asked, first, about the friend-takes-over-your-game feature. "There are some things that we announced in February of last year that were not planned for the launch timeframe."

He said the suspend feature is in the same category.

"It's not ready yet," he said.

And when will either be ready? "I am asking the same question to my tech team every other week. Because every day I get reminded by lots of people: 'Where is this? Where is that?' It's a great reminder for me."

Going back to February of 2013 for a moment, this is how Sony described the suspend/resume feature:

PS4 radically reduces the lag time between players and their content. PS4 features "suspend mode" which keeps the system in a low power state while preserving the game session. The time it takes today to boot a console and load a saved game will be a thing of the past. With PS4, gamers just hit the power button again and are promptly back playing the game at the exact point where they left off.

And this is how Sony's Dave Perry talked about the take-over-the-game feature back then. This was part of Perry's description of how Sony would make gaming more shareable (emphasis added by me):

Your friends can actually look over your shoulder virtually and interact with you while you're playing; and if you allow them, your friends can also post comments to your screen; you can solicit support from them, or you can just trash-talk with them. (...) You can ask your friend on the internet who's finished that game, to take over your controller and assist. We're building this capability into the PS4 and the PlayStation Network.

Last October, just a couple of weeks before the PS4 launched, Sony noted that some of the February 2013-promised features wouldn't be available on day one. Six months later, they still appear to be in the works with no timeframe to speak of.

The next big feature coming to PS4, though, seems to be backwards compatibility. That will arrive via the PlayStation Now streaming service, which is in beta now and will officially launch into open beta on PS4 on July 31.

A few other PS4 odds and ends: During our conversation about PS4, Yoshida also talked about the relative lack of big Sony-published games slated for Sony's console this fall. Driveclub and LittleBigPlanet 3 are coming, and an even-more-HD edition of the acclaimed The Last of Us will be out by then, but that's not exactly a full line-up of blockbuster, so-called AAA games.

"We've been saying that the number of AAAs might be getting smaller because the cost of development for AAAs is getting higher," he said. "But there are so many indie games and great games coming out almost every week or every other week. We're seeing it on PS4. I hope you're seeing it as well."

Yoshida is very excited about LBP3, which he said would not just support all of the user-created levels from earlier console games in the series, but display them in higher 1080p resolutions...and would let them run with LBP3's new, tighter, less floaty jump mechanics.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo. Top image from the 2013 PS4 reveal event, screencap via NeoGAF.


    At this point I just want media streaming/HDD video playing returned to the system.

      I wan't them to add the basics so I don't have to use my PS3 for media anymore lol. The ability to set a background would be nice too.

        Agreed!! I'm pretty over the plain blue background... And media streaming would be nice too

      Yep. Even I'm sick of hearing myself say it but last gen set a standard for this stuff that both consoles don't even try to meet.

      While you wait for the official return you could use PS3 Media Server (or Universal Media Server, based on PS3MS). Works very well

        Neither of which are useful to a PS4...

          Plex then, sheesh

            I think you misunderstand :P

            PS4 has no way to play back media other than DVD's or Bluray's.

              No, Plex works. Not brilliantly, but it works on PS4.

                Aaah ok, so it plays through the web browser. Not an ideal way of doing it but I suppose it works.

                  Yeah, I wouldn't want to imagine trying to watch a 1080p bluray D:

    Are decent games a feature?

    XB1 has had it since launch never a feature I have used, pretty pointless and waste of electricity

      If you compare it to the system being off, yes it is a waste of electricity.

      If you compare it to leaving the console running so you don't lose your progress (e.g. because the game won't let you save right this minute), then it obviously does save power.

      I use it a lot on the Xbone. Nothing like turning on your console and seeing your character standing in exactly the same spot from the previous day.

    Sony please update the PS4 store to be able to purchase and download vita games. I'm trying to phase out my PS3 and this missing feature isn't helping.

      The ten year life span they were boasting about the PS3 having was actually a curse! =P

        I hope to finally through away my PS3 after the release of Persona 5. Lets just hope that it happens before 2016 -__-

        Last edited 18/06/14 10:49 pm

      i could not believe this.
      seeing as the PS4 is more heavily integrated with the vita not having this functionality was baffling.
      i now use my PC for this functionality

    Soooo can someone clarify can you do standby downloads on it yet? Pretty sure Xbox has had this feature for almost like 10yrs now...

    Just give me PS1/PS2 compatibility apps. My PS2 slim scratches disks and I want to be able to play the classics on my new hardware.

    Last edited 18/06/14 10:38 pm

      I'm a believer that at this stage software emulation would be possible to play ps2 (certainly ps1) games maybe even with texture filtering and higher resolutions. There would be some compatibility issues but if it's first party I don't see why it wouldn't work as it is possible on pc. (it's buggy, but on console it would be a closed system yadda yadda.)

      Actually I do know why they aren't rushing to add backwards compatibility. They make more money off of the remasterings.

        I have FF12 on my Desktop running through a PS2 emulator - and my god it looks like a HD Remake - its insane how much better it looks.

        As for starquakes issue of the scratched disks - my friend was telling me about this issue the other day with the slim ps2's - Apparently its caused by a ribbon cable that just needs to be superglued back down.

    Are DLNA and 3D bluray coming?

    Possibly a HDMI 2.0 update and Sony Video Unlimited UHDTV content? (hey the PS3 constantly received HDMI revisions).

      You sound like a stuck record. I get where you are coming from and it's frustrating as all heck that we are still waiting for it, but still.

      Also Idk about the hdmi update because, as far as I know, hdmi 2.0 isn't just a firmware update it would require a hardware update. I could be wrong though. Not sure what advantage it would have for the ps4 at this stage anyway, seeing as it still doesn't play 3d bluray and certainly not at 4k.

      Both consoles are taking frustratingly long to get simple things we had last gen working. They seem more and more like they were rushed out the door every day. Hardware and software wise they are both dissapointing atm and I can't keep waiting until what? 2015? Rediculous.

      My old pc with an i5 and 7870 out paces my ps4 in games other than exclusives. By 2015 I'll probably have upgraded my pc.. Unlike the ps3/ 360 I just don't know if the consoles are going to get too much time to shine this time around.

      Rant over lol

        It's ridiculous that nearly a year on we sound like a stuck record asking for basic features while Sony and Microsoft ignore us!

        I have a one, and a PS4 coming (bravia bonus), and I'm trying to find a reason to keep both. But as long as I have to keep my ps3 plugged in to manage the basics I'm really struggling.

        Both console were rushed to market to try and beat the other, and they were both a year early.

        Sony had the foresight to put HDMI 2.0 and HVEC 2.2 compatible hardware on their 2013 TV's which were recently updated by firmware to enable it, hoping the Playstation team were on the ball too. While I don't expect much in 4k, Sony are the leaders in 4k streaming content at the moment.

          Yeah, Just checked btw, HDMI 2.0 is a hardware based update that was not available for the PS4/ X1 launch. I highly doubt its on there.

            My TV was out before the PS4, that's why I thought it could be updated.

              Honestly, I doubt it. A'd also like them to add the basics first before worrying about that. I'm using my PS3 right now to play music stored on the PS3 just because the PS4 can't. I actually wonder if the WiiU can, then at least I can retire the PS3 (The extra HDMI port on the telly would go to use with my PC)

    Can we please stop referring to Playstation Now as 'backwards compatibility'. It's not.

      While it is definitely different to the stand-alone backward compatibility solutions featured in other consoles, why wouldn't you consider it to offer backward compatibility with those older games?

      Modern consoles rely fairly heavily on their associated network services for various features, and that seems to be the way they've decided to deliver this feature. If the complaint is that you can't play physical copies of old games, the same is true for Nintendo's various Virtual Console offerings and most would consider that to be a backward compatibility feature.

      Now it is entirely possible that PS Now will be near unusable if you're too far from a data centre due to latency, but that doesn't change what it is when it works.

        Modern consoles rely fairly heavily on their associated network services

        This. It all helps justify the subscriptions.

        Last edited 19/06/14 2:41 am

        It's a streaming service that has a games library that includes software not available on the platform, and it's going to be available for devices like TVs and stuff too. Are you going to say that this means my TV is backwards compatible with PS3?

        The idea that this is backwards compatibility is marketing doublespeak.

        Do you have to re- buy games for playstation now? Or can previous purchases be activated somehow? Genuine question, but if your old library is useless, it's not really backwards compatibility, it's just streaming emulation.

    Actually the "unspecified" features Sony needs to address quickly is that right at this moment the PS3 is still better at playing BluRay movies than the PS4. Remember that BluRay is a SONY initiated format and they should be the champion for their own format (it's odd - Sony has always pushed really hard for the memory stick and beta formats, and now that they have the dominant format in an area they don't support it like they should). Specifically, right now there are 2 glaring things they need to fix:

    1. There's no way to control the PS4 other than the PS4 controller. The simplest solution would be to support the BluRay remote control for the PS3, which would also let the Logitech Harmony Bluetooth remote extender control the PS4. A better solution would be to make a good, simple, remote control specific to the PS4 with fewer buttons, or even let the PS Camera read existing IR controllers so we could at least use universal remote controls. Right now there's just nothing, and since the triggers control FF/Rewind it's easy to set down the controller and accidentally screw up the playback. Yes, Sony should focus and HAS focused on games first, but they are ignoring movie playback altogether in spite of the fact this is going to be the primary BluRay player for most of their users.

    2. There's no BluRay 3D support. This is especially odd when you consider that the system already has at least one fully 3D title (Trine 2) so it's unclear what the problem would be here. Sony sells $50 BluRay players that can play 3D discs, and they just need to update the firmware to support it.

    There are simply some things that make the product seem unfinished, and there are other things that will be really really cool when they come (like suspend/resume) but they need to focus on the features that make the system feel complete... finished... first.

      1. Doesn't it work via HDMI CEC? The PS3 did at least with bravia TV's, not sure how well it worked with other brands.

      2. Lack of Bluray 3D is ridiculous, especially when they're giving them away with $4000-$5000 Sony TV's.

    Pro tip. When your fully featured games are around 10-20GB a fucking pause download function seems like a really simple necessity.

      Haha I can't believe this still isn't a thing -_-

      Wow doesn't PS4 have download resume? I think Xbox has had it since day one?

    It's totally silly, but I want dynamic backgrounds on the PS4. Or any backgrounds! I just like them.

    I'm still waiting for my dual HDMI and 3 gigabit ports!

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