PS4 Owners Campaign For A Better PSN

PS4 Owners Campaign For A Better PSN

The PlayStation Network, a premium subscription service that occasionally lets you play video games online, has a lot of problems. PS4 fans want to change that.

For all of Sony's successes this generation, they have had a really tough time maintaining a stable, competent network for online services. In addition to random spurts of downtime, the modern PlayStation Network is full of all sorts of weird bugs — right now, for example, all of my messages say "received 28 minutes ago" no matter when I actually got them. Sometimes the PlayStation Store will randomly refuse to load until I reboot the machine. Occasionally, I won't be able to hear or talk to members of a PSN party thanks to "NAT issues" that seem to be more common than they should be.

PSN also lacks some critical features that any major network in 2015 should have, like two-step verification, decent cloud storage (what's with it filling up after a few dozen images?), and an online/offline/invisible/busy status so you can play multiplayer games even when you don't want to talk to any of your friends. This is basic core functionality we're talking about, not some sort of luxury.

Nearly two years after the PS4's launch, Sony still hasn't delivered on this stuff, so fans are speaking out. Enter #BetterPSN, a new campaign started by NeoGAFfers that calls on Sony to do a better job with their network services. The campaign, which has picked up a fair amount of momentum on Reddit and Twitter and even has a slick website, is full of reasonable complaints and decent suggestions from people who clearly use the PS4 a lot and want to see it get better.

Some highlights, from their website:

  • "Online/offline (invisibility) status change"
  • "Better friends list functionality with nicknames, grouping by categories (games, relationship), and VIP tags tied to the notification system"
  • "Online/offline notifications"
  • "Ability to send recorded videos directly to friends"
  • "Search function, better organisation and filters for download history/library"
  • "Fix bug that prevents users from accessing the Store in certain situations, needing a reboot "

Decent suggestions, right? We're not even talking about pipe dreams here — like, say, a subscription service that lets us play any PS1/PS2 game on PS4/Vita (COME ON SONY) — this is basic functionality people are asking for. The lack of two-step verification is particularly heinous. It's 2015.


Comments

    I'd rather they fix PSN periodically going offline or having glitches as often as it does. As much as I love PSN and it being my console network of choice, damn it screws up a lot.

    I do remember when I owned a PS3 for a couple of years having only had xbox 360 with xlive how inferior PSN was as far as features friends notifications party chat etc but It was free to play online so it didn't bother me. I assume now with PS4 where PS+ is a must and people are now paying and people also jumped ship from xbox the complaints have increased a lot

    Last edited 10/07/15 8:14 am

      Yep this is exactly what has happened I reckon. See people on 360 didn't think they were getting a gold standard of service - to them it was just the standard way a gaming network should operate. It wasn't perfect either (X1 is way better with connectivity for example I don't have read a book on port forwarding to connect to Xbox Live anymore) but it was expected I think PSN's constant outages would frustrate people no end especially since their paying for it now

        I always hoped that XBOX Live would set a standard for quality but eventually the PSN would set the price. Unfortunately it costs a lot of money to build and maintain this stuff so I don't think Sony were ever going to keep the PSN free forever. Without Microsoft's non-XBOX resources I don't see the PSN ever being able to truly catch up. It's a shame because traditionally Microsoft and Sony have been happy to just be a little better than each other. If the PSN could compete more we'd probably see better PSN and XBOX Live services as a result.

          And yet Valve manages to keep a similar system running from income generated by their cut of sales from the attached store front. Are the service components of PSN and Xbox Live really that different?

            Steam doesn't do voice chat and match making itself though does it? It's mostly just processing transactions and sending IMs isn't it*? From what I understand they make quite a bit of money from Steam too. I've heard 30% but that could be a load of crap.

            [Edit*: And the obvious thing of game downloads, but that's not really time sensitive. Speed is an issue but if it goes slow the system doesn't fall apart.]

            Last edited 10/07/15 2:48 pm

              Here's a guide on setting up voice chat:

              http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=164655181

              And when you play multiplayer games like TF2, you are identified by your Steam account.

              And Sony/Microsoft should have even larger revenue streams: in addition to the retail cut they take from digital game sales on their respective stores, they charge a platform royalty to allow physical games to work with the system (a revenue stream Valve doesn't have for Steam).

                I'd seen that before but I thought it was just direct voice chat between two PCs rather than Steam hosted chat sessions. The Steam accounts can be used to identify players but I don't think it does anything more than give you a verified handle does it?
                As for more money they've also got more expenses. There are tons of areas where Sony/Microsoft do more or less but I was just pointing out that Valve do take in quite a lot of money. It's not ad sponsored after all. =P Sony have posted some pretty huge losses this past decade while Valve are just raking in the cash, so I've got to imagine that even if the services are directly comparable Valve is making enough they can do it at a loss in order to keep customers happy while Sony can't afford to weigh their more profitable areas down by making them fund the PSN.

                  Not sure what you mean about voice chat then... My brothers and I use voice-chat all the time, for gaming together remotely, and it's all through the Steam overlay.

                  I doubt we'll ever see real figures, but I strongly suspect you're right that Valve has more money to play with.

                  Last edited 13/07/15 8:44 pm

      Yup, I remember picking up a ps3 towards the end of last gen and seeing how bad and slow psn was compared to the 360s network, which I'd been using since the start of the gen. That made me choose the x1 this gen, little did I know that Microsofts network engineers had decided their inspiration for this gen would be psn rather than their completely functional x360. The downloads are fast as hell mostly, but a simple thing like checking a msg or opening your friends list is painfully slow.

      Since then I've also picked up a ps4 so I could play exclusives, but psn is just as bad as I remember it.

      Last edited 10/07/15 8:37 am

        Agreed, or something simple like snapping achievements almost destroys the system. Apparently the new UI that's releasing later in the year is super snappy so I'm looking forward to that!

          I almost think parts of the UI are internet speed related I noticed a real difference when I changed from ADSL to fibre internet it could all just be a coincidence/in my head but I think with everything being apps loaded from the internet it could be true

            Havent noticed any change when going from dsl2 to 4g (so <4 down to >30 down). But that could be latency.

            Last edited 10/07/15 11:25 am

          I hope it's better, I just dont trust that they know what the hell they are doing after failing so hard when they had a completely functional tempate to work from. I have no idea what they were thinking.

        Man I was coming on here to write the exact same thing! Our experences are almost identical.

        Got a PS3 at the end of last gen and was shocked by how slow, unreliable and generally sh*tty the PSN is.

    Change PSN name also. It's embarrassing being known as XxFartFacexX.

      This is pretty much the only major change that I want out of PSN. I'm currently (seriously) sitting on 31 gamertags because I haven't been able to change. I'm seriously that fickle, and you know what? I would have gladly paid $5 (MS style) and waited three months each time if I knew I had that option.

      Given that most people who want to change would have had to create new usernames (probably not as extreme as mine), some consideration around being able to 'merge' accounts - even as a once-off - would be worthwhile. So many trophies lost between accounts. :(

      Colin Moriarty, when he was at IGN, was a good one for fighting the good fight on this: http://au.ign.com/articles/2014/09/25/dear-sony-let-us-change-our-psn-names

    I personally have not experienced any issues on my PS4 PSN.
    I have not experienced 1 second of downtime. The whole PSN works brilliantly on my PS4, apart from messages taking a little longer to receive on occasions.

    The PS3 PSN, now that is another story

    But this can be nothing but good for PSN. Sony seem to have most the attention on developing games, which is good, but results in a PSN and other functions that require a fix.

    Last edited 10/07/15 8:32 am

    Just to throw this out there... not an Xbox is better argument or anything... but this is what happens when people rate 1080p above everything else in life.

      true, but xbox live has always been pretty rock solid and sony has always lagged behind.

      Last edited 10/07/15 2:38 pm

    Sony really need to come out and explain why the PSN is so crap. The fact that they now have me paying to play games online yet can't bring us a good online network is just a joke. Once my plus account on my PS4 is up for renewal next month I will not renew it in protest of how crap Sony has let online services get.

    Maybe I'm just lucky with the times I use my PS4 or something, but I have very few issues with PSN being down/unavailable.

    My complaints are more to do with the cloud storage (it's been 1Gb since it was introduced, that's nowhere near enough after about 5 years of PS3/PS4/Vita games). Mine is constantly filling up and having to be cleared out... something like The Witcher 3 which creates a lot of save files, and fairly large ones at that, can really fill it up quick. I noticed that Alien Isolation also had stuck a huge number of large save files in there.

    Also - why the hell do we have to be connected to PSN to use services that are absolutely nothing to do with PSN? If PSN does happen to be down so I can't play online, ok, I get it, networks have issues at times. But that doesn't explain why I can't watch Netflix or even YouTube or whatever on my PS4 simply because PSN is down.

    Last edited 10/07/15 10:06 am

      This was never an issue for me until last night when I kept getting spammed for 'failed game saves' for Batman because cloud was full. Take a deep dive into what's sitting in the cloud, and you find games like GTA5 holding 100MB on board!

      'Delete the save state' you might say? F-No. I love every single one of my saves, and unless I've Platinum'd a game and will NEVER return to it - I want the option.

      WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CONSUMER?!? :P

        Yeah, that's the problem for me - a lot of the time I want to keep that safe history. Especially in games prone to bugs like Bethesda RPG's etc - sometimes things go pear-shaped and you actually have to go back a few saves before things got screwed up. If you delete them from cloud storage, they just get uploaded again, so you end up having to delete it off your HDD just to stop it uploading. But really I want to keep it in the cloud so if I delete the game off my HDD or my console dies or whatever then I can get it back. Storage is dirt cheap anyway, no reason they shouldn't be able to at least double the quote after 5 years, especially with all the extra money they're raking in now from PS+ being mandatory for most online play, combine with the fact that they're obviously going cheap on the games they give away now - the PS3 glory days of stuff like Red Dead Redemption, Deus Ex and Far Cry 3 are nothing but a distant memory now.

          I warned ye's! I wawrned yes'all! 'Tis the RISE of the INDIES! This is what yer sympathy for the garage developer has wrought! Shitty puzzle/platformer/shmups forever! FOREVERRR!

          Last edited 13/07/15 8:49 pm

            To be fair, a lot of those indie games have actually been damn good ones (Rocket League, Skulls of the Shogun, Rogue Legacy, etc). But the value proposition just isn't the same anymore. Back in the PS3 days, every month when they announced the new games I'd just be shaking my head in disbelief at the fact they were giving THAT away.

    “Fix bug that prevents users from accessing the Store in certain situations, needing a reboot ”

    This drives me mad! Only seems to happen if you leave your console in Rest Mode, but I use that all the time as it's a great feature!

      No, it happens once the machine has been on for more than 20-30 minutes and you've played a game. Happens everytime to me and I never use rest mode

        I find I get that the most after leaving apps like Netflix or suspending games.

          I've never had that issue on the console itself, but lately it's stopped automatically downloading stuff remotely. I used to be able to log into the PS store through my web browser at work, buy something and start it downloading to my PS4 which is in rest mode. By the time I got home that night it would be finished downloading and ready to play.

          These days, for reasons I don't understand, it no longer starts the download until I get home and turn the console on. Didn't mention it in my post above because I'm not sure if that's an issue with PSN or with the console.

            Mine started doing that after the latest firmware update.

      testing the internet connection works without fail for me to get the store to load without a reboot, give that a go

    Omg please give name changes, one can wish.
    But yes I get that message glitch and party glitch all the time. Get a message after posting on destinyLFG and says "received 28 minutes ago" lol.

    But in all honesty, I find the connection way better on ps4 than xbone. I've gone back to playing destiny on the ps4. Takes like 10mins to start a party on Live when in a game, less lag on PSN imo.

    Last edited 10/07/15 9:28 am

    Wait, what? I have it on good authority that XBL sux and PSN rools. I highly doubt fanboys would give inaccurate information.

    Last edited 10/07/15 9:28 am

    Jason, I had the same problem as you with incorrect timestamps for messages.
    All you have to do to fix it is go into settings and manually change the date/time to the correct time and that'll fix that issue.

    I agree about psn not being up to scratch. I think it's a combination of it being a young paid service compared to Xbox live. Live has been paid for since the start and has helped it a lot. Psn on the other hand is only recently.

    What I dont get though is why the functionality and feature side of psn doesn't get updated quicker and better.
    The shop is a mess to navigate , the search doesn't work properly , it's a mess in there.

      I totally agree about the storefront. The old design was way better in pretty much all respects. Incremental search is cool on paper but forcing me to slowly type out a word is just stupid when I can type a word and hit search in a tenth of the time. You also didn't have to browse an entire list to find things starting with M and you had more than 6 things on screen at any time. There is so much wasted space on the store front, especially when they fill half the screen with a banner for no discernible reason. I almost always use the web store because it's much easier to navigate despite it still having a lot of problems.

    So, it sounds like Sony still hasn't got their act together even after 2011.

    I feel sorry for PlayStation owners.

    The PlayStation Network, a premium subscription service

    No, that would be PlayStation Plus.

    The fact that playing media files from a USB wasnt possible until recently is just embarrassing.

    I gotta say, I'm genuinely surprised reading this article and the comments, cause I haven't seen a single issue or PSN drop-out. I've always thought that the XBone had all the issues, as a console and it's online service.

    'This is basic core functionality we’re talking about, not some sort of luxury.'

    This is hyperbole... You're talking about a games consoleafter all. Poor choice of words.

    As an Xbox gamer who only got a PS3 at the end of the last gen, one of the first things I decided to do was download some marquee titles off the PSN.

    Little Big Planet 2 was on sale, so I thought I’d grab that because it looked good.

    1/ Buys game from PS Store for $25ish. 8gb download. Seems a good deal for my wallet and download cap.
    2/ Turns off console overnight expecting it to download on standby like the 360 does.
    3/ Wakes up in the morning and the game isn’t downloaded.
    4/ Leaves console on overnight the next night and it finishes downloading
    5/ Boots up PS3 the next night for a quick session and the PS3 needs to install a game that it’s already downloaded (WTF?)
    6/ 30 minutes later and I start the game up: “This game needs an update” No f*cking idea why it doesn’t download an up-to-date version in the first place.
    7/ 17mb update is ridiculously slow for some reason but not a big real.
    8/ IT’S UPDATE 1/24?!?! The 3rd one is 800mb plus! No way of determining how big the rest will be?!?! What’s this going to do to my download cap?
    9/ Leaves console on AGAIN overnight to download patches.
    10/ Wakes up to find that its failed on update 17/24. Update 17 is 900mb that now has to start again. No idea what it’s doing (or planning to do) to my download cap.
    11/ Next night it gets a bit further before crashing again. By this point my advertised 8gb download is ruining my monthly cap.
    12/ About 7 nights, 20gb and $25 later, I played LBP 2. It was really good.

    That basically sums up everything you need to know about the PSN. It gets good deals but as a service Xbox Live shits all over it.

      Just FYI the standby download feature does exist, but its PS+ only. But yeah, their online services have always sucked. Don't even get me started on how fun it is trying to download Vita games on the Vita.

        Press download, let it download?

        Its never been more difficult than that for me... What are you doing wrong?

          Mine stops when the screen goes off so I have to sit with it tapping the screen to keep it awake!

            That doesnt sound right mate

            Mine downloads fine when its in standby - the only time it doesnt download if if I am playing or suspended a game that has disabled the network

            Have you googled?

      I agree with everything you said, as a PS3 owner for almost the entire generation, the frustration of downloading, installing and updating games was real. It truly was a painful experience.

      I can say that all of the points stated above have been rectified on the PS4. When I download a game;

      1) it immediately queues up any updates which need to download
      2) It installs them straight away after downloading
      3) It continues downloading/installing when I put the system in standby

      A lot of the limitations with the PS3 were just due to limited resources. The thing only had 256MB of memory, which was stupidly small.

      My PS4 is so elegant in how it downloads new games in comparison, I cannot fault it at all.

        Yeah. When they were designing the PS4 they clearly targeted a lot of the PS3's core issues. It's not as huge a deal now that people are shifting towards digital purchases, but man, they obliterated the issue of slow installation times from disc.

      That is almost the exact same expetience I had with my ps3!

      Sounds similar to my experience but with Gran Turismo 5 instead.

    “NAT issues”

    These are easy to overcome, and aren't the fault of Sony. Blame the IPv4 exhaustion and the abysmally slow rollout of IPv6 support from ISPs. On top of that is the incredibly shitty firmware's included in most cheap ISP gateways.

    The PS4 doesn't need any port's forwarded to get a type-2 NAT, however it does require a robust implementation of uPnP to be in use on your gateway, something which is not present on most default ISP supplied hardware.

    Last edited 10/07/15 11:34 am

      You sir sound like the kind of fella I needed around when trying to fix my NAT settings every time I got a new router/modem back in the ADSL days I got an open NAT eventually doing that port forwarding lark but most of the times I was purely guessing what I was doing in the settings. so yea many an hr would have been saved if I knew what I was doing. When I went to Fibre and got a new router from my IP it was open NAT all the way without changing anything which made me very happy.

    I never play online so I don't care about any of this. How about instead of a "better" PSN, they get a cheaper one instead. How on earth do they expect people to pay full RRP for games they can get for >30% less in brick-and-mortar stores?

      i do it for non-yearly titles like gta. it's nice being able to download it and play anywhere. plus it means you can share games with mates way more easily.

      Last edited 10/07/15 2:42 pm

    How about getting rid of that Discover "You can easily access your preferred power options" thing every time you boot up.

    How about removing the stupid feature, that deletes your game patches. Every time you delete a game from your hard drive.
    Forcing you to re-download the patches all over again, if you decide to re-install your game again.

    I have 2 main issues with PSN. The PS Store won't open after you start a game up and NAT issues on party chat for no reason. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. None of my friends change any settings, just sometimes people won't be able to talk to each other for no reason at all

      Most frustrating. Especially when you're trying to raid.
      "Hey guys, I just got a text... we've lost Fred. He's still here, but he can't hear anyone and we can't hear him."
      "Well shit."

    Not to mention the Inability to play downloaded games when the PSN is down.. so much for being "For The Players"

    My biggest problem so far with the PS4 Network is the subscription to play online. I know I can avoid this, but it's still a bit of a hassle. My other major problem is how I can't play PS1/2 games I've already bought and download them to the PS4. Unless there's like a hardware issue or something they left out, it's ridiculous.

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