Before we begin, I would like to start by saying that I love the PS4, and I think it has one of the best modern libraries available in the gaming industry. The console has been a huge success, and I have played many great games since buying one, but I don't love everything about the PlayStation 4. Here are the five things I think could have been better executed or done with the console.
5. PlayStation Plus and Online Play
I know it's old news now, but PS Plus went from $49.99 for a year subscription to $59.99. On top of that, anyone wishing to play online multi-player has to be subscribed. Yes, Sony sweetened the pot by throwing in two PS Plus games for free each month and tons of extra sales, but it's a shame to force gamers to pay to play online.
Players can enjoy playing online on Steam and Nintendo consoles for free, and Sony has had a shaky history with their online stability. Most consider Xbox to have a more superior online service with better connectivity, and Sony has had their servers hacked on more than one occasion.
Many of us can justify paying $59.99 a year for online service, especially if you get some free games to play, but it is unnecessary, and it just seems like a way for Sony to make some extra cash off the consumer.
4. PlayStation Now
When I found out that the PlayStation 4 couldn't play PlayStation 3 discs I was a bit disappointed but not all that surprised. Then, Sony announced a streaming service to enjoy a large chunk of the PlayStation 3 library again. Awesome!…not so much.
PlayStation Now costs $19.99 a month! If that doesn't have you placing your card back in your wallet, consider that almost any other streaming service cost about half that price per month. This could have been an amazing solution for half the price, and it would have remedied the lack of backward compatibility with the PS3, but instead, it makes me irritated and think that Sony is just trying to rake in extra money and snuff their old content.
I have never seen a price drop since the service launched a couple years ago, and from what I have read and heard, it seems most people find the price to be too steep to justify subscribing. PlayStation Now could have been a huge plus and selling point for the console, but instead, it's a commercial flop.
3. Is Sony Complacent?
The PS4 has become one of the best selling consoles in history, and there is lots of great games to play. I have loved Sony since the original PSX, and I think they have done a great job with the PS4. But, the latest E3 was a sad showing for Sony.
Sure, we saw many great games such as Detroit: Become Human, God of War, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, but Sony had nothing new to show off, and there haven't been many huge announcements from the company since then. Even Shadow of the Colossus is just a remake of a game that is still highly playable.
This could be because they have been busy with games already in production, and there is still great content coming out, but with the Nintendo Switch making big waves this year, Sony cannot afford to be complacent with the PS4 or whatever console they are planning for the next generation. Hopefully, Sony will have a longer and better showing at the next E3 and big releases throughout 2018.
2. Backwards Compatability
This drives me absolutely crazy: there is no backward compatibility for PSX or PS2 and PSX games are virtually non-existent in the PlayStation Store. There may be licensing issues, and some studies have shown that Microsoft isn't making a lot of money off of the Xbox One's backwards compatibility, but it's a shame to cast out such an amazing back catalog of games.
Whatever the true reason, Sony has said little about the issue, and we fans are left to wonder why. Some people may find it ludicrous that people want to play old PSX games, but to me, video games are art, and some of my favorite games came out on the PSX and PS2. I still have an old collection, and it seems like these CD and DVD based consoles would be very easy for Sony to emulate on the PS4 savor the different architecture.
It's worth noting that there is a collection of PS2 games for sale on the PSN store, but the prices are quite high, whereas the PS3 had fair prices for the classic games.
This is a fanservice, and I think it goes a long way in creating a loyal brand and gaining longterm consumers. If I can't use my physical discs I would at least like to have an option to buy them on the PSN store, much like I could with my PS3.
1. The DS4 Controllers
I have loved the design of the PlayStation controller since the days of the original PlayStation, but that love has tapered off with the Dual Shock 4 controllers. The layout is fine, but these controllers are plagued with possible issues. First. there is the infamous orange flashing light–that I have personally experienced and been driven to madness from–which has many possible causes and solutions.
The controllers also seem very easy to break. I am not rough with controllers, but I have had one controller with a bad L2 button after just a year, and many others online have had to replace or fix the same buttons. That's not all; people claim that the rubber on the joysticks is also low quality and often needs to be replaced. Lastly, the charge isn't great on these controllers. Even the new controllers seem to always have low battery, and the USB cables are so short that charging can be a hassle.
I never had a PlayStation controller malfunction or break until the PS4, where I have had two controllers suffer malfunctions that have caused me to have to buy new DS4 pads.
The PlayStation 4 is a great console, and you should definitely own one, but like any system, it isn't without some flaws, and Sony has made a few questionable decisions with their latest console. None of these issues plague an amazing library and fair price point for the console itself.