When we made the transition from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4, we all had to take a big step back and take a look at how different the UI was. Not just the UI, but the other things we could do and suddenly couldn't do anymore, too. We remember well enough how people were posting their complaints on forums about how disappointed they were. They couldn't change the wallpaper, the XMB (Cross Media Bar) got replaced, and basic features were lacking.
In the following years, Sony has improved a lot about the PlayStation 4; however, there is still a lot that could be improved. We do feel like there are quite a few features that Sony could introduce or improve on when the PlayStation 5 finally makes its debut. Do note though; this list is not about "better graphics" or "4K60FPS" requests. We are talking about the actual PlayStation and its system software itself, not the games that run on it.
1. Non-removable bloatware
We can all agree that there are pre-installed apps on the PlayStation 4 that are not to our interest or that we don't want to see in plain view since we barely use it. The internet browser, the PlayStation Now service, Live from PlayStation and The Playroom, are a few examples that we don't use at all. While Sony added the feature later down the PlayStation 4's timeline to create folders, allowing us to at least hide it behind one icon (except for some applications), it would still be a welcome option to either hide or fully uninstall apps that aren't to the user's interest. While these aren't particularly massive apps in size, they still take away space that could be used for other games or save data. And let's be honest; some people prefer a clear view rather than all these unnecessary apps being visible all the time.
2. Proper cooling
One of the biggest complaints that we (and many others as well) have about the PlayStation 4, is that you cannot play a game without your PlayStation 4 getting ready for lift-off. One of our writers even set up a cooling pad underneath - one used for laptops - to try and limit the noise somewhat; there is a slight improvement, but it remains loud. Luckily, as we reported earlier, it seems that Sony is opting for a proper cooling system this time, albeit sacrificing price.
3. Improved trophy system
One of the elements that we enjoy most about PlayStation is collecting achievements for the games we genuinely enjoy. We appreciate that we can see the trophies clearly listed so that DLC trophies are shown separately, rather than seeing one pile of achievements (unlike Steam). Still, we see room for improvement. A great, useful addition for all trophy hunters around, would be a tracking system that keeps track of your progress on some achievements. If you need to kill a certain amount of enemies, for instance, it would be a very welcome addition if you could see your progress (like Steam); some games do offer this within the menu via a statistics option themselves, but that isn't the case for every game.
On top of that, we see use in having a few optional filters, such as a filter to show only games on a certain platform or sort it based on how much percentage we have completed, etc. since it would allow you to search through your list easier and with greater specifics. Another page that could highly benefit from sorting abilities, is the 'hidden games' page, where players can choose whether to hide games from their profile or not. Currently, there is no sorting option and it is just a big scrambled pile of titles.
Some of us would even welcome an option to delete trophies (within boundaries). We are aware that it is not likely that this feature will be introduced or added, however, we can only wonder what this feature would allow us to do, seeing as some of us would love to get rid of titles where only a few inevitable trophies were earned via a basic playthrough, rather than actual achievement hunting. Especially for games that you did not enjoy, it could be nice to get a clean slate going by deleting all memories.
Lastly, we do wonder if Sony could potentially improve the automatic screenshots when receiving a trophy. How many times have people ended up with empty screenshots because right after earning it, the game goes into a loading screen?
4. More overall statistics
It would be nice if Sony would give players more statistics and offer the option to share these with other players on our profile. When playing a game on Steam, you can perfectly see how many hours you've spent on it; PlayStation does not have this option. The same goes for in-game tracking; Steam achievements might not be on point (they lack quite a bit, but that will be a whole other feature in the nearby future), but they do track your progress, so you know how far you are when going for a specific achievement. Sony clearly already tracks your stats; how else would they be able to send you those e-mails at the end of the year, detailing your year in PlayStation gaming?
An example of stats from 'PlayStation 2019 Wrap-Up'.
5. More customisation
A lot of people are dissatisfied with the loss of customisation that the PlayStation 4 has given us. PlayStation 3 at least allowed you to create a custom theme and share it with others, whereas PlayStation 4 had to wait years to get a simple "wallpaper" option. Allowing players to customise their home screen more to their liking would be nice - and while you're at it; improve the home screen, so it doesn't seem so laggy all the time. A lot of people have complained about that as well.
As for our profiles, it would be nice if we could have more customisation there as well. Right now, there isn't a lot to customise, other than the cover image and your information. Again, it is not a big deal for us, but we are well aware that people like to create their profile to fit their style and personality, so why not allow them to do so? When looking at the current home page of your PlayStation, we think we can all agree that more customisation options for that would be very welcome so you can set it up the way you like it and not just create a folder.
6. DualShock 5 improvements
A few things spring to mind when thinking about the DualShock 5 that we would like to see improved. Firstly, improve battery life. The DS4 controllers are dead before you know it and it can be frustrating that you have to charge your controller again after only a mere two to three hours of gaming. Other points that come to mind is to have another look at the current lightbar and the onboard speaker. For us, the small lightbar on the top of the touchpad is enough to have. The whole lightbar seems unnecessary (except for a few applications); as for the onboard speaker, we have the feeling that not a lot of games went out of their way to put it to good use, although we highly appreciate that you can connect your headphones to the controller, and receive audio that way. Please do not remove this option, Sony!
We would also advocate an official 'elite' controller for the PlayStation, as the Xbox and PC gamers have received this with the Xbox Elite controller series; not just the small attachment they recently released, which you install on the controller. There is a lot more to an upgraded controller than a quick 'have two extra buttons' attachment.
The recently introduced Dualshock 4 Back Button Attachment.
Lastly, on the controller part, we hope for potential wireless charging, as that would vastly improve the charging process. The least Sony could do in that regard is get rid of that micro USB connection and introduce a proper USB-C connection which will allow for better and faster charging.
Some of these suggestions have been discussed by Sony, so we have our fingers crossed!
7. Download management
Being able to manage your downloads would be a very appreciated feature for us. Not only for us, but we believe this is a feature that could be very helpful for people who do not have unlimited bandwidth, as well as people who have slower connections. Allowing users to set up specific moments when they want their PlayStation to download any applications or games could be very useful, as to not suddenly hog up bandwidth that is necessary for other means at a specific moment. Users could set it up to download only at night, for instance, when they are asleep, so nobody gets hindered by possible connection issues due to unexpected downloads.
8. Improved PlayStation Plus service
We see PlayStation Plus as a service that is currently too expensive for what it offers. It would be interesting to see a variety of packages appear, where it becomes a more intriguing service for people all around. Our first thought is simple: make online gaming free and stop asking people to pay for it. If you make online gaming free and turn PlayStation Plus into more of a 'Humble Bundle'-like service, or at the very least offer various plans, people could have more interest in subscribing as there might be something specific that is more interesting to them, rather than paying the full price but only using half the service.
Not everybody wants to pay the current price purely to play online. PC players are not paying to play online games whatsoever (except for some MMORPG games, like World of Warcraft), so what is the deal with consoles requiring a monthly subscription to play online games, when you are already paying for your internet connection? By offering free online play, you have a bigger chance that the servers will have more players and that multiplayer games will have a longer life expectancy.
PlayStation Now is a service which is currently only available separately yet it will cost you the same as a PS+ subscription. This is a prime example where a PS+ tier could be incorporated.
9. Improved PlayStation store
The current store isn't that horrible to use, but it isn't particularly great either; more often than not, the store lags when browsing through it and has slow loading times - and we have a variety of devices we tested with: on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the store is incredibly slow and on PlayStation 3 it already took nearly three minutes before it finally booted up.
On top of that, it would be nice to see your wishlist, add games to it and remove games from it as well. we know this is possible on the website, but why is this not a feature that works on the PlayStation itself? They should add the option to share them as well; this way you can gift your friend a game for their birthday, for instance. It's a nice feature that still seems to be missing these days. As a last thought about the wishlists, we wonder why there is no notification or e-mail going out when an item on your wishlist is on sale.
Concerning your library - where you see all the purchases that you own - we want to see the option to sort it per platform. Many people have various platforms, yet somehow, we cannot sort per platform, which grants you a painful search quest when looking through your list. Some specific category filters would be useful as well, such as DLC, themes, avatars, etc would be pleasant as well.
Lastly, remove all the PlayStation Plus items from the "purchased" list if you have a separate 'PlayStation Plus' option underneath it. It only clutters your list with games that will be useless to you once your subscription ends. Why have a separate section underneath when you throw everything into the main 'purchased' list anyway?
10. Backwards compatibility
One of the largest issues of the PlayStation 4 is missing backwards compatibility. A lot of players have older PlayStation games in their possession that they currently can't play unless they buy the game digitally again (depending on its availability). On top of this, it'd be a lovely addition to see support for PSP and PS Vita games alike. There is confirmation that the PlayStation 5 will have backwards compatibility, however, we only know it will support that with PlayStation 4 titles. We hope Sony plays it smart and will bring full backwards compatibility to the PlayStation 5 or that they are at least working towards it.
11. More services to connect with
Currently, the PS4 allows you to link a small number of accounts; ESL, Spotify, Twitch, Twitter & YouTube. Sometimes, some of these won't even show up (ESL being one of these that pops in and out for me). we would love to see support for more connections that can be useful; other streaming platforms, storage services (such as Dropbox) and Discord. Each service has its use, of course.
The limited options we currently get when looking at the option to link other services.
Discord is the biggest communication service on the market right now amongst gamers. It's safe to say that it would be a welcome addition to have that connection so that you can easily find your friends and play with other players as well and be in contact with people through voice chat that isn't bound to PlayStation only. As for the storage services, it would be useful to have these so that you could easily upload gameplay videos or screenshots in lossless quality without having space wasted on your PlayStation. Sharing them to Twitter or YouTube is an option, but you have to deal with the loss of quality.
It's a straightforward step that Sony should make; it's the most logical step to make sure that they don't stay behind on current points that people love. This whole console feud nonsense should end; work together, allow people to play with one another regardless of the platform they are on and unite gamers all around. It's as simple as that.
Cross-buy has not been added to this list due to Phil Spencer's recent announcement that Xbox will support it; we decided to add it as some PlayStation games have supported this before, where you could purchase a copy for PlayStation Vita and you would receive the same game on PS3 or PS4. Strangely enough, this seemed to be a very vague situation, as not all games were properly supported. For example, if you purchased The Sly Trilogy on PlayStation Vita, you got a download code for Sly 3 in the box. When redeeming said code, you get a copy of Sly 3 for both PS Vita and PS3. You did buy the other two games as well, but those were on the PS Vita cartridge and were not offered as a download for PlayStation 3. Why not just include a code for the full series instead?
14. Improved Bluetooth Support
Don't ask us why, but for some reason, PlayStation 4's Bluetooth support seems rather disappointing. One of us owns Sony headphones (WH-1000XM2), and yet, they cannot pair with the PS4. Oddly enough, pairing with the PlayStation Vita works perfectly fine, so why is this an issue with the PlayStation 4? Is it purely to force people to buy headphones with 'PS4 certified' on it? We're hoping that the PlayStation 5 will support more optional connections so people can use the headphones they already own.