There are just a few weeks until the PlayStation 4 hits U.S shelves. Earlier today Sony announced that a system update would be required on the first day.
This isn’t a surprise, of course. Since the last generation was the one were console updates became an actual thing, it would be pretty odd to just think that the convenience of old consoles where you just hooked it up and played would return.
Since the gaming consoles are more complex than they were in the late 1990s-early 2000s–or even prior, but we’re talking about by the time PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube formed a new Big Three—these are obviously needed updates. Plus it would be a hassle to have the PlayStation 4 ready to play out of the box.
So it should be a minor hassle to you to just run the update, right? You’re going to run it many, many times in the five to eight year period the console will be current, anyway.
The actual concern should be how long this first day update will be and if there would be any mishaps. Nintendo had this problem with some Wii U consoles bricking during updates. Of course that was down to gamers messing with the console (turning it off despite a big, bold warning saying otherwise during the long update) and luck of the draw.
The same thing happened with the Xbox 360 and to a lesser extent the PlayStation 3 in the generation prior. While it’s certain that both Sony and Microsoft have gone to at least decent lengths to make sure their console doesn’t brick en masse, expect a good deal of first wave brickage.
The other concern has been one that plagued the Xbox One in those loathsome days of “always online” rage: needing to be online for that first update. The initial system update will weigh in at 300MB and would allow a lot of the functionality.
This is where the concern should be eased. That functionality is for the features that make the PS4 the PS4 as opposed to a more powerful PS3 that has better graphics. The features that will be enabled include Remote Play for the PS Vita, the PlayStation App, the Share button for uploading highlights, livestreaming via Twitch and Ustream, and PS4 Eye functionality.
The only feature that won’t be available with this update will be the Suspend/Resume feature that is one of those marquee features as minor as it sounds on paper. What it allows you to do is leave the console on and just pause the game while leaving the console in a kind of sleep state.
That means you don’t have to leave the console inactive until it automatically turns off and just hope you remembered to save or save and turn it off (we’ve all walked off from the console and just left it on at least once only for it to eventually shutdown).
Sony offered no date on when to expect the feature to be enabled, but said that it would be included in the following updates. Until then enjoy the buffet of features the PS4 will offer November 15.