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With just a couple from the PlayStation 4 launch on November 15th in the United States and Canada, Sony has decided to release data on the much-awaited PS4 - and the announcement has many fans outraged.
Much to the chagrin of prospective buyers, the PS4 will not allow gamers to play MP3 files through the console, cannot connect to external hard-drives and will not let users stream media content from a PC.
In other words: yes, you can listen to music during gameplay, just as you do for free on the PS3, but only if you cough up a minimum of £4.99 a month for Music Unlimited's Access Plan or £9.99 a month for the cross-platform Premium Plan. Likewise, if you fancy watching a film on your PS4 you can't stream it from your DLNA-compatible home server as you did with your PS3 - but you can pay to stream it from Sony's Video Unlimited instead.
Other features, too, appear to be moving the PS4 into far more of a limited, locked-down system than the PS3: the FAQ listing confirms that the PS4 has no support for external hard drives, something the PS3 supports just fine.
While Sony has yet to make a formal statement following the uproar caused by the release of the FAQ, its executives have taken to social networking services to quell unrest. None have stated an intention to change the status quo, however, but merely indicated they will 'feed back' to the developers - opening the possibility that the functionality may be re-inserted some time after launch. For now, though, those who use the multimedia features of their PS3 heavily would do well to reconsider an upgrade to the PS4.
From the Sony Playstation European Blog:
TheMART writes: Yes, the Music Unlimited streaming service will allow you to listen to music while you play PS4 games. A subscription to Music Unlimited is required.
Get full details here.
Does PS4 include a music visualizer feature?
Will I be able to play MP3s on PS4?
What is that Sony? Trying to force your customers into the Music Unlimited service that one has to pay what, 50 Euro a year for?
I thought Sony/PS4 was about choices and listening to their customers. This clearly is NOT!!!
I may freaking hope you’re patching MP3 support into that PS4 firmware ASAP because this is borderline retarded.
LSB123 complains: You must be reading these comments and you must have expected this kind of backlash to the omission of basic features. I’m on Reddit right now and there are people seriously considering opting for the Xbox just so they can listen to their god damn music. Let alone the streaming of content from a media server. It’s madness.
I’d suggest throwing everything out the window and announcing a patch to re-introduce what made the PS3 so good in the first place. I can’t imagine the kind of logistical nightmare it was that forced you to remove these features (please god tell me it was more than to just peddle Music Unlimited) but it’s the kind of basic functionality we’d expect from a machine supposed to last us into the 2020s. The hard drive thing worries me. Can I still hook up my hard drive and run video off it, or is the restricted audio playback going to get in the way of that? Unbelievable.