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, Sony has revealed, much to the anger of prospective buyers.
In an in-depth Q&A published on the PlayStation Europe blog, the company revealed the bad news, raising serious questions about the device’s merits as a versatile living room media device.
Earlier this year Sony admitted the PS4 won't support audio CDs, so the lack of MP3 support means users will not be able to play their personal collections on the console, unless they’re subscribed to Sony’s own Music Unlimited subscription service. Strangely, there’s no music visualiser built into the console either.
Streaming media content from other devices is a no-go too. Unlike the current PS3, the console also lacks DLNA and media server support, so users won’t be able to share content from their home PC.
In an even larger bombshell, the PS4 will not support external hard drives either, so users will not be able to expand the built-in 500GB storage or plug in a second drive in order to play content. “No this feature is not supported by PS4,” wrote Sony several times in the Q&A blog.
The revelations put the PS4 at a major disadvantage against the Xbox One for those users seeking to make their games console the centre of their living room media experience. Sony fans are already reacting angrily to the news, with some calling the news a ‘step backwards’ from the PS3, while others have vowed to cancel pre-orders, calling the news ‘unbelievable’.
One user on the blog, posting LBS123 wrote: “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.”
In somewhat better news, Sony revealed PS3 and PS4 gamers will be able to battle or join forces with each other online for cross platform multiplayer action.
The company said cross platform online play is ‘technically possible,’ in Wednesday’s blog post. However, it will be down to individual developers to device whether to build the functionality into their PS3 and PS4 games.
“The functionality is technically possible and some developers may choose to support it for their titles,” Sony wrote.
The feature would, it seems, benefit both developers and gamers who want to play together despite not owning the latest console. A quick game of FIFA or a Call of Duty deathmatch over PS4 and PS3 would certainly be an opportunity fans would welcome.
However, that snippet is a bright spark in an otherwise black hole of bad news for some prospective PS4 buyers. It seems that Microsoft got all of its unpopular features out of the way early, giving it time to repair the damage. What will Sony do if the backlash continues? Could we see another next-gen reversal from one of the big two?
Read More: PS4 vs Xbox One