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PS4 FAQ: Some things you need to know before you buy

Michael Sawh by

PS4 FAQ: Things you need to know about Sony's next gen console

The PS4 has gained some additional features since it launched at the tail end of 2013. That means it's a slightly different beast to what it was at launch.

If you're looking to make the investment in Sony's new console, you may well have specific PS4 questions that you need answering.

We answer your PS4 questions in our PS4 FAQ.

SEE ALSO: Best PS4 Deals

How do I use Share Play on the PS4?

PS4 Share Play allows you to share the games you’ve got on your PS4 with those who haven’t quite got around to buying them yet.

Press the Share button to bring up the sharing options available on your PS4.

There’s the usual screenshot and gameplay video upload options, but there’s also the Start Share Play option. Hitting that button will make you start a Party with your chosen friend (you can only use Share Play with one other person at present).

Immediately Share Play lets your friend watch what you are doing in-game, giving them a glimpse of what you’re playing.

You can then choose whether to “Give Controller to” your friend. This allows you to give them complete control of your chosen game with the “allow visitor to play as you” option, or invite them in for some remote yet local co-op with the “play game together” option.

Each Share Play session is limited to 60 minutes and your guest will only be able to achieve a maximum 720p HD feed from your PS4. You can restart Share Play sessions infinitely though.

SEE ALSO: PS4 Share Play: How Sony is changing multiplayer gaming in a big way

PS4 Share Play

Can the PS4 play 3D movies?

A PS4 update released in July 2014 added 3D Blu-Ray support (among other new features) to Sony’s latest console.

Can I upgrade the hard drive in my PS4?

The PS4 comes with a built-in 500GB hard drive. If you’re keen to invest in tonnes of games from your new PS4, you’ll find yourself filling up that hard drive pretty quickly.

However, although Sony hasn’t yet added external hard drive support for the PS4, you can upgrade the internal hard drive in your PS4 pretty easily.

You’ll need a 2.5-inch Serial ATA HDD though, as they are the only one compatible with the PS4.

You’ll need to back up your data, replace the hard drive, resinstall the system software and then restore your data to complete the hard drive installation.

There’s full instructions on the PlayStation website.

See also: PS4 vs PS3

PlayStation Camera

What can the PS4 Camera do?

If you’re considering buying the PS4 Camera, you might be intrigued about what features and functionality it can offer you.

Of course, some games require the PlayStation Camera in order to work correctly, such as The PlayRoom, or even motion control titles like Just Dance 2015.

But beyond gaming, you can also use voice commands to help control the UI of your PS4 with the PlayStation Camera. All you have to do is say “PlayStation” followed by whatever you want to do or access.

You can also use the PlayStation Camera to add a little personality to your PS4 game broadcasts via Twitch or Ustream. You can add audio commentary or a little mini video screen of yourself to your gameplay using the PlayStation Camera.

How can I make my Dualshock 4 battery last longer?

The PS4 DualShock 4 is a great controller, but it has one flaw and that’s rubbish battery life.

There are a number of ways to make your DualShock 4 last a little bit longer. The main one is to make sure that you’ve dimmed the brightness of your controller in the Settings menu.

You can do this by going to Settings > Devices > Controllers > Brightness and set it to the lowest setting. You can’t turn it off entirely, but you can dim it to conserve precious battery.

SEE ALSO: PS4 Controller Battery Life: How to make your DualShock 4 last longer

DualShock 4

Does the PS4 support 4K?

The PS4 does support 4K output, but only for photos and videos. Currently, there’s no PS4 games compatible with the 4K resolution.

The majority of PS4 games run at 1080p full HD with a framerate of 60fps. There’s no word on when or if the PS4 will get 4K resolution support for games.

Does the PS4 come with a headset?

The PS4 comes with a mono chat headset in the box. It’s not great, but it will get you up and running for online multiplayer chat as soon as you boot up the PS4.

We’d definitely recommend replacing it if you plan to do a lot of chatting with your mates on PSN.

SEE ALSO: Best Gaming Headset 2014

PS4 mono chat headset

Has the PS4 got DLNA support?

The PS4 can play standard Blu-ray discs and DVDs, but currently does not support MP3 playback or streaming via DLNA.

DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance and enables you to share digital media between devices. Mostly it lets you stream media content like music and movies from your PC to other devices, which includes the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and even PS3.

We're still waiting for the DLNA support update for the PS4, but there is a way you can replace the rattling of gunfire with a more soothing soundtrack. Using Sony’s audio streaming service Music Unlimited you can manually turn off game audio and replace it with something from Sony's extensive music catalogue, though you will have to pay for the privilege.

Can the PS4 support MP3 playback?

Yes, but there are some restrictions. The PS4 Update 2.0 introduced a new USB music player. If you want to listen to some tunes behind your next FIFA 15 match or a session of Assassin’s Creed Unity, you now can thanks to the USB music player.

Put your tracks on a USB drive and plug it directly into one of the USB ports on your PS4. When you do, your PS4 will be prompted to bring up the USB music player. You can then access a simple, but effective, mini music player.

It can be accessed by pressing the PlayStation button at any time, with a mini player for volume controls, play, pause, and track skip buttons right there even mid-game.

You can’t transfer any of your music content found on your USB to your PS4 at present, but fingers crossed that along with other media support might come with a later PS4 update.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming PS4 Games 2014

PS4 USB Music Player

Should I download the PlayStation app for PS4?

Yes, it's actually useful on the PS4. Available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, Sony updated its PlayStation app with the arrival of the PS4. With the PS4 you can use your phone or tablet as a keyboard (while on the same Wi-Fi connection), access the PS4 manual and system guide, watch friends gaming live and get Smartglass-style second screen integration. Best of all, you can remotely download games so when you get home, they are ready to play.

You can play PS4 games on your PS Vita (but not the other way round)

Remote Play using the PlayStation Vita was introduced on the PS3 with just handful of games, but with the PS4 you can play almost every game on the Sony portable. It will only work inside your home, before you get any ideas of walking down the street playing next-gen FIFA 14.

Once you've downloaded the PS4 Link app to your Vita you can play games you’ve purchased on the PS4 straight on your PS Vita. For controls assigned to the unique Dualshock 4 features like clickable buttons, they will be replaced by either the Vita’s touchscreen or rear controls.

SEE ALSO: PS4 vs Xbox One

Ps4 remote play

What is PlayGo and how does it work?

Ideal for people who can’t stomach those achingly long download times, the PS4's new PlayGo feature will let you start your game before it’s been completely downloaded. For example, if you are downloading a digital version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, you will be able to choose whether you want to play the campaign or multiplayer mode. Depending on what you choose, the PS4 will proceed to download the data you need to get playing.

Do I need a PlayStation Plus account to play online multiplayer on PS4?

On the PS3, online gaming was a free-for-all, but on the PS4 you will need to pay up if you want to get spanked at Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty by an 11-year old from the other side of the world. PlayStation Plus subscriptions cost £5.49 per month, £11.99 every three months or £39.99 a year and you’ll require just one to cover all PlayStation consoles. Existing PS Plus memberships will carry over to the PlayStation 4 and to entice you to sign up, Sony will be offering a new game each month. A subscription also adds the ability to download game updates when then console is and on standby and get access to 1GB of cloud saves game data.

SEE ALSO: Best PS4 Games 2014


Can the PS4 play PS3 games?

Are PS3 games compatible with the PS4 you ask? Well, not in the sense that you can put a PS3 disc copy of GTA 5 into your PS4 console and start playing it. The PS4 will use its OnLive-style cloud gaming service Gakai to stream PS3 games to offer some form of backwards compatibility. There had been talk by some GAME employees over Twitter that current PSN titles purchased on PS3 would transfer over to your PS4, but that was dismissed by Sony via its official PlayStation Europe account. The streaming feature, meanwhile, is due to be launched some time next year. It's not available at launch.

SEE ALSO: PS4 Backward Compatibility: Can you play PS3 games on PS4?

Are there parental controls on the PS4?

If you are planning to share the PS4 with the entire household, Sony has now added the ability to add restrictions on content if you don’t want the little ones to be playing Call of Duty. This also covers setting content restrictions for what Blu-ray discs people can watch, what apps they can access and which websites they can land on in the web browser.

Do I need the PlayStation Camera to use voice commands?

One of the ways Sony has managed to keep the price of the console down lower than the Xbox One is by leaving the PS Eye camera out of the box. That's not to say you will have to immediately pay out around £55 for one as the DualShock 4 controller has a built-in mic and will offer some Kinect-style voice control for the PS4.

SEE ALSO: Underrated and under appreciated games of 2014

PS4 pictures

Can PS4 game updates and downloads run in the background?

One of our biggest gripes with the PS3 was having to sit through numerous game updates and software downloads, sometimes for hours. The good news is that Sony has introduced the ability to do all of this boring stuff in the background leaving you to get on with something more interesting than looking at a loading bar slowly making progress.

Just put your PS4 into Rest Mode and your console will keep downloading and installing the various updates needed for your games and other content. So it'll all be ready when you next need it.

Can you share or sell PS4 games?

One of the biggest talking points of the next-gen console war has been the stance Microsoft and Sony have taken on the pre-owned games market. Sony made a very big deal at its E3 2013 press conference about not abandoning second-hand gamers, brilliantly summed by this video. The recently updated version of the Sony Entertainment network terms of service appeared to contradict this, but Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida reiterated via Twitter that you can sell and share PS4 discs just like you can with the PS3.

Next read our round-up of the best games of 2014.

Other PS4 features to look out for:

  • You can log into any PS4 to access games, make purchases as long as you are signed in.
  • The PS4 is not region locked which means you will be able to play games bought in other countries like the US.
  • There’s a Suspend mode making it easier to jump in and out of games.
  • The PS4 uses a 2.5-inch laptop-style 500GB hard drive that can be replaced and upgraded. It’s held in place with head-screws so you will need a screwdriver to get access to it.
  • The PS4 will support USB and Bluetooth keyboards and mouse. For USB peripherals, simply hook them into the front-facing USB ports. For Bluetooth accessories, you can activate them in the Settings menu inside the Dynamic menu.
  • The 'Game DVR' feature will capture 15 minutes of gameplay and let you edit video and take screenshots
  • The 11 PS4 launch apps include Netflix, Crackle and Sony’s Music and Video Unlimited services
  • There’s a headset and a HDMI cable already packaged with the PS4 console
  • The Dualshock 4 controller can be charged when the console is in sleep mode.
  • The DualShock 4 controller can work with some PS3 games including GTA V, Tomb Raider and Skyrim
  • You don't have to always be connected to the internet to play PS4 games

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