After less than a month of beta tests, Sony will release its latest software update for the PlayStation 4 on September 30. Version 3.00, codenamed internally as "Kenshin," changes a variety of features on the console, including PlayStation Plus storage, online communities and sharing content.
As a PlayStation Plus member, you are able to participate in online gameplay, get discounts at the PlayStation store, and also receive a batch of free games every month. Another perk of the membership is an additional 1 GB of cloud storage. With the new update, this increases to 10 GB. Considering the size of most PS4 games, 10 GB isn't enough to fit most major titles, but it should provide enough space for saved data for each game.
There is also dedicated space on the top right corner of the home screen for PlayStation Plus members, where they can easily access their subscription plans, find deals, and also check their current library of free games each month.
A big part of today's gaming community is sharing content on various social media platforms and through streaming sites. Twitch already announced that a dedicated app is finally coming not only to PlayStation 4, but also to PlayStation 3 and Vita. Sony is also working on increasing the options for sharing content straight from the console.
In the past, you could only post short clips through Facebook or YouTube. Now, there's also video support for sharing video on Twitter, but don't expect to upload a long video, as it allows only up to 10 seconds of video footage. Users will be able to trim the long clips to the allotted time before posting it, though.
Before this update, you could also only stream from your PS4 to one of two sites: Twitch and Ustream. With YouTube Gaming in full swing, it's looking to compete in the growing content streaming market, and YouTube is now a third option to stream game footage. In addition, friends can watch your gameplay by sending a "Request to Watch" notification to you.
On a minor note, screenshots are now PNG files, which possess better image quality than the traditional JPEG extension previously used for PS4 images.
Sony wants its online PlayStation users to connect with each other even outside of a shooting match or race. Players can now create Communities of their own based on similar interests in the same game or overall genre. The hub not only includes a message board, but also a way to link up with other players for cooperative gameplay or creating your own custom party.
If you have a close group of friends, you can also create custom groups. This allows you to easily keep track of your friends when they are online, as well as have a private group chat before starting a game together.
In order to keep players abreast of upcoming special events across their favorite games, an Events hub is also included in the new update. This will notify players of a special multiplayer session, such as a Call of Duty double XP weekend, or potentially one of Destiny’s weekly Strike missions. It even tells you when special broadcasts of the game are live. Any changes to the schedule or the start of events are also announced through notifications.
With A Little Help From Your Friends
The big picture of this update seems to be increasing your presence in the online community. Custom groups, more sharing options, and the Events hub keep players connected not only to the latest news from their favorite games, but also to their friends and the many other players online.
More importantly, the company also wants to attract more people to PlayStation Plus. The amount of online capabilities on the PlayStation 4 is limited without it, but purchasing a subscription is a must if players want to compete or work together with other players online in order to get the most out of their favorite titles.