Day 1 firmware update details reveal PS4 launch features, digital game library also explained

Date Posted Author
29th October 2013 Matt Bailey

While you don't have to connect the PS4 to the internet in order to use it on Day 1, you will almost certainly want to pick up the launch day system software update in order to enable a lot of important features. Sony has detailed the first update, curious named version 1.50, which will go live on the PS4's launch date of 29th November (15th November on the other side of the Pond).

On the list of features enabled by the update are Remote Play using the PS Vita (with an update for the Vita itself due soon to anbled this), Second Screen support using the PlayStation App for iOS, Android and PS Vita, and the ability to record videos, take screenshots and upload them using the Share button, which will support Facebook and Twitter on launch day. The update also let's you broadcast live gameplay to UStream and Twitch, play as you download the rest of the game, have up to 4 people logging in to the PS4 at the same time, and 8-person party chat across the PS4 and PS Vita. Interesting this also confirms the rumours that the machine will support Kinect-like voice commands for navigating the system menus, as well as shutting down the machine and starting games, and this will be possible not only using the built-in microphone on the optional PlayStation Camera but using the mono headset that's included in the PS4 box (or via any other headset you have connected). It will also support facial recognition to allow you to log in to the system just by looking at the camera.

The feature set above is in addition to what you get out of the box, although that seems to be pretty much just playing games and maybe the media services too. Some features which have been previously talked about won't be available at launch; cloud gaming service Gaikai is having a slow rollout through 2014, which we've known about for a while, but Sony also revealed that the suspend/resume feature - which lets you pause gameplay and resume later while leaving the machine in a low power state - won't be there on Day 1, but they promise more details soon on what that will arrive.

As well as plenty of details on the 1.50 firmware, Sony have started to build up an FAQ we hope will become more populated as the US launch approaches. The main new detail on there surrounds how ownership of your digital games works. Sony have implemented a system whereby you designate one PS4 as "Primary", and then anyone in that household with their own accounts can play games you've downloaded, and they also get the benefits of PlayStation Plus if you have that. In addition you can also log in with your PSN account to any PS4 and enjoy your own games - there's no limit on machines to activate, but only two PS4s can play games from the same account at the same time. This might stop some game-sharing plans, whereby people only buy one copy and spread it around a few users, but it also seems to not be overstepping the mark, and sounds similar to the Xbox 360 policy.

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