News Bits: PS4 launch media apps confirmed, new PlayStation app goes live, Steam launches reviews beta

Date Posted Author
26th November 2013 Matt Bailey

It's PS4 launch week so there's some bits of news for Sony's new machine emerging as the week goes on. One item we were particularly interested in was the confirmed list of media apps that will be arriving on launch day. The full list for the UK is as follows:

  • BBC iPlayer
  • BBC News
  • BBC Sport
  • Demand 5
  • IGN
  • Lovefilm
  • Music Unlimited
  • Netflix
  • Video Unlimited
  • VidZone
    • Notably absent from that list are 4oD and YouTube, which both arrived with the Xbox One launch last Friday, and are both available on the PS3 right now. Sky's Now TV service is another absentee, although it's also missing from the Xbox One right now, while ITV Player - which never even made it across to the Xbox 360 - hasn't make the PS3 to PS4 transition either. However, it is just the first round of apps, with 18 different services available across Europe on the 29th, with 20 more set to arrive by Spring. We don't know how many of those will end up in the UK, and there's certainly some parts of Europe who deserve extra ones more than us. Unlike the Xbox One's Xbox Live Gold requirement, all the apps are free to use without a subscription to PlayStation Plus, but may carry their own subscription fees (e.g. Netflix).

      Sony has completely redesigned the official PlayStation app for smartphoned ahead of the PS4's arrival, but while it's been out in North America for a few weeks it's only now arriving here. The old app was slow and clunky but it did let you view friends and trophies on the move. The new app let's you do that much more easily and also let's you send messages, respond to game invites and connect to a PS4 to act as a second screen for supported games like Microsoft's SmartGlass on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The app is available now on the Google Play Store for Android users and the App Store for iOS, with a Windows Phone version on the way.

      Lastly, in non-PS4 news, Steam has launched another new feature, or more accurately, another new feature in beta. The latest unfinished addition is reviews, which are pretty easy to grasp but could have quite an impact on the previously developer or published-driven Steam store pages. Now users can rate and comment on games which should help inform about purchases but also could be a moderation nightmare for developers and Valve themselves. The Steam forums and Greenlight are regularly populated with spam, derogatory comments and misinformation but hopefully things will be better here and we'll get a more honest assessment of games.

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