After pouring through the PS4 FAQ last week, I wanted to give a breakdown on some of the important items that might be easy to miss. There are a lot of positives and negatives going on that people can overlook. I’ve added commentary on some items to give clarification and insight on what’s actually going on, or at least what we believe is going on. The original FAQ Sony posted is twice the size this and very disorganized. I’ve moved items around into different sections to make the FAQ easier to follow. I’ve also removed a lot of unimportant or redundant items to cut down the size of the FAQ. I mostly stay away from console comparisons because this is about the PS4 specifically, and not meant for console war flame bait.
- Anything I’ve written about in red will be something that I think Sony screwed up, and needs to change.
- Anything in green is a positive where I think Sony made a great choice.
- Purple text is reserved for items that I think need more clarification from Sony. In some cases it may be due to conflicting reports.
- Blue text is just items that I’m pointing out and explaining in more detail then what Sony has done.
Inputs and connectivity
What input/output ports and connectivity features does PS4 support?
HDMI OUT, DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL AUDIO), Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports, and an auxiliary connector reserved for PlayStation Camera. PS4 also features integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi for wireless internet connectivity and Bluetooth 2.1 for DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller connectivity. – This should support 802.11AC. Releasing a product that is supposed have a life cycle of 10 years with older wireless standards isn’t right.
What screen resolutions will PS4 support?
PS4 will support 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video standards via HDMI output. – While I’m sure it will get patched in, in the future, I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t have 4K support out of the box. Sony is one of the 4K market leaders in 4K movie content distribution. I’m sure they will get this figured out eventually.
Will PS4 support 4K content for video or gaming?
Support for high-resolution 4K output for still images and movie content is in consideration, but there are no further details to share at this time. PS4 does not currently support 4K output for games.
Does PS4 support analog video or audio output?
No. PS4’s video and audio are transmitted using HDMI, a common digital connector found on most HD TVs. Additionally, PS4 can output 5.1 or 7.1 audio via DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL). – Older TV’s that do not have HDMI ports are SOL without an adaptor to change HDMI into whatever interface you need. Price will vary depending on your needs. At this point you can get an HDTV cheaper than a PS4 so this is mostly a non-issue.
Will PS4 support any 3D content, including stereoscopic 3D games?
Technically, PS4 supports 3D gameplay at launch in North America, though no launch titles are currently 3D compatible. – Supposedly Both Assassins Creed 4, and COD: Ghosts will support 3D at launch, but this remains to be seen.
Will users be able to replace PS4’s stock 500GB hard drive? What hard drive sizes are supported?
PS4 owners will be able to replace PS4’s standard hard drive. PS4’s hard drive is used to store downloaded game and video content, game save files, gameplay movies and images, and more.
What type of hard drive does PS4 use?
PS4 is equipped with a 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive. Users can choose to install a new hard drive so long as it complies with these standards, is no thicker than 9.5mm, and is larger than 160GB. – There have been reports from other sites that have the hardware that they can get 12.5mm drives into the PS4. Laptop drives range in size from 9.5mm to 15mm. 9.5 drives aren’t bad, but they usually have less storage. While the PS4 is equipped with a SATA II drive, you shouldn’t have a problem using a SATA III drive in there as well. It’s best to stay with a 5400 RPM drive. Faster drives usually generate more heat and noise.
Will users be able to connect an external hard drive to expand storage on PS4?
No, this feature is not supported on PS4. – External storage is a much cheaper option. If the PS4 would have been equipped with an ESATA drive, users could have picked up an external 3TB drive for about the same price as an internal 1.5 TB laptop drive with zero performance degradation. Many retail games require over 30 GB of storage, so 500 GB may go quick.
When playing disc-based games on PS4, do I need to install data to the hard drive?
Yes, all PS4 Blu-ray Disc games must be cached to the hard drive to ensure a smooth gaming experience. However, certain titles may not require you to wait for the game data to be fully cached before starting gameplay. In order to start playing disc-based games, users will need to insert the game disc into PS4 just like on the PS3 system. –If implemented properly this will be a really cool feature. Instead of doing a full game install you should be able to cache the game to the system. If you haven’t played the game in a while, and the hard drive starts to fill up the system should automatically remove the cache data so you don’t have to manage or worry about your hard drive space as much, and the 500 GB drive might last longer than you would expect. There are many unknowns with this feature. Sony hasn’t detailed how it will work so we are left to speculate. One potential side effect to caching the data and having the system delete it for more space, is the hard drive will eventually become fragmented, and games will not run as smoothly. It may take a few years before fragmentation becomes an issue, if it ever does.
If I rent a game disc, and then decide I want to buy it digitally, can I use the mandatory install to avoid downloading it and just activate my license?
No, in this example you would have to delete the disc install data and fully install the digital version of the game.
Will PS4 require a system software update at launch in North America? How will system updates work post-launch?
Upon the North American launch, PS4 will require a system software update (version 1.50) to add several new features. After you connect to the internet, PS4 will automatically start downloading v1.50 in the background. During this background download process, you’ll be able to play Blu-ray Disc games offline. – Its only 300 Megs so it shouldn’t take too long do download the update. If you do not perform the update, the only thing the PS4 will do is play games. It won’t even play DVD’s or Blu-ray’s without the update.
Will I be able to install system software update 1.50 via a USB drive?
Yes, you will be able to download the firmware to your PC and transfer it to PS4 using a USB memory stick. However, to use the USB method the first time you take PS4 out of the box and before installing system software update 1.50, you’ll need to enable safe mode. When PS4 is powered off, press and hold the Power Button for seven seconds to enter safe mode. Note: Users should only update using official files downloaded from PlayStation.com. – If for some reason you have poor/no internet connectivity at your place, at least you can go somewhere else and download future updates for your system.
Which PS4 features will be available at launch in North America?
The majority of new features that have been announced will be available when PS4 launches. These features include background downloads, cross-game voice chat, transitioning to a network based on real-world friends, and live streaming gameplay footage via Ustream and Twitch. Additional PS4 features will be rolled out in phases – please read full details on what’s available following system software update 1.5, and follow PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation.com for further news.
What PS4 software features have been announced, but won’t be available at launch in North America?
Below is an overview of certain features that have been announced that will not be available when PS4 launches in North America.
- Share controller via the internet to assist a friend
- Suspend/Resume mode – This is a great feature that I’m sad they won’t have working right away. This will allow you to basically pause the game at any point without really having to save, do something else, and come back to it. Kind of like a Nintendo 3DS when you close the shell, and open it up later and the game is where you left it.
- Wireless Stereo Headsets support
- Wireless Stereo Headset
- Pulse Wired Stereo Headset
- Pulse Wireless Stereo Headset Elite Edition
How many PSN friends can I have on PS4?
PS4 supports up to 2,000 online friends, an expansion of the 100 friends limit for the PS3 system. On PS4 you can quickly expand your friend list by connecting with people you’ve played with recently as it does on the PS3 system.
The PS3 system will continue to support up to 100 friends at one time. If you build a friend list bigger than 100 on PS4, network servers will automatically filter your friend’s list when you play on a PS3 system. Additionally, you will be able to set and lock a pre-determined friends list to be used while you play on the PS3 system if you wish. Support for the ability to display all of your friends in most applications and games is planned, however, some titles will be limited to the current 100 Friends limit. – This sounds like a very nice way to handle your friends list so you aren’t leaving your PS3 friends behind.
Is there a way to rename my Online ID on PS4?
No. But PS4 does give you the option of allowing your friends to see your real name in addition to your Online ID. You can also choose to import your Facebook photo to be used as your PSN profile picture if you wish.
Can my child’s PS3 sub-account be changed to a master account on PS4 once they are past the age of 18?
Unfortunately, no. In this case, we would advise creating a new master account. We apologize for the inconvenience. – This is something they really need to address at some point. There are probably a lot of teenagers that will be affected by this policy.
Is PlayStation Plus necessary for multiplayer gameplay on PS4?
Yes, PlayStation Plus membership is needed for PS4 online multiplayer gaming. PS4 features a significantly enhanced online feature set that will deliver innovative new online gaming experiences.
Will non PS Plus members be able to play free to play online games on PS4?
Certain titles built on a free-to-play model will not require PlayStation Plus for multiplayer functionality in North America. This list currently includes Blacklight Retribution, DC Universe Online, and War Frame in North America. –This is a big plus. I think anyone that has PS3, PS4, or Vita is crazy not to have a PS+ membership, but if you don’t this at least you can still enjoy some free games.
Can I play online without a Plus membership?
Generally speaking, no. PlayStation Plus membership is required to play the majority of online titles on PS4, however a selection of free-to-play multiplayer titles will be available without a PS Plus membership.
If I’m not a PlayStation Plus member but I log into a PS4 system owned by a PS Plus member, will I be able to play online multiplayer?
Yes. If you don’t have a PS Plus membership, you can still access online multiplayer modes if you log into a PS4 which is set as “Primary” by a PS Plus member. This means that, for example, if one housemate is a PlayStation Plus member, everyone in the household will have access to online multiplayer. Additionally, on the same PS4 system, any games or content purchased by one user are available to other users who play on that console (unless that content has expired).
How many local accounts does PS4 support?
PS4 supports up to 16 local accounts, in addition to temporary guest accounts.
What features will be available with PlayStation Plus on PS4?
The following benefits will be available only to PlayStation Plus members on PS4:
- Online Multiplayer
Enjoy multiplayer competitive and cooperatives games via the internet.
- Instant Game Collection
Access to a regular, curated selection of titles made exclusively available to PlayStation Plus members at no additional cost. The PS4 titles available on Instant Game Collection at PS4′s launch in North America will include Resogun and Contrast.
Members will have access to exclusive discounts on PlayStation Store.
- Online Game Save
Members may automatically (or manually) upload game save files to Online Game Save Storage for safekeeping. Up to 1GB of cloud storage will be allocated to your PS4 save files.
- Other benefits
Early access to exclusive game content, automatic game patch downloads and installation, and more.
What network services will be free on PS4, without a PlayStation Plus membership?
Some of the features users can enjoy for free include:
- Accessing entertainment, film, and TV services (Users must subscribe separately to individual services)
- Share options, including sending gameplay video and screenshots to Facebook, screenshots to Twitter, or livestreaming gameplay via Ustream or Twitch
- Sharing video to Facebook,
- Playing PS4 games remotely using the PS Vita system (Remote Play)
- Comparing Trophy data with other users
- Sending and receiving text messages from other users
- PlayStation Store access (users must pay to purchase premium content)
- Live item, activity feeds on Dynamic Menu
- Party (cross game voice chat)
- Web browser
- PlayStation App services (on iOS/Android devices)
What is PlayAsYouDownload? Will all PS4 games support this function?
PlayAsYouDownload is a new feature for the PS4 system that speeds access to games downloaded from PlayStation Store. Supported titles will be playable after users download a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. All titles are compatible this function, but certain titles may not support it at launch in North America. – Nice feature, but I wish there was more information on which games will have this at launch.
How much will I need to download before I can start playing with PlayAsYouDownload?
The portion of a game that must be downloaded before gameplay begins will vary title by title, as will the time that it takes to download that initial portion. Users will be able to see when they are able to start playing by an indicator on the download progress meter. Certain titles, such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, will enable you to pick which mode to start downloading first, such as single-player or multiplayer. – I really like that you can pick whether you start with single or multiplayer for the game download. It will allow you to jump in to whatever you want to do a whole lot faster.
Can more than one person access my content from my PS4?
By setting your home PS4 your “Primary” console, the content you’ve purchased on your account is available to other family members without needing to sign in on your account.
Can two people use my account’s content on two different PS4 at once?
Yes, this is possible. – I’m sure this can be abused so that you and a buddy can split the cost of a game without having to pay for 2 copies.
How do customers purchase PS4 games?
You can purchase Blu-ray games at retailers, or purchase and download the game from PlayStation Store to PS4’s internal hard drive. You can also purchase digital games through the Sony Entertainment Network online store via PC and compatible mobile devices through PlayStation App — if your PS4 is in standby mode, the game will automatically download.
Will I be able to purchase digital games on the same release date as their retail Blu-ray versions?
Ultimately, the decision lies with publishers on whether to make digital versions of games available on the same release date. However, we anticipate that most PS4 games will be available for purchase digitally via PlayStation Store on the same day as their retail Blu-ray counterparts.
Will you offer digital pre-orders of PS4 launch titles via PS Store before the PS4 launch?
Can I play my PS3 games on my PS4 system?
No, PS4 does not feature backward compatibility for PS3, PS2, or PSone games. – Supposedly this may be coming in the future via some form of streaming or downloading, but this hasn’t been discussed since the PS4 was announced. Hopefully this will still happen at some point.
Will any PlayStation Store content purchased on PS3 or PS Vita systems be transferable to a PS4 system?
In some cases, yes. For example, a selection of popular digital titles including Flower, flOw, Escape Plan and Sound Shapes will be available to purchase on PS4 after launch. Gamers who purchased these titles for the PS3 or PS Vita systems (the PS Vita system only, in the case of Escape Plan) will be able to download the PS4 versions of these titles, some of which feature enhanced graphics or improved features, to their PS4 systems for no additional charge. – This is nice. I actually paid for Flower a long time ago, and forgot about it. It will be nice to compare the 2 and see how they differ.
Can PS4 and PS3 users play together online, cross-platform?
The functionality is technically possible and some developers may choose to support it for their titles.
Do PS4 games have regional locks?
In general, neither digital nor disc-based games will be region locked, but PlayStation recommends that all users purchase games at the region of their residence to guarantee the best overall experience and customer service. In certain instances, a software publisher may choose to region lock a game title for specific reasons, but Sony Computer Entertainment expects these instances to be uncommon. –This is pretty much the same as it is on the PS3 right now. I’m glad they aren’t changing anything.
Does PS4 come with a headset?
Yes, PS4 comes with the Mono headset to enable out-of-the-box voice chat for online games and optional voice commands for PS4 system functions. PlayStation Camera, sold separately for $59.99 (MSRP), will also support voice chat and voice commands for PS4.
Will the DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s 3.5mm headset jack support other headsets or headphones?
The PS Vita system’s headset is fully supported. Some other third-party headsets may support basic audio and chat functionality on PS4, but Sony Computer Entertainment cannot guarantee it.
Is it possible to output all game audio through DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s 3.5mm headset jack?
Yes, you can select the Output to Headsets option to either ‘Chat Audio’ or “All Audio.” – This is awesome. I can play a game without disturbing anyone else because I can get the audio straight out of a pair of ear buds connected up to the controller.
Can PS3 and PS4 users voice chat, or video chat together?
PS3 and PS4 users will be able to communicate with each other use text messages, but not video or voice chat.
For cross-game Party Chat, how many players will PS4 support?
As with the PS Vita system, PS4 will support up to eight users for cross-game Party Chat. The Party Chat feature works across both PS4 and PS Vita platforms.
Can PS4 users send voice messages to each other?
Yes, PS4 users will be able to record voice messages up to 15 seconds long and send them to friends for later listening.
What impact will the DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s integrated speaker have on gameplay?
DUALSHOCK 4′s integrated speaker lets inventive game developers immerse players more fully in the game world. In the example of Killzone: Shadow Fall, audio diaries collected in the campaign mode will be broadcast though DUALSHOCK 4 integrated speaker. We anticipate that developers will devise other interesting ways to use this feature. – I don’t know how many games will use this, but this is a pretty neat little feature.
Can the DUALSHOCK 4 controller connect to a PC?
Yes, you can connect a DUALSHOCK 4 controller to your PC using USB, and it will support basic functions. In regards to DUALSHOCK 4 supporting full compatibility for playing PC games, there are no details to share at this time.
Will PS3 peripherals such as fighting sticks and steering wheels work with PS4?
Generally speaking, no. However, at launch, users will be able to use these controllers if a specific game title allows it to be used within the game. This decision is upon the game developer and will vary from game to game. – It’s nice that people that spent a ton on accessories may not be left out in the cold on their purchases.
Does PS4 support the PlayStation Move motion controller?
Yes. Developers will be able to create PS4 titles that use the PS Move controller, with Octodad: Dadliest Catch and Sportsfriends being two upcoming examples. However, PS3 titles that use the PS Move controller will not be supported on PS4. – I’m really surprised by this. I almost thought that Sony was dropping the Move support all together since it barely gets mentioned.
What is Remote Play?
Remote Play will enable users to stream their PS4 gameplay to their PS Vita system via WiFi, freeing up the television for other uses. SCEA expects that most PS4 titles will support Remote Play unless the title requires a special peripheral like PlayStation Camera. – This may be the reason I keep my PS4 pre-order. I purchased a VITA last black Friday and I have used it in total for about an hour. This may give me an excuse to use the system. One of my favorite features of the Wii U is the second screen play, but it only works at a certain distance. In theory I can use this almost anywhere. Sony has also confirmed that you don’t even need a router at home for this to work. Your PS4 and VITA can talk directly to each other without any additional hardware in between.
How will Cross Play function between PS4 and PS Vita systems?
As with PS3, supported titles will allow PS4 and PS Vita users to play together in the same game via online multiplayer (PlayStation Plus required for online multiplayer on PS4).
Does PS4 have to be on to take advantage of Remote Play?
Yes. But PS Vita can remotely wake up PS4 when in standby mode, as long as this feature is activated in the Power Settings menu on PS4. – This makes a great feature even better. I need to see how this will work.
What entertainment services will be offered at the launch of PS4?
Sony Network Entertainment’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited will be available at launch in North America. We will announce other entertainment services that will be available on Day 1 before launch. Check PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation social channels for further news and updates.
What is Music Unlimited?
The music destination on PlayStation 4. Music Unlimited is a cloud-based, ad-free music subscription service that enhances and simplifies music discovery from an extensive catalog of millions of songs. On PS4, users can create the soundtrack of their choice, to listen to while playing their favorite games. On the go, the service can be enjoyed on a variety of portable devices such as PS Vita, Android phones and tablets, and iOS devices such as iPhone.
What is Video Unlimited?
The video service, accessible from PlayStation Store on PS4, offers a la carte streaming movies and TV shows. The Video Unlimited service delivers new movie releases weeks before DVD and Blu-ray; the hottest TV shows the day after they air. The service is also available on other devices such as PlayStation 3, PS Vita, BRAVIA TV, and Xperia Smartphones, all with the convenience of a single Sony Entertainment Network account.
Will I be able to play background music while I play PS4 games?
Yes, the Music Unlimited streaming service will allow you to listen to music while you play PS4 games. A subscription to Music Unlimited is required. Get full details here. – This is unfortunate. I don’t want to make a lot of direct comparisons to other consoles in this FAQ, but the Xbox 360 has allowed users to use their own MP3’s since launch in 2005. Why the heck is Sony only letting people stream music through their paid service?
Will PS4 support media servers or DLNA support in order to stream videos or movies from a home PC?
The PS4 system does not support client functionality* for media servers. – Some people are really upset by this. Sony has come out and made the following statement. “We appreciate your feedback and are exploring possibilities.”
Does PS4 include a music visualizer feature?
Will I be able to play MP3s on PS4?
No – Once again, this just makes no sense, other than them trying to get people to pay for their music service. To offer the music service as on option is one thing, but to basically force people into it because you stripped them of the alternatives they used to have is sad. They have released the same statement with this feature as they had with DLNA. “We appreciate your feedback and are exploring possibilities.”
Can I listen to audio CDs using PS4?
No, PS4 does not support audio CDs. – This is just plain weird because Sony invented the CD music standard. I think it relates to them trying to force you into their music service.
What does the DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s Share button do?
The DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller features a dedicated Share button that enables players to save, distribute and share recorded gameplay video, captured gameplay screenshots, and livestream gameplay footage in real time. –Sony hasn’t really explained the livestream function that well. I wish they released a video showing this off because it’s a little unclear.
Is PlayStation Plus required to use the Share button?
No. You will be able to share gameplay videos, screenshots, and perform game livestreams without a PlayStation Plus membership. – Good on Sony for not charging for this feature.
Where can I share my game content using Share?
PS4 players can share game video on Facebook, game screenshots via Facebook and Twitter, and gameplay livestreams via Ustream and Twitch starting on November 15th in North America.
Does PS4 always record all gameplay?
Yes, PS4 constantly records gameplay footage automatically in the background, up to a maximum of 15 minutes before you press the Share button.
Are users able to record, distribute or stream any gameplay video?
No. Users may not be able to record certain areas within the game. Developers can select the area of restriction, and what will be restricted will depend on game titles. In these cases, recording will be temporarily suspended during the scene. –What happens during sections you aren’t allowed to livestream when you have already started one?
How long can I capture videos on PS4?
PS4 will automatically capture up to 15 minutes of your most recent gameplay footage, which you can then choose to share with your Facebook friends using the DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s new Share button. For livestreaming gameplay video, there will be no time restriction. – So you can stream forever?
Will I be able to store my gameplay recordings on my PS4?
Yes, you’ll be able to store captured gameplay videos on PS4’s internal hard drive as long as you have sufficient free storage.
Can users edit the recorded gameplay video on PS4?
Yes, users can trim the video in the Share button interface. Currently, users will be able to specify a starting and ending point of the video in order to trim it to their liking.
Can I add voiceover to my Shared video?
You can’t add voiceovers to a shared video clip, but you can speak in real time when streaming live video.
Can users copy the recorded gameplay video from PS4 to other devices, such as PC?
PS4 users will not be able to directly copy recorded gameplay video files from PS4 to other devices, though they will be able to use the DUALSHOCK 4 controller’s Share button to upload videos to Facebook for distribution. This function will be supported by a future system update. – This is mostly a non-issue. I think people will easily be able to download content from wherever it is being uploaded to, but it would have saved some people time if they could have just went straight to a PC. Anyone that really wants to do this can just get an HDMI capture device.
Can I share my game videos on YouTube?
No. At launch, PS4 users will be able to use the Share button on the DUALSHOCK 4 controller to upload gameplay videos to their Facebook account, or to stream live gameplay to Ustream or Twitch. PS4 owners can follow PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation.com for further news on other services to come after launch. – More people have a Google account, then almost anything else out there. I don’t know why they selected all of these other services, but not the one everyone uses and knows.
Does PS4 support external HDMI-based game capture devices?
PS4 will allow the use of external HDMI-based capture devices following an upcoming system software update — please follow PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation.com for news following the launch of PS4. – Adam Sessler recently had a freak out about this on twitter. Sony currently implements HDCP (a form of copy protection) on movies coming out of the PS3 so you can’t record them digitally through the HDMI port. However video games were not covered by this, so you could buy an HDMI capture device, and capture gameplay footage to put on the internet. The PS4 at launch will be implementing HDCP on videogames as well, so you won’t be able to capture game footage.
Does PS4 feature a “stand-by” mode?
Yes, PS4’s stand-by mode deactivates its primary functions to reduce energy usage, though it is still able to charge DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controllers and download system updates in this power-saving mode. As an added benefit for PlayStation Plus members, PS4 can automatically download game patches when in standby mode as well.
Is it possible to charge a DUALSHOCK 4 controller via my PS4 when I’m not playing?
Yes, you can charge DUALSHOCK 4 controllers when PS4 is in stand-by mode. However, in Europe, PS4 users will need to navigate to Settings, then Power Save Settings, and enable the Supply Power from USB Ports option. – This is a nice new feature. One of the biggest problems I had with the PS3 controllers was leaving the PS3 on to charge the controllers, or finding a USB port that would support charging.
Will PS4 support custom Dynamic Themes, as currently available on the PS3 system?
No, PS4 will not support Dynamic Themes as they currently exist on the PS3 system.
Will I be able to filter system and friend notifications in order to avoid being disturbed while playing a game or watching a movie?
Compared to PS3, you’ll have much more control over displayed notifications, including messages, friend requests, Trophies, download status and more. – This is definitely a positive. Popups during movie watching is annoying.