Day-one updates: they’re a reality of the video game business, you know? The Wii U’s day-one update was ridiculously huge, and took the better part of a day to get finished. And we’ve heard tell that the Xbox One will have a day-one update as well to account for all the DRM-style features that have been stripped out of the console since it was unveiled back in May. So the PlayStation 4 is going to get in on the act as well.
The PlayStation Blog has the full descriptions of each of the following features that’ll be included in the day-one patch, but here’s a bulleted list of what will show up on your console when you first flick that power switch:
- Remote Play
- Second Screen
- Record, take screenshots, and upload gameplay effortlessly
- Broadcast and spectate gameplay
- Play as you download
- Multi log-in
- Party (Voice chat)
- Face recognition and voice commands
- Background music player
- Online Multiplayer
- Blu-ray Disc and DVD player
Some of those aren’t too important to a lot of us—facial recognition will only work for those with the PlayStation camera, of course, and multi-login only matters if more than one player uses the PS4. But features like second-screen and remote play are pretty crucial for those of us with the PlayStation Vita or tablets and smartphones. For a lot of our readers in particular, I can see that the “record” and “broadcast/spectate” features are of pretty paramount importance.
The description of the remote play feature also sheds some much-needed light on the question of the relationship between the Vita and the PS4. Here it is, word-for-word:
“Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks by using PS4 Link (Depending on network environment or titles, remote play performance may vary outside of the home). We anticipate that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play. The latest PS Vita system software version, to be released soon, will be required to use PS4 Link.”
In short, that’s confirmation that, yes, you’ll be able to play your PlayStation 4 games on your Vita anywhere you have Wi-Fi access. Of course, performance might be garbage if the Wi-Fi you’re connected to is similarly garbage. And also, the streaming is pretty contingent on your PS4 being on and running on a network. But still, that’s a pretty epic feature. I’m sure it’s not getting a ton of detailed press from Sony if only because of the spottiness of the Wi-Fi networks the world over. Some places have great internet utilities—others, not so much. But if I can start a game at home, pause it on my PS4, and head out to the mall with my Vita and pick up where I left off while my girlfriend goes shoe-shopping, that’s pretty amazing.
The update will be only about 300 MB, and a post on Eurogamer about the update confirms from Sony that you’ll be able to play games while it’s downloading, so you don’t have to wait for the whole thing to finish before you jump into the action. Now, as to what you’ll play—that’s a dicier issue. I just pre-ordered Knack because I like adventure platformers…and because Watch Dogs was delayed and Killzone just hasn’t grabbed me. But this Knack purchase was done mostly out of saying, “well, I need to play something on this thing.”
What do you think of the impending PS4 launch?