Being that I’ve recently invested much more time into my PlayStation TV, some of the downfalls of the microconsole have become glaringly obvious in my search for ease of use while still swapping between regions.
Obviously some of these downfalls will be a bit more preference and ease of use than anything else, but I feel that tweaking any of these items away from their problem areas would bring in more buyers and players of the system.
So without further adieu, here are eight things that Sony could do right now that would make the PlayStation TV a better choice for players – both existing, and new.
Change the Whitelist to a “No Warning List” instead.
The whitelist is the list that determines whether a game can be started on the PlayStation TV; if the game is on the whitelist, it’ll load – and if not, it won’t even try (and you’ll get an error message).
After getting a bit of time with the no-whitelist trick that was circulating on the last firmware, I can attest to the fact that many non-whitelisted games work quite well on the PlayStation TV – and should be able to be played, but aren’t due to not being on the list. I don’t know about you, but that seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face to me.
A move to something akin to a “no warning list” instead would certainly open up the appeal of the microconsole. It would only have the games on the list start without a warning, all others still starting – but first presenting you a message like “not all features may work, and this game isn’t officially supported on the PSTV.”
This would allow any playable game to be taken advantage of, while letting people know that if something unexpected happens it wasn’t supported to begin with (so you’re S.O.L.).
Another alternative is having an option in the settings to turn off the whitelist – locked behind a bunch of “not all software may work as originally intended on the PlayStation TV” disclaimers. It’s not as elegant as a “no warning list” in my opinion, but it’s another option that would help to sell product and up customer enjoyment.
Remove the “Use Wifi in Power Save Mode” option and disable it permanently.
The PlayStation TV a microconsole, not something running on a battery; why would you need to enable power save mode for the wireless chip when you don’t have any battery to worry about?
The ambiguous wording is bad enough (most people think it’s a setting for wireless being on during stand-by), don’t force the option when it’s unneeded and just give the people what they need – a full power wireless connection and a better experience our of the box.
Remove the “Featured” tab.
Seriously, this shit has to take resources (however minuscule) and it’s quite annoying when you’re trying to move between applications.
No thanks, give it the boot please!
Enable the DualShock 4’s headset port.
One of the absolute worst things for me in transitioning to using my PlayStation TV more is the lack of an easy (and cheap) solution to compatible headsets.
I typically prefer in-ear earbuds with an attached microphone (like a two-bud version of one that comes with the DualShock 4) – however due to the PlayStation TV’s no 3.5mm jack design and current lack of DualShock 4 headset port compatibility, I don’t currently have available option at all.
Though I’m not sure one-hundred percent sure about the technical limitations of enabling the DualShock 4’s headset port, it would certainly be a bit of a game changer for me (and likely many others as well).
A cheap/easy way to be included in online chat just makes sense these days, c’mon Sony.
Enable the DualShock 4’s touchpad for touch interface by default (without needing to have the L3/R3 enabled).
For the games which require the touch function for little things like menus, enabling the L3/R3 touch alongside the touchpad is kind of annoying; the clickable analog sticks make for an easy accidental activation, and can ruin a game if it’s real time in nature.
Having the touchpad enabled no matter what (or as a separate option) doesn’t really have any negative effects as it’s not something you’d otherwise touch, or could accidentally touch as easily.
It’s a no-brainer to me, and would up ease of use and compatibility at the same time.
There are too many options in the PlayStation Button menu; remove some.
If the power off/standby menu is there, why does it need an icon? Do we really need an “enable vibration function” check box available at a moment’s notice? How about a main volume slider; shouldn’t the TV set the volume if there’s no easy headset support?
In my opinion, the only things we really need access to at an immediate glance are the touch simulation switch and microphone/sound options – the rest can be pushed deeper with a controller menu and/or other layered menus.
Too many options is almost as bad as none at all.
More important than ever is the need for profiles to move (back) to memory card only.
The PlayStation TV isn’t a Vita, and is more open to use by multiple people by design. Not having a system (anymore) by which you can swap accounts easily is a big drawback in adoptability, and will prevent people from picking it up in situation where a console is likely to be shared.
Did you know that back before firmware v1.80 the profiles were tied to the memory card?
I’m not sure what the exact reason was for changing it (an increased possibility for piracy is often cited), but making a niche device even more niche than it needs to be and hurting your customers in the process is a bad idea.
They’re limiting their market by keeping to their current system of “one account per console,” and they’re certainly limiting their customer satisfaction as well. A happy customer is one with more choices (or at least the ones we were originally given), not less.
Speaking of limiting their market, they also need to up the console-per-account limit.
If you want someone to be able to truly enjoy their PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV symbiosis (the “both sides of the coin” result that comes from owning them both), then you need to give them the freedom to do so wherever and however they want. While it’s true that some people only have a single Vita-based device, others have many – or would if they could – and limiting people as much as they have in this case limits their market as well.
It’s hard for someone to fill their house with PlayStation TVs and have a Vita (and/or a PSP) for on the go when you can only have three devices tied to one account; while I understand the want of curbing game-sharing, a better solution would be to give the PlayStation TV its own category.
I mean – looking at it from a console standpoint, the PlayStation TV isn’t really much like the Vita other than the user-interface style and partially-shared compatibility list… is it? It’s not truly portable, it doesn’t support touch in any elegant way, it doesn’t have a battery so you can use it portably, and it’s not standalone like the Vita or PSP are (it requires a TV and a controller).
That doesn’t really sound similar at all, really – from the outside it’s looking a bit more like the PlayStation 3 than it is the Vita.
Similarities do not equate to a connection, and the PlayStation TV needs more room to expand its grasp in your household – hell, the Vita/PSP does too.
Okay, so there we have it – those are my eight things and not one of them would require an additional purchase, additional manufacturing, someone to be left out, or an exorbitant amount of money. Most of these charges would require only a few minutes or so of time to implement in code, and even the more complex ones wouldn’t require much more work than any other big firmware update.
These are simply eight cost-effective things that Sony could do to open up the PlayStation TV (and by extension the Vita) to a bigger market of users, as well as further please the ones it already has.
But then again, what do I know – I’m just a guy who plays, writes, and lives all things Vita.