We found out earlier this week that the upcoming PlayStation 4 system update will finally disable HDCP and add Twitch archiving, but the announcement said that “there’s a lot more coming in this update as well.”
That “more” is apparently pre-loads for new games. PC gamers have had access to pre-loads on upcoming games for so long that for Steam and Origin users, it’s just a given. If it’s not there, something is broken. With all console games having download options on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the concept of pre-loads is finally something we’ve been able to fantasize about. We flirted with it for about 15 minutes earlier this month when Xbox One’s Titanfall briefly had a message about pre-loads being available.
According to inFamous: Second Son developer Sucker Punch, though, pre-load is coming to North American PS4s in April.
— Sucker Punch (@SuckerPunchProd) March 19, 2014
While Sony is taking care of fans most-wanted features, it looks like they’re covering one more, or at least heading toward it – those pesky light bars. Despite frequent insistence that the light bar won’t be modified, word comes from Sony’s President of Sony Computer Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida, via game journalist Geoff Keighley, that the light bar will be dimmable.
Correction from @yosp, you can only DIM the light bar in upcoming PS4 firmware, not completely turn it off.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 20, 2014
The possibility of pre-loads has more significance than it might first appear. While PC gamers are used to it, it’s new for console gamers and, more importantly, a huge hassle for game retailers. The difference between console and PC gaming, though, is that console manufacturers depend on physical retailers to get their products on the market. With PCs, retailers can sell all sorts of extra add-ons to go with the system. Printers, anti-virus, paid installation, the list is nearly endless. With game consoles, the only software is games. Retailers are going to frown on any change that gives the console manufacturer an edge on software sales, making this a potentially big move for Sony.
Yoshida confirmed later via his own Twitter account that the PS4 light bar will be dimmable, but that it can’t be turned off. Allowing the dimming is a good move. Disabling the light completely might not be technically possible, but dimming it will at least let users with glossy-screen TVs to see a bit less of their controller in the reflection. For those concerned about battery life, Yoshida reminds us that the LED has very little to do with the battery life of the DualShock 4 controller. A concerned gamer tweeted, “I do have to say that the battery life does seem shorter on the DS4 than it was on the DS3,” to which Yoshida responded “yes, but LED is not the main reason.”
Both consoles are getting lots of meaningful updates right now, and this one looks to change and resolve a lot of features on PlayStation 4.