Sony’s home console is always adapting to the fast changing standards in technology and 4.50 is a fantastic update that highlights a lot of new and cool features.
You can now add custom wallpapers! Hooray!
In all seriousness, there a few fantastic features that are coming in 4.50 and I regret not signing up for the beta. Here are my thoughts on all of the new major features being brought to the table in this update in order of my excitement level for them.
3D Blu-Rays in VR – pretty self explanatory but awesome. As a PSVR owner this might actually compel me to purchase my first 3D Blu-Ray. Avatar in 3D was a fantastic experience. I saw it twice in the theater and I have been hoping that they would bring this functionality to the table for this movie alone. Star Trek will be pretty awesome too. The downside to this: It is a “single player” only option, as many VR experiences are. Still, probably my most anticipated feature in this update along side:
External HDD Support – I have a pretty robust media server and a few extra HDDs around that I could consolidate media to use one to bolster my PS4 HD space. I’ve been holding out on buying a dedicated HDD upgrade for the PS4 for this very reason. I’ll be interested to see how read/write speeds for hefty games are on an external, but since it requires USB 3.0, it should be pretty unnoticable.
Custom Wallpapers – I loved my themes on the PS3. I feel like the PS4 is a bit more “sophisticated” so there are not as many cool themes. I’ve been rocking the standard theme since I’ve owned the console. I never cared for the custom icons on the PS3, they always felt cheesy to me. I mostly was interested in the live wallpaper options. This is a close compromise for me. On my MacBook I have a folder of around 300 4K wallpapers that my device changes through every time I log on. I’d love to bring something like this to the PS4. Now that I’ll have plenty of extra HDD space of course!
Quick Menu Refresh – The quick menu to me is just okay. I will say I really love the games that take advantage of the awesome Quick Menu in VR mode, it is a little more compact and right in the middle of the screen regardless of where you are looking. Some games don’t utilize this so you are popping out of full VR to be brought into cinema mode to access the quick menu. Regardless, I’m happy they are committed to tweaking the Quick Menu. I think it is a great addition to the UI. I like using Spotify and I stream occasionally so the Quick Menu is great to do those things without going back to the full PS4 Menu.
Simplified Notifications List – This might be a feature request for some people, but my interaction with the Notifications List is very little. When I see I have a notification badge usually I just go in there to clear it. I don’t do a lot of cooperative gaming, and when I do it is almost always coordinated ahead of time, out so notifications for me are intrusive. I do like how they are bringing all notifications to one list, and that there are options to customize which notifications you can see by priority. Maybe I should just turn mine off completely..
Post on PSN Activity Feeds – If there is one thing I use less than the notification system of the PS4, it’s the social media aspects of the console. I am not a big social media user in the first place. I haven’t posted on Facebook for probably a year and I actually know the people I’m friends with there. I have like 10 PSN friends and half of them are strangers and the other half are people I used to know until I moved away from home. The only exception is my brother-in-law and he isn’t fond of social media either. This is likely a feature that many asked for, otherwise why bother, but I honestly wouldn’t have noticed unless I read about it.
4.50 is a pretty large update that isn’t a “whole number” update. I’m definitely pleased with what is coming down the pipeline here. I just hope it releases soon, I need to try out a 3D movie on the VR. I’m hyped.