Sony on Thursday said the PS4 will have 11 digital entertainment apps available on its Nov. 15 launch day, all of which are currently available on the PS3. Couple that information with the list of day-one games that are available for both the PS3 and PS4, and you get a next-generation device that seems a lot like its predecessor, and Sony expects players to be excited about it.
This announcement comes a week after Sony launched a massive PS4 FAQ, boasting some highlights and disappointments of the new console. Of course, the FAQ spotlighted the new hardware and graphics processors (all of which are quite impressive), but it also shed light on the fact that MP3 playback, DNLA for media streaming and external HDDs were all unsupported. Reading into the combination a bit, one can infer the emphasis Sony is putting on subscription-based services like Music Unlimited, Hulu and Netflix.
In an additional attempt to sway PS3 players to purchase the new console on launch day, Sony has made it available to current PS3 players that own the games "Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag," "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Battlefield 4" and "Injustice: Gods Among Us" to upgrade to the PS4 versions for a small sum of $9.99 per game. Instead of making the new console backwards-compatible, thus encouraging current users to upgrade and not lose their game library, Sony will effectively charge $40 for the games you currently possess.
Another highly hyped feature of the next-gen console is the remote-play capability when paired with Sony’s handheld device Vita. Yet again this is another feature that is already available on the PS3, with available games like the award-winning Shadow of the Colossus, recently made available for free to Playstation Plus subscribers.
Speaking of PlayStation Plus, the PS4 requires any player who desires online multiplayer games, much like those in the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, to purchase a subscription. While this is a move more towards Microsoft’s pay-to-play standard, Sony currently does not charge PS3 customers for online gameplay capabilities. Not only will PS3 upgrading owners have to pay $9.99 to play the multiplayer maps of COD: Ghosts on the new device, but if they haven’t already, they will have to pay $49.99 for the PlayStation Plus services. Plus subscribers do get a swath of additional features with a subscription such as Your Instant Game Library, automatic updating and online backup and storage.
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Ultimately, the reason to get into a next-gen device is simple: The next five to 10 years of gaming at least will be had on this device, but that’s the future. Right now, there is only a little the PS4 offers that the PS3 doesn’t already have.