The days of hooking up your console and whacking in a cartridge on launch day are long gone, so you’ll need to set aside a spot of extra time before you play your PlayStation 4 on 15th November in North America and 29th November in Europe. Sony has taken to the PlayStation Blog to reveal an exhaustive list of features that will be unlocked as part of its next generation system’s initial v1.50 firmware update. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin.

The download – which will consume 300MB of your console’s hard drive – will unlock a number of advertised features, including Remote Play. You’ll also need the latest PlayStation Vita system software update for this to function, which will add the PS4 Link application to the portable. In addition to streaming console games to the handheld, this will allow you to interact with titles such as The Playroom, where you’ll be able to draw images on the touchscreen and send them to your television.

Other features added as part of the firmware update will include the ability to record, take screenshots, and upload gameplay footage to services such as Facebook and Twitter. There’s no word on YouTube in the blog post, so we’re assuming that that’s off the agenda for the time being. If that’s not social enough for you, you’ll be able to broadcast live gameplay via services such as Twitch and Ustream, while the patch will also allow you to engage in Party Chat with up to eight other people.

Elsewhere, the firmware update will allow you to play games as you download them, log multiple accounts into a single system, and even navigate the console’s dashboard using voice controls. The background music player will allow you to stream audio from Sony’s own Music Unlimited service as you play games, while the patch will also enable online multiplayer for those of you with PlayStation Plus accounts, as well as Blu-ray and DVD playback. Lastly, the console’s suspend and resume mode – which allows you to pause and restart gameplay as you please – will be made available at a later date.

There’s a lot of content here, but you can seek out more information on the PlayStation Blog if you’re still confused. Obviously, a lot of these features will require you to be logged into the PlayStation Network, which is why they won’t work until you install the patch. At just 300MB, though, we doubt that it will take you too long to pull the update off the server – as long as Sony’s systems don’t crash the second that everyone desperately attempts to download it.

[via blog.eu.playstation.com]