News Article

Talking Point: How Frequently Do You Want PS4 Firmware Updates?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Time for a change

Firmware updates on the PlayStation 3 were serious business. Take a gander at some of our older articles on the subject and you’ll spot more than a handful of prickly jabs pointed at people that complained about the constant need to update the console. In hindsight, it was a problem, with the system seemingly taking an age to pull down files and install them – a wait which was particularly pronounced when you’d just picked up a new game and were eager to play. Sony said back when the PlayStation Vita launched that it was aiming to reduce the number of patches that it published to quell this issue, and while it didn’t pan out immediately, it’s certainly the case now. Why, then, are message boards and social networks ablaze with complaints regarding the lack of meaningful PlayStation 4 tweaks?

Twitter users will probably be familiar with the popular Kaz Hirai parody account – a surprisingly comical interpretation of the Japanese giant’s overlord. “We have decided not to release PS4 firmware update v1.70 in response to the years of complaints that we release too many firmware updates,” he gagged earlier this week. It’s just a joke, but it’s surprisingly on point. Venture onto any active website and you’ll find concerned users citing the platform holder’s lack of activity in this area as evidence of an oncoming corporate malaise. The fact that Microsoft has been quite active in this space – fixing many Xbox One issues that weren’t really present on the PlayStation maker’s platform, we hasten to add – seems to have given early adopters itchy fingers. But is the issue all just a consequence of our incessant whining?

A quick look at the imminent firmware update that the firm has announced suggests that it’s going to be a meaty one. Stability updates have been the bane of Sony systems for the past seven or so years, but there’s nothing especially inconsequential about its upcoming patch. The headline addition promises an overhaul to the share functionality, with rumours suggesting that the manufacturer may even have enlisted the Sony Vegas Pro team to create a fully featured video editing suite. Then there’s the removal of HDCP, and the promise of further improvements to the system’s Twitch streaming. Moreover, there are hints that there will be more hidden under the update’s hood, with speculation spanning incremental upgrades like game sorting to major changes such as PlayStation Network username tweaks.

In a lot of cases, we suspect that the anticipation is getting ahead of some people, but the point is that firmware update v1.70 sounds like a big one – and it represents a change in the platform holder’s strategy. In the past, these updates would have probably deployed as individual downloads, with each install unlocking one or two of the features. Alas, consumer complaints appear to have coerced the company into adapting its approach, with numerous sweeping changes seemingly getting bundled into one massive patch that promises to completely re-energise your console. The problem is that the criticism hasn’t ceased – instead, the chorus of condemnation is coming from a different corner of the web, as some ponder whether the manufacturer’s looked at its current sales figures and decided to call it a day.

Perhaps the biggest oversight from the platform holder’s perspective is that it seems to have forgotten how harmless firmware updates on the PS4 actually are. Even an ardent fan of the firm’s previous platform would have to agree that patches of any kind on the ageing format could be a bit of a palaver. With the device demanding sizeable downloads and irritating installs, it could eat into your gaming time – even if not all of us employed that delay to write a hasty rant on Twitter or Facebook. Alas, these issues are much a thing of the past on the Japanese giant’s next-gen system, as any updates can be pulled down when the console’s in standby while you’re away. The flaws that made outspoken folks dread the PS3’s stability fixes are no longer really an issue on the manufacturer’s latest machine.

So that brings us to the question at the heart of this article: how frequently do you actually want PS4 firmware updates to be implemented? Would you still get irritated if the manufacturer was releasing semi-regular fixes for the system, or do you think that the strides in background downloading would temper your anger at install screens? Would you prefer to have one big upcoming overhaul to look forward to, or lots of little ones to play with every few weeks? There’s no doubt that our feedback over the past seven or so years has prompted the platform holder to adopt its current course, but it would appear that we’re equally unhappy with its response. Certainly the manufacturer should be taking into account our feedback, but perhaps it would help if we actually knew what we wanted in the first place.

Would you prefer that Sony released fewer big patches on the PS4, or lots of little ones? Do you wish that the platform holder would commit to a calendar of upcoming changes, or would you rather be surprised on the firmware update’s release day? Pick a side in the comments section below.

How frequently do you want PS4 firmware updates? (48 votes)

I want lots and lots of little improvements, please


Hmm, I don’t really know


Just give me one large patch every now and then


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (31)



Mrjonathon said:

I really want patches to be like every 2-3 weeks also can PlayStation fix 1. Party chat when I play bf4 the game chat hose throw party it's a pain. 2. YouTube we really want a YouTube app. 3 microphone boost I feel like the mono headset need a mic boost. 4. Bf4 error battlefield shut down while in game it closes the app and says error. 5 please begging u add dayz to the PlayStation store all my friends and I will buy it the whole world will that's the main ge on YouTube. 6 add a log in and log out notification so when people log in and out I know. 7. Ustream should have an adult section just saying. 8 restore all the games a bought psn store game from ps3 to ps4. 9. Get flash player on wb browser. 10 make a PlayStation show witch gives you tips and tricks also gives us all the lastest ideas and games comming out. If you do this ps4 will be rocking the sales and people will like it this is what we all want this listen to the players more updates and more indie games like dayz



Jaz007 said:

Since backround and standby mode have been put in place, is like updates as soon as they are ready.



gbanas92 said:

Personally I'd be totally fine for something as extreme as more than one a day even. The download time on the PS4 is enough that it's really not much of a nuisance. Plus if the tweaks/ downloads are for something productive, I would have no qualms with constant updates.



N711 said:

I think once a month would be fine unless there's something wrong with a previous patch and it need to be fixed quickly like what happened lately on the vita and I think that happened a lot on the xbone. Anyway people will complain



FullbringIchigo said:

you know I never had a problem with updates on ps3, any update that improves the system is welcome in my book and waiting a few minuets is no big deal (also being on PS+ helps too ^_^ )



MoleZandor said:

Whenever they have something worth releasing that they feel is important enough. Can't rush these things.



MadchesterManc said:

Gamers just love to whinge & complain these days if things aren't exactly how they want them to be. Its ridiculous. Sony couldn't catch a break doing lots of little updates last gen & they still can't now by spreading things out with larger updates. If poeple played games as much as they spend their time spitting their dummys out on message boards, they'd probably enjoy their pastime a little more.

@Mrjonathon Why would you want a clunky Youtube app when the browser works perfectly fine, even for HD streaming, for Youtube. The Browser also supports HTML5 so if there's any sites that host their videos in that format you can watch them that way (I do so for Anime's) Flash is slowly being phased out by the looks of things the more HTML5 gets a foothold so adding flash isnt really a priority



Carl-G said:

1 good update a month with at least 1 good feature most people want i want. Not sure why SONY are sticking loads in 1 update that is coming soon(that means loads could go wrong) Like say - Jan they could of added MP3 playback, Feb DLNA, Mar - Folders... etc etc + they are still saying save your Gameplay Videos to Facebook blah blah blah er i DON'T WANT TO! I want to save directly to YouTube like 7 Million other PS4 owners want to(i think) Apart from all that looking forward to the update;)



Mrjonathon said:

@MadchesterManc yes I complain all gamers do it's called suggestions, and okay we might not need flash but it would be cool to have it, YouTube we do need a yt app the web browser one is so **** you have to use the wee arrow to move to the next vid I want to use the dpad yt on the internet is so **** you should go to specsavers also you say I complain, do you remember ps3 that have a lot of complaints sony likes this because they can listen to want the people want they can fix wants we on they like feedback.



Mrjonathon said:

Sorry I meant fix what we want they like the feedback also sorry I said do you Remember the ps3 that had a lot of complaints



blindndeaf said:

i want the p'tng sound back when you get a trophy that is so rewarding when you have worked on a hard one .dont take much to make me happy



MadchesterManc said:

@Mrjonathon Not all gamers complain. I dont because Ive been gaming long enough to not expect the world during a consoles first year on the market. Plus Ive had a Ps3 for about 7 years which, amusingly, didn't do half as much back then that it does now. Hence why its best to have patience instead of sounding like a whiner. How do we know that Sony doesn't already have a roadmap in place for the rest of the year to roll out features? It was only a suggestion to use Youtube on the net & its nowhere near as bad as your making out. Are you always this volatile? If the app on Ps3 is anything to go by, ill take the Ps4 browser anyway seen as its less clunky (and a hell of a lot faster seen as Im wired up with Ethernet) & I can stream videos at 1080p as apposed to locked at 720p. Since when did Sony release the Ps4 just for you anyway? You keep making it sound as though the worlds behind you and your demands, yet Im sure the Ps4 has just passed 7 million - so theres obviously people who are more interested in its gaming capabilities than all the superfluous things. Sure there's things I want, 3D BluRay playback is top of the list, but im content enough to just wait as I know its going to come eventually and its not the end of the world that I have to plug in my Ps3 to watch a 3D BluRay every now & again is it?



BloodyBill said:

@Mrjonathon Half the things you listed are not even Sony related. Anything to do with BF4 is up to EA to fix. You Tube has to make an App for PS4 not Sony.
Dayz coming to PS4, again this isn't Sony's call. UStream also not under Sony's control.



Mrjonathon said:

@MadchesterManc first thing I am gonna say to ya is THUG LIFE now you just sound like a wee sweaty geek who sit in his room all day an night playing the ps4 all that you just said is soo boring who even cares what you think no one so just you go and ask for some ice cream and play your ps4 and let the adults talk also I have followers who think the same as me they even said the same thing I did. Don't even reply to this because u are just boring the **** out of me okay we both don't know what's gonna happen but you my friend are a geek with all the specs and all the knolage and you are sharing it with me to THUG LIFE maybe you should get a life...



FullbringIchigo said:

@MadchesterManc well said

on a different topic the only thing I do wish sony would do in a future update is fix the blu-ray compatibility issue I have some blu-rays I can't play at all on my ps4 (the alien films for example), with a new blu-ray drive you would think it could play any blu-ray disc

other than that I have no problem with the ps4 or what it can do



Mrjonathon said:

@BloodyBill okay your right about all the things except dayz, the company who made the game are signing a contract with playstion but are waiting for word back. Dayz is coming but we don't no when also I know that this is true because on twitter dayz tweeted this and said sony did not say yes or no but there faces did say yes there were happy at the presitation they put on



MadchesterManc said:

@Mrjonathon Thug Life? What are you 12? Did your mommy finally let you watch a film like Menace II Society & now you think ya gangsta? Your obviously no adult with how illiterate your posts are. Shouldn't you have been in school today instead of posting on game websites? Im sure that's where your mum said you were when I had to bolt for work this morning....



Mrjonathon said:

@MadchesterManc hahaha THUG LIFE was invented by 2pac listen to real music and I am the adult your the kid I never said anything about mums you did and to me I think a kid would say that because it is very childish to start talking about sleeping with my mum and we both know she would never talk or even sleep with you because of "your standards" next thing geek ermm get your facts right about THUG LIFE and gangs clearly you don't no what your even talking about and your the one who is off school because of Easter not me I work get paid don't need to ask my perants for money to buy games I can affored them unlike yourself anyway it's been lovely talking to you ohh wait nahh it has just been a waste a day taking about **** that doesn't even matter sorry I can't talk right now have to go out to a Club and drink till I wake up with two girls in my bed sorry I wish you could come but ohh your to busy playing the ps4 dissing me on a game post witch no one even cares about am sorry maybe when you are a bit older and mature you will find THUG LIFE. You see I am not the one who cares what other people think or say on post I read them no reply and start being a geek about things and muture up and stop talking about my mother I mean don't you love sweet young ass 18+ or don't you like the old lady's who are wringler than mccoys crips :/



MadchesterManc said:

@Mrjonathon You say you don't care, yet your posting essays after already stating you weren't wasting anymore time here. Much butthurt? And where did I say I sleep with your mum? You're the one insinuating that as I never stated that at all. Maybe you have some weird fetish where you like to fantasise over random guys doing your mum. God knows what you 'thugs' get off on these days. Oh and if your gonna listen to rap, try easy e. 2pac is whack. You're no doubt gonna reply again, so I'll get a mop ready so you can mop up your salty tears over being such butthurt



Tony_342 said:

"Why, then, are message boards and social networks ablaze with complaints regarding the lack of meaningful PlayStation 4 tweaks?"

Because the PS4's firmware is incredibly basic and feels like a huge downgrade from the PS3.

Until the PS4 is up to par with what the PS3 was capable of doing, I wouldn't mind for the updates to be much more frequent. But once that point is reached, I would want them to become very, very infrequent. Overall, though, I would say they're probably doing the right thing by releasing larger updates less frequently.



ZeD said:

What we all need to remember is that the PS4 is a games console - the PS2 survived with out all the updates and features



DoublezZ01 said:

every 2-3 months sounds cool! updates, for system stability, new apps improvements in qualities of the features, and even more new features!!!

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