PlayStation 4 PS4 Firmware Update 3.00 Opinion

Sony often gets criticised for being slow to update its console in comparison to the competition, but the reality is that the PlayStation 4 launched in a much better place than people give it credit for. There are obvious tweaks that still need to be made to the user interface to improve it – folders, friends notifications, and so forth – but even on day one the device was slick, snappy, and well designed. However, there's a worry with firmware update v3.00 that rather than iterating upon what it's already got, the manufacturer's starting to mess things up.

Take the new Favourite Groups feature, which we always assumed was going to be a friends filter. Instead, we're not entirely sure what it is: it allows you to gather buddies in one place, and has prompted us to receive a serious amount of spam over the past 24 hours as people realise that it's not entirely what was advertised. To accommodate the annoying addition, the simplicity of the messaging module has been lost, and we're now moving into PlayStation 3 territory where there are buttons and options slapped virtually everywhere.

The PS4 was in such a strong place at launch that Sony only had to iterate upon it. Instead, it's slathering unnecessary extras on top

You could make an argument that extra functionality is never a bad thing, but when it comes at the expense of usability, it's a problem. At launch, the PS4 was lambasted for the simplicity of its layout, but we always liked the fact that it was powerful yet incredibly easy to navigate. Firmware update v3.00 feels like a kid's painting – the core sketch is good, but so much detail has been added after the fact that it's lost a lot of its lustre. We do like the improvements to Live from PlayStation and the What's New app, but a lot of the other stuff falls flat.

Take the new Communities feature, for example: a great idea that's impeded by the fact that there's no search button. It took us nearly a day to figure out how we could effectively invite readers of the website to the Push Square page, and it really shouldn't be that way. Like so many of the PS3's features – video chat, Facebook support, and more – it'll become a novelty that's inevitably ignored, sitting on the home screen cluttering up your system, like litter that the platform holder's dropped onto every single device.

The ability to save PNG screenshots and upload 10GB of save data to the cloud are welcome, as are Twitter video clips and stickers – but there are still so many little niggles left unaddressed. Sony's busy slapping turrets onto an already inviting stately home, when it should be reinforcing the foundations first. The system was in such a strong place at launch that the platform holder only needed to iterate upon it to perfect it. With firmware update v3.00 it feels like it's slathering on unnecessary extras without really thinking about what purpose they serve, and the console's actually regressing as a consequence.

Are you disappointed with PS4 firmware update v3.00, or do you think that it's much better than our article suggests? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

How would you rate PS4 firmware update v3.00? (96 votes)

  1. Very good9%
  2. Good34%
  3. Average33%
  4. Poor18%
  5. Very poor5%

Please login to vote in this poll.