Today's the day that system software 2.50 rolls out to Playstation 4 users. This is a pretty major update with some really interesting features. Let's go through the major bullet points.
First up, you'll be able to move your games, save data, video clips and settings to an attached USB device. This is good news for those of us who're running out of hard drive space but have a lot of half-finished games that we plan to get back to someday. Sure we could just delete them and re-download them later but that's going to use up a lot of bandwidth and time. Copying everything to a USB drive is faster and we won't have to re-patch and tweak the settings we like and all that jazz.
Of course it'd be even better if we could just play the games from an attached USB drive (like we can on Xbox One) but Sony hasn't gotten there yet. Still this is a step in the right direction.
[UPDATE] Now that the update has arrived it appears the backup option only allows a full backup of the system. As far as I can ascertain there's no way to backup and restore an individual game. This means while it'll be useful if you're considering upgrading your internal hard drive, or if you existing drive fails, it isn't nearly as interesting a feature as we were led to believe.
Second is Suspend/Resume. This was promised before the PS4 launched and it's finally here and it should be a great feature for those of us who tend to 'fit in' gaming around the rest of our lives. If I have twenty minutes to play a game I don't want to spend five of it booting the console and the game up and loading my last save. Now I won't have to. When I'm done playing I just put the system into "Rest" mode and when I come back I wake it up and keep on playing. (Sony says this will work with most, but not all, games.)
This is one of my favorite features of the Playstation Vita and it's something the Xbox One does as well. It's a great feature for parents or anyone who is often interrupted in a way that doesn't allow time for finding a checkpoint to save at.
Third is a host of new usability features. If you don't need these they won't mean much to you but for some users they'll make a big difference. You'll be able to remap controller buttons and tweak a lot of visual features (making fonts biggers, higher contrast colors and even using text-to-speech in parts of the UI).
Fourth, extended social features. If you have a Facebook account linked to your PSN account you'll be able to find new friends via Facebook. There'll be a new tile that shows what games your friends are currently playing and you'll be able to join them in that game from this tile (assuming you own the game of course). You'll also be able to see a list of friends who play a particular game, in case you're looking for some friendly help or competition.
Fifth, tweaks to trophies. When you earn a trophy the system will automatically capture a screenshot (another feature 'borrowed' from the Xbox One), you'll be able to share trophies to social media and you'll (finally!) be able to delete games from your trophy list if you've never earned a trophy for that game.
There're a bunch of additional, smaller features. You can check out the Playstation Blog for all the details. The Playstation app for mobile and the Playstation Vita are also getting updates, though it's not clear if they're including Playstation TV in with the latter. I hope so since one of the Vita updates is enabling 60 FPS Remote Play, something I probably couldn't manage on my WiFi network but could on my Playstation TV with its wired connection.
Of course conspicuous by its absence is any word on DLNA support, something many fans desire. And what happened to Playstation Music? When is that going to launch?
The update is due today. You might want to check your PS4; it's possible it's already available!