PS4 to launch with 300MB day-one update

By Andrew Yoon, Oct 25, 2013 8:15am PDT

Given the long manufacturing lead time necessary to build new hardware, it's unsurprising that new consoles typically launch with day-one updates. PS4 is no different, and it will launch with firmware 1.50 when it's available on November 15th. While you won't need to update the system to use it, the 300MB update includes key features that you will probably want to take advantage of.

Firmware 1.50 adds support for Remote Play, which lets PS Vita systems play PS4 games via a wi-fi connection. A new Vita firmware update will also be required for this feature to work. The firmware also adds support for Second Screen, which lets various handhelds (including iOS and Android devices) to connect with PS4 through the PlayStation App.

The "Share" button on your DualShock 4 controller will be largely useless without the update, as 1.50 adds the ability to record, take screenshots, and upload gameplay. At launch, PS4 will be able to share images and videos on Facebook, and screenshots via Twitter. You'll also be able to broadcast real-time gameplay via Ustream and Twitch.

PlayGo--the ability to play games as they download--is also enabled with the 1.50 update. Do keep in mind, however, that this doesn't necessarily mean instant access to your games. Data can continue to be downloaded while the system is in standby mode--no need for it to remain fully powered on like it did on PS3.

Four users will be able to log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. Each of these players will be able to use their own save data and earn their own PlayStation Network trophies. In addition, firmware 1.50 will enable party chat, which supports up to eight players across PS4 and Vita.

If you want to play movies, you'll need to update and connect to the internet to activate support for Blu-ray and DVD playback. This is similar to how WMV support was activated on PS3. In addition, background music support will be provided by Music Unlimited, Sony's subscription-based internet radio service.

Intriguingly, 1.50 also adds features that may make PS4 competitive with Kinect. With a PlayStation Camera (sold separately), you'll be able to register your face to log-in with facial recognition. You'll also be able to use voice commands on the PlayStation Dynamic Menu--with or without the camera. If you want, you can simply use the mono headset included with the system to start up games and shut down the system.

Xbox One will also launch with a day-one update, one that is mandatory before the console can be used. Wii U also launched with a day-one update, a process that was so slow that Nintendo later had to issue an apology. Hopefully, PS4's launch goes a bit smoother--but with over a million systems going out on day one, it's not hard to imagine there will be hiccups.

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