As of November 2015, 30.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been sold around the world. In the two years since its launch, the PS4 has outsold nearest rival the Xbox One by two units to one. Whether you are already a PlayStation user or you are considering picking one up, you will want to know how to really get the most from it.
The current generation of PlayStation machines can do so much more than just play video games. Alongside the traditional game functions, the PS4 is an entertainment centre for the whole family. Music, films, internet browsing and more can all be carried out through one console, making it much easier to switch between the things you love doing. You can even start to personalise your PlayStation experience by making best use of the apps and features.
Use the PlayStation app on your phone as a controller and keyboard
Nothing quite beats a handheld controller for the gaming experience, but for other functions it can be tedious to rely on the D-pad and buttons. A mobile phone app developed for iOS and Android makes it much easier to interact with your console. The app transforms a touch screen device such as a mobile or tablet into a fully interactive console accessory – complete with keypad for messaging and fast information input.
Download your games even when you’re away from your console
The PlayStation 4 has a standby mode you can activate when you are away. It allows updates and games to download without the need to run at full power – saving energy and ensuring your console lasts longer. You can start a download and then shut the system off. An orange light will confirm that standby mode is active. You can also charge controllers and other items in this low power state.
Stream your favourite games through PlayStation Now
Dubbed ‘the Netflix of gaming’ by many, Sony has opened up a subscription service for users that allows streaming of games to any compatible device. Primarily taken up by PlayStation 4 users, PlayStation Now also works with Sony smart televisions, Vita handheld consoles and some PC systems. You can access current titles and old classics, with the monthly subscription covering unlimited streaming of any listed title.
Widen the social experience with recording and streaming
Sharing your achievements and special moments with friends is easier than ever thanks to the quick record feature that stores several seconds of previous gameplay, ready for uploading. You can also stream your games live to others. The console can also take screenshots which can be added to social galleries. Between or during games, you can link up with friends for text or voice chat, and you can all play together online.
Step into the future with virtual reality
The Oculus Rift may be beating PlayStation’s VR headset in the race to market, but Sony are playing the long game and the PS4 console will really come into its own once the former ‘Project Morpheus’ comes to fruition. The headset is designed to bring VR gaming home, and many developers have announced that their games will support virtual and augmented reality functionality. Expect a 3D gaming experience in your own living room – it will be here very soon!
Make your controller work for you
You can customise the button mapping on your console to fit the way you play. If the game developer’s layout fails to meet your requirements, switch it up and make the controller work for you. Remapping is easy – just open ‘settings’ and follow the onscreen commands. You can also adapt controller sensitivity, vibration intensity and more here, ensuring that everything is just to your liking. Add in controller accessories such as keypads, chat headsets and thumbstick grips for the very best in handheld comfort.