The PlayStation 5 is approaching its first birthday and the time seems to have flown by. Despite clocking in hundreds of gaming hours over the last 10 months, it still seems like just yesterday I was powering mine on the very first time.
Despite the constant and exhausting passage of time, the PlayStation 5 still feels like it’s in its infancy in a lot of ways. We’ve seen firmware updates bring plenty of new features to the consoles – the most recent of which finally added expandable storage to its list of features. However, the PS5 is still lacking in several areas. It’s especially frustrating when the PlayStation 4 has some excellent quality of life features that are non-existent on the 5.
Here are 10 features that are still missing from the PlayStation 5 almost a year after launch.
Universal Bluetooth Support
While it is possible to connect Bluetooth audio devices to the PlayStation 5, Sony is very picky about which peripherals are supported. Officially licensed headsets, like the Pulse 3D Audio headset will work just fine without a cable, for example. However, if you have your own pair of unlicensed headphones that you’d like to use with the PS5, you’re out of luck.
Even Nintendo recently allowed users to connect any pair of Bluetooth headphones to the Switch. It’s time that Sony finally got with the times and let us use our own peripherals with the PlayStation 5.
Yeah, this one’s a low blow – but it’s also true. Even twelve months in, the PlayStation 5 is notoriously tricky to get your hands on. It’s mostly due to the global shortage of superconductors that’s affected industries on a global scale. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
Stock drops are coming in dribs and drabs, but you have to be on the ball to get ahead of scalpers. Not that it seems to be slowing sales down too much – the PS5 has recently surpassed 10 million unit sales globally.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the shortage is going to end anytime soon. It’s thought that the PS5 stock could remain scarce until at least the end of 2022. It’s probably also why we haven’t yet seen the introduction of a model with a larger storage capacity yet. If Sony is struggling to manufacture enough consoles with one storage capacity, imagine how scarce the PS5 would be with another thrown into the mix.
If there’s one area that could do with some big ‘quality of life’ love, it’s in the Game Library section. Sure, the PS5 lays out recently played games in a neat and aesthetic manner. But if you’re searching for something you’ve not played in a while, the grid menu makes it incredibly difficult to find what you’re searching for.
To make matters worse, there’s no proper search function. You can filter by games that are installed, or games that are included in PlayStation Plus. There’s an option to sort games by their name, install date, or size too. However, if you’ve got a large library of games in your collection, you can be scrolling for ages to find exactly what you’re looking for.
To solve this issue, it would be great if Sony could let users layout their home page as they like. It was possible on the PS4 to categorise games into folders. I used this to help divide up games into ones I was playing currently, ones that were in my backlog, and ones that I’d Platinumed. On the PS5, it’s impossible to do this and it’s a feature that I think many would love to see added.
On a similar note, the PS4 operating system was fantastic for letting players personalise it and make it their own. Sony released hundreds of custom themes that changed the PS4 UI with custom icons, backgrounds, and even sounds.
As I said, the PS5 UI is clearly going for something much more uniform. Selected games on the scroll bar take up the whole screen, displaying information about the game and trophy progress. While this is certainly aesthetically pleasing, it’s not exactly personal to the user. It would be great to see some of our own personalities injected into the home console, however subtle or small.
Speaking of customisation, another contentious point of the PS5 is the console’s garish aesthetic. Love it or hate it, the bold white UFO design of the absolute unit is certainly an eye catcher in an entertainment cabinet.
If you’ve needed to clean out the fans of the PS5, you’ll know that the side panels pop off without too much trouble. For that reason, I think it’s only a matter of time before we see official custom panels hit the market. Especially when Sony is now selling controllers in custom colours, it makes sense that it would follow suit with new console panelling.
Quick Resume EQuivalent
A killer feature of the Xbox Series X|S is Quick Resume. This can suspend several games in the background so that the player can seamlessly switch between several applications on the fly. It’s possible to swap between playing Sea of Thieves and pick right back up in a Halo mission within just a few seconds.
While the PS5 has the Switcher feature, it’s not quite the same. This just allows players to quickly launch a recently visited application – the PS5 still loads it up from scratch. For players who like to play several games simultaneously, this is an essential feature that the PS5 is still missing.
PlayStation Game Pass
Sticking with features that Xbox has and PlayStation doesn’t, let’s talk Game Pass. We can discuss til the cows come home whether the PS5 needs an equivalent of Game Pass. That’s besides the point I want to make. Xbox Game Pass is a win for gaming accessibility. It provides access to games at a relatively low price point in a hobby that is notoriously expensive.
Every first-party release to arrive on the Xbox Series X|S ends up on Game Pass day one. It gives players an opportunity to see if the game is for them before putting down the £60 entry fee. With first-party Sony titles regularly costing £70 at launch, that instantly prices plenty of users out of the market. Again, there’s another conversation to be had around whether games should cost £70 in the first place. However, Game Pass is a win for Xbox users, and it’s a shame that Sony doesn’t have something similar to offer its player base.
PlayStation Play Anywhere
In a similar vein, Xbox Play Anywhere is a win for player’s who value convenience. The Xbox Play Anywhere initiative allows players to play a game on PC, Xbox, or Xbox Cloud Gaming, and pick up right where they left off on any other platform. The same goes for purchases – if you’ve bought Forza Horizon 4 on the Microsoft Store, you also own it on Xbox.
Sony has recently started to experiment with releasing some of its catalogue on PC. Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone led the charge, and a collection of Uncharted games is also making the jump to PC later this year. As part of the new initiative, it would be great to see Sony take a leaf out of Microsoft’s book when it comes to offering user convenience.
Decent Backwards Compatibility
When it comes to backwards compatibility, the Xbox is king. With titles from the original Xbox era still playable on the Xbox Series X, and in many cases at an improved resoltuion and frame rate, it’s hard to choose the PS5 if older titles are more your bag.
The PS5 offers excellent compatibility with PS4 titles, especially recent ones. The PS4 versions of Days Gone and God of War offer a spectacular visual upgrade. However, with the introduction of ‘Directors Cut’ editions, Sony is starting to charge for the privilege of these visual upgrades. It’s not a consumer friendly trend that I’d like to see take off.
In addition, the PS5 isn’t natively compatible with anything prior to the PS4 era. You can play some PS3 and PS2 titles via the PlayStation Now service, but this merely streams the game from an online server. The game will also run at its original resolution and frame rate – hardly the next-gen experience you’d expect from a £450 console.
The lack of backwards compatibility is likely due to how notoriously difficult the PS3 was to develop for. Nevertheless, it’s a shame for preservation reasons that we still need to keep our old consoles kicking about just to experience some of gaming’s greatest hits.
What are some features that you think the PS5 is still missing? Let us know across our social channels.
Don’t forget you can find great games and more on the GameByte Shop! Our store is stocked up with the latest games, merch and accessories. We might even have a new-gen console or two! Sign up to our newsletter to be notified of our console drops, deals and more. Please note the GameByte Shop is available for UK customers only.
Featured Image Credit: Sony