Sony has a pretty good thing going with PlayStation, but it could always learn a few things from the competition.
Differences between competing companies aren't bad, but learning from the same companies could help improve those products. In the case of Sony and Microsoft — PlayStation and Xbox — the two platforms go about their business in fairly different ways.
But what if they didn't? What if both companies learned from the other? Obviously there's a bit of that going on already, but here's how we think Sony could learn a bit from Microsoft's Xbox successes.
Make PlayStation Now more like Xbox Game Pass
PlayStation Now has always left me with a little confusion as to what Sony wants it to be. Initially it was an amazing idea and I started paying for it primarily to play games on the PS Vita. But instead of support growing, Sony has started to restrict the number of devices that can use it. That's probably not without reason (why support something no-one uses) but PlayStation Now could be so much more.
It could be like Xbox Game Pass. It's already more expensive without being quite as good.
While PlayStation Now allows folks to stream games from the cloud and play them on a PC, Sony could turn it into a subscription service where you get to download full PS4 games to play at your leisure for as long as you continue to pay up. This will always be better than streaming a game from the cloud, and Xbox Game Pass has quickly become a solid value-add.
4K Blu-ray support
Sure, this is something that will need another hardware revision, but Sony has to include 4K Blu-ray support down the road. The fact it isn't included in the PS4 Pro is pretty laughable.
I remember trading in my Xbox 360 for a PlayStation 3 because of Blu-ray support. Sony was first out of the gate and now the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are both ahead when it comes to the latest and greatest.
It has to happen.
Proper backward compatibility
Sony kind of has this, but not really. What Sony does is charge you to buy old games again to play on your PS4 whether you owned them in a past life or not.
What Microsoft does is both allow you to buy old games (now from both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360) as well as play them for free if you bought them in the past. Whether you've got the disc or a digital copy doesn't matter.
Microsoft got around the hardware limitations by building a virtual console that runs on the Xbox One. Where there's a will, there's usually a way.
Integration with OTA or cable TV
Much was made of the 'failure' of Xbox One at launch thanks to Microsoft's decision to focus a lot on home entertainment when really it should have been about the games. That's in the past but what hasn't changed is how good the Xbox One is at integrating with your home TV setup.
By plugging your cable box or OTA antenna (via an adapter) directly into the console the OneGuide app acts as your TV guide right on the console. It's a little thing, but if your console is the center of your home entertainment setup, it's super convenient.
There are ways and means of enjoying TV on PlayStation, in North America Sony will happily take money off you for it. But if you already have it, a way to hook it all together on the next hardware revision would be pretty fantastic.
Those are just a few things we enjoy on Xbox that we'd love to see Sony integrate to PlayStation in the future, but what about you? If you've got your own ideas be sure to drop them into the comments below!
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