Subtle Features of the PS4
Whilst these features are by no means, hidden. They’re perhaps features that consumers are less likely to stumble upon of their own accord. I mean I’m sure their documented somewhere in the instruction manual already, but seriously who’s reading that instead of playing on their shiny new system? Below are several features that are incredibly handy, yet not so obvious. Hopefully you’ll find some of them to be of use.
Output all Game Audio to your Controlled Connected Headset
I say this tentatively as they are by no means wireless. However if you go Settings > Audio Output Settings > Output to Headphones and change this from ‘Chat Only’ to ‘All Audio’ the PS4 will output all of the games audio to the 3.5mm jack on your controller. Why this is useful? This enables you to listen to your games audio via headphones at any distance from your television, regardless of whether your headphones are wireless or not, incredibly useful if you have a big TV, but no wireless headphones and want to keep the noise down or just immerse yourself in your own little Assassins Creed IV audio bubble.
Using your Dual Shock 4s gyros to type
If you press R3 on any text entry window that brings up the PS4’s native keyboard, you can enable motion controlled typing. This might sound gimmicky, but it’s surprisingly precise. I was able to navigate across keys much faster than I can with the d-pad, whilst it’s still no substitute for an actual keyboard you might find this one useful when using the web browser or typing messages to friends on games like Warframe.
Using a PS Vita as an extra controller
Not exactly ideal, but functional all the same. In order to use a PS Vita as an extra controller you need to use remote play. In order to do this, you have to configure remote play so that it can access the PS4. Select the PS4 connection app on the Vita, then the one on PS4 and input the referred code to your Vita. Once done, simply connect via remote play, by doing so your Vita effectively becomes controller one. Now use your dual shock 4 controller to log into a different account and serve as controller two. Viola, 2 player knack with a Vita and dual shock 4. As I say it’s not ideal, but it’s handy all the same, particularly when Sony are asking for £40 for a PS4 controller right now, and there’s very few games which can really justify that purchase. Furthering this functionality you could even use this to play locally, remotely. Want to play with family at home whilst you’re at work? it’s possible, not practical or necessarily enjoyable, but possible nonetheless!
Have your PS4 download your content, and charge your controllers while you’re out
Again not so much a hidden feature but one that’s turned off by default. In order to enable these options go to Settings > Power Saver Settings > Set Functions Available in Standby Mode. Under this option you have three more settings; Supply Power from USB Ports, Connect to the Internet and Enable Turning On of PS4 from Network. The latter of which is useful if you want to initiate remote play without your PS4 actually being on at the time, but enabling the two former options will enable your PS4 to send power to its USB ports, and connect to the internet even when it is turned off. This means your games will always be updated, and your controllers will always be charged (provided you plug them in once your done for the day of course). The flipside to this is your increasing your consoles power consumption when it’s in its ‘off’ state, so I guess you’ll need to weigh these options up against your own environmental conscience.
Double tap the Playstation button to snap back to the previous overlay
If you double tap the PS button when your using the PS4s menu overlaying a game, you’ll snap right back into your game, instantly. So say your constantly referencing your trophies to check criteria and what you’ve unlocked. Simply double tap PS from the trophy menu to go back into your game, then again from there you can double tap the PS button again to go back to the trophy menu. This circumvents the need to go through the menu and then to the trophy option each time you want to pause the action to check something on the Playstation’s operating system. Whilst it’s not quite as neat as the snap feature on the XBOX One, it certainly makes multitasking easier than it would be otherwise.
Unfortunately that’s all for now. There are many other little quirks in the PS4s OS that are perhaps less obvious, but these where what we felt were the PS4s most overlooked, less obvious features. Hopefully some of you didn’t discover on your own, and indeed prove useful to you.