PlayStation Blog Share requests – did Sony deliver?

Posted on 12th March 2013 - 7:23pm by Andrew Andronicou


PlayStation Blog Share feature requests 2

Back in 2010 Sony launched PlayStation.Blog Share, a means for gamers to submit ideas on changes and improvements they’d like to see made to the PlayStation platform. It allowed people to vote up or down suggestions they liked or hated and it helped the Blog team to see which ideas were the most popular so they could pass them on to the relevant people with the hope of actioning them. Handy Tips takes a retrospective look at the most popular idea requests, those that were delivered and those that failed to materialise.


Cross-Game Chat

PS3 cross-game chat PlayStation blog Share request

The original cross-game voice chat request on PlayStation Blog Share before it was removed

PS3 users had been demanding cross-game chat since launch. This was by far the most requested feature on Blog Share until one day it mysteriously was removed… In 2011 Sony explained that the PS3 would never get cross-game chat as the system OS doesn’t have enough memory to accommodate it. You can read more about this here. Sony won’t be making the same mistake again and cross-game chat will be possible on the new PlayStation 4.

Feature Implemented: No.

 

Software Emulation for PS2 games

PS2 startup animation

The PS2 startup graphics

In an effort to make the PS3 cheaper Sony took out the chipsets that gave compatibility with PS2 games. It was hoped that the power of the Cell chip in the PS3 would be able to emulate the PS2 via a software solution but this never happened. However in 2011 Sony started releasing some PS2 titles on the PSN store that worked with the PS3. To do this Sony has likely individually modified the games to work. Although there has been speculation that the PS2 game’s ISOs are unmodified wrapped in a custom PS2 game loader. If this were the case then it means Sony could have released a firmware update to make PS2 discs work.

Feature Implemented: No.

 

Native Netflix application

Netflix PS3 disc

Disc used to boot Netflix on PS3

When Netflix first launched on the PS3 in 2009 the service could not be run directly from the XMB. To stream a film users had to first play a disc to access Netflix features. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter theorised that this was done to circumvent a prior exclusivity deal that Netflix had with Microsoft. Over a year later and an update came that provided Netflix streaming on PS3 without a disc and a new improved interface. It’s also the device most used to stream Netflix.

Feature Implemented: Yes

 

Change PSN username
One feature that many PS3 owners would love to see is the ability to change your PSN ID. Eager to go online many new PS3 owners select the first name that comes to their heads for their ID but, unlike on Xbox 360, this name can’t be changed. If you have earned a few trophies and added a few friends and don’t want to give up your gaming history then your stuck with SuCzMyB0llz.

Feature Implemented: No.

 

Metal Gear Solid 4 Trophy Patch

Metal Gear Solid 4 Trophy patch

MGS4 gets a belated trophy patch

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a genuine AAA exclusive title for the PS3 and what Hideo Kojima billed as the end of Snake’s story. But it was released before trophy support became mandatory on PS3 games released on or after the 1st January 2009. Gamers wanted trophy recognition for their exploits. Uncharted received a post-release trophy patch update but as the years past it seemed certain that  with MGS 4 it wasn’t going to happen.

Then nearly four years after its release, long after fans gave up hoping, came some rather surprising news. To celebrate 25 year of Metal Gear MGS 4 was getting a trophy patch. Who would have thought it?

Feature Implemented: Yes.

 

Trophy Room in Home

PlayStation Home Trophy Room

The MIA trophy room in PlayStation Home

When former head of Sony studios Phil Harrison unveiled PlayStation home the introductory video show saw a trophy room with narration that said The “Hall of fame which will allow users to collect animated 3D trophies for public and private display.”  The idea being that users could actually have a trophy cabinet in home which they could store their trophies and show them off to other gamers who visited their virtual apartment. By all accounts this hasn’t happened. I would like to say I have checked this one out, but honestly I haven’t been in Home for over a year. What’s it like in there… anyone? Anyone…?

Feature Implemented: No.

 

E3 streamed live in Home

E3 streamed in PlayStation Home

The PlayStation Home theatre showing a live stream of E3

The E3 press conference is PlayStation’s biggest press event of the year but was not available to watch from the PS3 console leaving some of Sony’s target audience feeling left out. Some gamers wanted to replicate the conference hall experience and watch it with other people in Home. In 2011 this happened. Users could go to home, in a special events hall and watch a theatre screen broadcast of the conference whilst running about and typing smilie messages to any avatar that looked like a girl.

Feature Implemented: Yes
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Kevin Butler hosting the E3 conference


Kevin Butler was a fictional executive that was used in multiple ad campaigns by Sony in the USA. He quickly became popular for his acerbic sense of humour that demonstrated a less serious side to the PlayStation brand. Gamers warmed to him and asked that he host the E3 press conference. In 2010 he appeared on stage at E3 in a standup routine that had the audience cheering and laughing and was deemed to be one of the highlights of all the 2010 conferences.

Feature Implemented: Yes

 

Kevin Butler DLC for Uncharted

Kevin Butler LBP Karting DLC

Kevin Butler’s popularity grew even more after his E3 appearance. PS3 owners wanted Kevin Butler DLC in Uncharted 2. Although the DLC didn’t happen for Uncharted a Kevin Butler costume was produced for Little Big Planet Karting complete with rolled up blue shirt and tie.

Feature Implemented: Kinda

 

MKV support for the PS3

MKV

The PS3 cannot play MKV files

Many downloadable movie and TV files from the Internet are in the MKV format, the problem is they are most commonly associated with illegal torrents.  Also the PSN store offers movie downloads so letting the PS3 play MKV would compete with source of revenue for Sony. Unsurprisingly the PS3 still doesn’t have MKV support.

Feature Implemented: No.

 

Automatic game updates
This generation has seen the post-game patch become almost a standard feature. But it becomes tedious when you turn on your PS3 to start playing a game only to find out you must install a massive sized patch. Automatic Game Updates was requested to take the waiting out of using a PS3, so games could be automatically patched in the background.

Feature Implemented: Yes. With a PlayStation Plus subscription.

 

HD option for YouTube videos

YouTube app for PS3

The PlayStation 3 YouTube app now allows playback of HD videos

YouTube via the PS3 browser was functional but awkward to use and ugly. Then an update came that was supposedly optimised for use on a TV screen but it made all the videos look blockier. As YouTube can play videos in different stream qualities people expected HD on PS3. In 2012 a custom built app app for the PS3 was released in the USA (2013 in Europe). It can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet and can now play HD videos.

Feature Implemented: Yes.

 

Pay with PayPal

Pay with PayPal

You can use PayPal from the browser based PSN store

To make a purchase from the PSN store you need either a credit card or a pre-paid PSN card. But PayPal usage by consumers has become more widespread so this request to offer more spending options seems an obvious one. A browser based PSN store was launched in Europe and the USA which provides an option to pay with PayPal.

Feature Implemented: Yes.

 

Don’t remove Linux or other OS

Do not remove other OS

George Hotz’s release of the PS3 root keys led to Sony removing Linux from the console

Back in March 2010 a PlayStation user posted this ominous feature request ‘Don’t remove ability of other OS in Future Update. Sony should not remove the ability to have linux on the big PS3s. There are owners of those consoles who do not have another computer and they use the other OS for important everyday life.’

In 2011 hacker George Hotz, Geohotz released the root keys to the PS3 that when used through the Linux operating system could be used to hack the PS3 and potentially run counterfeit software.  To prevent this from happening Sony released a firmware update that removed Linux functionality. Outraged, a group of hackers believed to be disparate group Anonymous, intruded on the PlayStation network. Sony took the PSN offline as they investigated and improved security.

Request Implemented: No.

 

Ability to record gameplay from the PS3

gameplay streaming on PS4

Record and upload gameplay will be a feature on the PS4.

Back in 2010 Favian702 had the cute idea that it would be cool to record gameplay from the PS3 with any game and then share it online and then talk over it. This feature did happen but for only one title Just Cause 2. It continuously recorded the last 30 seconds of gameplay or gave players the option to choose to record their next 10 minutes of play.

Although it wasn’t a standard for all games the ability to record gameplay footage is a big part of the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Sony have even dedicated a new Share button to it on the DualShock 4 controller. God knows how much more storage requirements PS4 owners will be adding to Google’s YouTube server farm.

Feature Implemented: Just Cause 2 was the only big budget game to feature it . But it will be standard on the PlayStation 4.

 

Final Thoughts
Although the PlayStation Blog Share platform seems to have been abandoned by Sony it’s clear that it worked and provided a great forum for PS3 owners to directly voice their requests for features.  It also demonstrated that where possible Sony listened and acted wherever possible.

Hopefully they take the opportunity to relaunch PlayStation Blog Share for the PlayStation 4. Imagine what will be possible if they listen to gamers’ ideas over the next six years!

About the Author

Andrew loves gadgets and gaming and can't wait to get his hands on next-gen technology. He is a qualified network engineer and has experience with consumer technology and training people so they can quickly and properly understand and assimilate new skills.