As great as gaming is at the moment, it’s inevitable that some aspects will cause frustration and disappointment. That’s life, right? It’s not all milk and honey. Even so, the PlayStation 4 is a fantastic game console — it’s the most powerful machine on the market, and it’s home to many excellent games you can’t find anywhere else. But it’s still far from perfect.
Here are some of the biggest disappointments PS4 owners have experienced since the console came out in 2013.
1. No backwards compatibility
The PlayStation 2 could play PS1 games. The first model of PlayStation 3 could play PS2 games. So you’d be forgiven for assuming you’d be able to play your PS3 games on your PS4. Unfortunately, you can’t.
With the PS4, Sony ditched backwards compatibility. The only way to play PS3 games on your PS4 is by subscribing to PlayStation Now, a game streaming service. The service’s spotty game library and the fact that it costs money is an obvious drawback for PS4 gamers, as this makes it much more difficult to play your favorite PS3 games.
Microsoft figured out a way to bring backwards compatibility to Xbox One. To protect the PlayStation Now revenue stream, it’s unlikely Sony will ever feel compelled to do the same.
2. Game delays
These days, it seems like every major PlayStation 4 game is delayed. For whatever reason, game developers just can’t seem to hit their deadlines. This problem isn’t exclusive to PS4, but it sure seems to affect most of the biggest games, from Uncharted 4 to Horizon: Zero Dawn. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather play a better game later than a worse game sooner. But I’d really rather play a great game on the date it was promised.
3. P.T./Silent Hills
This one’s not Sony’s fault, but it sure is a disappointment for PS4 owners. Konami announced a game that sounded like a survival horror fan’s dream come true: Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima were teaming up to make a terrifying new entry in the Silent Hill series. To get gamers amped for the game, Konami released P.T., a “playable teaser” demo for the game.
P.T. was a chilling experience that put players in a haunted house where terrifying events unfolded. It had creepy mysteries that took the collective players months to discover. Silent Hills was looking so promising that it came as a crushing blow when Konami up and canceled it in 2015. Adding insult to injury, Konami removed P.T. from the PlayStation Store, making it impossible to play it unless you downloaded it while it was available.
4. PlayStation 4 Pro
From the perspective of owners of the standard PS4, the PlayStation 4 Pro is kind of an insult. Sony’s basically saying, “We know you spent several hundred dollars on your current PS4, but here’s something way better.”
The PS4 Pro is good news for people who haven’t bought a PS4 yet. But if you already have one, you have to make the unpleasant decision about whether you want to get rid of your current PS4 and buy the Pro, or whether you’re OK with having a system that’s no longer top dog in the PlayStation lineup.
5. The Order: 1886
The trailers and previews for this game looked so good that they inspired many people to purchase a PlayStation 4 over an Xbox One just so they could play it. Imagine their surprise, then, when the game that came out was a sleep-inducing bore.
What went wrong? For one thing, it was extremely short for a $60 game, ringing in at about eight hours. That would be acceptable for something like Call of Duty that features an endlessly re-playable online mode, but The Order had nothing of the sort. After completing the campaign — much of which consists of cut scenes — you’re done.
Worse, the game squandered its compelling fictional world. Its mix between steampunk and werewolves looked fantastic, but it was ruined by a story that could put an insomniac to sleep. Anyone taken in by this game’s promises was left disappointed.
6. Network instability
Despite Sony’s $60 annual charge for a PlayStation Network subscription, the PSN just isn’t up to snuff. Even looking past the Great Outage of 2011 that lasted nearly a month and compromised everyone’s data, the network is all too unreliable.
All too often, players try to sign in only to be greeted with a message that says the network is down for scheduled maintenance. If it was scheduled, why didn’t Sony announce it? It’s one of the most frustrating things about being a PlayStation 4 owner, and there’s little reason to think it will get better any time soon.
One of the heavily hyped first-party games that launched with PS4 was Knack, a game about a strange creature that punches things. Unfortunately, Knack failed miserably and did not live up to the expectations Sony helped create.
Knack is a dull game about punching a seemingly endless supply of enemies as you trudge down boring corridors. Instead of talking it up, Sony either should have given the developer more time to make the game good, or canceled it and saved early PS4 adopters from buying a bad game.
It’s not all bad
We’re being hard on the old PS4, of course. The system has plenty of great qualities that make it recommendable, and it’s far more good than bad. But you have to put a little pressure on these companies so that they don’t get cocky, especially considering how well the PS4 is selling.