With the PS4 and XBox One coming out in a few weeks, Kotaku published an article on their website quoting that the PlayStation 4 will not have DLNA on it.
Now for the not quite tech savvy people out there, “What is DLNA?” Well DLNA is a network protocol that allows machines such as PCs, Roku boxes, PS3s and XBox 360s to look for media on other machines. In other words music and video files from a PC could be streamed to a PS3 on a bigger scream over a home network. What I have done is that I own a NAS drive (Network Attached Storage; a network hard drive), stuck my Music and Films onto it, then use my PS3 on my big screen TV to watch my films without the need of hunting for DVDs. Now with the PS4, you’re not going to be able to do that anymore! Which to be honest sounds a little weird as DLNA is mainly just software that could be put on anything with a network function. What’s even weird is that the DLNA network software was made by Sony themselves! So why scrap an awesome feature that was on the PS3 on the PS4 if DLNA was made by Sony in the first place? I’ll admit that I have used my PS3 as a media centre, and for a media centre, it works really well! The Cross Media bar works very well for the DLNA functions on the PS3, not to mention that the video scaler for standard definition video on the system is much better than the one on the XBox 360.
Now there could be reasons for this, though most still leaves me questioning it further.
- “Maybe more people are using Netflix and Spotify media streaming services now than stream their own stuff?”
Sure… Might be, but it doesn’t stop the fact that there’s nothing really stopping Sony from putting their own network media protocol in their own hardware. Afterall it’s not like they have to give out a huge royality out to anyone, it’s their own software!
- “How much would the system cost if it was to have it in the first place?”
As mentioned above, DLNA is a Sony owned software, infact if other manufacturers want to use it they would have to pay Sony a little royalty to use DLNA.
- “Are Sony trying to compete with other media providers?”
From the Kotaku article, that’s what I believe is going on. Sony is simply trying to prevent people using their own media in hope to sell you movies and music again to play on the PlayStation 4. It’s a bit of a dick move myself, but Sony does have money invested in their services such as Sony Music Unlimited, which is pretty much a Sony branded version of Spotify, a monthly paid service that gives you access to a library of music.
- “Isn’t the PlayStation 4 made to be a Pure gaming system?”
Well that’s exactly what’s against the idea of Sony Computer Entertainment! Their whole premise was to create hardware that would merge Gaming with Entertainment in a single system. I remember when the PlayStation came out that people liked the idea that the system could play audio CDs on it; and the very reason for the PlayStation 2’s success was it’s DVD playback ability in a time when DVD players were still very expensive. Now Sony did try to push the PS3 for it’s BluRay playback, though that was a mix bag, but at least the PS3 could do more than just play games and BluRay movies, they added network support and DLNA to make it into a nice media player. Sony just doesn’t make hardware that “Just plays games”, that’s a very Nintendo way of thinking, not Sony’s…
To be honest though, I have a bad feeling that by the time these new consoles come out in the next few weeks we’ll be hearing about all the stuff that people dislike about the PlayStation 4 and XBox One. I hate to be negative towards the console gaming industry, but I honestly believe that console gaming is going the way of the Dodo unless something is done to increase better interest, better faith to customer, and a broader range of games for everyone and not just the so called “Hardcore gamers” who just play Halo and Call of Duty!