The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches are slowly creeping up, and with just around 60 days left until both of the consoles are on store shelves, both Sony and Microsoft have detailed a lot of what users can expect from the devices. That includes everything from how their controllers were designed, to how they’ll come packaged. Strangely, neither are talking much about the upgraded software that will run on their machines.
For example, we don’t yet know how many of the entertainment applications of the Xbox 360 will make their way to the Xbox One, and with Microsoft keeping its mouth closed about it, that’s a big problem. Especially for users who are already selling their Xbox 360 in preparation for the Xbox One.
Sony is still keeping quiet about its plans for the upgraded PlayStation Network too. Though screenshots have appeared online, we don’t yet know if PlayStation 4 users can expect a vastly upgraded experience, especially for the $10 it’ll force console owners to pay for any sort of multiplayer experience. Will Sony still need to completely shut down PSN periodically to perform upgrades? Will in game audio chatting see any upgrades software-wise? We simply don’t know. The company also has formally detailed all of the features users can expect from its PlayStation mobile application either, though screenshots of it, together with the PlayStation 4’s software leaked earlier this week.
Sony is also not talking about how the PlayStation Eye motion and voice controller will work with games, or more specifically, what games developers have planned for the feature at the PlayStation 4’s launch.
Really, the Xbox One Dashboard remains an almost total enigma too. To date, all screenshots of the Xbox One Dashboard have featured a black ground over white text. The company hasn’t talked about whether users will still be able to customize the look of their Xbox Dashboard with pictures and images. That’s something that they can do with the Xbox 360. To date, there’s also been no talk of the Xbox Avatar Marketplace making its way to the console either.
To their credit, Microsoft is being transparent about why it’s not showing off the next-generation version of the Xbox Dashboard. During a hands-on demonstration at this year’s GameCom trade-show, Microsoft told Engadget that it wasn’t allowed to take photos or videos of the Xbox One Dashboard because it simply wasn’t done. I’d imagine the same is true for the software on the PlayStation 4.
However, the PlayStation 4 debuts on November 15th, with the Xbox One launching on November 22nd. We need software details now, it’s not like launch is getting farther away.