Sony is making it easier for fans of all ages to build a reputation on its online gaming service and hang on to it over time. This week, the makers of the PS4 gaming console introduced a fix that’ll finally let younger gamers hang on to their trophies and other items as they get older while getting complete access to everything that the PlayStation Network has to offer.
Beginning this past Thursday, members of the PlayStation Network who have subordinate accounts can be upgrade to a full account. Starting the process this week requires users to upgrade through the PlayStation website, but Sony confirms that it has plans to roll out the feature directly to the PlayStation 4 soon.
The PS4 lets users create subordinate accounts for other gamers in their family. The feature is centered on protecting the young from content they shouldn’t have yet access to. It is great at hiding inappropriate material from young gamers, but it also didn’t make allowances for them getting older. In theory, users needed to create new accounts that weren’t bound by the limits of a subordinate account just to get access to the PlayStation Network’s more advanced features once they’d turned 18. Sony notes in its PlayStation Blog post that messages, monthly spending limits and gameplay broadcasts were all part of the PlayStation Network subordinate account features.
With these new changes, anyone who has turned 18 can upgrade their account, keep the progress in games and content they’ve purchased, plus get unrestricted access to the PlayStation and more. Sony isn’t providing a time table for the PS4 update that will add a way to convert accounts directly to the console. To be clear, 18 year olds with a subordinate PlayStation Network account should go ahead and update their accounts manually. It doesn’t appear as if the upgrade happens automatically.
This is a small change, but one that’ll have lasting positive affects for PS4 owners and console gamers in general.
Nailing parental controls and giving parents the tools they need to monitor what their child is doing are something both Sony and rival Microsoft have tried to balance for years. Nintendo’s Wii U has very strict content rules regarding what third-party developers can portray in games. Nintendo itself doesn’t produce mature games either. When people think about providing their kids with a video game console minus the negative influences it’s usually Nintendo that they turn to.
To counter act that both Sony and Microsoft implemented different features to make gaming for the whole family easier and safer. Setting an allowance in the PlayStation Store allows parents to control their kids spending on the service without necessarily having to monitor their child’s console themselves. Broadcasts and messages are restricted so that any communication between children is going on in plain sight of their parents. The Xbox One offers many of the same parental features.
The problem with either console is that these controls still aren’t easy enough to use for some parents. More often than not, parents don’t even realize that they can take control of the apps, video services and game downloads on their child’s console without necessarily having to hover over them while they’re playing.
Besides this fine-tuned account upgrade Sony also rolled PlayStation Heroes, a new intuitive that it hopes will inspire gamers to donate to charities the best way they know how. A new PlayStation Heroes app allows users to download custom PS4 themes and more with the money earned going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, The USO and the V Foundation, which supports cancer research.
The more money players spend in the special apps, the bigger chance they have of winning a multiplayer session with celebrities like Stephen Curry, Snoop Dogg, Shaun White and more.