If you’re the proud owner of a Sony PlayStation 4, there’s a big chance that you’ve spent your first weeks playing the device’s games to your heart’s content. By this time, you’ve probably put a major dent on games like Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and Resogun, not to mention third-party titles such as Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. But while you were soaking in all these glorious next-gen pictures, did it ever dawned on you to take a moment and run through the console’s menus to uncover its hidden abilities?

The Sony PlayStation 4 is packed with many features, some of which are hidden in the depths of the console’s menus. Let’s take a closer look on some of the things you should know your PlayStation 4 can do to give your gaming experience an extra kick.

Switch apps quickly

If you like fast switching between your most recent apps and your game, just double-tap the [PS] home button to switch between your most recent apps and games. This function works for most but not all games at launch.

Share button shortcuts

If ever you would like to take a video clip or screenshot without navigating the Share menu, simply tap the Share button twice and it will begin capturing. Alternatively, you can press the Option button, and then Share Settings. Now go to Share Button Control Type, then select Easy Screenshots. This way, a screenshot will only require a tap and holding it down will launch the menu. Your last 5-10 minutes of gameplay will be instantly uploaded or streamed to your favorite services.

Add some voiceover to your gameplay footage

One awesome feature of the PS4 is that it continually records the previous 15 minutes of gameplay footage at all times. This is quite useful for cutting together kill montages and the like. However, if you’re planning to create a guide or tutorial video, or maybe you just want to commentate on something in-game as it happens, you can enable microphone audio recording. To do this, open the Share menu, press the Options button, then select Share Settings. Select Video Clip Settings and then check the option for Include Microphone Audio in Video Clip option.

Access any game linked to your PSN account from the Library application

During the PS3 era, it was kind of frustrating to access games that you’ve bought on PSN that you’d never downloaded or had since deleted. Doing so meant popping in to the PlayStation Store and going to your download history. Now, with the PS4, all you need to do is load the Library app to immediately access all games, as well as video/music apps, linked to your account.

Check out the rarity of your Trophies

Back in the ol’ PS3 days, you should be familiar with Sony’s Trophy system, that is, if you did a lot of gaming. This is Sony’s counterpart to Microsoft’s Achievements and Gamerscore. Oftentimes, the harder a Trophy was to obtain, the more valuable it was, which was represented by its type: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. On the PS4, however, you can also check to see just how rare each Trophy is, since PSN keeps track of how many players have obtained a particular Trophy in question. There are chances when bronze Trophies are more prized than gold ones.

Save pennies on your power bill by enabling the power saving mode

We all can’t deny that accidents can happen — you fell asleep without shutting down your PS4. You can blame yourself later on once your electricity bills arrive. Now, there’s an easy way for you to avoid this from happening again — go to your PS4’s menu, then scroll down until you see the Power Save Settings. Select it, then set your PS4 to automatically shut down or go into standby mode after certain intervals of inactivity. You can also adjust when your Dualshock 4 controller will turn off, as well as select which features will be available while the console is in standby mode. Do it now, before it’s too late.

Enable standby mode to update games whenever you’re not playing

If in case you haven’t known it yet, this feature is one of the selling factors of next-gen consoles. This feature is essential, especially to users who are PlayStation Plus subscribers (which you should be). First, you need to enable auto downloads/uploads if you haven’t done so yet, which can be done by going to Settings, then System, and then going to Automatic Downloads and Uploads. Next, go to Settings, then Power Save Settings, then select Set Functions Available in Standby Mode, and then make sure to enable Connect to the Internet. At last…no more waiting for files to update before you can start gaming!

Charge your controller while you’re away from the console

This is another awesome thing you can do with standby mode enabled on your PS4 — that is, charge your controller while you’re PS4 is idle. This will come in useful, considering the Dualshock 4’s battery life is around seven hours. If you’d like to enable this feature, go to Settings, then Power Save Settings, and then go to Set Functions Available in Standby Mode. Now check the box next to Supply Power from USB Ports.

Upload system data to online storage or a USB drive

Save as much hard drive space as possible on your PS4 by taking advantage of the cloud/USB storage. To utilize the cloud storage, you need to be subscribed to PlayStation Plus (you definitely should be subscribed since it has a lot of advantages). Once you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, go to Settings, then select Application Saved Data Management. From here, you’ll find self-explanatory menu options for downloading or uploading data to/from the cloud or to a USB storage device (which does not require a PlayStation Plus subscription).

Use the PS4 camera to log in using facial recognition and issue voice commands

One of the coolest (and creepiest at one point) features of your PS4 console is its ability to log in to your profile once it detects your face (as long as you pick up a PlayStation 4 camera), just like with Xbox One. With the camera installed, go to Settings, then Login Settings, and then select Enable Face Recognition. Next, go to Face Recognition Management and proceed with the setup process. You can also use the camera’s microphones to issue voice commands for menu navigation. If you want to enable this also, go to Settings, then System, and then select Operate PS4 With Voice.

A quick note by the way, you don’t need to get the PS4 camera in order to issue voice commands. You can still enable this feature using any microphone that is connected to your console.

So, were you already familiar with these PS4 features we mentioned, or did some gave you a shock? It’s not that hard to spend some time getting to know your console. After all, it’s time worth spending.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 10:36:35 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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