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The biggest PS4 problems the PS5 needs to fix

The PlayStation 4 was a major player in the gaming market. The console's lower initial price made it seem like a comparatively better deal than the Xbox One. Furthermore, the PS4 maintained its early lead with a solid roster of exclusive titles. However, the PS4, while an impressive console, has its flaws.

Usually, console manufacturers right the wrongs of the past with new console generations. The Nintendo Switch, for instance, blew past the Wii U's sales by improving on its predecessor's missteps. But, unlike Nintendo, Sony (and Microsoft) implemented mid-generation upgrade consoles like the PS4 Pro. While gamers had mixed reactions, the Pro fixed several problems with the original PS4. Moreover, the Pro provided extra horsepower to give late adopters — and anyone who didn't mind buying a PS4 twice — the definitive Sony console experience.

Yet, issues remain. The PlayStation 5 has a golden opportunity to shore up the PS4 and PS4 Pro's remaining problems.

Cloud saves cost $9.99 a month

Odds are you have experienced the horror of a corrupted save file at least once in your life. You log off for the night, try to continue the next day, and are greeted with a screen that says your save file mutated into an eldritch tumor of unreadable code. All of your progress must be deleted, and there's no getting it back. Or, perhaps your console or PC underwent a catastrophic error that fried its hard drive. Either way, you need to start your game over from scratch unless you stored your saves on the cloud.

Cloud saves are now the gaming norm since they wait safe and sound on a server until you need them. The Xbox One and PC game platforms like Steam and GOG offer cloud storage free of charge, but Sony locks cloud saves behind a PlayStation Plus subscription. If you don't have an active subscription, you don't have a game save safety net in case your PS4 suffers a nasty fall or goes for a swim.

While Sony hasn't announced how the PS5 will handle cloud saves or subscriptions, the company needs to rethink its cloud save strategy and let the PS5 provide subscription-free cloud storage. Its biggest rivals offer the service for free, and when two companies offer the same service, customers often pick the cheaper or free option.

The PlayStation 4 has a noisy fan problem

The PlayStation 4 has a sleek and appealing design, especially compared to the Xbox One's VCR/Betamax aesthetic. However, the PS4's pleasing appearance apparently came at the cost of efficient cooling, as many gamers have complained about its fans. Even under little load, the PS4's fans work overtime and players find them far too loud. The PS4 Pro's fans aren't as loud as the original PS4, but they aren't as quiet as the Xbox One's.

Admittedly, Sony's Simon Rutter told The Guardian that the company has spent "a great deal of effort" tweaking the PS5's fans to be as quiet as possible, but the importance of fixing the PS4's fan noise cannot be overstated. It's difficult to enjoy a game when the music and other sounds are drowned out by a console doing its best impression of a busy airport runway.

It's still unclear how well the PS5 will live up to Rutter's promise, but if the console sports a smaller auditory footprint than the PS4, it will be a worthwhile improvement.

The PS4 controller is a battery hog

The PlayStation 4's controller includes a built-in rechargeable battery, and you never have to buy AAs for it, but you still have to recharge it every four to eight hours. Why? Because the battery is weak and ill-equipped to handle all the controller's gizmos and gadgets.

The PS4 features dual rumble packs, a touch pad, a light bar, a speaker, and numerous buttons and analog sticks. All of those bits and bobs demand attention and power. While some features such as the light bar waste less power than expected, the controller is still starved for power when compared to the Xbox One's controller (even though it relies on antiquated AAs). Moreover, when using a rechargeable battery pack (sold separately), the Xbox One controller lasts a far more acceptable 30 hours.

While Sony promises each PS5 controller will feature a strong battery, the company is still piling on features like haptic feedback. Even without the upcoming features, the PS4 controller's battery doesn't last as long as other console controllers, so it is up to the PS5 to fix this shortcoming.

The PS4 dropped the backwards compatibility ball

When gamers purchased the PlayStation 2, they were overjoyed to hear the console could play games from the original PlayStation. Likewise, gamers were happy that the PlayStation 3 could play PS2 games. But, when it came time for the PlayStation 4 to continue the trend, the feature vanished in a puff of smoke. If you owned a PS3 or PS2 disc, you couldn't insert them into your PS4. The only way to play old games was to purchase digital editions from a limited selection of titles or buy a PlayStation Now subscription. Needless to say, gamers were not having it.

To be fair, Sony won back some detractors thanks to its PS5 backwards compatibility promise, but there's still little known about the feature. With the PS5, gamers will be able to insert PS4 discs and download games they own, but that's about all Sony has established. It's unclear if all PS4 games will run on the new console, but the PS5 will at least partially fix the backwards compatibility problems of the PS4.

Now if only Sony could offer confirmation one way or another regarding those pesky "the PS5 can play PS1, 2, and 3 games" rumors.