While I’m a fan of Sony and most of their designs, decisions, and corporate philosophy (as opposed to Microsoft which I despise in pretty much every area), Sony as a company isn’t perfect and sometimes makes mistakes (on a corporate level) as well. However, unlike the myriad of Microsoft apologists out there who only seem to care about their stock dividends, I will critique Sony when there is need–especially when it hits my own scholarly area–language.
You see, all weekend I’ve been trying to diagnose an issue with a PS4 for the son of one of my mother’s co-workers. Without getting into the fact that I feel the Playstation 4 is way too sensitive to interruptions in power/updates, it looks like the operating system needs to be reinstalled. However, that’s not the real issue that I want to deal with today. No, the real issue is that Sony’s inexact language contributed to the parent’s (& child’s) frustration and inability to fix the problem.
You see, the console is stuck on an unhelpful screen that says: Cannot start the PS4. Bad enough on its own, but then it cryptically says, Connect the Dualshock 4 using the USB cable. Press the Playstation button.
Press and Hold
Now, you’d think that if you press the Playstation button with one quick press, the system would recognize it and move to the next step.
For the PS4 to move on to the next step, you actually need to Press and HOLD the Playstation button for a couple of seconds before the system will move you on to the next step(s): 1) an attempt to reinstall the update or, if that doesn’t work, 2) an attempt to reinitialize the PS4 software (reinstall a fresh copy).
I wasted about two full hours Friday night/Saturday morning thinking that it was a bad controller. I had to actually pair his controller to my system to make sure and rule out a dead controller.
I only discovered it when I accidentally held the Playstation button down while looking at a YouTube video and then remembering, “oh, yeah, the PS4 has this weird hold down the button longer than a traditional button press ‘thing’ going on.”
Say What You Mean, Sony!
It was really frustrating to spend so much time ruling out something that was never a problem just because Sony was a little inexact in their language. To a gamer, press means simply press and release. However, the system wants you to press and hold. Wording like press and hold (or just hold) would be enough to tell a gamer not to release the button immediately, but keep it depressed for a longer interval. C’mon Sony, terminology matters. This one word might have given a boy/his parent enough information to take the next step and helped them to figure out what was wrong and looking online for a possible solution.
Or saved me a couple of hours, going down the wrong road and misdiagnosing the problem because the controller wouldn’t do what I wanted because you were telling to do one thing when you really wanted me to do another.
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