PS4 Sub Account restrictions are a serious issue that needs to be addressed already

  • Posted February 27th, 2014 at 11:40 EDT by Alex Machado

The terminal fix circulating around community forums is the infamous “Deal with it or create a new Master Account” schpeel. You’re welcome to go through with this if you can easily desensitize yourself from what you’re leaving behind, but that’s the catch-22, not everyone can so readily abandon their trophies and usernames. And the problem extends beyond that. Now you have to deal with the hassle of registering your new account on other PlayStation devices like the Vita or PS3 and work out how you’re going to keep already-purchased content. Let’s be honest, this truly is not a convenient solution to the problem, no matter which way you look at it. It’s clear that Sony did not give Sub Account flexibility and longevity long term thought. With the competition steadily allowing account promotions and username changes, you can’t help but fathom why Sony can’t do the same. Yes, it’s a surefire pain for programmers and engineers, but after seven years of this exigent setback, I can’t help but knit my brow in speculation.   

What about managing Sub Account restrictions through the Master Account settings? That sounds like a reasonable solution, right? It would be, if it worked. If you're curious, to access Sub Account Management you need to log in to the Master Account, then on the XMB, search through Settings > Parental Controls > Sub Account Management. If you’re not signed on to PSN, then it will formally ask you to do so. Simply choose the Sub Account you wish to manage, and then select Parental Controls. You’ll come across the menu posted below: 



That’s about as close to a solution as you’ll get, because for some unknown reason, setting everything to “Allow” still doesn’t work. I’m assuming it’s a bug in the system because even in the Terms of Service it’s cited that “the Master Account may restrict a Sub Account from posting User Generated Media Content your child has created.” I feel this is a noticeable first step towards burying the issue at hand, but is a misstep in that it doesn’t function, at least in its present state.   

This is a last generation problem haunting next generation potential. Some of us were likely capable of enduring the Sub Account restrictions laced on the PS3, so much so that perhaps we didn’t even notice them. This time around on PS4, restrictions are much more rampant, calling a lot of attention to the issue. It’s restricting a large pool of PS4 users from accessing the console’s rich features. Hopefully this issue will be resolved sooner rather than later, because it’s only a matter of time before the community’s collective patience wears dangerously thin, taking to heart that they can’t share gameplay contents with their friends -- that in creating a new account, they’re forced to leave behind all the progress they worked so hard towards achieving. This is not a bottom-of-the-barrel concern, and hopefully it’s on the top of Sony’s priority list. So if you’re afflicted by the Sub Account debacle, what can you do to raise awareness and light a fire under Sony’s rear?  

Currently there are a handful of account promotion petitions circling the Web that you can find and sign, some of which are on the PlayStation Blog, Facebook, and other numerous outlets. In all honesty, Sony should have addressed the problem years ago, and now it's carrying over to the next generation, leaving a population of the PlayStation user base between a rock and a hard place.  

What are your thoughts on this matter? Does it affect you directly? Give us a shout in the comments section below. 

Alex is a Staff Writer for PSU and a performance major at Florida International University. Perhaps one day he'll find a cure for his uncanny obsession with making Kerotan frog noises. Not that he cares though. But if you do, feel free to advise him on Twitter.
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