PlayStation Universe

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

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on 27 February 2014

If you’re like me, you made the fatal error of registering a Sub Account when you were younger, an account cursed with content restrictions specifically created for users under the age of 18 that is always associated with a Master Account empowered with Parental Control. Worse yet, you may have kept the account as your main when you first purchased a PlayStation 3 and continually functioned from it as you grew older. Sure, I could be blamed for doing this in my youthful ignorance, not foreseeing the inevitable consequences to come, but is it right to be punished in the long run for following the Community Code of Conduct and staying true to my age? The fact is -- I was 16 and jobless, I had no method of payment other than physical cash on my person, and my father too was a moderate gamer who created a Master Account under his name. Like most avid gamers, I wanted my own cool username with my own cool avatar, and later on, my own cool set of trophies to gawk at and relish over.  

The next logical step was to create a Sub Account under my father’s Master Account because I didn’t want to run the risk of getting my account suspended, or worse yet, suffer a console ban as stated in the Terms of Service. On paper, Sony laid out the path to make this layered account system work in unison. Problem is -- it never has and it still doesn’t. It’s only erupted into a storm of confusion for users who are constantly juggling between accounts and passwords to make purchases off of the PlayStation Network. The worst restrictions have plagued accessibility for years. It doesn’t matter how old you get, some restrictions don’t wash over simply because you’re older. Many birthdays later, the PlayStation 4 is a thriving success but is only half useful as a multimedia device because of questionable restrictions. But why not just upgrade to a Master Account? That's exactly the issue, you can't. So what content cannot be accessed on your newly purchased PS4 if you’re a Sub Account user?



The most highlighted issue you’ll notice is that the ‘Share’ button is absolutely useless. The trendy ability to broadcast gameplay live on Twitch is one of the console’s most celebrated social features -- but if you’re a Sub Account user, I‘m afraid you’re not invited to the stream party. And the restrictions don’t stop there. Yes, you can still capture footage and screenshots on your PS4, but that’s where the finish line ends. You can’t share that gorgeous screenshot of the sun setting behind the Caribbean horizon in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag with your friends, or upload a video of that once-in-a-lifetime kill you got in a high-octane match of Battlefield 4 mayhem on Facebook.

Oh, and about Facebook -- turns out Sub Account users can’t connect to one of the world’s most active social networking services either. So for PlayStation gamers registered under a dreaded Sub Account, the PS4 is about as exciting as an empty shoebox when functioning as a social media device. The list of restrictions is already cringingly hard to bear: No live streaming. No video or screenshot sharing. No Facebook. That’s a lot of ‘No’ to breathe in, especially in relation to some of the most valued features implemented in Sony’s next-generation multimedia machine, some of which I haven’t even listed. At present, all we can hope for is that Sony is hot on the heels of finding a solution, and fast. The PlayStation community has been confronting the mega company with problem solving suggestions for years, and perhaps Sony has been lending its attention to the issue (via Joystiq), but the call hasn’t quite been answered. Even though it may not content you, what are some of the aforementioned “solutions” that Sony has put into practice? Moreover, what is a reasonable solution that Sony should already be acting upon?

Scurry for answers at the page break.