Iterative development is a scouring cancer within companies that haven’t readily been handled as of yet, but the problem is easily-enough defined.
Let’s say you have a team of developers that work within your company to push out software and continue to update hardware to ensure that everything is generally working along well enough. Yet there becomes a time when what they should be developing isn’t entirely clear; everything is functioning, users are happy, but everyone still needs to put the literal bread on the table by developing, and their managers need to manage that development, and testers need to test things that are being developed.
So they continue to develop and iterate on past functions and features that users have become used to, ‘upgrading’ them until they’re once again useless, which is then ‘streamlined’ in future patches until new development breaks everything again.
Many corporations call this phenomenon ‘progress’, but ‘death by iterative development’ is a term that seems to promise a bit more accuracy. We’ve seen this occur with iTunes, Netflix, Reddit, Windows, and almost every other technology that exists in the modern age.
Unfortunately, the PlayStation 4 is the latest to seemingly befall the constant need of developers to develop as 8.0.0 launched today and there are a fascinating number of issues and bugs that have broken everything for the sake of the eternally lofty goal of ‘progress’.
Formerly, parties within the PlayStation 4 console worked easily, and well; it was a matter of moments before you could put together a group and get onto gaming. After the 8.0 patch, however, the forming of parties almost needs supernatural assistance and entire friend lists have disappeared. The ability to form a party has been completely stripped by either bugs or planned obsolescence. Accessories attached to the console are being misread as either multiple accessories, or simply not existing.
And while it’s relatively simple to handwave much of the functions being broken as inconvenient bugs, it’s similarly easy to state that it’s the issue of overdevelopment; there haven’t been many pushes from the community to overhaul friends-lists and party forming. One issue where the console throws an error code ‘WS-44369-6’ is a temporary bug that appears, thus far, to stem from Sony‘s servers.
This leaves some positing that this is the beginning of planned obsolescence for the console as Sony is beginning to push people towards the newest console, the PlayStation 5. It’s likely more accurate to state that this wasn’t a properly tested patch for the console.
With roughly 1.7 thousand replies to Sony’s tweet regarding the update, Sony has yet to respond to a single frustration from the community.
Can someone tell me what to do cause my controller can't connect and my ps4 has an error pic.twitter.com/deb2UYx1pi
— Oscar (@Oscar30299910) October 14, 2020
Moving beyond the bugs, and there are a few more concerning aspects that Sony hasn’t been entirely forthcoming about, such as party communications being monitored and moderated by Sony; you immediately agree if you join a party chat.
It's pretty bad that the party system has to be recorded now, i already do way too much cursing, i do wanna stop, but cannot, this is stupid and ridiculous, oh wait, this whole update is. Hope i get banned soon so that i can hop to PC, rip my 2500+ $ account.
— Jase Vendor (@JaseVendor) October 14, 2020
We’ll be able to speak with confidence hopefully in the near future as to what updates were planned (such as the bizarre new party configuration), and what were bugs (friends list disappearing and reappearing, accessories and controllers no longer being registered) in the future when Sony breaks their silence.
Currently, if you haven’t updated your PlayStation 4, it is strongly recommended not to do so. You won’t be able to play with friends even if you update, so you might as well dive into some single-player titles while this entire mess is sorted out.