Soapbox: All I Want the PS5 to Do Is Track My Play Time Across Games

I, surely amongst others, really enjoy tracking how much time I've sunk into a video game. From the grand looter shooters of Destiny 2 and The Division 2 through to huge RPGs such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, I always like to take note how of many hours I've played them for. I'll take the 137 hours it took me to complete Persona 5 to the grave, however, not every PlayStation 4 title tracks your play time and it has become a bit of a pet peeve of mine. To make matters worse, it is a standard feature across quite literally every other console and platform which makes up the video game industry. So, while Sony boasts of its admittedly impressive SSD and 3D audio on PlayStation 5, all I want the hardware manufacturer to announce is system-level play time tracking the player can actually view.
It wouldn't be such a big deal to me if nobody else was doing it. The games which need it most usually have the functionality built in, RPGs in particular, so I'm more than likely going to be set when Final Fantasy VII Remake and Cyberpunk 2077 release. However, the problem is that every other hardware manufacturer and PC storefront has the feature built in straight from the off. The Xbox One allows you to view various statistics for every game on the console with the touch of a button, listing your play time amongst other noteworthy achievements. While not as good as the Nintendo 3DS', the Nintendo Switch builds rough estimates of the time you've invested into each title in everyone's profile pages. Steam on PC tracks your play time for every single game in your library. Hell, even the Epic Games Store supports the feature.


The most baffling aspect to all of this is that Sony actually already is tracking everyone's video game playing time. It just chooses not to surface it anywhere in the PlayStation 4 operating system. The recent PlayStation 2019 Wrap-Up scheme displayed users' most played games and ranked them in order of hours played, even going as far as choosing to reveal those stats to the player. That there is proof that Sony is actually tracking the amount of time we invest in PS4 games on the backend, even those which don't come with a play time tracker built into the experience.
When literally every other video game platform surfaces your play time, why is Sony choosing not to? Why is the Japanese giant tracking the time you invest into its titles but then deciding not to make the stats part of the user interface? It doesn't make much sense to me. Therefore, when the Japanese giant decides to talk about the PS5's dashboard and everything that comes with it, all I'll be looking for is system-level play time tracking that all users can view. Come on Sony, let me quickly check how much time I invest in Demon's Souls when the time comes.

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