The PlayStation 4 is a sleek looking little thing, and its new controller is nothing short of amazing.

Unless you're a serious gamer, Sony's shiny new console doesn't want to know you – well at least not yet.

As with last week's Xbox One launch, plenty has already been written about Sony's new PlayStation 4 which hits Australian shelves today. Rather than writing a full Hands On review, when James and Jason have already done such a great job over at the Screen Play blog, instead I want to look beyond the games to explore the PS4's other features. Sadly, as with the Xbox One, there's not a lot to see yet.

It looks like you'll need to run the PS3 and PS4 side-by-side for quite some time if you're attached to some of the PlayStation 3's non-gaming features. 

It's an amazing role reversal for Sony and Microsoft after their last generation of consoles. The PlayStation 3 was determined to be a multimedia jack-of-all-trades. Sony's not-so-secret weapon in Blu-ray's format war with HD DVD, the PS3 reached the point where it could replace every other AV device in your lounge room. Meanwhile the Xbox 360 was a clear-cut games machine which slowly expanded into other entertainment areas.

Seven years later the Xbox One is determined to be the centre of your lounge room, with an overhauled Kinect sensor, TV-centric features and an HDMI passthrough for connecting up other home entertainment gear. Meanwhile the PlayStation 4 has turned its back on many of the PlayStation 3's broader entertainment features. Sony has also left the camera out of the box, declaring it a $90 optional extra to keep the price down. Sony didn't even send out the camera with my review unit, although I did get to test it out with PlayRoom at Tokyo Game Show.

The challenge for both Sony and Microsoft is that our expectations of "games consoles" have risen so much in the last seven years. If a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 currently sits at the heart of your lounge room, chances are you use it for more than gaming. If it caters to the bulk of your entertainment needs, as well as the entertainment needs of others in your home, then replacing it with its next-gen successor is likely to leave you all in the lurch. At least the Xbox One features an HDMI input, so you could theoretically hook it up your old Xbox 360 and enjoy the best of both worlds. Not so with the PlayStation 4. It looks like you'll need to run the PS3 and PS4 side-by-side for quite some time if you're attached to some of the PlayStation 3's non-gaming features.

Both new consoles are DVD and Blu-ray players, although for some reason Sony decided to remove support for audio CDs from the PlayStation 4. Such a move seems totally unnecessary and has a Jobsian stench to it, designed to "encourage" people to make the move to digital downloads. It seems Sony's reality distortion field isn't that powerful and, after consumer backlash, there's already talk of restoring audio CD playback with a firmware update. If it's that simple to add it then there was no real excuse for leaving it out in the first place. It's hard to believe Sony's claims that the omission was simply because it was focusing on games first and didn't realise people cared about it. You don't leave out something as simple as CD playback by accident.

The old PlayStation 3 lets you play audio CDs or else rip them to the internal hard drive, but you might not care about such things if you're streaming your music from a computer or Network Attached Storage drive. Don't get too excited because Sony has also scrapped DLNA support with the PlayStation 4, so you can't use it to stream your music, movies and photos across your home network. It's simply astounding that, in this day and age, Sony could leave out such fundamental functionality. The Xbox One at least supports Play To for streaming from Windows devices, even if it doesn't see DLNA servers, but DLNA's omission from the PS4 seems more insulting considering that the PlayStation 3 supported DLNA streaming long before the Xbox 360 did.

Once again this smacks of Sony driving people to online subscription services rather than letting them enjoy content they already own. Forgetting to add DLNA was no accident either and you can bet that part of Sony's beef with DLNA is that people use it to stream files they've downloaded from BitTorrent. Once again there's talk of Sony promising to add DLNA to the PlayStation 4 in a firmware update, but it's still ridiculous that it was left out in the first place.

The PlayStation 4 can't even play MP3 files from a USB stick or a disc. Your opinion of optical discs aside, if I'd told you seven years ago that the next PlayStation wouldn't play MP3 files you would have said I was crazy. Once you get beyond gaming, this new PlayStation actually feels like a massive step backwards.

If Sony is so keen to drive us to the internet, what kinds of content apps will you find on the PlayStation 4? Bugger all in Australia, apart from Sony's own services naturally. Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited are sitting there, ready to take your money, but apart from them you'll only find a solitary app for the gaming-centric IGN video service.

Don't expect to find any of the internet video apps already on the PlayStation 3, such as Quickflix, ABC iView, Seven's Plus7, SBS on Demand and YouTube. Don't expect the PlayStation 4's web browser to come to your rescue either, because there's no support for Adobe Flash. If you visit youtube.com/html5 to enable HTML5 playback you'll get some YouTube clips to play, but not all.

Meanwhile if you've got a PlayTV digital TV tuner and Bluetooth remote control for your PlayStation 3, they won't work with the PlayStation 4. Sony still refuses to include an infrared port in the PlayStation, so you can't point a universal remote at it.

Sony obviously considers internet video an essential launch day service in some countries, just not this country. In the United States the PlayStation 4 supports Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HuluPlus from day one, along with Crackle, YuppTV, VUDU and a host of others. Plenty of countries across Europe get extra video services at launch, including the UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. But after years of waiting for half-decent streaming video services to come to Australian consoles, the PlayStation 4 puts us back at square one.

Such features may return with time, with Quickflix expected by Christmas, but meanwhile Sony is throwing away its place at the heart of the digital lounge room and retreating to be just one more box in your home entertainment cabinet. Unless of course its real agenda is to encourage you to keep both consoles running, which is understandable when the PlayStation 3 seems to have so much life in it. The fact that Gran Turismo 6 is only coming to the PlayStation 3 will cement its place in many lounge rooms.

Sony plans the lifecycle of its consoles with care, divided into distinct phases. Once it's finished chasing hard core gamers you can expect it to broaden the home entertainment features, throw in the camera for free and target a much wider audience. But until then, if the PlayStation 3 is a fundamental part of your home entertainment system then the PlayStation 4 is unlikely to take its place.

Do you rely on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 features which aren't included in the new consoles? Is it making you think twice before taking the leap?