To get the most out of the PlayStation 4, you should connect the system online and enmesh yourself in the console's social network—maybe hook it into Facebook, too. How much of yourself can you share? How much can you keep private? Let me show you.

Upon booting up the console and applying a day-one patch, you'll be able to connect to the PlayStation Network. I did this last night, using the PSN account I've had since the early days of the PlayStation 3.

I punched in my existing PSN account e-mail address and password. The system recognized me by my PSN name, which, as you can see, is stotil.


I've linked the same account to the PS3 and Vita. I don't remember having to do anything all that fancy to get my account linked to the other machines, but the Vita wasn't doing much more with my account than the PS3 was doing. It let me shop in the PlayStation store. It let me send messages to friends and chat with them (and, uh check out what they were playing). The PS4 can do more, so it needs more permission.

Initially, the PS4 was just pulling in my existing account, but it had me input my real name. I guess I could have put in a fake name?

And then I had to make my first big decision. Do I let people see a photo of me? Or just my chosen avatar, the genius turtle from the Sly Cooper games?

I'm comfortable sharing my real identity, so I went with the Facebook photo option. Note that you can't just upload or snap your own photo. You have to use one that's been able to stay up on Facebook. I guess that prevents naughty photos!

Alright. Who can see who my friends are? I went with...

And who can see my activities? And which activities should I share? Howsabout...

These were the alternatives...

To be clear about what all this is for, we're working our way toward a feed that's going to look something like the tall image below, though the real names you see there are only appearing because I exchanged real-name requests with those people. They had to be on my PSN friends list first.


Sharp-eyed readers will notice that some of my own updates were showing the Bentley picture and my PSN ID. That's a mistake. Perhaps PSN was still processing my settings. I don't know.

Back to the settings. The next part involves Facebook. The PS4 uses Facebook, as you've already seen with the photo thing, for some of its online stuff. Want to use the PS4 controller's share button to show people the videos you're capturing on the system? You can only upload them to Facebook (for now). Want to alert people to the livestreaming you're doing from your PS4? You can share a link to Twitter or Facebook. You can also fill your Facebook feed with updates about what you're doing. Thus...

We all know what it's like to connect something to Facebook, right? Before you dare say yes, you should read the fine print and find out how deep into your personal Facebook info the PS4 wants to go. So read this!

Are you cool with all of the above? I was! Now check this out... it seems to have been pulling in my real name from Facebook this time. So I'm not sure what that earlier option was all about.

More settings...

Moving past the Facebook stuff...

And... we're done!

How much will you share of your online self should you get a PS4? Chew on that. And if you've got room on your plate, here's my PS4 review for you to feast on as well.

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.