After spending a couple hours trying to set up my PS4 so that my kids could play Minecraft with their cousins, I have to report that parental controls on the PS4 were designed by a drunk zombie self-falating walrus who clearly had neither seen, nor even heard of a human child. I’d previously registered accounts for my kids, which was a whole other ridiculous headache in itself. They’ve been using those accounts to play Minecraft for months, but never online. In order to get them to play with cousins, we had to set them up as friends, which meant manipulating the privacy settings in all of the accounts. Then, I basically had to disable all of the parental controls for the whole PS4 because Minecraft is a 10+ game in the U.S. and both of my kids are under 10.
Note that you can’t:
- Enable or disable parental controls on a game by game basis
- Enable or disable the web browser for specific accounts. Only for the whole machine.
- Enable or disable media restrictions for specific accounts. Again, only for the whole machine.
- Restrict chat capability for sub-accounts to friends-only.
There are four per-account restrictions I can place on a sub account:
- Block chat/message
- Turn (age related) content restrictions on/off
- Block/allow user created media
- Set a monthly spending limit for the store.
In order to let them do on-line Minecraft play with people on their friends list, I have to enable 1, 2 and 3, separately for each account, all the while navigating back and forth using the PS4’s cumbersome controller-account matching system. This “parental control feature” is clearly a system designed just as a marketing point. It’s pretty much unusable.