PS4 Won't Allow User Customized Themes; Xbox One Limited to Tile Colors
You won't be able to use custom backgrounds on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Representatives from both Sony and Microsoft recently addressed tweets regarding players' dashboard customization options for their next-generation consoles.
Microsoft's Albert Penello clarified that users can only customize the tile's colors in response to a question about choosing a different background color.
@_KoNiKo_ no just the tiles.— Albert Penello (@albertpenello) October 21, 2013
A few days later, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony's Worldwide Studios for SCEA Inc., answered a simple "no" when asked if the PlayStation 4 will support user customized themes like its predecessor.
@rickardr no— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) October 26, 2013
The PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 allows players to personalize their dashboard by letting them use custom themes or wallpapers. A couple of players have reacted negatively to the news that their customization options will be limited in the next-generation.
It is certainly not a factor that carries enough weight to switch a player to either Microsoft or Sony. However, it is still rather puzzling to some people why the company is restricting such a simple design option. Perhaps, it's a lot harder than most gamers think?
I think it's still possible for users to change the theme of their PS4 dashboard as long as it's from PSN. Yoshida only said "no" to user customized themes, but not to first party themes. On the other hand, Penello was very clear that only the dashboard customization was only limited to tiles.
I believe that both companies may have excluded this feature to prioritize other capabilities for launch. Don't worry, it isn't the end of the world. Personalizing your console may just come at later date in the form of an update.
The PS4 will be released in North America on November 15th, while the Xbox One will be available in most territories on November 22nd.