On Tuesday, April 13th, an announcement from PlayStation came out of nowhere about a new update coming to the PlayStation 5 System; along with the PlayStation Mobile App. The update followed a day later on Wednesday April 14th, and added many different features for the system; including the ability to move PlayStation 5 games to an external drive, cross-generational Share Play, and a lot more control and customization for the PS5. They also updated the PlayStation App on phones to allow for something that I personally have wanted for a long time. Anyway, lets get into what they have done.
First off, lets get the phone app update done and out of the way. They are adding the ability to receive a notification when a friend logs in, changing your console status from the app, and one other thing. The biggest thing, in my opinion, that they are adding for the phone app is the ability to save products into a wishlist. It has taken a while for this feature to come, and it is very welcomed to the app. In the future, they are coming out with many things different including the ability to manage the PS5 console storage, ability to join a multiplayer session on PlayStation 5 session from your mobile phone, the ability to go through different filters and sort products in the Store section. They will also allow you to start comparing trophies with your friends. Overall, it’s not the biggest update to the app, but the wishlist is extremely helpful and something that I personally have wanted.
Now that the phone app is completed, lets get on with the PlayStation 5 updates. The big update is the ability to store PlayStation 5 games on an external store device. Previously, you could only move PlayStation 4 games to an external device, but now you can move PS5 games as well. There is a caveat with this though, you cannot play them from this device and you would have to transfer PS5 games back to the main console storage in order to play them. Now, this helps you add some more storage for the system if you need to free up space. PlayStation is still working on the storage expansion through the M.2 drives that were announced before; in which allows you to store and play PS5 games on additional storage instead of having to move them from the external storage to the internal storage. So, it is definitely an upgrade for users, but it is only one step to the final goal of the M.2 drives.
Besides the phone app and the overall storage capabilities, they also added more features regarding social cross-generation. You can also change who interacts with you through different means on the system as well, including through parties, games, or messages. The PlayStation 5 has an ability to share the screen and play games with other people within a voice chat if you both are on the PS5. Now, after the update, PS4 players can be able to view the screens that are shared on PS5; and in certain cases, can even play PS5 games on the PS4 through the Share Play feature. Either through playing co-op games virtually or just passing the controller to someone who does not have the new system yet.
Okay, personally I think the idea is great to share PS5 games with PS4 players through Share Play. PS5 consoles are hard to find still, almost 5 months after launch, and thanks to the semi-conductor issues going on in the world at the moment, it might be hard to find for quite a while. However, I personally think this was only one of the reasons why they did this. Another reason I believe that they have done this kind of improvement with the Share Play feature, is because PlayStation wants people who are still on PS4 to upgrade to the PS5 and this is an easy way to market it to your friends and people in your parties. It is not easy to find the systems; however, in a way it is a smart and easy marketing strategy for them to try out and see what happens.
The other thing that they have detailed was improved control and personalization options. They have improved the game base screen so it is easier to view your friends and parties, and being able to switch between the two faster. In game voice chat can now be turned off at a system level, which is good because some online games with in-game voice chats get quite ugly to say the least. You can also adjust the voice chat for individual people which is a really good feature as you don’t have to worry about the other people in the party. There are some changes to the trophy screen that makes it easier to see at a general overview; and they also have a feature that allows you to pick and choose if it will take a screenshot or video based on the trophies grade. I think that is a cool feature since I usually delete all of the images but the gold and platinum as they take up a lot of space.
They also have added the ability to search through the game library and hide games you don’t want to see anymore. Now, I want them to add folders to the home screen since that is something that I used a lot in the PS4 generation. They added the ability to adjust the magnification of the screen if you need to have a different setting than the standard zoom. Lastly, they added the ability for updates for games to pre-download to the PS5, which allows you to start playing the most updated version after the release of the patch; however, this seems to be developer dependent based on the wording in the blog post. This is something I personally need to see in action before I say if it is an improvement or just something that they thought might be an improvement.
Overall, this is a pretty big update which does a lot of different things that help the overall player. The upgrade to the storage is nice, but personally I am going to be waiting for that M.2 drive so I don’t have to transfer the PS5 games back to the internal console storage in order to actually play them. The ability that allows you to screen share/ Share Play with PS4 members in a voice chat is a nice feature; however, like I said before I feel like they might be trying to have friends that have the PS5 market to friends that only have a PS4 may cause people to look into upgrading towards the new console. The search function within the game library is a nice touch, but I seriously hope that they add folders in the future as I miss those in this generation. Overall, I am happy with this update as a whole, but I think there is still a lot more to go with the some of the things they are missing.
***All information regarding the updates and images within this article were obtained from the PlayStation Blog. ***