Sony's massive PS4 software update rids us of a hugely annoying feature

Alyssa Bailey
August 18, 2017

While it will be interesting to hear the feedback from Update 5.0's beta testers, it's important to note that PS4 consoles undergoing the firmware trial may experience "unexpected issues", but Sony has assured fans that they can always downgrade the to current version of 4.73.

The existing master/sub-account system is being redesigned to be more family friendly. Sony has posted an official look at the beta at the PlayStation Blog, listing some of the new features such as Family on PlayStation network, friend management, parental controls and more.

Each family on PSN will now have a Family Manager. Multiple adults can be part of a single family, and any member can be promoted to a parent at any given time.

When the update is live, it will make it easier to set up PSN accounts for children and customize parental control settings for each user.

Finally, and perhaps the most sizable change, is Sony's overhaul of the Parental Control features for PS4. You can also set different controls for individual child accounts, if little X is growing up fast and ready to play Helldivers (no, seriously, it's good) but little Y should stick to games that don't let you drop orbital pods on strangers.

Prior to the update, PlayStation users were only able to have favourite groups, which now has been upgraded to custom lists, and features the option to not only add your favourite people into specific groups, but also set up teams or groups for specific games such as Destiny, making it easy to set up a fire team for Strikes, Nightfalls and even Raids. Changes are also coming for VR, managing friends, and more.

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Broadcasting gets special features as well, with community support. Once a spectator clicks on the community button, they'll be able to jump directly to your community page to check out the details.

There are also improvements to Communities, PlayStation VR comments and Messages. Once this is enabled, spectator comments sent during a broadcast are displayed not only in cinematic mode but also in VR mode - so you'll be able to read comments and interact with spectators from within your PS VR headset.

PlayStation 4 Pro: Twitch users will find the console supports 1080p 60fps streaming on Twitch. Recipients will be able to listen to songs directly from the message.

A new setting that allows you to disable pop-up notifications while you're watching a movie or TV show on your PS4 has been added. This setting is set to off by default but can be enabled if the user wishes. "If you turn this setting off, the pop-up notification will hide the message senders' online ID and will display a generic user icon and message instead". Joining those changes are some updates to the Quick Menu, namely the addition of the notifications menu to this, making the notification alerts accessible while playing a game.

Sony is also boosting the Quick Menu, bringing easy access to all notifications.

Virtual surround sound on PS VR: PlayStation VR now supports 5.1ch and 7.1ch virtual surround sound through headphones when watching Blu-rays and DVDs in Cinematic Mode.

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