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Details on new voice chat functionality coming to PS5

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Details on new voice chat functionality coming to PS5

A message from PlayStation’s Global Consumer Experience team.

Hi everyone. I’m Catherine Jensen, and I head up the Global Consumer Experience division here at PlayStation. Our department works every day to create the best possible gaming experience for our community on PlayStation Network. We also manage the @AskPlayStation customer support channel and create troubleshooting guides to help gamers find solutions. Our goal is to help foster a fun and positive experience when you’re playing online with friends and other gamers.

Managing online safety is an important part of ensuring that. We believe that it’s critical that gamers be able to quickly and accurately report abuse or harassment if they experience it while on PlayStation Network. As part of this initiative, we’ve been preparing to roll out a new feature on the PS5 console that enables gamers to report verbal harassment through a new Voice Chat reporting function. Its sole purpose is to help in reporting of inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code of Conduct. Please note that this feature will not actively monitor or listen in on your conversations – ever – and it’s strictly reserved for reporting online abuse or harassment. 

PlayStation gamers learned about this new function in an unexpected way following the recent PS4 8.00 system update. We didn’t clearly communicate this feature or explain why we were introducing it, and we apologize for that. When the PS5 console launches in November, PS5 users will be able to chat with PS4 users — which is why we needed to include an advisory with the latest PS4 system update. 

We should have more clearly explained why this function was being rolled out, along with details on how it will work on the PS5 console, so let me walk you through that now. 

Once the PS5 console launches, if a PS5 player needs to file a harassment report, they will be able to include up to a 40 second-long Voice Chat clip in their report — 20 seconds of the main conversation with the other player, plus an additional 10 seconds before and after the conversation selection. Only the most recent five minutes of a Voice Chat will be available for a player to use for this reporting function.

These reports can be submitted directly through the PS5 console, and will be sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will then listen to the recording and take action, if needed. Some submitted reports won’t be valid, and our team will take this as an opportunity to provide guidance and education. There won’t be an option to opt-out of this Voice Chat recording function because we want all users to feel safe when playing with others online, not just those who choose to enable it.

Thanks for reading, and I’m hoping this gives you a better idea about our goals for this new function. We appreciate your support, and want you to know that our team will always work to create a positive experience on PlayStation so you can focus on playing great games and having fun with your friends.

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329 Comments

  • No. This feature is still a violation of privacy. For starters parties are still a private space that you can leave if things are problematic. All you have to do is say something someone doesn’t like and you’re reported. It could be an open discussion when they show up. This wouldn’t be a problem if it was an open game channel. Like the team channel in overwatch, but if my friends friend shows up and I’m upset with the opposing team, records what I’m saying and shuttles it off to Sony where I’m taken out of context in the heat of the moment. I don’t think your moderators will be impartial, nor responsible in that context space. Please remove this feature.

  • I like that you are communicating with us, The Playstation Users. I know many people would agree with me in saying I’m fine with being recorded but the New Party Chat takes Playing Together Out Of The Equation. Why would I have to consistently add someone to the party chat over and over again if we are already PSN friends. The old Chat Interface allows Users more freedom to meet new people and becoming friends. This New Group Interface is segregating everyone into their own little bubble, leaving myself to ask the question why would I want someone I don’t know to be added into our Group Chat when they could scroll up and read every conversation we had previously. That’s my take on it but to be honest if this is the Chat System Playstation is going with for PS5 them I will more than likely not be getting a PS5.

    • I agree with that I think the safety is better but it removes the social aspect that sony had it really is unfortunate.

    • Exactly. If they won’t bring old party chat I’m going to buy XSX instead! I’ve never even consider xbox before this update. I don’t consent to be recorded while in PRIVATE party chat!

  • Totally agree with the safety aspect keep up the good work, having said that can the push notifications for msging be reinstated for the new app?

  • Sure whatever, just fix the parties

  • Thank you for verifying for people, but the messages and parties being linked is extremely tedious most users hate being in group chats because they just flood notifications and it is difficult to scroll through messages for different groups just to find one specific group to play with especially to those with alot of friends with some that don’t like eachother. I think alot of users would be happier if the system was reverted. (Not including the sharing audio that is important thanks).

  • You can’t say you aren’t actively monitoring and at the same time let someone record the past 5 minutes of your conversation. You are just contradicting yourselves now.

  • Can you guys bring back party you can keep the report system but you can’t even kick people it ruined the entire playstation experience you cant kick you cant use play together you cant use events its like you downgraded

  • The previous party system was simple and straightforward. Many of the new features are pretty pointless and make socializing with different players in your friends list more difficult. I get it, it’s to compliment your new snitching system but why break the way parties used to work instead of accommodating the new with the old.

  • Let’s face it The biggest problem is California has taken control of Sony. So now we have out of touch Californians who are pissing off not only the rest of America but even Japan.

    You hear Japanese game developers complain that they have to censor their content because some Californians might get offended that is complete garbage.. The only reason why Sony is still on top over the Xbox is because at this point the Xbox is just as bad The only reason why they are currently being consumer-friendly is because they’ve been behind they did a PS3 launch and their new system is insanely overpriced.

    Nintendo seems to be the only company listening to both Japanese game developers and customers we are not fans we are customers. Sony of California doesn’t understand that thus Sony does not understand that.

    I understand Ken the PS3 maker screwed up the launch by having an overpriced system and telling people you must get a second job to get the PS3. That does not negate the fact that the PS3 was a good console once the price went down but Japan especially Japanese gamemakers still have it right on what is a good game.

    • Sony and PlayStation have become increasingly myopic and tone-deaf of late when it comes to these and other issues. And yes, these unfortunate changes do seem to coincide with the company’s move to California. My fear is that, more and more, gamers around the globe will be subject to the whims of a handful of Cali types who view the world exclusively through the lens of Twitter. That will be bad.

    • I agree with you completely. Sony was humbled in the PS3 generation, but since the success of the PS4, all I see is the company becoming proud and doing whatever they want, instead of listening to what their customers actually want. This has been the generation of censorship and american rules and scrutiny for devs in different markets, the “our customers won’t get cross-console gameplay because PS4 is the best place to play”, the “our customers don’t want EA Access because it doesn’t provide value”, the ignored and neglected PS2-on-PS4 effort, and so on…

      Meanwhile Microsoft has lost so frequently that they’ve completely revamped themselves this generation: the best subscription service in GamePass, the best rewards program, the most powerful console for sale, the least expensive console for sale (at the same time!), the most first party studios, backwards compatibility, assistive technologies…

      Microsoft has been building customer satisfaction and value, while Sony keeps losing goodwill and has a really long hill to climb to regain it.

  • This is a terrible idea. PlayStation already seems to struggle with party chat abilities and then this? You are just pushing people away from wanting to use party features. They will use other platforms

  • So, you realize you will need thousands of moderators listen and understand hours of voicechats to determine if there was an issue? I mean we are talking thousands, only for this. Huge commitment on your part to provide such service.

  • I for one really am annoyed by this new party system. Having to start up a group and add people to said group just to start up a party. It putting more steps then needed when the old party system was already good. Plus people are just going to abuse the ability to report people in party’s

  • I’m not a fan of this change.

  • Sooo why does this basically cancel the communities feature

  • Any recording of private conversation sounds like a pretty big violation to me.

  • And y’all saying don’t be a jerk. I paid $200+ to do what ever I want. That’s really an invasion of privacy. I’m literally a grown man being told not to use my 2nd amendment rights. This really ruined my mood. Thought I was going to get online and join a gta 5 rp party and have a fun time but noooo y’all done took away the public parties on my 200$ asset. Have a great day. I feel like there’s a lawsuit coming soon

    • Being Racist and being a pedophile falls under no ones amendment rights and in most countries is against the law

    • Shut up yasink.. there’s one of the “I’m sensitive” everything is racist reporters right there lol… my god if words hurted you so bad the internet and online gaming is above your fragile capabilities

  • This is how things begin, small and unintrusive then evolve to become more intrusive and more expansive in future iterations until we get to the point where the entirety of a conversation is recorded and stored and can be submitted to third-parties for any use. Not worried about that but I have other concerns. It sounds like the person can listen and playback the 5 min to select the 20 seconds they desire? The problem is people can abuse this and playback only to copy the recordings for other purposes. I have been in parties where someone forgot to mute a mic and you hear personal information or private, now anyone in that party can click report and playback the chat to capture the info they otherwise would be unable to do. Just thinking about this possibility makes me really reconsider PSN parties, the idea that everything I say is being recorded and that any participant can play it back for any purpose is troubling. This sounds more like a solution in search of a problem. Avoid parties with unknown people or if things begin to escalate, make an exit. That’s what I do, I leave rather than start arguing. I also IGNORE party invites from people that I just defeated in a PvP game or even my own team if we lost because I know what to expect: nasty, hateful, profane, and vile remarks. No thanks. I guess now that will be less of an issue or will it? People will just create new accts and still curse you out via message or voice to circumvent getting banned. Now what? People need to link their social security numbers to a PSN to authenticate? I think players need education and guides (avoid random parties, strangers, etc), this feels like policing and I don’t think it will achieve much because the current text message reporting never works. All that happens is the text get deleted by SIE Moderation and zero to the offending user. Mods make mistakes, it happens with username bans and text bans but in those cases you’re armed with evidence to challenge and overturn the ban but with voice reporting? No evidence, you’re at the mercy of the decision making mod and can’t prove your case. So let’s hope the mods are thorough as they claim to be and actually uphold the policies. The other issue is torment and teasing, one of my friends has a voice problem and often when he joins strangers they comment on his voice and some laugh, he’s worried people will record him for bad reasons (now that it’s so easy) and is paranoid of that. He doesn’t talk in any in-game chats because these can easily be recorded via DVR whereas parties require an opt-in.

    Imo this is a bad idea for PS5 and it introduces more problems than it purports to remedy and will be easy to circumvent by repeat offenders via the creation of new accounts for the sole purpose of causing problems, among other methods.

    Now on to my suggestion. What about reintroducing private parties? And limiting voice recording to public parties so people have an option. Don’t join private parties with people you don’t know could be the educational reference for players and public parties can be recorded and are a “safe” space for people grouping up with randoms. That way people can decide. Or just don’t allow any playback and limit it to the last 40s of chat after someone hits the button to initiate the reporting process. Imo ppl shouldn’t be in a party for five minutes after something nasty was said to them anyway. Hit report as soon as the nastiness begins and submit it. Imo the playback will be the biggest issue and 5 minutes is too generous. Final idea, what about allowing opt-out and giving a warning to people before they join a chat that “A participant in this chat has opted-out of voice recording” so that user is informed and can make a choice. People that usually get hate will be on alert and just not join the chat.

    Tl;dr bad idea, feels unsettling, need opt-out with warning to users that join, limit recording to public parties, 5 min very generous recording time, and/or no playback of audio to avoid abuse for other purposes.

  • While you’re at it can you also stop censoring games? Thanks

  • Honestly I feel like this is an infringement upon my freedom of speech but not only that it can and I can guarantee you it will be abused by PlayStation players and your own moderators

  • And if that’s the case just like you want to stand on your hill I will too meaning I’ll cancel my psn + and stop being a don’t customer

  • Brawo PlayStation 👏
    Good job. 👍 Microsoft is doing nothing about it, and cases are handled for months.

  • Literally implement this into the party system we had before 8.00, if you guys care about the community you would’ve picked up on how literally everyone thinks the new one sucks. You don’t gotta break something to make something else better lmao.

  • does this also apply to in game chat or just party chat? will chat also be recorded via game’s built in chat?

  • This party system sucks

  • Hi Catherine. First things first, recording ALL conversations while not illegal, is blatantly unethical behavior without allowing an opt out or diminished option of some form.

    Second, this is literally only benefitting problem causing people who want to falsely incriminate others. You’re intentionally making it easier for troll type people to provoke and entrap others.

    Third, if this is intended to protect the small amount of people who are legitimately being harassed, which I would assume are children, this should only be usable by minors or their parent owned account.

    Lastly, you are solutioning a problem that does not exist as anyone has the option to block, mute, not allow random people, or simply Leave if they feel harassed like any over 18 person would do in any other non life threatening situation in real life.

    Sidenote; don’t the vast majority of people PRIVATE party chat with their friends? What problem are you solving? I hope there is not a hidden agenda here, and I absolutely feel this is some sort of appeasement to the “nerfing” of personal accountability and playing some sort of “victim card” to go along with that current trend.

  • I have never actually made a comment on a blog post ever before, but logged in just to make this one. This is very intrusive, I do not like knowing people are recording my chats! I will literally never use party chats with ps5 now, and I will default to Discord. Because they do not record me! As a long time playstation fan, this just does not feel appropriate to the players, and it does not empower the players at all.

    You should INSTEAD rely on the players choice. Allow them to block people, and make it where people can not join parties with people they ban! ALSO, make it where when I mute someone, they dont hear me either. Steps like this actually make a difference.

    WE DONT NEED BIG BROTHER WATCHING US!

  • Good morning. Thank you for letting us know.

  • This is a great idea! It could help with people sending people death threats and all types of harrassment, I’m really glad to read that this will be a PS5 feature.

  • It’s ok but I just hate making a new group chat all the time just to talk with friends just bring back public parties please

  • Good. I’m tired of being called the “n-word” or everything else for that matter. There needs to be accountability and I support this.

  • Did you have To ruin the whole flippin party system. No More invite only or open parties. If I wanna invite, lets say My little brother To a party with My friends. I need To add him To My group which May or May not include bad language or naked photos In the text section. He Is not supposed To see those, but he Will, because it Is necessary To add him To the group. There was no issues with the old system. And that Is just bs that the old system wouldn’t work between ps4 and ps5. If it doesnt, well just create a GOD DAMN better system that works between both consoles.
    Hope you read this and consider about this cuz you are losing buyers btw. Many People are cancelling their ps5 preorders and buying x box.

  • i liked the way it was instead of message chats where you add peoples name as a title can you change it back where you block instigators and create private or open chats but make sure people ask first though i also do not know why modded controllers are a thing and lag-switching + ddos as well. but for those who play destiny 2 try finding lag-switchers and modded controllers and ddosers are top priority, if you do not like this method delete destiny 2 and destiny 1 from all consoles besides
    bungie needs babysitting then most of the playstation community.

  • I personally think the party chat (which was just people already on your friends list) isn’t what needs to be monitored it’s the in game chat in the game itself where you get verbally abused. Am i wrong?

    • Not wrong from my point of view. Party chat is private and generally between friends. In-game chat is the wild west of human conversation.

  • Negative impacts of 8.0 update:
    – Friends cannot view or join the party
    – party creator cannot name the party

  • I’d like to know exactly what Sony plans to do to create very specific guidelines around what is acceptable and what is not.

    “Don’t be rude” doesn’t count. The problem we are seeing with social media platforms is that opinionated speech is being silenced because it differs from an ideological standpoint in the eyes of an individual moderator.

    I like the concept of working toward the elimination of bullying, but there also must be very clear and well-defined boundaries and consequences that do not leave a bunch of wide open room for random interpretation by a moderator who gets to play judge, jury, and executioner based on their own feelings or ideology, whether political, social, or otherwise.

  • This report didnt give much of an idea of how the recording system works. For example when it starts recording. Does the person making the claim have to press the record button and if thats the case what about if a person if falsely accused. They have just missed their opportunity to record the conversation. Plus you stated that its not actively recording. So when does it record your voice

  • Feeling “harassed” in game chat in the past…….makes private chat to shut out the noise or better option…mute the offensive person.

    Now feeling “harassed” online in a gaming session……….create a semi private chat that could possible be recorded.
    Bottom line it’s more complicated to find friends on and join parties just because a few players need safe spaces in an online gaming situation.

    PlayStation…the Modern Warfare 2019 on coasters. Yeah, I said it.

  • Feeling “harassed” in game chat in the past…….makes private chat to shut out the noise or better option…mute the offensive person.

    Now feeling “harassed” online in a gaming session……….create a semi private chat that could possible be recorded.
    Bottom line it’s more complicated to find friends on and join parties just because a few players need safe spaces in an online gaming situation.

    PlayStation…the Modern Warfare 2019 of consoles. Yeah, I said it.

  • Interestingly

  • I hate it I just wanna talk to my friends and it is annoying and confusing and it makes a new group chat when you invite people to party it has just made it frustrating

  • But why is there no option to make the party privet?
    I get that you want to make your system a safe environment to play on and feel safe, but I dont get why you had to remove the ability to kick someone or make the party privet, I guess I can understand the fact that you can’t kick anyone sort of, but then again there’s no point in removing this, id realy appreciate you guys responding to this to educate me on this topic, because I’m realy curious.

  • Also it seems I can’t even mute anyone anymore.

  • Completely unnecessary feature.
    We have a block option and a mute option.
    People shouldn’t be wrapped up in cotton wool in a nanny state.
    Parents need to take responsibility for children online and that includes understanding the technology they are using and how you as a parent can manage it.

  • FIX THE PARTY SYSTEM PLEASE

  • This is just useless. Why?? Because people using the party chat function with their FRIENDS, not with enemies or strangers. And who wanna report anything what ppl say in a PRIVATE friendly party??? Epic fail sony! Bring back the old party chat system for the PS4!!!!!

  • If you want to protect people and record in game chat that’s fine, I don’t care since I barely use this chat. But! Leave alone my private conversations… I don’t feel good with possibility of being recorded! If someone is abusive on party chat I can mute/ignore them. This is disgusting and I don’t consent to it. If you won’t change it I’ll just go with XSX. Shame on you Sony, horrible actions and horrible update in general. Give us back our features and stop spying on our PRIVATE party chat!!!!!!!! Is it even legal??!!?

  • You’re only in a party chat when playing with friends. No thoughts on invasion of privacy? Thank you for telling us before I paid for my preorder. Switching to Xbox.

  • I would like to see the option to invite, kick and make the party private if I choose…

  • Huge infringement on the 1st amendment, 3/4 of friends list going to xbox now glad i pre ordered both, since youll be listening in, it would be a good idea to get all the 7 year olds off the mature rated games seeing how there was a rating created for such purposes
    #stopschoolshootings

  • Hey, I understand that this is something that you clearly think needs to be on the PlayStation, but i’m not sure if its really that great of an idea. At least not the way you are currently planning on implementing it. I think that a feature like this would be best to only apply to children’s accounts who are under 18. There could be some sort of parental control that only lets them talk with other accounts that are categorized as under 18, and yes, i know that would make some adults make an “underage” account to join kids, but what is the difference. Creepy adults have been on the PlayStation systems since they came out, but now, those children can report the strange adults and maybe even other kids their age who are bullying them, and those of us who are above 18 can still have freedom in our parties. Also, one other thing about the new party system in this current update, it makes it much more difficult to get players to join your party as you first need to make a chat with them. This is a pain when playing games like destiny 2 or COD where you don’t want to use the game chat because it is very low quality. Thanks

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