Hideaki Nishino Q&A: Developing PlayStation System Software Updates

135 0
Hideaki Nishino Q&A: Developing PlayStation System Software Updates

Behind-the-scenes insight into the design process of the September Updates' headline features.

Last Wednesday, PlayStation’s product development teams introduced new system software updates for PS5, PS4 and the PS Remote Play App. 

I sat down with Hideaki Nishino, SVP of Platform Experience, to get the scoop behind some of the new features, including 3D audio for built-in TV speakers and M.2 SSD storage expansion on PS5. We also discussed mobile app updates like Share Screen on PS App, which started rolling out yesterday on iOS and Android.*

Listen to our full interview on the Official PlayStation Podcast here for insights on how the features came together, or read on for some key excerpts, edited for brevity and clarity. 

PlayStation.Blog: Can you give us a little sense of what you do as SVP of Platform Experience?

Nishino-san: Here at SIE, I work for hardware, system software, and network platform products and services. I don’t contribute to the games or studio teams, but everything other than the games side of things. 

PlayStation.Blog: Congrats on the launch of the September system update on PS5. Are there a couple features you found particularly important?

Nishino-san: We launched many features with the September Update, but one I’m personally enjoying is the trophy tracker. Of course, I want to get more trophies and show them off. The trophy tracker allows me to easily pin the trophies I’m tracking down.

PlayStation.Blog: A lot of people have been asking, when are we going to get an update on 3D audio coming through the TV speakers (in addition to headsets).

Nishino-san: Yeah, absolutely. 3D audio has been a key part of our vision for PS5: delivering a really immersive experience not just through visuals but audio as well. When I turn on 3D audio for TV speakers, it sounds different. It’s difficult to describe, but I hope everybody will try it and experience it. 

It feels like the sound is coming from around my ears and from the front as well. So, it’s definitely giving you a different experience. I’m really proud of the team that delivered this 3D audio experience.

PlayStation.Blog: I think a big feature for many people is the ability to expand PS5 storage [through M.2 SSD]…What does adding a new feature of this magnitude represent for the team?

Nishino-san: As we have many PS4 users today, we saw various console usage patterns. We launched PS5 in two forms: one comes with the disc drive and one comes without. We really wanted to provide customer choice — that was the concept.

We knew any capacity we put into the machine as storage, one day you’ll hit the capacity. We wanted to provide options. It was important for us to enable upgrade capability for users. We designed the M.2 SSD feature back in 2018. At that time, we were not sure if Gen4 SSDs were coming up or not, but we believed they were. 

With [lead system architect Mark Cerny], we debated and discussed. We finally decided, ‘yeah, let’s do this.’ This will open the door for users to expand and improve the capability of the PS5. So, that’s the behind-the-scenes conversation we had internally, and I’m glad we can deliver this now for the holiday season.

Hideaki Nishino Q&A: Developing PlayStation System Software Updates

PlayStation.Blog: What is the design process like for a system update? How do you put it all together?

Nishino-san: This is just the second major update for PS5. Just to wind back the time here. With the PS4, I think it’s already been eight years. We learned a lot through PS4 and continue to learn about how players are using the system and how games are behaving. We know what is most accepted and most popular; what features are not used. So, we had a gigantic list of things before PS5 launch that we wanted to do. Actually, we dreamed of doing everything.

Did I digest the whole list? I don’t think so, yet. But, there are interesting, exciting, fantastic ideas on the list. At the same time, we launched PS5. So, we are receiving a bunch of feedback from the community through social networks or system telemetry, as well as the media, my family, my friends. We have tons of lists of the feedback.

Our updates aren’t just about the [major] firmware updates. If you carefully look at the PS5 system, over the network we are changing the UX behavior quite often. Sometimes we do some customization for a certain group of people to see how these features are used. So, it’s dynamic now. 

PlayStation.Blog: Accessing Share Screen through the PlayStation App is a big upgrade. PS Remote Play is also now playable over mobile networks. Was it a conscious thing to focus on the mobile experience?

Nishino-san: PS Remote Play is more coming from a utility point of view: the best use of the PS5 and PS4 systems when you’re not in front of your TV.

During the pandemic, I work from home. I don’t have a PS5 in my office; it’s sitting in the living room. But, I need to check the PS5 UI for work and sometimes for play. So, I do PS Remote Play from my desktop PC. And when I want to play PS5 in my backyard on a sunny day, I bring my iPad outside. Even when you’re not in front of your TV, with PS Remote Play, the experience is ubiquitous. Now with mobile data, you can bring it outside the home as well. I just want to make sure users can enjoy their games in more ways.

On the flip side, there’s Share Screen. I love single-player games. Because of the pandemic, I tried to play Bloodborne. It’s a challenging game to me. I was speaking to my friends about how I can’t go through this [particular] stage. People said, ‘how is that difficult, you can do it.’

So on a Friday night, we had five people in a party chat. I could Share Screen from my PS5. People were laughing when I failed or died and respawned. [Through Share Play], I tried to hand over the controller to the guy who said he already went through the level easily. He died there. I said, ‘what are you doing here, you’re not the best.’ The other three people continued to laugh and chat – it was like a connected couch moment through Share Screen.

PlayStation.Blog: It reminds me of the days, 20 years ago, when couch co-op was so big. It kind of brings some of that feeling back.

Nishino-san: The exciting thing is, before the September Update, you needed to be in front of the PS5 to see the visuals. Now with your mobile phone, you can join these sessions from anywhere. So, recreating the ‘old days’ moments with your friends in front of the TV playing together – that moment is coming back.

PlayStation.Blog: So, what are you folks working on next? Can you give us the scoop?

Nishino-san: As I said, when I look back at the list of things we need to do, there’s a lot. There’s a lot the community is asking for as well. I want to say in the Japanese way, I’m diligently working on these lists and there will be more coming out in the future.

I also want to say thank you to the community. We are not just whiteboarding our desired features. We work for customer needs. We really want to solve the problem in a delightful manner. That’s our core passion. We are here for the PlayStation [fans]. I’m always amazed by the feedback, how much the community loves PlayStation. It’s really great to hear player feedback, and at the same time, we get great feedback from creators as well.

I believe this firmware update is not just about us doing it; it’s the whole community doing things. So, I’m really excited to hear more from the community. And I [and my team] will diligently deliver the new features in an exciting way.

* The Android version of Share Screen on PS App is a phased release and may take one week until the update is available on your mobile device.

Comments are closed.

135 Comments

  • Insert a special list for trophies.
    Top 10 of my games sorted by difficulty or rarity.
    I also want the opportunity to choose for example 3 favorite games and highlight them on my profile.

    Also, update the system so that the hours spent in the game can be sorted.
    At this point, I can see how much time I spend playing games, but I can’t sort the games in the correct order.
    I want to see a list of all the games, from the one I spent the most time to, chronologically to the one I played the least.
    For example:
    Skyrim 500h
    Horizon Zero Dawn 480h
    D.Gone 350h …

    Finally, I would like to see the activities of my friends, similar to the ps4 wall

  • Bring back Dynamic Themes and add dynamic avatars too.

  • 1440P native output support….. please.

  • This interview is infuriating in a certain way. Instead of adding on community requests you should be working on features that were promised before launch. VRR was a promised hardware feature and yet it is nowhere to be seen. Do you have to be sued before you will implement something you promised before the system was sold? I am deeply chagrined.

  • Only people begging for VRR in the comments are the people with high-end TV’s and setups. Which isn’t a bad thing, but they don’t understand that they are not the majority, doubt you’re even 5%. I’ve got a high-end TV and setup myself, but what’s the point in begging for something they have repeatedly said they’re working on? We’ll get that feature, but it certainty isn’t a priority and if you’re mad you game is stuttery, it’s on the game dev. 1440p is in no way a priority either, no matter how simple of an add it would be, for the same reason above.

    A nice request would be the ability to upload our game clips (30 seconds max, likely converted to 720p) to our cloud storage for viewing through the app or exporting from there are well. It’s 1 feature I think the competition has had a for a long time and would be a pretty cool addition. Not a priority though, new features, whatever they may be would be nice. Folder support is nice, but again, some pointless stuff. people really be hassled at making a few more clicks, jeez. Or having multiple 8TB external HDD’s, what the heck is up with yall?

    I saw someone say something about individual file saves now being a thing you’re able to delete, that actually sounds like a priority though. I haven’t run into that problem, but I do remember Death Stranding having multiple autosaves. I just got the Directors Cut and figure I’ll get around to grinding out that Platinum at some point before i start the Directors Cut.

    • Just remembered something to add, Sorting options when comparing games/trophies with people. By default (the only way) it will list all of your mutual games first, which can be a ton, before you actually can see what their latest played game is if you haven’t played it.

  • Please please please keep working on PS5 remote play via PS4! Add HDR to remote play. Add DS5 support for PS4 (even if only for remote play) Add vibration for DS4 when remote playing a PS5 title. Make DS4 forward compatible for PS5 games on PS5.

  • Hey there, just wanted to say that update 9.0 bricked my PS4 pro, started freezing mid games only moments after the update, then froze in the main menu had to hard reset the console, now im stuck at the safe mode screen, i have tryed everything, even step 7 to initialize and lose all saved date wont work, process ends with and error, cant play no more on the console

  • Please add a MEDIA PLAYER that has DLNA support and lot of supported formats.

  • What happened to the expected voice assistant? The PS4 could do many voice commands like launching games or shutting down the console while it doesn’t even have a built-in mic while on PS5 with it’s built-in mic in DS can’t have at least those while we expected much more?

    Please, Start with this ASAP before any other feature, cus this should have been day one like the PS4. Thanks.

  • I’m really enjoying the new update! I went ahead and purchased a 2TB M.2 SSD and a heatsink, then installed them once they arrived. It’s working great, and now I have a lot of extra space for future PS5 games! Thank you for providing us with this wonderful update!

    If I may suggest a few ideas to improve the experience, here are some possibilities:

    – Adjusting the controller battery level icon when logging in, so that it doesn’t block the time on the upper right side of the screen.

    – Making further adjustments to 3D Audio through TV speakers. It’s a cool start, but it makes certain sounds like the music within a game or spoken dialogue in a game either muffled or harder to hear.

    – A while back, it was announced that Sony was partnering with Discord on something unannounced. Whatever they have planned in this partnership, I sincerely hope it allows me to share play PS5 and PS4 games to a private Discord server. I like to stream play throughs of single player games for friends on Discord sometimes, but I’ve been having to use Twitch on my PS5 to share my screen with my Discord friends. Twitch doesn’t offer a lot of privacy options, so it would be nice to be able to do something like Share Play, but also be able to share my screen directly to Discord. This would be much easier for me and probably many others than having to stream a game to Twitch and then have to share that Twitch stream to Discord. Being able to share my screen on my PS5 directly to Discord would be much better and easier. Please take this into consideration, as it would be yet another great way for long distance friends to meet up online and connect together through PS5 and PS4 games.

    Again, thank you for this wonderful update to PS5! I look forward to more exciting updates in the future!

  • We need system wide bug reporter not just crash report. Make it as easy as posting a video to twitter, but sending it to the right people.

  • Creating an OS from scratch for every console lifecycle is a very outdated approach. It looks like their dev team is busier with trying to bring the OS on par with their last console’s OS, rather than better utilizing their time for optimisation and newer features. This is typical for companies that think hardware first and software later. I think rather than any particular features, it is more important for Sony to change its approach to OS software development and come in step with how leading software companies develop OS. Look at Apple, Microsoft and Google for how to do this the right way.

  • If you are really listening,

    Please bring back folders, themes, supersampling option for 1080p screens, why cant we see ps5 games patch notes ?

    Also a lot of things are missing that your competitor Xbox has:
    VRR/Freesync support, better BC, 1440p support, easy save transfer

    Maybe the switcher is meant to become Sony Quick resume ? cause it has a lot of room for improvements
    Can we have an icon for trophies separate from profile like on ps4 ?

  • HD cam is pointless and redundant as long as there is no option to hide it from the game screen while having it enabled in the broadcast.

    Very basic feature it would seem and forces a PS5 to PC OBS streaming setup, probably not what the PS5 broadcast feature was designed for.

  • Please bring back and fully support a web browser. On PS5 it’s more handy than ever. Grinding a game? Pin YouTube to the side. Following a guide? Pin YouTube to the side. Etc. There’s so much the Web Browser is capable of now thanks to the pin to side feature, we just need it to be properly supported so it isn’t so tedious.

  • One of those plans should be to make the system more widely available, and not easy targets for scalpers.

  • My biggest request is to fix HDR for streaming apps. When HDR is set to “On When Supported” it either turns it off completely or turns it off completely. Some apps change HDR settings depending on the content. For example, Disney+ should start in SDR and change to HDR when you start a movie like Avengers which supports it. This is how it worked on PS4 and this is how it currently works on Xbox. Instead, the Disney+ app on PS5 leaves HDR off the whole time. I don’t get why this works so well on PS4 but sucks so bad on PS5.

  • A lot of people will ask for folders but I think that is outdated with the current layout.
    What we need to custom tabs so we can write our own headers. These would go next to where it already states “Games” and “Media” along the top of the screen.

  • 1440p, Freesync, and 21:9 are exciting and fantastic, hint hint :)

  • VRR please!

  • I’ve got two things I’d like to see for future PS5 system software updates that haven’t been mentioned here previously but would greatly improve my personal experience when using my PS5 console.

    #1 – When viewing profiles on my PS5 there is a “shared” tab (found next to the friends list tab). This section on user profile displays a horizontal list of YouTube videos users have shared if they’ve uploaded video clips directly from their PS4/PS5 system (an ability that’s given upon linking PSN accounts to Google accounts) and allows them to select the privacy for each video they upload should they want it to be viewed publicly from their PSN profile or not (on the PS4’s UI shared content was made visible from the “media feed” on profiles which includes archived broadcasts, screenshots shared to PSN/Twitter and videos). When I view my own profile from PS5 (and when others view mine on PS5) it publicly shows videos I’ve shared for everyone just passing by to see and I cannot find any way I can hide this feed (at least without hiding my entire profile, as a trophy hunter I wish not to hide my trophies/games and additionally I want others to see my friends list). I’ve searched through console settings, online forums on how to hide this single part of my profile but to little or no luck. Can you please look into this?

    #2 – The majority of my time spent listening to music for the past year or so has been done across all my PlayStation consoles (PS5, PS4, PS3 & PS Vita) but I don’t use Spotify, instead I play through dozens of folders with MP3 files from a USB storage device (SanDisk 3.0 64GB to be exact). From the Groove Music app on my laptop (Windows 10, obviously) I can add square image thumbnails to my MP3 files when managing track/album information so the cover art doesn’t appear as default (On PS4 this looks like a music note or something like that). All consoles I’ve previously mentioned display the custom track/album covers as intended except for my PS5. It would be great if cover art for USB/MP3 music files can be supported while playing games on my PS5, and don’t forget to include this visibility for music notifications just like there was on PS4 too!

    To anyone from Sony (assuming anyone cares) who is reading through my suggestions (and others’ suggestions from the comments here on the PS Blog) and is willing to take them into account for future software updates both big and small, I thank you greatly.

    – PepsiMaxVanilla

  • User configurable shortcuts, please. UI navigation is ridiculous – like someone else has said above, it is taking more time and more button presses to get to the same functions compared to previous generations. E.g. Share Play requires me to start a voice chat, open game base, open the party, open the voice chat, start share screen and THEN activate share play.
    This is a far cry from the “virtual couch co-op” experience of just handing someone a controller, and it really doesn’t need to be this complicated.

    Also, 3D audio for home cinema sound systems, please.

    • praise that m8

      Its even bigger mess than UI on ps4 launch :D

      Icant understand why they change almost everything :(

      At least if they give us option for keep ps4 ui or try next gen which is ….

  • I’m sure most of the stuff that’s on my mind has already been mentioned by my fellow PS peers above but would you consider changing the trophy sound back??…or blending it with the old one similar to how it sounds on the Trophy video clips? Miss that old sound!
    And I would say I definitely miss the Dynamic themes from PS3/PS4 days, a Quick resume option would be great and it might just be me but the Controller speaker is too quiet 🙂

  • This is fine and dandy in all. What I really want to hear is, when can I get my hands in the PS5!!!

  • Its same disaster over again since ps3 and ps4 at launch :(

    I ddont really know why you change key aspects of UI every time since than . And worst is you change basics ( to people get crazy i suppose ) . For example on ps4 when you change controls in media player which was same from ps1 . I still cant believe such a fail . Always when i wanted to pause movie i quit it . I was furiose each time and im still am . At least put there option to keep it same for old time fans :(

    With ps5 is same story again all over . And that bottom menu is disaster by my opinion . PS button have oposite function from ps3, ps4 . I always swearing :(

    We are few fans whos fans since ps1 . And by our humbly opinion when is somthing working dont change it just improve it . You should do that on ps4 and keep media xbar . Why bother and make people crazy ?????

    And system menu is diffferent again why?????

    Why you didnt keep same settings in same menu ? Why???

    I Cant find elementary seettings every time because is alamos identical with ps4 just is in another submenu . For example voice chat output . Why ?????
    I was searching 5 minute for that yesterday . Its like i said disaster over again . WHY??????

    I have first xbox and its series x . I won it other wise i woudlnt have it . And you can take example from them . Its much better for navigating . At least give us some search in everchanging UI each generation .

    Store is disaster i dont even start with that :(

    And at least put media gallery somewhere else not in game library for PETE sakes .

    In every other counts i love ps5 so far except that UI :( xbox is behind but i always knew its about content nothing else . Please if you reading it ask players what they want not what your team is thinking is evelution . Hardcore fans are 40-60 years old people and i wanna have fun not looking for basics elements for control system every generation .

    Please hopefully you get what im talking about ;) Use common sense and dont change what is working …..

    I didnt want be rude but its disaster by many users over here . Maybe for new comers its better but thats not a point here.

    Best regards from Slovakia .

  • Where is DUALSENSE PRO with backbuttons and i’m not talking about that attachment, make a real pro controller with 4 back buttons that you can freely adjust.
    DUALSENSE PRO
    DUALSENSE PRO
    DUALSENSE PRO
    DUALSENSE PRO
    DUALSENSE PRO

  • Thank you so much! Please consider bringing the following features to PS5 ASAP:
    -Dolby Vision support
    -Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
    -Automatic low-latency mode (ALLM)
    -More Raytracing support
    -More 120 FPS performance modes support for MultiPlayer games

  • It would be awesome if call of duty black ops 1 and 2 would be in PS5! They are on PS3 only what is sad

  • Please allow users to purchase a Dolby Vision license in some way for those interested in DV for UHD Blu rays that support it. It would make the PS5 an even more exceptional blu-ray player.

  • Hello Mr. Hideaki Nishino,

    There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be addressed regarding the PS5. Themes, background pictures with our profile pictures, a social media outlet that allows us to post, share and like things we like, being able to like our friends activities. These are just a few of the things that the PS5 lacks that the PS4 doesn’t and to be honest there is no reason to get a PS5 until these changes are made. At this point the PS4 is still superior, thank you.

  • They need to make a feature where you can transfer your ps4 data to PS5

  • What a cool guy. Thanks for your hard work.

  • please add native 32:9 ultrawide support

  • Just wanted to say that I very much appreciate everyone’s time and patiences for making the exclusive ps5 ps5 games and all previous and future ps5 updates.thank you all Sony PlayStation workers.

  • We demand support of 1440p native resolution! Sony, hear us!

  • How about a trophy pusher for when the tros you already earnt refuse to drop.
    _exemple_ : AC Valhalla “Home Sweet Home” trophy, reach settlement level six. I did already, months ago, it’s my last tro to get before the plat and it won’t drop. I told Ubi support months ago about this but it seems I’m just about alone with this issue (in a game with many other wider-reaching issues).
    If we could query an issue like this somehow on the trophy card in the xmb it might help because I’m at a loss as to what to do with my very own first-world problem. here 🙏

  • Please add 2560 x 1440p native support. Thank you.

  • Please add USB wireless (using dongle) mechanical keyboards support to the list.

    I’m really disappointed that such keyboards are NOT supported currently. These works fine under regular OS (linux, windows), under other console (xbox series) but not under playstation.

  • We would be grateful for a native support resolution of 2560 x 1440p and VRR.

    Thanks for the amazing work you are doing!

  • Please add 1440p Resolution support. Most of the games running on Performance mode on PS5 are 1440p not native 4K then why can’t there be an option for native 1440p Resolution?

  • Please make a motorstorm game for ps5 and would like to see more backwards compatibility with ps3 , ps2 games .

Please enter your date of birth.