The latest PS4 beta trial starts today – here are the features that testers can get early access to
If you were selected to be a beta tester for the next major PlayStation 4 system software update 5.00 (codenamed NOBUNAGA), today’s the day you can get your hands on the new features. If you were chosen, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to download the update and get started.
Whether you’re in the beta programme or not, we wanted to give a first look at the features included in this update. We’re introducing Family Accounts, making it easier to manage your friends, and adding a variety of new features for broadcast, notifications, messages and much more.
Families on PlayStation Network
The existing master/sub-account system is being redesigned to be more family friendly. This new “family on PSN” system will offer a more flexible experience, make it easier to set up PSN accounts for children, and customize parental control settings for each family user. Below are the new features that will be introduced with update 5.00:
- Family Manager, parents/guardians and child accounts
Each family on PSN will now have a Family Manager. In turn, the Family Manager can promote any other adult in the family to be a parent or guardian.
From there, each parent or guardian can customise the parental control levels of each child account, such as restricting certain age ratings or online access.
- Individual parental controls
Before this update, the same parental controls were applied to all users on the same console, including adults. But with 5.00, all controls (including game age ratings) can be individually controlled for each child account.
Friend list management
In place of the current ‘Favourite Groups’ tab, we’re adding a new ‘Custom Lists’ tab on the ‘Friends’ screen.
This will allow you to create and edit custom lists of your friends and arrange them into specific groups, based on the games you play, or groups of friends you like to hang out with online. For example, you can create a custom list of your Destiny teammates and easily send them raid invites.
Broadcast feature updates
If you’ve set up a community on your PS4, you can now link your community to your live gameplay broadcast. When a broadcast is linked to a community, the community button appears on the ‘Live from PlayStation’ spectator screen, allowing any spectator to jump directly into your community page to check out the details or join.
- PlayStation VR
We’ve added a new setting in PlayStation VR: ‘Display Message to Spectators and Spectators’ Comments’. 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
Good news for Twitch users: with this update, PS4 Pro will support 1080p 60fps streaming on Twitch.
You’ve already been able to share your favourite music to Twitter and Facebook via Spotify and PlayStation Music, but now you’ll also be able to share individual tracks by sending a message on PS4.
Your friends will be able to listen to the track directly from the message you send, and if they’re on their mobile device, they can jump directly to their Spotify app from the PS Messages app to check out the song and add it to their own playlist.
We’ve added a new setting that allows you to disable pop-up notifications while you’re watching a movie or TV show on your PS4. This setting is set to ‘off’ by default, so go to Settings > Notifications to enable it.
Furthermore, you now have the option to turn off message previews on your pop-up notifications. 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.
Lastly, you’ll have the option to change the colour of your pop-up notifications to either white (default) or black.
Quick Menu updates
If you want to keep an eye out on what’s happening in your Notifications tab – like game download progress or new invitations – you can now access this directly from the Quick Menu without leaving your game.
Also, we’ve added a ‘Leave Party’ option in the Quick Menu, so you can easily exit a party and go right back to playing your game.
Virtual surround sound on PS VR
PlayStation VR now supports 5.1ch and 7.1ch virtual surround sound through your headphones when watching Blu-rays and DVDs in Cinematic Mode, making for an even more immersive viewing experience.
Improved tournaments bracket viewer
We’ve added a new ‘bracket viewer’ that shows full tournament brackets for Single Elimination and Double Elimination tournaments on PS4, making it easier for you to see the current tournament standings.
Updated language support
The PS4 user interface now supports Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Greek, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese languages.
As always, if you’ve been chosen as a beta tester, your feedback is really important to us and lets us fine-tune the new additions ahead of the full system software release. We really hope you enjoy using these new features – let us know how you get on in the comments below, and through the usual feedback forums.