Sony is releasing the PlayStation 5’s first major software update tomorrow, bringing some new bells and whistles to its operating system.
Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management, Hideaki Nishino, shared details on the pending update on the PlayStation Blog this morning. The biggest addition is the ability to store PS5 games on external USB devices. Titles can be copied from the console’s internal storage to compatible USB devices for storage when not in use, speeding up the reinstall process when you want to dust them off again.
Games on USB devices cannot be played, as PlayStation 5 software is, “designed to take advantage of the console’s ultra high-speed SSD.” However, this feature adds a little flexibility until a future update adds support for storage expansion via M.2 drives, which Nishino says the team is “currently working on.” Software copied back to the console’s storage will automatically update if necessary, and supported titles will allow users to choose which game modes to install. More information on compatible devices can be found on the official Playstation website.
Cross-generation Share Play is another interesting addition, allowing PlayStation 5 owners to hang out with their friends on PlayStation 4 and chat in parties. Next-gen users can pass the benefits of their new system back, either by sharing their screen, passing their controller virtually, or adding a second controller virtually for the PS4 player to join co-op. This may help unlucky consumers enjoy new exclusives until systems are more readily available, if they have a friend who managed to score one.
A PlayStation Plus membership will be required for virtual co-op play via Share Play, as evidenced in Sony’s screenshots, but simple screen share is not Plus-dependent.
Users on both generations will soon see lists of joinable game sessions hosted by their friends, from which they can Request To Join. An overhaul to the Game Base will prioritize more important features, like switching between Parties, checking Friends’ statuses, or adjusting Notifications. Disabling Game Chat or tweaking individual players’ audio will also be expedited, and the screen’s magnification can now be adjusted.
The PlayStation 5’s Trophy screen will receive some new functionality, allowing players to choose which tiers of trophies will be immortalized with an instant screenshot, and a new summary will show off the statistics of your accomplishments.
Game updates can be queued for pre-download, once developers enable the feature, speeding up update delays—turn on the “automatic updates” setting and your PlayStation 5 will prepare your latest patches before they go live, either while turned on or while in rest mode. New personalization options will allow you to browse your game library more efficiently as well.
More functionality is coming to the PlayStation App soon as well, such as the option to manage your PlayStation 5’s storage from your phone, join multiplayer sessions, or compare trophies. This new update will roll out globally tomorrow, while the PlayStation App’s improvements will be distributed over the next few weeks.