Software and firmware updates are nothing new, and as the PS4 and Xbox One bring a new realm of entertainment capabilities to consumers, those updates are bound to be more frequent than ever. However, they’re also bound to be more meaningful. Sony this week announced that a PS4 software update will be available on the system’s very launch date, giving PS4 owners some added functionality that Sony hadn’t originally programmed.
In spite of the launch-day PS4 software update, some features will still not be available at launch. The most notable omission is probably the “suspend/resume mode” that keeps the PS4 system in a low power state and promptly takes users back to their game. Sony will provide additional information about system software update version 1.50, pllus features that will be available after launch, in the near future. In the meantime, here’s what the release-day update will include.
Broadcast and spectate gameplay. The PS4 system allows users to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to game fans around the globe, using Ustream and Twitch live internet streaming services. The PS4 provides two ways for users to view live broadcasts. First, the “Live from PlayStation” application on PS4 aggregates streams from all PlayStation users. Second, users can spectate friends’ PS4 gameplay from PCs, and applications such as Ustream, Twitch, and browsers, which are installed on their mobile devices. These applications can be easily started up via PlayStation App, and users can also use these applications to post comments to gameplay broadcasts. Users with PlayStation Camera can also stream camera images and microphone sounds along with their live gameplay broadcast.
Play as you download. This feature enables users to play supported digital titles as they are being downloaded*8. When a game is purchased, users can start playing after PS4 downloads a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. Games may be downloaded in stand-by mode.
Face recognition and voice commands. Users with PlayStation®Camera will be able to register their facial image onto their PS4 system, and login to their system using facial recognition instead of DualShock 4. Furthermore, users can use either the microphone of the Mono Head set connected to DualShock 4, or PlayStation®Camera to navigate through the PS4 home screen (PlayStation Dynamic Menu) with voice commands to start up games and shutdown the system, among other features.
Online Multiplayer. PlayStation Plus members will be able to play PS4 titles online with other players via the network. PS Plus makes it easy for members to join available online multiplayer matches in a variety of ways, including the ability to easily join a game from a live stream broadcast or Party voice chats. Party (Voice chat) lets gamers use the Mono Headset bundled with the PS4 system to chat with up to eight friends enjoying different applications or games. Furthermore, users can use Party to chat between PS4 and PS Vita systems.
Multi log-in. A maximum of 4 users can log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. These players can use their own save data to play games, and also earn trophies on their own Sony Entertainment Network accounts even when playing a multiplayer game together on a single PS4 system.
Blu-ray Disc and DVD player functionality will oddly not be enabled out of the box, so the PS4 software update available at launch will enable those features for movie watching. The update will also include a background music player so users can enjoy games while listening to tunes in the background. It’s notable, though, that this will only be possible via Music Unlimited, Sony’s cloud-based digital music service, not not by a standard MP3 player or CD player.