You may have noticed my absence over the last 2 weeks, I am not going to dwell on it. I have not been well and it has been pretty tough. That being said I am on the mend now so it’s back to the front line and I am unfortunate enough to have been in the 7.00 firmware beta since day dot. As my esteemed colleague has already informed you the release is imminent and should you be excited? well…kind of
So the most frustrating thing to point out is after being invited into the beta I have been locked out of every party unless ofcourse every other member was on the firmware beta.
As Badger has already covered, most of the update is focusing on the integration of people to connect better, access games through more devices and speak easier. Firstly is the chat party increases to 16! I can barely make head or tales of a conversation on 8 people with a couple of different games so this “improvement” is going to benefit (at least in my view) a very small Minority.
Also included in the chat improvements are clearer quality and connection. I can not confirm the clear quality as I haven’t really seen much in the way of change but the connection I can. I have a friend who struggles with NAT type and instead of getting the cannot use voice chat due to NAT type message anymore the mic will flash for up to a couple of minutes but they did join and we could hear each other. In fact to be honest since having the update we have not had the NAT type message in the chat once since being in the beta. Of course, this could be a coincidence. There’s a bit more with regards to Chat transcription accessibility but this so far appears to be the US only, Given we have a PS messages app I can’t see much need for it.
Again its accessibility to the system. PlayStation 4 system update 7.0 also adds new ways to remotely play on mobile devices and allows use of Remote Play on smartphones and tablets running on Android 5.0 + As for iPhone or iPad users, “the Remote Play App has been updated so you can now display the controller at all times and lock the screen orientation”, Sony writes.
Dualshock 4 wireless controllers via Bluetooth are now supported for Remote Play on an Android, iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Which seems a strong indication to make Playstation gaming as portable and as accessible as possible which can be construed as a clear response to the rise of portable gaming from the likes of Nintendo and the Imminent google Stadia.
So What else?
The other point’s to note is it now appears that you can do a system firmware update without the need to restart the PS4 a nice little update which likely will stem off the work they have been doing with the PS5 firmware which is well in its development cycle. Also added was HDR tuning, something that was not mentioned in the initial beta patch notes. PlayStation 4 owners with an HDR display will now be able to tune brightness and darkness at the system level, which is great news as there are plenty of games lacking a proper tuning feature. As I operate a standard PS4 and a Sony Bravia TV I have noticed subtle changes in the lighting but I feel the majority will be with those who benefit from a PS4 pro and maybe a 4k TV.
So that’s everything in the update. Great for those who enjoy the large chat parties, those who have NAT issues and those who want PlayStation portable, For the average Joe with already decent connection there’s nothing really there, which is not a negative as such it is nice that connection & accessibility have been the focus of this update.