Sony PS5 gamers are getting a great new update – here's what it does

Hey, PlayStation! The new PS5 system software has a very cool new feature

Sony PS5 console
(Image credit: Future)

A new system software beta for the PS5 has dropped, and it's a cool upgrade: in addition to the usual bug fixes and security updates it features some useful new features.

According to Sony's senior VP of Platform Experience, Hideaki Nishino on the official PlayStation blog (opens in new tab), the update features "new ways to personalize your console experience across party chat, Game Base and accessibility settings".

Not only that, but "for PS5 beta participants in the U.S. and U.K, we’re previewing a feature that enables voice commands for finding and opening games and apps, as well as controlling media playback (English language setting only)."

That last one's brilliant news for anyone worried that their PS5 was being eclipsed by, er, the Xbox One.

The best things in life are free (but in beta)

I'm messing with you. For all the Xbox One got voice control with the Kinect add-on, it wasn't brilliant; I could never persuade it to understand my accent. I'm pretty sure Sony will do a better job, and this software update, the second major one for the PS5, does look interesting.

In addition to the voice control, both PS5 and PS4 will be getting updates to the Parties system and PS5 players can also take advantage of improved voice chat reporting and Share Play. The PS5 Game Base has been improved, the PS5 UI has been tweaked for easier navigation and access to favourites, and in a welcome development the accessibility features have been improved too.

The software update is available to "selected participants" right now; the rest of us will have to wait until "later this year".

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).