A brand new Sony PS5 system software update is incoming, with Sony officially confirming to T3 that it "releases globally later this year".
And I'm excited. I'm excited because the system software update, which is currently being publicly tested in the PlayStation 5 beta program, is set to introduce a series of new features, each of which designed to upgrade the PS5 console experience.
Right here Sony officially confirms what those new features are, while caveating that "some features may not make it into the final version of the PS5 system software update". But, you know, they're coming guys.
PS5 M.2 SSD Storage Expansion
Among the new features currently being tested for the incoming PS5 system software update is the one that many PlayStation 5 gamers have been crying out for since launch – M.2 SSD Storage Expansion port unlocking. Every PS5 console comes with a storage space expansion slot but up until now no owner has been able to make us of it, with it turned off in the console's system software.
The new system software, though, turns that on, meaning that gamers can slot in a compatible SSD and dramatically increase the storage space in their console for games and media.
Speaking on this feature, Sony confirmed to T3 that:
"Beta users will be among the first to publicly test M.2 SSD storage expansion on PS5. Details on the feature, specifications, and installation instructions can be found here (opens in new tab). We encourage beta users interested in testing this feature to closely read this page. Because this is a beta, features and specifications may change before the full release of the feature in the future."
T3 is on the PS5 system software beta program and will be shortly testing out all the best PS5 SSDs on the market, so be sure to check back in soon for our top picks.
PS5 3D Audio Support for Built-In TV Speakers
For audiophiles this next feature will be very welcome, as it enables 3D Audio support for built-in TV speakers. This means that the positional audio fidelity for gamers using their PS5 in conjunction with their TV's speakers will be improved, making the gaming experience more immersive.
Speaking to T3 on this feature, Sony said that:
"Once enabled through the Sound menu in the PS5 console’s system settings, beta participants can experience 3D Audio through their built-in TV speakers, immersing them in sounds that feel like they are coming from every direction. Players can measure the acoustics of their room using the microphone on their DualSense wireless controller to apply the 3D Audio setting that's optimized for their room."
PS5 UX Enhancements & Customization Options
Finally, Sony has confirmed to T3 that a series of user interface improvements are incoming on the new system software update, which grant the PS5 owner greater control over their console.
These include a wide variety of things, ranging from menu appearance to game library tweaks, to PlayStation Now resolution control and a new Trophy Tracker feature.
Sony confirmed the UX enhancements currently being tested in the PS5 system software beta are as follows:
"1) Players can personalize the Control Center more freely by rearranging or choosing which controls to hide or unhide.
2) Players can easily view and write messages to friends and Parties directly from Game Base in the Control Center.
3) Players can also see how many of their friends are online, busy, or offline under the Friends tab in Game Base, as well as accept, decline or cancel multiple friend requests at once.
4) Different platform versions of the same game will now appear separately on the Home screen and in the “Installed” tab of the Game Library. Each game’s tile now also clearly indicates its platform.
5) Players can use the resolution selector for PlayStation Now to choose between 720p or 1080p, or use a streaming connection test to identify and fix connection issues.
6) When players compete in challenges for a better time or a higher score and set a new personal best, a video clip of the action will automatically be recorded.
7) Following an online match, players can award others with a fourth accolade type, “Leader.”
8) A new Trophy Tracker lets players quickly access up to five trophies per game through the Control Center."
To us here at T3 we think that the incoming software update for PS5 is going to be the first major one in the console's lifespan. And, being honest, it looks like it is going to address many of the issues that gamers have had with the system since launch.
There's no doubt, though, that the enabling of the storage expansion port is the biggest deal here. Xbox Series X gamers have been lording it up over PS5 gamers since November last year thanks to their easy, plug-and-play ability to upgrade their console's storage with expanded storage like the Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S. So, finally, PlayStation 5 gamers are going to be able to fight back.
Stay tuned to T3 in the future, too, for a how to install an SSD in a PS5 explainer guide.
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