There's no doubt that I love my PlayStation 5. It sits under the TV, acting as my hub for gaming and much, much more besides. But Sony has been somewhat, let's say, cautious in rolling out new features rapidly (the PS5 expandable SSD storage wasn't available for ages after launch, for example).
There's one other feature that's been absent since day dot: Dolby Atmos. Except now, thanks to a beta firmware update that Sony is rolling out for the console, the three-dimensional audio format feature will become available. That's a huge deal for many gamers and entertainment lovers – and I've been waiting for it for years.
The addition of Dolby Atmos is a true game-changer for the PS5, especially if you're running one of the best TVs mated with one of the best soundbars, as this firmware update will unlock features very likely available on such hardware that's been otherwise dormant. Bring on the audio upgrade experience!
Sony's official PlayStation blog post, posted on 31 July 2023 by Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President Platform Experience SIE, states: "3D Audio powered by Tempest 3D AudioTech can now be enjoyed by those who own compatible Dolby Atmos-enabled HDMI devices such as soundbars, TVs or home theater systems. Tempest 3D AudioTech specifically renders to the Dolby Atmos audio devices in use – including overhead channels – allowing for even greater levels of immersion in the audioscapes of PS5 games."
So it's no half-baked integration, you just need to activate it by going to Settings > Sound > Audio Output > Audio Format Priority > Dolby Atmos. However, there's a caveat: the beta firmware is coming to UK, US, Canada, Germany, France and Japan users first – which is likely most people reading this very page, but if that's not you then you'll need to wait a little longer for the PS5 Dolby Atmos upgrade when it's on full release.
This new PS5 beta firmware isn't only about audio upgrades, however, as it also includes new accessibility features, such as being able to assign a second controller for assistance, and the option to activate haptic feedback for PS5 menu navigation. Sony has clearly been listening and has finally brought upgrades that will benefit all manner of its users. I, for one, am very happy to get digging in for my next movie marathon...