PS4 & 5 Get New Party Options, Voice Commands, and More

Variable refresh rate options are also planned for the PS5 later this year

Both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 have system updates releasing today that add a few new options and features.

Sony says that, for these latest system updates, it's listened to user feedback and requests and is adding new features for Party Chat. Now you can make Open parties that allow friends (and friends of friends) to join without an invite and invite-only closed parties on either console. PS4 users can also manually adjust the volume of individual group chat members, which was formerly only available on the PS5. For the PS5, you'll also be able to start Share Play directly from the voice chat card rather than needing to start Share Screen first, making a group watch easier to set up.

PlayStation 4 and 5


New accessibility features have also been added. Check marks in settings should make it easier to know when something is turned on or off. Screen Reader support for Arabic, Brazilian, Dutch, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian brings up to 15 languages. And a Mono setting for headphones that plays all sounds through one side of the headset instead of default 3D stereo sound is now available.

The PS5's update adds a preview (i.e., test version, currently only in English) for Voice Command, available for accounts registered in the US and UK. Once the feature is enabled in the PS5's settings, say "Hey PlayStation," then you can ask it to find games, open an app, or control video playback.

Variable refresh rate option on PS5


There are also plans to add Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support for the PS5, which is meant to improve the visual performance of games (preventing screen tearing, reducing input lag, etc.). Though Sony says VRR will only work on TVs and monitors compatible with HDMI2.1.

You can grab the new PS4 and PS5 system updates now, though the VRR update for PS5 isn't out just yet—it's planned to roll out "in the months ahead."

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