A Ton Of Lowkey Features Just Made The PS5 Way More Convenient
I spend a lot of time putzing around my PlayStation 5: deleting games here, downloading them there, looking for old saves, and trying to talk to friends. It’s made me appreciate every new firmware update, no matter how small or niche the improvements it makes are. And earlier this month, Sony delivered a bunch of satisfying tweaks.
Players got a preview of March’s big 7.0 firmware upgrade back in February, revealing Discord integration, new save data transfer options, and more. It recently went live, and it’s a far cry from the usual opaque “improves system performance” updates. It’s not as big a deal as the PS5 finally getting folders, and there are still plenty of other new features I’d love to see, but it’s another milestone in the platform’s continued improvement.
Use Discord to voice chat with Xbox friends
Cross-play has been great for bringing people across PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC together, but actually trying to communicate with them was still a drag. Discord integration fixes that, and lets you easily start up conversations with anyone and feed the audio through your console.
Plus, it doesn’t even have to be game-specific. Someone playing Rocket League? Another person watching Mandalorian? No problem! Discord is actually great for just chilling together while everyone does their own thing.
Capture gameplay using your voice
It sounds silly, but you can now use the microphone on the DualSense controller to ask the PS5 to record gameplay. Perfect for capturing gameplay in the thick of battle or a tense competition when you don’t want to lose control while toggling over manually. Now if only there was text-to-speech to type out the social media posts sharing my highlights.
Update your DualSense wirelessly
There’s nothing worse than trying to play a game and seeing that your controller needs to get a firmware update. Previously, this required plugging it into the PS5. Now, you can download and install it wirelessly. It was the smallest of inconveniences, and thankfully it’s now gone.
Get variable refresh rates on 1440p monitors
Variable Refresh Rate support came to PS5 last year. It helps the framerate flow more smoothly and makes the graphics look crisper. With the lastest patch, it’ll also work with 1440p monitors, a niche but practical halfway point between 1080p and 4K. I don’t play my PS5 on one of these displays, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if I did.
Receive notifications for save data in the cloud
Like a lot of PS5 owners, I have a huge library of PS4 games, and save data from all of them backed up in the cloud. Unlike Xbox Series X/S, however, the PS5 doesn’t automatically pull that save data over. But now, it does something almost as good: send a notification prompt when you install a game that supports your existing PS4 data (like a PS5 game where you can transfer saves). Clicking on the prompt will automatically start the transfer, rather than having to go rummaging through a bunch menus.
Join games directly from the party chat
Another button-prompt shortcut, it’s now possible to meet up with friends in-game directly from the party chat menu. It’s a nice time saver considering how often you migh group up to play the same thing, and your friends or clan mates probably already got started before you.
See what your friends are playing more easily
This feature is still somewhat incomplete, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Like with Steam, it’s now easier to see which friends own a game you have or are actively playing it. A small section with that info sits under each game tile on the PS5 home screen. My only quibble is that you have to click through to see which friends own it, and it only tells you someone plays that game if they are online in the middle of an active session. Baby steps.
Request to watch a friend’s game directly from their profile
I rarely use the share screen feature, usually because if I’m online with friends we’re probably already playing something together. Still, it’s another nice shortcut to be able to quickly watch what someone’s playing directly from their profile, skipping another bit of the PS5's tedious and often esoteric menu scrolling.
Filter games when adding them to a folder
Alright, game folders are my favorite new feature the PS5 has gotten since launch, and they just got easier to make. When they first went live, you had to scroll through your entire library adding stuff as you went. Now you can filter it by various categories, making the whole organizational process much, much faster. Will I ever play 99 percent of games I stick in the PS5's folders? Not a chance. But I like doing it all the same. It helps me relax and feel less guilty about my backlog.
It’s possible we’ll get another batch of PS5 tweaks later in the year. “We are always thinking about the features that our fans might want to see and ways to make their gaming experiences on PS5 more fun, social, and connected,” Sony Product Management VP Hiromi Wakai said in a recent interview. “We keep a very long list of features and think carefully about how we prioritize our time and resources to deliver the ones that will make the most meaningful impact on our players’ experience.”
Hopefully PS5 background themes aren’t too far away.
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