The upcoming 4.0 system software update for the PlayStation 4 will add many new features, with a sneaky-big one being the ability to transfer data between PS4 consoles using nothing more than an Ethernet cable, the company announced today.
Sony revealed the feature in a PlayStation Blog FAQ about the PlayStation 4 Pro, describing it as a way for buyers of the upgraded console to transfer data from an existing PS4. Sony said users will be able to copy "games, saved data, captured videos and screenshots, system settings, and other content" using this process. It will work between any two PS4 consoles, regardless of the model — original, "slim" or Pro.
Aside from an Ethernet cable, the only requirements for the transfer are that both PS4s have the 4.0 firmware (or higher) installed and that the same user account is signed in to both systems. (Currently, a single PlayStation Network account can only be signed in to one PS4 at a time, so either this is changing with the 4.0 update or the data transfer process is a special case that is exempt from the rule.)
If the process is as simple as it sounds, it will be much easier than the current method of moving data from one PS4 to another. At the moment, users only have two options: backing up one PS4 to an external hard drive and then restoring from that backup on a second system, or logging in to their PSN account on the new console and manually re-downloading all their previously purchased content.
Sony has not yet given a release date for system software update 4.0. The company announced during its PlayStation Meeting yesterday that it will release a PS4 firmware update next week, alongside the launch of the slim PS4, to add support for high dynamic range (HDR) color to all PS4 consoles. However, it remains unclear if that update will be the version 4.0 firmware.