Sony will run a beta test for its next major update to the PlayStation 4 operating system, the company announced today.
The beta for PS4 system software update 5.0 will begin in “early August,” Sony said. The company also let users try its previous major update, version 4.50, in February before releasing it in March. Sony didn’t provide any hints as to what the 5.0 update will bring to the table, but v4.50 tweaked the PS4’s interface and added features such as support for USB external hard drives and Boost Mode for the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Of course, PS4 users have plenty of items they want Sony to deliver. For more than a decade now, the top request from anybody with a PlayStation Network account has been the ability to change their username, which is something that Xbox Live users have been able to do forever. The comments on the PlayStation Blog post announcing the beta test are full of that suggestion. In fact, a number of the user requests are based on unfavorable comparisons to the Xbox One, like backward compatibility or the ability to hide games and demos from the console’s library.
Interested parties can register to be a beta tester on the PlayStation website. There was initially a strange quirk with the sign-up page: The second question, which asks users to indicate whether they have a PlayStation Now subscription, only had the answer choice of “I currently subscribe to PS Now.” That meant that anyone who is not a subscriber, and left the box unchecked, couldn’t actually sign up — users must answer all three questions. However, Sony has since fixed the issue by adding a check box for non-subscribers, and we were successfully able to sign up.
Unlike Microsoft, which runs a preview initiative called the Xbox Insider Program, Sony does not have an ongoing system for customers to test upcoming system software updates. It’s something that the company might want to consider: Even though there was a beta for PS4 v4.50, the update broke the console’s Wi-Fi functionality for a number of users.