Sony is working on the next big system software update for the PlayStation 4, and the company is asking players to help test the firmware while it’s in development.
PS4 version 5.5 is the update in question; the console’s current firmware is v5.03, and the most recent major update was v5.0, which was released in early October. Sony has not yet given any details on what the upcoming firmware may contain, instead saying that it will provide that information later.
Sony is taking beta sign-ups in North America — including Canada for the first time — as well as Europe and Japan. Beta testing is set to begin in February, and customers can apply to partake in the test anytime between now and when the beta goes live. That doesn’t apply in Japan, however; sign-ups in that region are available only from today through next Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Users must be at least 18 to participate in the beta test, and can roll back to the most recent stable system software at any time if they have issues with the beta firmware. People who apply for the v5.5 test can choose to automatically be enrolled in future firmware betas without having to register every time; if they do so, they’ll receive an exclusive PlayStation Network avatar, a blue shield bearing the PlayStation buttons.
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. Sony seems to be conducting beta testing only for what it deems major firmware revisions, although the last big one, v5.0, was kind of a bust.