The PlayStation 4 operating system’s next major update has gone out, in beta, to those who signed up to test it back in January. The new firmware will introduce several changes and conveniences in the user interface plus a supersampling mode for PlayStation 4 Pro that accommodates those who don’t have a TV supporting 4K resolution.
All of the new features are described in this PlayStation Blog post. The highlights include:
- HDTV Supersampling for PS4 Pro. As reported back in January, those who have a PS4 Pro but not a 4K TV can still take advantage of games that render to higher resolution. With supersampling, they will downscale to match the capabilities of the connected HDTV (i.e. 1080p or less). Though not applicable to all games, it still allows PS4 Pro owners who haven’t upgraded their television to see an improvement to image clarity.
- PS Plus tab: It may not seem like a lot, but a new tab in the user’s games library now sorts out which games have been acquired by the PlayStation Plus subscription. For those with a lapsed PS Plus subscription, the titles still appear, but carry an icon showing they are locked until the user re-subscribes.
- Play-time management: This utility is geared more to parents, or players who can’t control their habit. Under the Family Management tab in the settings menu, users will be able to check and manage their play time or apply restrictions that limit daily gaming to a certain length of time. Play-time management may be changed and monitored from PlayStation’s web and mobile apps as well.
- Hiding apps: This convenience allows the user to disappear certain apps they won’t be using again, reducing menu clutter; think betas, trials or other demos.
- PlayStation Now background music: The PlayStation 4’s streaming subscription now accommodates music the same as other games played locally from the console.
- Notifications: Another clutter-clearing feature, this finally lets users clear out old notifications, or recurring ones.
- Custom wallpapers from a thumb drive: Believe it or not, this hasn’t been possible yet. Now it is. Users can put their own images on a USB stick and set it as a wallpaper. Zoom and crop options are available, too.
- Library UI changes: A new tab called “This PS4” will show every application installed to the system, and then a tab with the user’s name and avatar will show all of the games and applications they have acquired from PlayStation Network — again, to help users better manage and understand their application libraries.
The last major firmware update came in early October. Sony did not specify when the full release of firmware 5.50 would roll out to all users.