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Big features coming in the next PS4 update

Connect more intuitively with your friends in Sony's next big update for the PS4.

In a recent post on the official PlayStation blog, SCEA VP of Platforms Marketing, John Koller revealed some pretty major details about what PS4 users can expect to see after the console's next major update. Looking over the list, it's easy to get excited about the enhanced social possibilities as Sony continues to push the interconnectiveness of the PS4 community that they initially promised when they first showed off the console.

Here is the list that is detailed in the blog post.

  • Online storage capacity increase — PS4 online storage capacity has increased from 1GB to 10GB for all PS Plus members. In 3.00 system software, you’ll see that we added a handy usage meter to monitor your available storage capacity, and a new Auto-Upload menu has been added to Application Saved Data Management.
  • Events — A new hub for events has been added, giving an overview of activities taking place in the games you play most, as well as official broadcasts. For instance, you may see an update for a Double XP weekend, a special enemy appearing at a scheduled time, or seasonal events like in-game towns being decorated for the winter. You’ll also receive notifications when the event starts, or if the timing changes.
  • Favorite Groups — Favorite Groups has been added to the Friends app, letting you quickly access groups of people you like to play games with frequently. This will make the process of getting a game session up and running even easier.
  • Communities — PS4 users will have the ability to create communities based around shared interests, like games, genres, and more. Communities include a message board with general discussion, screenshots shared by players, and the ability to join parties / games. If you want to tackle a big multiplayer raid, but don’t have enough friends available, this could be a great way to connect with other players who are looking for the same thing.
  • Sharing video clips to Twitter — Users will have the ability to share video clips directly to Twitter. Maximum video length is 10 seconds, though you’ll have the ability to trim longer clips.
  • Stickers — Tired of typing out messages? With this update, you’ll be able to send stickers to friends through your messages.
  • Now Playing / What’s New — The Now Playing screen will display even more information about what your friends are doing, and you’ll be able to quickly jump into a game, party, request a screen share, or get sent to the PS Store to buy the game your friend is playing – further enhancing the social relationship with your friends online.
  • Live from PlayStation — We’ve improved the Live From PlayStation app, making it easier to view popular trending broadcasts in real time.
  • Request to watch gameplay — Want to view a friend’s gameplay session? Now you can send a ‘Request to Watch’ notification to a player.

Easily the biggest additions in the update are the increased online storage, the events and the communities.

1 GB of online storage is not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but it largely depends on how large your game library is. Most save files for PS4 games are about 11 MB each and usually each game will have a save file for game progress as well as one for user preferences, so it really ends up being around 22 MB per game. If you do the math, that's roughly 45 games worth of space, which seems like a decent amount, but if you are factoring in the free games that come with a PS Plus subscription each month, the space can quickly get eaten up.  

The events and communities additions are clearly targeted at heavy hitters like Destiny, Call of Duty and Final Fantasy XIV. It's pretty cool that Sony is trying to encourage gamers to get social by making multiplayer lobbies more intuitive.

Some of the other features, like video clip sharing to Twitter are simply evolutions of current capabilities but others, like requesting to view gameplay have already been utilized successfully by other platforms like Steam. Regardless, all of these features will continue to evolve and shape the vision that Sony has for its PlayStation 4.

There is no official release date for the update, but it's a safe bet that it will land some time before the end of the year. 

Published Sep. 4th 2015

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