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A hot potato: Sony and its PlayStation fans are undoubtedly thrilled about the upcoming PS5, but the company, apparently, is so excited that it has released a buggy firmware update for the PS4. Version 8.00 is said to be the last major software release for Sony's current-gen console that's sitting in over 113+ million households, and while several feature and security improvements are part of this update, it seems to have taken a step back in terms of functionality and stability with users complaining of issues with the console's party system feature, buggy friend lists, and the system simply crashing.
Sony recently released system software update 8.00 for the PlayStation 4, packing it with numerous tweaks and improvements to existing features as well as added security measures. The new update now displays the same 'Groups' of players for Party voice chats and messages for a more streamlined experience, adds new profile avatars, and brings simplified parental controls.
It now also lets users mute all mics via the Quick Menu and brings support for third-party authenticator apps for improved security. Sony has renamed the PS4 Remote Play app as well; it's now simply called PS Remote Play and will presumably allow for HDR game streaming @1080p on the PS5 when the console launches next month.
It's not all good news, though, as this update also takes away the ability to create new events or access existing ones created by other users. Players will also be unable to create private Communities after applying this update. Existing communities, however, will be unaffected and remain accessible.
Going by feedback I'm seeing, this new update seems to cause a bunch of issues (friends list not loading, party system problems, stability issues, etc.)— Nibel (@Nibellion) October 14, 2020
..so maybe wait for now
While removal of these features may irk some users, update 8.00 appears to be a buggy release that's causing issues across several core PS4 features. While the majority of those who've downloaded the update have had trouble loading their friend lists, some are complaining about the updated Party and Messages feature that's now made it harder to set up a private party.
Several users, meanwhile, are also upset about how their voice chats may be recorded and sent to Sony by other users. While the feature did exist before, users could simply opt-out of it to protect their privacy. Now it seems they'll have to comply while participating in voice chats.
Sony, however, notes that it's a moderation feature on the PS5 and that the pop up shown to PS4 users is to inform them that their chats with PS5 players could be submitted for moderation review should the latter decide to do so. The company also says that these recordings will only be used for safety and moderation purposes in line with its Community Code of Conduct.
Additionally, update 8.00 has also affected system stability for some users. Reports of frequent error screens when accessing various functions, menu items not loading and the console simply crashing post-update have been making rounds on the web as well.
Day-one software updates are usually a risky affair, but for PS4 users looking to play online and use PSN features, there is no other option except to bite the bullet. Sony's track record with PS4 updates has remained decent until now and here's hoping that it's able to address these concerns with a quick software patch.