The PlayStation 4’s next major update has entered beta for those that opted in to trial it back in January. Firmware v5.50 introduces several changes to the user interface and makes the PS4 Pro updates to some games useful for those who don’t own a 4K resolution display.
One of the most significant changes brought in with the v5.50 firmware update is the ability to change to custom wallpapers from an external storage system. The function will cater to any image and allow for a limited amount of tools to help change the size and crop of the image before applying it to the background.
Another feature introduced that seems to have been missing this entire time is the ability to delete older notifications, removing clutter from the notifications tab. This will help in particular with spam accounts, which I have had a run in with in the past.
Most of the incoming changes to the user interface give the user options to sort out their games library, from showing all that a player owns, to narrowing it down by hiding some apps like betas, trials and demos, to hiding all uninstalled apps and only showing the ones available to boot there and then. This is to reduce clutter as many players will have built a sizeable collection up over the 4-year life of the console.
Applications given to users for free during their time with PlayStation Plus will also be a lot more clearly labelled. This will be more apparent to those whose subscriptions have lapsed as titles will still appear, albeit with a locked icon to show that players can have access to the title again once their subscription is renewed.
Parents will rejoice, as there is a new play-time management system, allowing users to check and manage their playtime or even apply restrictions such as a daily limit via the Family Management tab within the settings. This can also be monitored from the PlayStation’s web and mobile apps to give parents a greater control over the usage of their children.
PS4 Pro users who don’t own a 4K resolution television will now benefit from HDTV Supersampling, which won’t work with all titles but for the ones it does work with, it will provide a greater clarity to the game for anything 1080p resolution or below.
And finally, PlayStation Now background music should work in the same way as other games played locally from the console.
KitGuru Says: Lots of quality of life improvements for the PlayStation 4 and its services this time around. Nothing groundbreaking and many of the features perhaps should have seen a release much earlier than 4 years later, but still, PS4 users will be able to relax knowing that Sony is hard at work in their favour.