PS4 update lets parents decide which games kids can chat in
Sony is giving the PlayStation 4 one more big update before the PS5 arrives, and it’s particularly good news for parents. A version 8.00 update releasing today makes multiple additions, including simpler and more adaptable parental controls. Limits on communication and viewing user-made content are now lumped together to make it “easier for parents to understand.” Crucially, kids can now ask for permission to use communications in specific games — you can make an exception if you know a young one will be talking to friends.
Not everything is positive. The 8.00 update removes user-made events and the creation of private communities. You can still use private communities that already exist, but they’ll clearly dwindle without the option to make more. Sony hasn’t explained the move, but we’ve asked for comment.
There are more additions that might offset that decision. Party and Messages are now more closely connected, with a new interface that uses the same groups for party voice chats and messages. Two-factor authentication finally supports third-party authenticator apps during activation as well as sign-ins across PS4, mobile apps and the web. And you can finally mute all mics from the Quick Menu — you don’t have to wade through menus (if your headset doesn’t have a mute switch) just to take a quick break from the action.
Sony is also updating its Remote Play apps for phones and computers to enable PS5 connections, although that clearly won’t be useful until the new console’s November 12th debut.
You might not want to rush to update to 8.00 when there are reports (albeit a handful) of party and friend issues. We’ve asked Sony about those as well. Even so, it’s hard not to be at least a bit sentimental about this update. While there will likely be other revisions, this may be the last major update you see if you’re planning to move to a PS5. If you do, you can expect a new visual experience that will leave the PS4 behind.