The previous generation of consoles brought to us the ability to update the firmware, adding new features to the consoles over their life span. The current generation of consoles both came with a massive update the day the systems launched, and since then both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have had several tweaks and changes. The PlayStation 4 is receiving its first major update with the 2.0 Firmware codenamed, “Masamune” after the famed Japanese sword smith, almost one year after the console’s release.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still leading the pack in terms of consoles sold, as the Inquisitr has reported elsewhere, but Microsoft is making strong efforts to re-brand the console after a disastrous launch. Both consoles have become almost identical in terms of feature sets. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer Netflix, Hulu, and various other streaming services, internet browsing, digital storefronts, and similar hardware capabilities, even if developers are having a harder time with the Xbox One. The 2.0 Firmware “Masamune” update from Sony will be adding some promised features, including some requested by fans of the consoles. Share Play, YouTube support, and Themes are the biggest announced features with a new one, Players You May Know being added as a way to find more friends to play with.
Two of the biggest changes in the “Masamune” Firmware 2.0 update will feature around the content area and library. Almost a year after launch, there is a great deal of software available on Sony’s next-gen console, thanks to a steady release schedule through the summer drought season with indie titles and smaller projects. This means the horizontal library bar has gotten quite large for some. The solution is that that horizontal bar of games will now be limited to the 15 most recently used, and the rest as part of the library. The library will be adding a much needed feature set, including the ability to sort by game, app, TV, and video, and then sort by recently used, install date, or by alphabetical order, something the PlayStation 3 was never able to do.
Live broadcasting on Twitch and USTREAM were one of the earliest features for the PlayStation 4 that set it ahead of the Xbox One in the early months in terms of features. Now that both consoles have a parity with this feature set, PlayStation Firmware 2.0 will give owners the ability to follow broadcasts from other gamers on their friends list or any game channel the owner has followed.
The Official PlayStation Blog posted a full preview of the changes listed below.
- USB Music Player: PS4 owners can play their own music in the background while playing a game using USB Music Player*. After inserting a USB stick loaded with music into the PS4, a new option for USB Music Player will appear. Supported filename extensions include MP3, MP4, M4A, and 3GP.
- Change colors: In addition to the ability to add a theme, PS4 owners can also change the background of the home screen from light blue to one of seven new colors: gold, blue, red, green, purple, pink, and gray.
- Players You May Know: PS4 will now suggest players you may know as potential friends in the ‘What’s New’ section.
- Enhancements to Live Broadcasting: Masamune brings a variety of improvements to live broadcasting on PS4. In the Live From PlayStation app, PS4 owners can now select a Featured channel, which includes official broadcasts from PlayStation, broadcasts from people on a players friend list, and any game channel that the player has followed. Additionally, Live From PlayStation now has filters for searching broadcasts on a specific game, as well as support for archived broadcasts.
- Content Area and Library: PS4’s Content Area, which shows the latest games and apps a PS4 owner has used, has been redesigned to help make it easier to quickly find and access content. It now shows 15 of a player’s most used apps or games, and additional items will be added to a player’s Library. The Library on PS4 has improved filter and sort functions to help organize contented by type (game / app / TV & video), name (a – z or z – a), recently used, or install date.
- Enhanced Voice Commands: The ability to control PS4 using voice has been improved. Players can now say ‘PlayStation’ to begin commands, and ‘All Commands,’ to see a list of all voice command options available. New voice commands were added for live broadcasting, including “Start broadcast,” “End broadcast,” and “Find face.”
- Add To Library: The monthly free PlayStation Plus games will have an ‘Add to Library’ button in the PlayStation Store. This button will add a game to a PS4 owner’s library without downloading it – saving space on their hard drive.
The PS Vita and PS TV are also receiving firmware updates around the same time as the “Masamune” 2.0 Firmware for the PlayStation 4. Version 3.35 for the PS Vita and PS TV will be adding four-player Remote Play support to the PS TV as well as streaming options in the Live from PlayStation app. The PlayStation App is also getting a 2.0 update for tablet layouts and a redesigned home screen.
[Image Source | Sony Computer Entertainment]