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PS5 update adds voice commands, may cause online problems

Sony has rolled out a new PlayStation update today, and while it has added voice commands to the PS5, it also seems to be causing problems with the platform’s online services.

Today’s PlayStation system update adds features to the PS4 and PS5 that were shown off during a system beta test this past February. Namely, users will be able to create closed parties on both consoles. The PS5 exclusively gets numerous changes to its Game Base and Trophy Cards UI, with the former being split into three menus for Friends, Parties, and Messages. The biggest change coming for PS5 users is the ability to give their console voice commands. Only available to users with accounts registered in either the U.S or U.K, today’s update adds the ability to start a game or app by saying, “Hey PlayStation!” into a microphone hooked up to a PS5.

A PS5 menu showing the option to enable VRR.

In the blog post detailing today’s PlayStation update, Sony also announced that Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) compatibility will be added to the PS5 “in the months ahead.” VRR, simply put, is a technique that effectively eliminates effects like screen tearing that are caused by a monitor’s refresh rate differing from the rate at which frames are being sent from an external device. For example, playing a game that jumps between 45 frames per second and 60 fps on a TV displaying images at a refresh rate of 60Hz results in screen tearing. VRR addresses that problem by automatically syncing the refresh rate of the display to whatever device is outputting frames, in this case, a PS5.

According to Sony, PS5 games that have already launched will need a patch to support VRR, while future releases on the console “may include VRR support at launch.” The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles have supported VRR since launch.

While that’s all exciting, the latest update for the PS4 and PS5 seems to have thrown a wrench into PlayStation’s online services. On Twitter, users are reporting that their PS+ subscriptions aren’t being verified, locking them out of online portions of games, including Elden Ring‘s multiplayer. According to PlayStation’s status page game streaming, PlayStation Now, and the PlayStation Store have all been affected.

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