The PS4 2.0 firmware update “Masamune” brought a massive improvement to a previously scarcely used feature of the console: voice controls. Not only new commands have been added, but the voice recognition codec seems to have been made considerably more efficient, reducing the need for repetition by quite a lot.
Despite my nasty Italian accent, my PS4 now recognizes what I say almost flawlessly, and I’m finding myself using the feature more and more.
But let’s get to the controls themselves. Since the “All Commands” list is contextual and gives you only the commands available at any given time, it takes a little bit to explore them all, but we’re here to help.
First of all, you need to say “PlayStation” to prompt your PS4 to start listening to the other commands. As a matter of fact, though, this isn’t necessary. If you want to speed the process up and use a mix of voice and buttons, L2 will prompt your PS4 to listen to your commands without the need to say “PlayStation.” This works only on the dashboard.
Remember that the bar with the microphone icon needs to appear before you can say the command after saying “PlayStation” or pressing L2. It takes about a second, and speaking the command too early (for instance saying “PlayStation Start” without a pause) will most of the times fail.
Here’s the full list of available controls, including the new ones:
- PlayStation – Prompts your PS4 to listen to voice controls.
- All Commands – Display commands list. It’s contextual, so it will display only those available at every given time.
- Fewer Commands – Hides commands list.
- Log In – Logs in with another user.
- Title of Game/app – Selects a game or app tile. Works only for games or app that the name of which shines in blue when you say “PlayStation.” There are a couple that aren’t immediately visible unless you’re in the TV & Video sub-menu like “Youtube” and “Netflix,” but those too can be accessed directly. Most games and app have a working command, but not all do. This is especially useful if you have a very long line of tiles on your dashboard.
- Start – Launch selected tile.
- Home Screen – Goes back to the dashboard.
- Back to game – Goes back to the game when one is active.
- Back – Go back to previous screen.
- Start PlayStation Store – Launches PlayStation Store.
- Start Notifications – Launches Notifications.
- Start Friends – Launches Friends menu.
- Start Messages – Launches Messages menu.
- Start Party – Launches a Party.
- Start Profile – Opens your profile.
- Start Trophies – Launches Trophies app.
- Start Settings – Launches Settings.
- Start Power – Opens Power menu.
- Take Screenshot – Take a Screenshot.
- Start Video Clip – Starts recording a video clip (works only during gameplay, and it’s very useful since the double click of the Share button doesn’t always register).
- Save Video Clip – Saves the video clip (works only during gameplay).
- Start Broadcast – Starts a broadcast (works only during gameplay).
- Stop Broadcast – Stops the current broadcast (works only during gameplay).
- Ok – Confirm when prompted.
- Cancel – Cancel an action when prompted.
It’s also worth mentioning that voice controls won’t work while in a Party chat.
While there’s still room for improvement, the additions brought with “Masamune” are a rather massive step ahead in controlling your PS4 just with your voice or almost. If you never tried, or you’ve found the feature wanting before the update, give it a try. It’s surprisingly smooth now.