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April's PS5 Firmware Update: Analysing All of the Big Changes

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Big update, but not the best.

By Jake Su

April 13, 2021

Sony PlayStation has revealed what is coming in its April firmware update for the PS5, but it is definitely worth looking at what is coming.

Following March’s big update that took a swing at solving 4K-HDR and 120Hz issues, we now have a better idea of what is coming tomorrow when April’s update drop.

Aside from an improvement to the social features, Sony is giving players more storage options. However, it is not what everyone was hoping for. Let’s take a look at what we are dealing with here.

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April’s PS5 Firmware Update Analysing All of the Big Changes – Storage Options

PS5 April Firmware Update

PS5 Storage Expansion And Management

The big headliner, many would have perked up at seeing this main header for the update. Unfortunately, this will not be the update that brings support for NVMe SSDs to the PS5, not yet anyway.

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Instead, Sony is giving us the option of storing PS5 games on compatible external USB drives. There are both good and bad points to this.

The good being that you no longer have to delete PS5 games just to make space, only to redownload them again. The benefit of the April firmware update will let you move PS5 games to the external storage, and shift things back when you have more space.

It speeds things up considerably, with automatic updates once the games are back in internal storage.

Yet, you still cannot play PS5 games off the external drive. Neither can you download the games directly into the drive. It is still a hassle of downloading and moving things, instead of it being a smooth process. That is the price to pay for having an incredible SSD.

Enhanced Control And Personalization Options For PS5 Consoles

April’s PS5 Firmware Update Analysing All of the Big Changes – Improving Control And Personalization

The experience of having a PS5 will improve with the new April firmware update as well.

Game Base is a sorely underused feature, in my opinion, and Sony is looking to remedy that. Players will have quicker access to more important features, such as Parties and Friends, so you can get things moving quicker.

With party chat being an important part of playing together, you will also have the option to quickly disable in-game chat, turning off the mic audio for both you and other players.

If you have friends with differing setups, you can also control the individual voice chat volume for them. No more asking each other to turn up or lower your volumes, you can get it all done on your end with no fuss.

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On the games front, the ability to customize one’s game library will finally arrive with the PS5 April firmware update. No more squares of games that you no longer play, players will be able to hide games from view, as well as search their library.

April’s PS5 Firmware Update Analysing All of the Big Changes – Trophy Status

I am always up for more personalization, and making everything neater is going to help players keep things in order. In terms of accessibility, the new update will enable users to adjust the magnification of the screen to their preference.

Lastly, for the trophy hunters like myself, a new player Trophy Stats screen can give you an instant summary of your trophy level and status. Now, if only they can add a trophy option to the quick navigation bar, but one can always hope.

The level of trophies that results in automatic capture of a screenshot or video clip can be customized too. No more photos or videos of cheap bronzes, let’s keep the memories for the real hard ones.

New Social Features For PS4 And PS5 Consoles

April’s PS5 Firmware Update Analysing All of the Big Changes – Social Features

The April firmware update also brings about new social features for both the PS5 and the PS4. Cross-generation Share Play will be possible, enabling the option for both sets of players when chatting in parties.

If you have friends or family that have not yet experienced the magic of the PS5, but have their PS4 consoles, this feature allows you to give them a hand.

Additionally, you can share your screen with a friend, pass your controller virtually to a friend, or pass a second controller virtually to play co-op games together.

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Both consoles will display a selection of joinable game sessions as well, cutting down the time needed to send invites and such. Simply hit the ‘Request to Join’ option, and you are good to go.

In such times, making it easier to play together with others is a great thing to push. And for those without a PS5, this is your chance to try it out with the help of a friend but still keep yourself safe.

Room For Improvement

Sony is also adding more features to the PlayStation App. In the coming weeks, users will have the ability to join a multiplayer session on PS5 from the app, manage your PS5 console storage, compare trophy collections with friends, and sort and filter products shown in the PlayStation Store.

As a whole, this definitely gives players more options in terms of social features and storage. However, with almost half a year gone, we still do not have a proper alternative to the PS5 SSD issue other than manually shifting games around.

While I can certainly view this as a good update, but there is room for improvement. Furthermore, the more Sony talks about storage options without directly addressing the issue, it can even cause more harm than good.

We will have to wait and see if the April firmware update for the PS5 is just paving the way for more important things to come.

 

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Jake Su
@LiquifySolid

Jake is a full-time trophy hunter and achievement gatherer on consoles, and a part-time Steam Sale victim.

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