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PS5 Beta Gets New Party Chat Options; Voice Commands, Accessibility Improvements Added

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Sony is rolling out its second software update for the PlayStation 5, bringing a voice command feature, Game Base, and some changes to the user interface. The update also brings a voice command feature to the last-gen consoles. Gamers can use new accessibility features such as mono audio and expanded screen reader language support.

The company will also begin testing Open Party support for groups on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 consoles. Gamers in select regions can sign up to test beta software for PS5 and PS4, ahead of the official rollout later this year.

PS5 beta Enhancements:

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New Party Chat Options

New Open and Closed Parties (PS5 and PS4 betas) have been introduced. When you start a party, you can now select either an open party or a closed party. An open party lets your friends see and join the party without an invite. Friends of party members can also join. A closed party is only for players you invite.

If you want to report something that someone in a party said, there are now visual indicators for you to identify who was speaking. This will help PlayStation Safety take appropriate action based on your report.

PS5 Game Base Enhancements

  • Voice chats are now called parties. For easier access, they divided the game base menu into three tabs: Friends, Parties, and Messages.
  • From the Game Base control menu and cards, you can now:
    • View all your friends under the Friends tab in the control menu, or access the player search feature and friend requests through links on this tab.
    • Add a player to a group or create a new group directly from Game Base in the Control Center. You can also send text messages, quick messages, images, video clips, and view a group’s shared media from this card.
  • Increased apps on the home screen
    • You can now have a total of 14 games and apps appear on your home screen.

New Accessibility Features

Screen Reader, which reads aloud on-screen text and provides spoken guidance for operating the console, is now supported in six additional languages: Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, and Korean.

You can now enable mono audio for headphones so the same audio is played from both the left and right headphones, instead of a stereo or 3D audio sound mix. This feature provides an added option to enhance the PS5 audio experience, particularly for players with unilateral hearing loss.

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