Sony’s latest PlayStation update didn’t go as planned

A Sony PS5 billboard towers over Hollywood.

OK, maybe it has some limits.
photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin (Getty Images)

Update, 1:55 p.m. ET: Sony’s network status page indicates that functionality has returned for most PSN services, with the exception of the PlayStation Now streaming library. Original story follows.

Sony released a firmware update for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 this morning. Around the same time, PlayStation’s online services went down and players reported connection issues Elden ring and GTAV, among other titles. It is still unclear whether there is a connection between the update and the downtime.

the software update introduces system-wide support for a number of features that previously existed only available in beta test. You can create or join open (all friends allowed) or closed (invitation only) parties on either console. The PS5 will get mono audio headphone support, and there’s additional functionality – well, for US and UK-based gamers – for voice commands. These features come along with some minor UI tweaks. Not included in today’s update, but revealed by Sony as a feature planned for the coming months, is the ability to enable variable refresh rate on PS5.

According to Sony’s status page, the outages for PSN, PlayStation’s online network, began around 8:30 a.m. ET. The issues affect the PlayStation Store (“You may have trouble obtaining products from PlayStation Store”), the PlayStation Now games-on-demand service (“You may have trouble streaming PlayStation Now games”), and the broad ” Games and social networks” (“You may have trouble launching games, apps, or network functions”).

What caused the outages is unclear. Sony officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sony's server status page shows a series of PSN outages.

A snapshot of Sony’s online service status on Wednesday morning.
screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

These issues have spurred some people on on social media to warn players not to download the latest update, but that’s a moot PSA since you have to Get your console fully updated to use Sony’s online services at all.

When I tried it myself, I found that the problems were inconsistent. Right from the PS5 dashboard, I was able to add one of the monthly games included with PS Plus to my account. But when I tried to party with randos pioneer—People Can Fly’s flawed but tremendously enjoyable third-person shooter I’ll sing the praises of to the heat of the universe — I couldn’t. The system does not recognize that I am signed in to PS Plus. (I am.)

This isn’t the only major service outage that has impacted PlayStation over the past few days. Just last week, online services for Gran Turismo 7the big PlayStation exclusive du Jour, had been down for more than 24 hours– not a reassuring sacrifice for a company planning a major foray into live service gaming.

In January, Sony bought Bungiethe makers of destiny 2, the hugely popular service shooter, for $3.6 billion. Sony on Monday announced the purchase of Haven Studios, a new studio led by industry veteran Jade Raymond. Haven hasn’t released or even revealed anything yet, however his first game will be a PS5 exclusive live service game… Sony’s latest PlayStation update didn’t go as planned

Curtis Crabtree

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