Sony Interactive Entertainment has said it is reviewing comments on a recent change to PS4 newsgroups, following widespread criticism from gamers.
This week’s PS4 version 8.00 patch introduced a number of changes to the current-gen console, the most significant of which tied the Party and Messages apps.
Since the update, voice conversations must take place via a permanent message group. This led many users to criticize the change because it was unnecessarily complex and made it difficult for friends to get in and out of a chat at will.
This week’s second most popular PS4 Subreddit thread (behind a discussion of the audio recording controversy) features hundreds of comments criticizing the Party’s new system.
The PS4 game changes come in preparation for the PS5 UI updates, with PlayStation communications boss Sid Shuman saying in a recent video that the platform owner wanted the games to become “Bigger than just voice chat,” with message, media shares, and parties all appearing in one place.
The reaction to version 8.00 apparently inspired a new post from Sony on Saturday, which welcomed the response and thanked fans for taking the floor.
“Hi folks, just wanted to let you know that we are reviewing your feedback on the recent changes to the Parties on PS4,” he Tweeted. “Thanks for speaking – we’ll keep you posted.”
This is the third time this week that Sony has to react to the community fallout caused by version 8.00.
On Friday, the platform owner apologized to PlayStation users for its confusing messaging surrounding an upcoming PS5 feature that will allow users to record their voice conversations and submit them for moderation.
Following the release of the PlayStation 4 version 8.00 update earlier this week, a message alerted gamers that their conversations could be recorded, prompting a trend to # PS4UPDATE on Twitter as gamers voiced privacy concerns.
In an update on the PlayStation blog, Sony said the post relates to a future PS5 feature that will allow users to record their voice conversations in order to report instances of verbal harassment.
On Friday, Catherine Jensen, vice president of global customer experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment, explained the new feature in more detail in a follow-up post on the PlayStation blog.
“Its sole purpose is to help report inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our community code of conduct,” she said. “Please note that this feature will not actively monitor or eavesdrop on your conversations – ever – and is strictly for reporting online abuse or harassment.”
“PlayStation gamers discovered this new feature unexpectedly following the recent PS4 8.00 system update. We haven’t clearly communicated this feature or explained why we introduced it, and we apologize.