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The release of PlayStation 4’s version 8.00 update has caused multiple issues today, leading to fans posting over 20,000 messages on Twitter.
Among other features, the update links Party and Messages so both use the same ‘Groups’ of players for voice chats and texts, instead of using two different apps.
But its initial rollout has caused multiple issues according to various online sources, including a popular thread on Reddit.
Some users complain of being unable to access multiplayer games because their PlayStation Plus subscription isn’t recognised after installing the update, while others claim their console has stopped loading their friends lists.
An update posted on the PlayStation Network service status page almost six hours ago acknowledged the issues users are currently facing.
“You may have some difficulty launching games, applications or online features,” Sony said at 5.41pm BST/9.41am PT. “Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience.”
It also confirmed some users are having issues accessing PlayStation video content.
#PS4UPDATE is currently trending on Twitter, with the subject generating over 22,000 tweets at the time of publication.
Aside from the aforementioned issues, the update has sparked debate because it has highlighted Sony’s ability to access voice and message data, something many users were seemingly unaware of.
UPDATE 16/10/20: Sony has apologised to PlayStation users for its confusing messaging surrounding an upcoming PS5 feature which will enable users to record their voice chats and submit them for moderation review, and has explained in more detail how the tool will work.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Sony has reserved the right to monitor and record voice and text communications since before PS4’s launch, but today’s update has brought the policy to wider public attention.
“We may track and record your Software activity and remove any of your UGC that breaches these Terms, without further notice to you,” read PlayStation’s software usage terms, which were updated this month.
“Information we get can include your content, voice and text communications, gameplay videos, the time and location of your activities, your real name, your PSN Online ID and IP address.
“We (or our affiliated companies) use that information to enforce these Terms, to comply with the law, to protect our rights and those of our licensors and users, and to protect our community. We may pass this information to the police or other appropriate authorities.”
Since today’s update, an in-game message has alerted players joining Parties that their conversations may be recorded.
In an update posted on the PlayStation Blog, Sony claimed that the message was related to a future PS5 feature that will enable users to record their voice chats.
“Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review.
“The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE,” it claimed.
The company’s UK support account also claimed that it does not record Party voice chats.
Following PS4’s 8.00 update, users are no longer able to create Events or access existing Events created by other users. It’s also removing the ability to create private Communities, although existing private Communities can still be accessed.