PS5 software beta update begins today, includes accessibility updates

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

Selected PS5 users will be able to join a software beta starting from today that introduces a number of improvements, including ones for accessibility.

Yesterday, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced in a blog post that starting from February 9, 2022, selected PS5 users will be able to jump into a software beta that also includes accessibility improvements. PS4 users will also see a software beta, but not as populated with features as the PS5 beta.

Sony Interactive Entertainment specifically highlights some key accessibility features that will be available in the beta for PS5. One of these is for the system-level screen reader that is getting 6 additional languages, bringing the total supported languages to 15. The new languages are:

  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Dutch
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Polish
  • Korean

There will also be an option for having mono audio enabled for headphones, and users will also be able to choose to have checkmarks displayed for any enabled settings.

Voice Command is a new feature being tested for UK and US users that will allow the use of voice commands to find and open games, apps, and settings as well as operating media playback. This feature appears to look as if it can be used like a smart device, and when enabled users say “Hey, PlayStation,” followed by their command.

PS5 beta accessibility example of the Gamebase box with parties, messages, and friends.

There are also going to be more improvements for cognitive accessibility by allowing users to filter game collections by genre, and also pinning games or apps on the home screen with the “Keep in Home” feature. Five games and apps can be pinned on each home screen in total while a total of 14 games and apps can appear on these home screens at once.

The PS5 Gamebase is to receive layout updates through the beta that could help with accessibility. Friends, Parties (Previously “Voice Chats”), and Messages will be divided into vertical columns. Meanwhile, Trophies are also getting a visual update with suggestions for trophies to earn on the trophy tracker system from the Control Center while playing a game.

For the PS4 beta, users will see a voice chat volume slider that will allow them to adjust the volume of each player in a party. This feature currently exists on PS5.

Currently, only those invited to the beta in the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, and France will have access to the beta but the full update is planned to drop later this year.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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