New PS4 update will allow 16-player parties, chat transcription and more

PlayStation 4 users can sign up to beta test the new features 

Sony has announced an upcoming software update for PlayStation 4 that will increase the amount of users in a party from eight to 16, improve audio and add a chat transcription feature to the Second Screen app.

The announcement, made via the PlayStation Blog, also includes a link to sign up as a preview tester of the update, so interested PS4 users can try out the new features before anyone else. Note that signing up doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be selected.

The blog post states that the update will apply the following changes to the PS4’s party section:

  • Increased maximum Party participants from 8 to 16
  • Improved audio quality for voice chat
  • Improved network connectivity

Users in the preview program won’t be able to chat with friends who aren’t a part of it, but each preview code can be redeemed up to 20 times.

According to Sid Shuman, Sony’s Social Media Director, who wrote the post on the PlayStation Blog, this will allow users to chat with their friends while testing out the update rather than having to chat with strangers.

Yes, that means sharing the preview program invite is being encouraged this time.

While specific changes to network connectivity and audio were not detailed, the transcription function will allow users to, “convert Party voice chat to text on your Second Screen app, or enter text into your app which will be read aloud to other Party members.”

Note that the functionality will only be implemented in the U.S. and in English, according to the post.

As usual with these types of system update previews, no time frame was given for when or how many preview users will be selected nor when the update might be available to all PS4 players.

Additionally, Sony has recently updated its system software twice in the past week. Version 6.70 improves system performance and today’s 6.71 improves it even more. Like many of Sony’s minor updates, it’s unclear what exactly the update does, but both patches are optional.