Sometime soon owners of Sony’s PS4 will be able to stream their favorite games directly to a Windows PC or Mac from their console. What’s more, the PS4 is picking up some impressive social features too. To do either, gamers will need PS4 Update 3.50, a free console software upgrade the company will begin testing this week.
Sony announced PS4 Update 3.50 this morning, months after rumors indicated that the company had plans to bring Remote Play to Windows PCs and Macs. Introduced with the PS3, Remote Play allows PS3 and PS4 owners to play their games away from their console. Today, the feature requires a PlayStation Vita handheld console and a DualShock controller.
A post on the PlayStation Blog confirms the new features in PS4 Update 3.50 ahead of this week’s beta testing. Sony is calling the update Musashi internally.
Unfortunately, Remote Play won’t be among the features that the company tests with users, but will be in the final version of PS4 Update 3.50 when it arrives for everyone. Presumably, there’ll be an app that PS4 owners download and connect to their PlayStation Network account to get going.
PS4 owners have asked for Remote Play on PCs for years, but Microsoft’s decision to bring video game streaming to PCs for its Xbox One console made those calls more urgent in recent months. Remote Play for PS4 still offers a feature that Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming streaming doesn’t: it works even when players aren’t home. Xbox One game streaming requires that users be on the same network.
Dailymotion streaming is included with PS4 Update 3.50, making it easier than ever for PS4 players to host shows on the service.
The rest of PS4 Update 3.50 is all about social features that enhance the community gaming experience on the PS4 in some way. Play Together lets PS4 owners see what everyone in a Party they’ve created are playing. Sony hopes that the feature will lead to more people playing the same games in a Party since they don’t actually have to ask what game they are playing.
PlayStation Network users can see when their friends come online now, something that they could see before. Users keen to avoid their friends for a specific amount of time can pretend to be offline.
Another attempt by Sony to help foster community in PS4 Update 3.50 may be the console’s best feature yet. User Scheduled Events allow PS4 communities to hold their own play dates with PlayStation Network. Players can actually register for the events and get automatically added to the game Party when it’s time for the event to kick off.
Anyone that signed up to test PS4 Update 3.50 should get an email that includes some instructions for loading the update on their system early. Sony says that it’ll announce more “key features” and a release date for PS4 Update 3.50 relatively soon, but doesn’t elaborate on what those other features could be or how soon the update will arrive for everyone else.
PS4 software updates are completely free.
What we know about PS4 Update 3.50 right now doesn’t make it sound as if it’s a large, groundbreaking software upgrade, but that’s perfectly fine. Sony has kept its promise to deliver regular improvements to the PS4 experience ever since the console launched back in 2013. Share Play, a feature for sharing game sessions directly with friends so that they can help you, wasn’t in the original PS4 experience. PS4 owners couldn’t quickly dive into and out of their games without starting them over either. Both were added in software updates fairly recently.
The PS4 starts at $349 for a model that includes 500GB of storage, a bundled game and a DualShock 4 controller. Gamers need a subscription to PlayStation Network to play online with their friends.