The latest PlayStation 4 update is rolling out in beta for the lucky few who signed up to test it. According to patch notes obtained by MP1st, Sony will remove PlayStation communities from the console and make a few other quality of life improvements.
PS4 Beta Update 8.50 is also known as the System Software Beta Testing Spring 2021 Update. In addition to removing communities, the update makes changes to group notifications, game session participation, and hidden game visibility. You can check out the full patch notes below:
PS4 Firmware Update 8.50 Beta Patch Notes
Main features of this system software beta
- In messages you can now enable / disable notifications for each of the groups you are in. From the group screen, open the options menu and select “Turn off notifications”.
Other updates features
- On the game session screen, you can now use the “Request to Join” button to ask the Session Leader to join their game. The session leader can then send you an invitation to participate in the game session.
- If you play a game that you have hidden, other players will no longer see you playing.
- Communities are no longer available.
The writing was on the wall for the PlayStation communities when the companion app, previously available on Android and iOS, was discontinued in March 2020. While no reason was given for the closure, it was believed to be due to a reduced number of users, as well as an overall combination of all PlayStation apps in one place with the release of the PS5. Until recently, communities seemed fairly active on the PS4 console itself, but the number of people using it has likely declined since the release of the PlayStation 5. Sony’s latest console does not currently have a community feature, and this change is not expected that it will continue on the next-gen console.
The last major system software update for the PlayStation 4 was Update 8.00, which introduced new Avatars, simplified Party and Messages (which is still a controversial change Sony is investigating), improved 2-step verification and parental controls easier to use . among other improvements. It will take a while for the latest set of changes to roll out to the wider community, but we’ll be sure to let you know once Update 8.50 gets a general release.