PS4 system update 5.50 enters beta as Sony previews new features

Sony /

PS4 Update 5.50 is set to introduce Play Time Management, Library UI updates, Enhancements to the Quick Menu, and more.

Sony has announced that the beta for the PlayStation 4’s next major system software update 5.50 has begun rolling out today, which means you should probably check your email if you previously signed up to participate in the test.

If you’ve not been accepted into the beta, fret not, as Sony has provided a sneak preview of some of the major features you can expect when update 5.50 arrives.

Play Time Management

Credit: Sony
Credit: Sony /

For those of you with children, update 5.50 will introduce Play Time Management, which will “allow family managers (and adult family members who are set as guardians) to manage PS4 playtime for child family members on PSN.” In addition to monitoring your child’s playtime each day (accessible via your PC or smartphone), you’ll be able to apply playtime restrictions, such as when or how much time your child can play each day.

If you’re worried about a possible tantrum should the game just suddenly cut off, it won’t. The system is set up to notify your child during gameplay so that he/she knows when they should save and quit. And if they don’t, you can extend game time or automatically log them out.

Library UI Updates

Credit: Sony

Additionally, the PS4’s library UI will see a number of much-needed updates, including two new tabs “to make it easier for you to see which apps you’ve installed and purchased.”

The This PS4″ tab will list all of the applications that are installed on your PS4 system, while a tab with your name/avatar will list all of the apps purchased with your PSN ID. A new PS Plus tab will also be added to the library, “which clarifies what games you own from PS Plus’ Monthly Free Games,” while also informing you of what games you can’t play if your PS Plus membership expires.

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While the new tabs are welcomed, the feature I’m personally most excited for is the ability to hide applications under the ‘Purchased’ tab in the library. As someone who participates in numerous betas, trials, and demos, my library is a mess – filled with applications I’ll never use more than that initial period. The ability to finally hide these will surely help with the anxiety I get from scrolling through my cluttered library.

Quick Menu Enhancements

Credit: Sony
Credit: Sony /

The mightily useful Quick Menu is also receiving some quality-of-life improvements, including the ability to quickly access specific friends in your custom list via the pulldown menu under the Friends tab. This will also allow you to see who’s currently online.

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If you’re the type to listen to Spotify or PlayStation Music while gaming, you’ll be able to access certain shortcuts, such as volume control and the ability to play or pause your music.

Speaking of Background Music, you’ll now be able to listen to music while streaming a game on PS Now.

Quality-of-Life Improvements

Credit: Sony
Credit: Sony /

In addition to all of these major features, there are a few quality-of-life improvements that gamers will surely appreciate, including the ability to delete older notifications; import custom wallpapers via USB; and customize your Tournaments team page.

If you own a PS4 Pro, you’ll see a new ‘supersampling mode.’ As Sony explains:

"“…those with HDTVs (i.e., 1080p or less) to enjoy an enhanced visual experience when playing some PS4 games. With supersampling mode, games that render to a higher resolution when connected to a 4K TV will downscale to match the HDTV – allowing PS4 Pro owners to leverage the benefits of an image clarity boost even if they don’t own a 4K TV. Certain games already have ‘supersampling’ benefits as part of their ‘PS4 Pro Enhanced’ feature set, but this new mode can enhance the experience for those games that don’t already have the feature. Because PS4 Pro’s added power and modes benefit different games in different ways, please note that certain games’ image clarity may not improve with this new feature.”"

As you can see 5.50 is, indeed, a major system software update. Unfortunately, the ability to change our PSN names is still not included, but there’s still plenty of time in the year for Sony to deliver.

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There’s no word on when update 5.50 will launch for the general public, but we’ll hopefully hear some feedback from those accepted into the beta.