Sony is making the PlayStation 4 more social and online friendly with several new system updates today. The changes show that updating hardware through software patches can make video consoles more competitive over time.
The System Software Update v1.70 will enable a rich-video editor, expand share capabilities, and provide more immediate access to games pre-ordered from the PlayStation Store. Sony is also updating the PlayStation Vita handheld and the PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets to tighten the integration with the PS4.
“PlayStation 4 has been met with tremendous enthusiasm from its community of more than 7 million gamers worldwide,” said John Koller, vice president of platforms marketing, in a statement. “Listening to community feedback is critical to us, and we are pleased to deliver some of the most highly requested features with this update. We’ve also seen strong usage of the sharing features on PS4, and we’re excited to build on these social capabilities with this update to further expand upon what we believe is the most socially connected console experience.”
After gamers install the update, an icon to download ShareFactory will appear on the homescreen. The feature is a rich-video editor that will let people customize their gameplay movies with special effects such as filters, transitions, and themes. You can add commentary with picture-in-picture capability by tapping into the PlayStation Camera. PS4 owners can add custom soundtracks to their videos using audio tracks or by importing original music.
Players will also be able to get games faster. The update lets you automatically download select pre-ordered games from the PlayStation Store prior to release, so it is ready to play as soon as the launch becomes official.
The 1.70 update addresses one of the most highly requested features: Users can now disable High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP). This enables PS4 games to be output through HDMI to an external capture device for more flexibility when capturing gameplay, including longer recorded and live-streamed sessions.
And users will be able to export captured videos, screenshots, or edited videos by pressing the Share button. Players can also broadcast their gameplay in 720p high-definition resolution and archive their broadcasts via the Twitch and Ustream services.
Sony also has a variety of other updates that it has posted on its website.