PlayStation console voice commands now live, HDMI 2.1 Variable Refresh Rate on the way

The latest system update for Sony’s home gaming consoles has now been rolled out with the previously in-beta PlayStation voice commands, and more. There were several reports suggesting the update came along with some serious network issues – some folks were unable to access PlayStation Plus content as well as online services in games like Elden Ring and others – but it seems that has been corrected at this point, mostly. Head below for more details. 

PlayStation voice commands and more now live

Today’s PlayStation system update brings many of the features we reported on previously out of the beta testing phase and into the real world for gamers that update their consoles today. Alongside the enhanced party and chat features (all friends quickly joining open or invitation-only closed parties on PS4 and PS5), the PlayStation voice commands we detailed previously are now live for players in the US and UK. Support for mono headphones on PS5 as well as some minor UI tweaks are also present and accounted for. 

Alongside the rollout of the new PlayStation update, gamers everywhere began to experience the aforementioned network outages across a number of Sony online services, but it does appear as though those issues, related or otherwise, have now mostly been patched up. A quick look at the PlayStation Networks Service Status page shows the “gaming and social” sphere back online as well as the previously troubled PlayStation Store, but it does appear as though PlayStation Now services are still under the weather:

You might have difficulty streaming PlayStation Now games. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

So if you have been waiting to score the update so you can get back online (you, for the most part, have to install the latest update to even use Sony’s online services) it appears to be ready to go now.

PS5 Variable Refresh Rate on the way

Now that PlayStation voice commands are live (for some of the world anyway), Sony is also giving us some details regarding future PlayStation system updates, let’s just hope they don’t take the whole network down again. The highlight here is support for PS5 Variable Refresh Rate on HDMI 2.1-compatible TVs and PC monitors:

This enhances visual performance for PS5 games by minimizing or eliminating visual artifacts, such as frame pacing issues and screen tearing. Gameplay in many PS5 titles feels smoother as scenes render instantly, graphics look crisper, and input lag is reduced. Previously released PS5 games can be fully optimized for VRR through a game patch and future games may include VRR support at launch.

Sony says this update “is planned to release in the months ahead.” 

In other Sony news, here’s everything we know about Sony’s Game Pass competitor as well as our first look at the new PlayStation VR2 headset

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