GAMERS REJOICE. Sony and Microsoft have pushed out updates for their respective PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles that deliver several new features.
The 3.50 update for the PS4, currently in beta, adds Friend Online notifications that alert games when friends log-in to the PlayStation Network (PSN). Those feeling less than chatty can appear offline to their friends yet remain logged-in to PSN.
There’s also the ability to schedule events with friends so that social gaming sessions can be easily joined, and a share feature added to the Dailymotion video app allows PS4 players to broadcast their gaming exploits on the online video service.
But the standout feature is enhanced Remote Play on the PS4. This is not yet available in the beta, but has been expanded to allow PS4 gaming to be streamed from the console to a PC or Mac. The service was previously limited to the PSP Vita console and the PlayStation TV.
Some gamers may question why they would want to abandon their sofa and big TV PS4 setup, but the new feature could be a nice boon for those who fancy a bit of PS4 exclusive gaming in between.
Microsoft’s Xbox One console, meanwhile, has had a pretty meaty update that adds features based on gamer feedback. These include the ability to track game progress, customise DVR recording length, output Party Chat to headphones and speakers at the same time, and enable video playback directly in the console’s Activity Feed area.
The update includes the ability to purchase Xbox 360 backward compatible games on the Xbox One (below), which should appeal to gamers wanting to play last-generation games on a cutting-edge console.
Microsoft has also boosted the chat feature to allow 16 people to enter a group chat, because whoever heard of too many cooks spoiling the broth?
The Party Chat feature is also enabled in Twitch broadcasts so that players can be joined by the gaming world’s equivalent of backseat drivers by streaming videos of game-play to the Twitch platform.
Other features squeezed into the update include the ability to compare Xbox Avatars, the improved displaying of people with bad Xbox Live reputations, and the addition of the Gamerscore Leaderboard into the Xbox app so that gamers can feel empowered or emasculated when comparing gaming stats against those of their friends.
All these features are available for members of the Xbox One Preview programme. Those not registered will need to wait until the update rolls out over the next few weeks. They do say patience is a virtue. µ
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