Sony Looking For Fan Feedback On Changes To Parties On PS4

On its official PlayStation account on Twitter, Sony has asked fans for feedback on the recent changes made to Parties on PS4. The modifications to the system were introduced during a PS4 firmware update 8.00.

The change was anticipated by PlayStation Senior Director of Global Content Communications Sid Shuman, who stated in a recent video that Sony wants Parties to become “bigger than just voice chat” by bringing messages, media shares, and parties into the same space.

In the past, players were able to create open or private parties, which allowed friends to pop in and out at will. Now, the party function is linked to the PS4’s message system, meaning players must invite friends to a party via message.

According to Sony, “Now you can start a Party chat or send a message to the group you’ve previously chatted with across PS4, as well as PS5 when it launches.” Some users, however, have reported that the update has already disrupted their friends lists. The dissatisfaction with the change was also palpable on last week’s second most popular thread on the PS4 Subreddit, which included countless comments blasting the new system.

The change was implemented to allow friends that often play together to get a party going quickly, yet many users don’t simply play with friends. Open parties allowed friends to invite other friends into a party and groups could seek out groups to compete against. Now, if a player wants to invite a friend who is not part of the original message group, they must create a new message group to add them.

Many fans have found the change confusing and unnecessary and have asked Sony to reverse the update. Although the tweet only states that the company is looking for user feedback, there is the possibility that they are trying to be responsive to fan needs before the launch of the PS5.

Last week, PS4 users were also confused by a message that alerted players that their conversations might be recorded. On the PlayStation Blog, Sony said the message was related to a forthcoming PS5 feature that will allow users to record voice chats to report incidents of harassment.

“Its sole purpose is to help in reporting of inappropriate behavior, including actions that violate our Community Code of Conduct,” said Catherine Jensen, VP of global consumer experience at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Please note that this feature will not actively monitor or listen in on your conversations – ever – and it’s strictly reserved for reporting online abuse or harassment.”

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