I spend a lot of time playing my play 5: deleting games here, downloading there, looking for old saves, and trying to talk to friends. It made me appreciate every new firmware update, no matter how small or niche the improvements it makes. And earlier this month, Sony delivered a bunch of satisfying tweaks.
Players received a March 7.0 Big Firmware Update Preview in February, revealing Discord integration, new save data transfer options, and more. It was recently aired and is far from the usual opaque “improves system performance” updates. Not as big as the PS5 finally getting foldersand there are still many more new features that I would love to see, but it’s another milestone in the continued improvement of the platform.
Use Discord to voice chat with Xbox friends
Cross-play has been great for bringing people together on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, but trying to communicate with them was still a drag. Discord Integration fixes this and allows you to easily start conversations with anyone and feed audio through your console.
Plus, it doesn’t even have to be game-specific. someone playing rocket league? someone else watching Mandalorian? No problem! Discord is really great for chilling together while everyone does their own thing.
Capture gameplay using your voice
It sounds silly, but you can now use the microphone on the DualSense controller to ask the PS5 to record gameplay. Perfect for capturing gameplay in the middle of battle or a tense competition when you don’t want to lose control when switching manually. Now if only there was text to speech to type the social media posts sharing my highlights.
Upgrade your Wireless DualSense
There’s nothing worse than trying to play a game and finding your controller needs a firmware update. Previously, this required connecting it to the PS5. Now, you can download and install it wirelessly. It was the least of the inconveniences and, thankfully, is now gone.
Get variable refresh rates on 1440p monitors
Variable refresh rate support came to PS5 last year. This helps the frame rate flow more smoothly and makes the graphics look sharper. With the latest patch it will also work with 1440p monitors, a niche but practical midway between 1080p and 4K. I don’t play my PS5 on one of these monitors, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if I did.
Receive notifications to save data in the cloud
Like many PS5 owners, I have a huge library of PS4 games, and I back up data for all of them to the cloud. Unlike the Xbox Series X/S, however, the PS5 doesn’t automatically pull save data. But now, it does something almost as good: send you a notification prompt when you install a game that supports your existing PS4 data (like a PS5 game where you can transfer game saves). Clicking the prompt will automatically start the transfer instead of having to dig through multiple menus.
Join games directly from the group chat
Another button prompt shortcut, it is now possible to find friends in the game directly from the party chat menu. It’s a nice time saver considering how often you can group together to play the same thing, and your friends or clanmates have probably already started before you.
See what your friends are playing more easily
This feature is still a little incomplete, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Just like on Steam, it’s now easier to see which friends own a game you own or are actively playing. A small section with this information is below each game tile on the PS5 home screen. My only gripe is that you have to click through to see which friends have it, and it only tells you that someone plays that game if they’re online in the middle of an active session. Baby steps.
Request to watch a friend’s game directly from their profile
I rarely use screen sharing, usually because if I’m online with friends, we’re probably already playing something together. Still, it’s another nice shortcut to being able to quickly watch what someone is playing right from their profile, skipping another part of the PS5’s tedious and often esoteric menu scrolling.
Filter games by adding them to a folder
Alright, game folders are my favorite new feature that the PS5 has gotten since launch and it’s just easier to create. When they first went live, you had to go through your entire library adding things as you went along. Now you can filter it by different categories, making the whole organizational process much, much faster. Will I ever play 99% of the games I put in PS5 folders? No way. But I like to do everything the same way. It helps me relax and feel less guilty about my accumulation.
It’s possible we’ll get another batch of PS5 tweaks later in the year. “We’re always thinking about features our fans might want to see and ways to make their PS5 gaming experiences more fun, social and connected,” said Hiromi Wakai, Vice President of Product Management at Sony. said in a recent interview. “We maintain a long list of features and think carefully about how to prioritize our time and resources to deliver those that will make the most significant impact on our players’ experience.”
Hopefully PS5 background themes aren’t too far off.