In early February, Sony released details about the upcoming PlayStation 4 system software update, code-named Sasuke, and proceeded to roll it out to beta testers. Tomorrow, the wait for the PS4’s new features ends as Sony shifts System Update 4.5 from beta to full release.
When Sony announced the beta test for PS4 System Update 4.5, the company gave us a few tidbits about the forthcoming changes, such as announcing that PSVR owners would be able to watch 3D Blu-ray movies with their headsets and that the console would finally have the ability to access external hard drives. But the company shied away from revealing the full details of the upcoming console update.
In addition to the 3D Blu-ray and external storage support, PS4 System Update 4.5 includes visual improvements for PSVR’s social screen and cinematic mode. Currently, when you turn on your PSVR HMD, the image quality on your TV or monitor used for the social screen diminishes. After the update drops tomorrow, the resolution of the image on your TV shouldn’t change when you enter VR mode. Sony also improved the image quality in Cinematic mode by increasing the refresh rate from 90Hz to 120Hz when the screen size is set to "small" or "medium."
Sony’s PS4platform includes a feature called Remote Play, which allows you to access and control your console remotely from a PC or Mac. Remote Play allows you to play PS4 games from your PC, but voice communication wasn’t possible. System Update 4.5 adds microphone support to Remote Play and a button to toggle it on and off.
Speaking of communication: Sony’s PlayStation platform includes a selection of “off-console apps” that allow you to access your account from other devices. With System Update 4.5, Sony added a smartphone-shaped icon to the dashboard so you can tell whether your friends are online through an app or if they are logged into their console.
Sony also made some changes to its mobile apps. The PS Messages app gets “quick replies” to simplify communication. If you get an invitation to a party, you can send a quick reply saying “I’ll join later,” or “Sorry, I can’t join.” And Sony added a PSN service status indicator to the Communities app.
Boost Mode is the final piece of the PlayStation 4 System Update 4.5 release, but we already knew that thanks to a leaked screenshot. Boost Mode is an exclusive feature for PS4 Pro owners, which tries to get the most out of the PS4 Pro’s powerful GPU.
Boost Mode allows games that aren’t optimized for the PS4 Pro’s advanced hardware to leverage the GPU and CPU to increase frame rates and lower load times. Sony said that boost mode “can provide a noticeable frame rate boost” in games that feature variable frame rates, and stability for games that operate at fixed frame rates. Boost Mode doesn’t work with all titles, but it has benefits for some games. For that reason, Sony lets you toggle Boost Mode at will.
Sony didn’t say at what time it will launch System Update 4.5, but you should expect to see it land March 9.
Update, 03/08/2017, 3:15pm PT: Corrected date in title.