Sony Testing New PlayStation 5 Software, Adds Dolby Atmos and 8TB SSDs


PlayStation 5 and controller

Credit: PCMag

There’s a big update coming to Sony’s PlayStation 5, which you can actually purchase now. Sony says its latest PS5 software adds Dolby Atmos, larger SSD support, and a raft of UI improvements. It won’t arrive on most consoles until some months down the road, but some lucky gamers will get the chance to test it in beta starting today (July 31).

Dolby Atmos is by far the most popular 3D audio implementation, with support in TVs, audio receivers, soundbars, and more. With the new PS5 software, Sony’s Tempest 3D AudioTech will gain Atmos compatibility. That means you’ll be able to activate Atmos in the settings and enjoy immersive Atmos audio, including the height channel, with your Atmos-enabled speakers. Atmos support will apply to PS5 games, but that’s not all. Developers will be able to update streaming apps with Atmos support on PlayStation as well.

The other big standalone improvement is high on many wishlists—support for 8TB SSDs. Currently, the PlayStation 5 only supports up to 4TB of expanded storage via an M.2 SSD. The update doubles that to 8TB, but the drives still need to meet the PS5’s minimum requirements of 5,500 MB/s and PCI-Express Gen4x4. With games growing ever larger, the added space will no doubt be appreciated. The latest Call of Duty titles are creeping over 200GB in size, and 100GB+ is par for a AAA game.

The PS5 software experience will get better, too. It’ll be easier to add a new player to a closed group in the new software, and players can send party invitations to the full group instead of individuals. Sony is also taking a page from Apple’s playbook, adding emoji reactions to chat messages. And if that power on/off beep is getting on your nerves, you can disable that in settings.

PS5 controller

Credit: Ryan Whitwam

There are a few notable accessibility changes, too. Parents and those with motor disabilities will be happy to see the option to add a second controller for a single player. This allows someone to assist the player, taking over control at any time or hitting specific buttons for them. Sony says this feature could allow players to navigate challenging sections of a game.

The beta is available only to invited players right now, and the beta is limited to the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, and France, which are the same markets Sony used to test its last update. Sony plans to release the software globally later this year. If you’re in one of the supported markets, keep an eye out for the beta upgrade offer.

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