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From fixes to annoyances (no more space eating automatic downloads for game purchases!) to USB MP3 playback while gaming, update wows

Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) today previewed the features found in its first major update to its PlayStation 4 (PS4) console, Update 2.0.  It also announced a pair of minor updates.  The first of these -- Update 3.35 applies to the PlayStation TV set-top box and PlayStation Vita handheld.  The second, the PlayStation App 2.0, brings new features and a new look to the app Sony distributes to allow users to explore the PlayStation Network.
 
Available for Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS App Store and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android Play Store, the "PlayStation App" does not include any actual gameplay, but rather provides PlayStation gamers options to connect with friends, explore leaderboards for online games, get news, and more.  
 
Sony wrote that the new app introduces better layouts for tablets and a new streamlined home screen.  It also confirms that the new version of the app (2.0; current version: 1.7...) will be available "within the same launch window as both the PS4 and PS Vita system software updates."

PlayStation App
The PlayStation app connects your smartphone or tablet to PlayStation Network features.  Sony is preparing to update the app to version 2.0, which will bring a modest reskin, with particularly big UI tweaks on the tablet side.


The PS TV and PS Vita update will add various fixes for each platform.  Sony didn't mention too many features, but it does mention that the feature will add new support for multi-player Remote Play.

Remote Play is a technology that allows an internet-connected PS4 to render and stream gaming graphics to a PS TV or PS Vita.  The feature uses the PS TV or PS Vita as a controller, thus providing mobile gaming options both in home and away from the home.  However, the feature is currently limited to one- or two-player gameplay, but with the update up to four friends will be able to connect.  Note, not all titles support Remote Play, but it's a pretty cool feature for those that do.

PS4 Remote Play

Sony also is looking to tap into the growing popularity of watching other gamers -- both professional and amateur -- in action.  Its new Live from PlayStation app will soon be available alongside the trio of updates.  It will target the PS TV and PS Vita, allowing users with a compatible device to view PS4 gaming livestreams.
 
The big news is the new update to the PS4, though.  Codenamed Masamune, after Japan's greatest swordsmith, the new update includes improvements to music, storage, and themes/customization.  
 
The PlayStation 4 is currently the world's best-selling console, having held the sales lead over Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Xbox One for every month this year, thus far.  In lifetime sales it's sold roughly 11-12 million consoles [source: 1, 2], versus around 6 million Xbox Ones sold.

Source: Sony





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