Inside the development of the latest PS5 system software update – PlayStation.Blog
The latest PS5 console system software update rolled out to all PS5 players worldwide yesterday, and many of you have already tried out new features like Discord voice chat and 1440p VRR support.
For a behind-the-scenes look, we sat down with Tokyo-based VP of Product Management Hiromi Wakai to discuss how the new features came together and what’s next after this latest update.
sid Schuman: Nice to talk to you again, Hiromi! Can you tell us a bit about your role at PlayStation?
Hiromi Wakai: My team takes on the product management role for hardware products, system software updates, and network services for PlayStation, working closely with teams in the US and Europe. I’m fortunate to help shape our product strategy on a global basis.
I joined Sony Group in 2001 and joined SIE in 2005, so I’ve been working on PlayStation products for almost 18 years. It’s been a wonderful journey listening to our fans and game development partners as we work to deliver new features and products that unlock the possibilities of gaming.
Sid: Discord voice chat is a big addition.
Hiromi: Discord voice chat has been one of the biggest requests from our community and we have worked hard with the Discord team to provide an experience that we hope our players will enjoy. I use Discord when playing a Final Fantasy XIV raid with my friends who play on PC, so Discord voice chat is a feature that’s important to me and one we’re very excited to make available to our community. Together with Discord, we want to make it easier for people to connect wherever they love to play.
Sid: What are some of your favorite features in this new update?
Hiromi: I am very pleased that we are adding variable refresh rate support for 1440p as this feature has been highly requested by gamers who enjoy playing on 1440p supported monitors. VRR is a great way to improve the visual performance of PS5 games, so it’s exciting that more of our gamers can enjoy this feature.
The ability to wirelessly update your DualSense controller is another feature that I think offers gamers more convenience and makes updating your controller’s device software much easier.
Sid: How do you determine which features make it into a system update?
Hiromi: Our inspiration comes from our players, so we’re always listening to their feedback. We’re always thinking about the features our fans would like to see and ways to make their gaming experiences on PS5 more fun, social and connected. It’s also important for us to minimize friction in players’ ability to easily jump into the experiences they want to enjoy on PS5. We maintain a very long list of features and carefully consider how we prioritize our time and resources to deliver the ones that have the greatest impact on our player experience.
Our focus is not only on improving the core PS5 experience, but also on delivering great integrated platform experiences for new products, like the deep customization options for the DualSense Edge wireless controller and PlayStation VR2. We look forward to introducing even more new features to players in the future!
Sid: What challenges do you encounter when developing a system update? I suspect some of them are more complicated than they seem…
Hiromi: Definitely. Each system update is a very large development effort with many dozens of updates, ranging from major features to minor improvements. Even developing a small update can take a lot of technical resources and time. As such, keeping track of all the details and ensuring we deliver quality experiences that live up to our players’ expectations is always a dynamic and exciting challenge. This is why we rely so heavily on players to help us test these features in our betas and ensure they have a great experience when we roll them out globally.
I am fortunate to work with a wonderful team here in Tokyo and around the world. Delivering a successful system update requires a lot of collaboration across different regions. I want to thank our global team for all their hard work and our fans for always giving us great feedback and ideas to keep raising the bar.
Sid: How do you incorporate feedback from beta testers?
Hiromi: Beta testing is a crucial quality assurance step when we introduce new system software features. They give us the opportunity to test new features at scale and identify any key changes we need to make before the official global release. But the process doesn’t stop there: we continually listen to player feedback after each system software release and collect data on how players are interacting with the new features so we can continue to improve the experience for everyone. This is our focus and our passion.
Sid: With the latest PS5 system update out in the wild, what is your team working on now?
Hiromi: We are working on other new features for players that we hope to be able to share more about soon. I’m pleased that so many players are enjoying the features in this latest update, but our mission to make PS5 gaming the best possible experience continues.
It’s a privilege for us to bring these updates to our fans and I truly believe it’s a community effort. Thank you to everyone in our community for your continued support. There’s more to come, so stay tuned!