Sony has officially launched the 5.50 update for Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro, after a testing period which included 3 beta versions.
This update contains a bunch of new improvements and features for the console, including a new feature to improve image quality – supersampling, UI tweaks and better parental controls.
At the PS4 Pro’s launch, the main problem with it was the scarcity of enhancements for those who still game on TVs with a resolution of 1080p.
Most of the titles available at launch took focus on 4K presentation and HDR support, but some games that were not even programmed to use a second GPU like the one PS4 Pro has did not initially benefit.
The Boost Mode, added over a year ago by Sony, kind of fixed this issue but not really, by extending these benefits into some of the aforementioned games, but it still did not help much, since you would need a 4K resolution monitor and High Dinamic Range to justify purchasing the Pro model.
With this update, there is a new “Supersampling Mode” option added to the Video Output Settings menu that players can activate whenever.
Sony has made a statement on it: “PS4 Pro users taking part in the beta will see a new ‘supersampling mode’ under Settings, which enables those with HDTVs (i.e., 1080p or less) to enjoy an enhanced visual experience when playing some PS4 games.
With supersampling mode, some games will render at a higher resolution and then be downscaled to match the HDTV – allowing PS4 Pro owners to leverage the benefits of an image clarity boost even if their PS4 Pro is not connected to a 4K TV. Please note performance will vary, as games are optimized differently to take advantage of the power of PS4 Pro.”
We are not aware how many games benefit from this mode, but it should be a nice huge upgrade. Supersampling, sometimes called downsampling, is basically rendering the game internally at a very high resolution, and then scaling it down to a lower resolution fit for the monitor.
This often minimizes the amount of jagged lines on the screen. The reason not everybody uses is you need really good hardware to be able to render it.
Parental Controls & UI upgrades
Some Parental Controls existed since the PS4 launched, of course, but Sony improved upon them. The 5.50 update introduces something called “Play Time Management”, which allows parents or guardians to micromanage their children’s activity by using their smartphone or PC logged in to the PS Network. They can see exactly for how much time the children have been playing, how much time is left and they can fine tune the allocated play time, logging out the child when playtime is over, with a warning beforehand (thus allowing them to save and exit).
There is now the option to set custom wallpapers from an USB stick connected to the PS4. Team Tournament pages can also be changed to your heart’s content. Two new tabs have been added to the Library: This PS4 and Name/Avatar. Players can now hide certain applications under the “Purchased” tab. They can also access custom-made friends lists from the Quick Menu and old notifications can be permanently removed.
The whole update is about as big as 460 MB, so the updating process should be a walk in the park. Overall, this is a solid upgrade, and there don’t seem to be any negative sides to upgrading immediately. Of course, we would like to hear your opinion on it too! Tell us it in the comments and stay tuned for more PS4 info!