The 8.0.0 update hit the PlayStation 4 recently, and to say that people haven’t been entirely enthused with the offered changes is a bit of an understatement; friends disappeared, new ‘features’ that state that all conversations are recorded (if users opt-in), and the parties that formerly worked more than well enough have been updated to a bizarre new state that has many frustrated.
The good news is that for those of you who prefer single-player titles as a stomping ground and don’t touch the fascinating multiplayer community with a ten-foot pole, you likely haven’t noted anything too bizarre, and the current annoyances that are being consistently reported may have you scratching your head.
Once we look past the bugs and issues that the new update has presented, the new iteration of the party feature shows that many PlayStation developers may not be actively using the features that they are working on.
First, using private parties to easily mute yourself is over; an unfortunate step for many women and children that tend to use the private party to play multiplayer without needing to interact with the admittedly often-toxic communities is now a thing of the past. Those arguing against this complaint noticeably tend to be players that have no issue readily joining into an expletive-laden voice chat experience.
Inviting anyone into a party chat now offers them access to the message group; if you use message groups to stay in touch with friends and family, and are looking to bring someone into a PUG, then they now have access to the entire message history and can peruse at their leisure.
It isn’t simple to remove them, either: the original owner of the message group (not the individual that invited them to the party chat) will need to revoke access, so if you’re PUGging and someone is getting a bit toxic, they are there to stay. Imagine Reddit with no mods or admins to remove people throwing threats or throwing bizarre extremist propaganda out; it would be unusable (although fun for a day or two).
Essentially, there is no longer control over many features that are consistently used within parties on the PlayStation 4, and these appear to be in preparation for the PlayStation 5: this means that this is the new standard moving forwards.
Hey folks – just wanted to let you know that we’re looking into your feedback on the recent changes to Parties on PS4.
Thanks for speaking up – we’ll keep you posted
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 17, 2020
Users are obviously frustrated at having one of the very few means of communication on the platform being haphazardly and erroneously updated. Calling it ‘feedback’ when the cries have been aggressive and furious from the community is, to some, downplaying how frustrated the community is.
This also bears a concern that those developing for the PlayStation aren’t actively using the features that they’re tinkering with; this could very well be the first of many baffling changes that PlayStation users will need to contend with.