The PlayStation community went into a frenzy yesterday over finer details that emerged in the latest 8.00 system update.
The major update landed to reshape the PS4 in one of the final updates before the PS5 release.
Players voiced their anger over social media at a particular feature. A certain disclaimer appears after the 8.00 update when starting up a party chat.
The disclaimer states:
About Party Safety
We want PlayStation Network to be fun for everyone, which is why have a Community Code of Conduct.
Please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users. By participating in voice chats, you agree to your voice being recorded.
When behaviors that violate the Community Code of Conduct are reported, PlayStation Safety will review the reports to check if there have been genuine violations.
These recordings will be used only for safety and moderation purposes by PlayStation Safety.PlayStation
This came as a shock to players, fearing PlayStation could be constantly recording party chats incase of Code of Conduct violations.
However, an official PlayStation account has finally weighed in hoping to clear up any confusion:
On top of this, Sid Shuman (Senior Director, SIE Content Communications) also updated a blog post to explain what the message means:
UPDATE: Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.Playstation Blog
Whilst the original disclaimer was worded in a very unclear way, this goes a long way to clear things up.
The update merely allows for players to easily record a party chat themselves, and report it to SIE if they want to. This doesn't change much, players could have used an iPhone or any other mic to record in the past with party chat playing out-loud.
It is just an integrated tool to allow for quicker and higher quality recordings.
This will be a feature for PS5 users (post-launch), and it sounds like it's not currently active for PS4 users.
In the settings, PlayStation has had a setting called "Allow Sharing Your Voice" which could determine whether your voice is fed through to broadcasts and clips. It is unclear whether this new PS5 party chat record feature will bypass this though.
In fairness to Sony, they were quick to clear this misunderstanding up with it being far less intrusive than initially thought.
However, the wording in the original message was far from clear. Whether this was by design to gauge the community reaction before backing out, we'll never know.
You can view the full Playstation 8.00 Patch Notes here.