“The more the merrier”, as Irish grandmothers and polite liars like to say. While I personally believe more people is almost always a bad thing, the idea of larger Party Chats on PlayStation 4 is certainly an appealing-sounding exception.
Good news then, as Sony recently announced that it’ll be testing 16-person Parties on PS4, which is double the current limit of eight. Interested (and eligible) gamers can sign up to the beta right here. The eventual update will also bring improved audio quality for voice chat and improved network connectivity.
Sony also announced that it’ll be testing a chat transcription feature that will be available through Party and the PS4 Second Screen app. Through this feature, you’ll be able to convert Party voice chat to text on your Second Screen app, or enter text into your app which can then be read aloud to other Party members.
Xbox One has had a similar feature for a while, and has supported 12-person Parties since 2015 – but regardless of who did what first, it’s great to see Sony embracing more accessibility options as it looks to extend its Party Chat function.
Sony noted that those who take part in the Preview Program won’t be able to join the same Part as those who aren’t part of the test, but the preview code you receive can be redeemed by 20 separate eligible accounts, so you don’t have to worry about testing these new features with complete strangers.
Given that it’s still very early days for the expanded Party Chat, it’s not entirely clear when we can expect to see it launched properly. The beta is unfortunately also only available in the US and Canada, so the rest of us just have to be patient.
Then again, I don’t actually know anybody who has 15 friends, so I’m not entirely sure who this update is for. I suppose it’s possible that there are people out there who have more than five friends, but it seems a bit far fetched to me.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.