Sony has released a new PlayStation 5 firmware update, officially named 21.01-03.00.00.38. Confusing naming conventions aside, this system software refresh brings with it some key new features, including the ability to offload next-gen games onto an external HDD for storage purposes and Share Play between PS5 and PS4. But there's a lot more to this firmware update than first meets the eye, and we've been busy sifting through it for secrets.
There are many smaller quality of life improvements that you may not know about, such as the ability to disable HDR in games that don't support it and automatic saved data syncing between your console and the PS Plus cloud. In this article, we're going to list out everything that we've discovered so far, and explain the benefits that these unpublicised changes bring. This is a massive firmware update, so let's get into it.
Manage Your Downloads from the Control Centre
In order to manage your downloads on the PS5 previously, you had to bring up the Control Centre by pushing the PlayStation button, then jump to the Downloads/Uploads page by clicking the option in the toolbar. With the new PS5 firmware update, however, you can prioritise downloads directly from the Control Centre, saving you time.
Hidden Trophy Information Is a Click Away
Sony has aligned hidden Trophy information with the PS4, meaning that you'll only need to push the Square button to see the requirements for a trinket. Previously, you'd have to hit the Options button then scroll down to 'Show Hidden Information' and select it, which was a laborious process.
You Can Manage the Games You Follow
On the PS5, you'll be updated often about games that you've played in past, courtesy of the Official News card, which appears when you bring up the Control Centre. Now you can toggle which games you're following easily by going to Settings > Saved Data and Game/App Settings > Followed Games > Manage Followed Games. This will help to better curate your list of latest news.
Activity Cards for Trophies Can Take You to Trophy List
There's still a ton of work Sony needs to do with regards to the Trophies interface, however one small quality of life improvement now allows you to jump to a game's full list of trinkets from an Activity Card. Simply bring up the Control Centre, select a Trophy, then push Options and choose Go to Trophies. An improvement, but there's still a way to go here.
There's a New Icon for Games on External HDD
Games stored on an external HDD now have a new icon to specify that they are stored on a USB device. Our guess is that this alteration is laying the groundwork for the internal NVMe slot that Sony will open up access to later in the year, so PS5 will be able to distinguish between USB storage and internal expanded storage.
Automatically Enable 120Hz in Select Games
You can now automatically enable 120Hz, or 120 frames-per-second, in games that support it. This feature will now function on some PC monitors able to output 1080p/120Hz. If you're having problems with the setting, then you also have the option to disable it entirely. You'll find the setting in Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output. For more information, refer to the following: All PS5 Games Running at 120 Frames-Per-Second.
You Can Disable HDR When Not Supported
The PS5, by default, includes all software in an HDR wrapper, which tries to replicate the effect of the feature. However, a new toggle under Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output allows you to adjust HDR to On When Supported, which means that it'll turn the feature off when you play a game without native HDR support.
Syncing Saved Data Is More Straightforward
By default, when booting a game, Sony will check the PS Plus cloud to ensure that the save data you're using is the most recent. You can also check the sync status by pushing the Options button and selecting Check Sync Status of Saved Data.
You Can Adjust HDMI Device Link to Your Taste
HDMI Device Link now has a new set of toggles found in Settings > System > HDMI which allows you to enable Power Off Link, which will put your console into Rest Mode once you turn off your television. You can also enable One-Touch Play, which means that once you turn on your TV, it'll automatically switch to the correct channel for your PS5. These can be adjusted independently to your tastes.
There Are Toggles for Trophy Screenshots and Videos
Storing screenshots of some of your most acclaimed gaming moments is definitely fun, but you probably don't want your limited storage space clogged up with clips of random Bronze and Silver gongs, right? Now you can go to Settings > Captures and Broadcasts > Trophies and select the grade that you want to store Trophy screenshots and videos for.
New Text Specifies Your Status on PS5
Sony differentiates between players on PS4 and PS5 by showing a symbol of each console, but if you're idling on a main menu then the console will make extra clear that you're Online on PS5.
You Can Hide Games from Your Library
If you're looking for a way to better manage your Game Library, then you can now Hide software by hovering a panel, pushing the Options button, and selecting Hide. You can then filter your Game Library to specifically show hidden software if you ever want to unhide it in the future.
Have you found any other hidden features in the new PS5 firmware update? What are some of your favourite quality of life improvements? Take the system software for a spin in the comments section below.