Sony has released firmware update 8.00, which made major changes to the par­ty and mes­sage sys­tems. It also added new free avatars, sim­pli­fied parental con­trols and enhanced two-step authen­ti­ca­tion that allows the use of apps. How­ev­er, many users report­ed issues after installing the update, includ­ing one that blocked users from see­ing their friends list. PSN was also down for some time after this update, but has since been restored.

Par­ty and mes­sage func­tions are now more close­ly linked togeth­er, and you’ll be able to use the same groups of play­ers for par­ty voice chats and mes­sage exchanges, instead of hav­ing dif­fer­ent groups set up on two apps. This will be a cross-get fea­ture, so PS5 own­ers can still send mes­sages to PS4 groups. Although Sony did state that par­ties could now be record­ed, but it won’t be Sony that records you. Oth­er play­ers can though.

The new avatars allow­ing play­ers to cus­tomize them with assets from Blood­borne, Jour­ney, Ghost of Tsushi­ma, God of War, The Last of Us Part II, The Last of US Remas­tered, Unchart­ed 4: A Thief’s End and more.

The new two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion allows for third-par­ty authen­ti­ca­tor apps to be used when sign­ing in across PS4, mobile and web. This means you no longer need to rely on SMS for 2FA, instead let­ting you add PSN to an app like Google Authen­ti­ca­tor.

Some fea­tures from the PS4 have also been removed. Play­ers will no longer be able to cre­ate Events or access exist­ing Events cre­at­ed by oth­er users once it has been installed. The abil­i­ty to cre­ate pri­vate com­mu­ni­ties under the Com­mu­ni­ty app on PS4 is also being removed. How­ev­er, users who cur­rent­ly have Com­mu­ni­ty groups will still be able to access them.

Last­ly, there is now an option to con­nect a PS5 con­sole using the Remote Play App on mobile and PC, before the con­soles launch on Novem­ber 12th.