PS4 5.50 Firmware Update Introduces Supersampling and Big UI Improvements

PS4 5.50 Firmware Update Introduces Supersampling and Big UI Improvements

Your PS4's firmware just got a nice tune-up.

PlayStation 4's major 5.50 update is out and about following a beta that kicked off a month ago. PlayStation 4 owners can now tinker with play time management settings, an improved PlayStation 4 library interface, and a quick menu. PlayStation 4 Pro owners can enjoy all that and system-wide supersampling.

Sony's official blog has a breakdown of what's new in 5.50. Here are the major highlights:

Play Time Management

This is a valuable addition for families who want to ensure the household kids aren't playing video games when they ought to be studying or doing homework (though I suppose the feature will come in handy if Mom or Dad has a Final Fantasy XIV addiction). Parents / guardians can set play hours and schedule warning notices ("Hey! Your time's almost up! Save now, kiddo!") as necessary.

"I don't care if you're in a stare-down with Death, the Nintendo machine gets turned off in 5 minutes and you go do your homework."

Library UI Updates

A number of PlayStation 4 UI improvements are live, too. A new "This PS4" tab lets you see all the games and apps you've installed on your PS4, while a tab with your name and avatar lets you peek at the apps you purchased under your PlayStation Network ID. This'll make it easier to search for games you've purchased but haven't installed. A "Hide apps" option lets you hide certain apps in your library, for example, betas and demos.

Additionally, a PS Plus tab shows you which free games you own as part of your PS Plus membership. If your membership needs to be renewed, a lock icon next to the PS Plus logo indicates you're verboten until you pay up.

Menu and Notification Enhancements

The pull-down menu under the Friends tab in the Quick Menu lets you access specific friends and see who's online. You can control your Spotify playlist's music volume and on/off feature using the PS4 controller's buttons. Background music can now be played while you're streaming a game on PS Now.

Now you don't have to look at that heart-breaking P.T. logo every time you check your library.

Notifications can (finally) be easily deleted, and you can import custom profile page wallpapers using a USB memory stick. Speaking of customized images, you can also use a USB stick to jazz up your tournament / team pages with your own logos and background art.

Supersampling Mode is Here

Last but not least, supersampling mode is available on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Once you turn on supersampling, you might notice an improvement in a game's graphics even if you're still playing on a 1080p TV set. Some PS4 games have supersampling options baked into them, but the feature is system-wide with the 5.50 update. Despite the addition, not every PS4 game necessarily looks much better on the PS4 Pro. Keep that in mind.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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