Earlier this week, PS4 owners were greeted by a notification upon startup that a new system update was available for download. Firmware version 8.00 tweaks the Party and Messages feature. It also adds new avatars and enhances parental controls. Shortly after it went live, Sony's official PlayStation forums, as well as social media, were flooded by complaints regarding issues. One specific complaint apparently has something to do with voice chats being recorded when the PS5 launches next month.

The message read: "Please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users. By participating in voice chat, you agree to your voice being recorded." This reportedly prompted some gamers to complain about how this violates their privacy. Given how vaguely it was communicated, this led many to make speculations as to how Sony intends to use the recorded interactions between players.

As concerns grew among its users, the company offered an explanation which details how it would approach voice chats in the future. It appears that this will be a feature that ships with the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition when it drops next month. This would allow gamers to record their chats with others and send them to moderators, reports IGN It appears to be intended as a means of reporting abusive behaviour and harassment.

After Sony determines if the evidence proves the other party breaches their terms and conditions, violators can be sanctioned accordingly. It could range from a temporary suspension of account or an outright ban in extreme cases. The company is yet to share more about how this new system will work and if those who reported the incident will be notified if any action was taken against the offender.

Sony PS5 deep dive with Mark Cerny
While the public was expecting a more traditional PS5 reveal presentation, Sony once again opted for an odd approach not many appreciated. Photo: Sony

"Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded," wrote Sony. "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." Although this primarily applies to PS5 users, PS4 users who join a party chat with the former will have their conversations recorded as well.