PS4 Owners Feel Trolled By The New 6.0 Update

Image: Sony

Sony released a new firmware update for the PlayStation 4 yesterday — a nice round number, 6.0. Such point-zero updates often mean big new changes for a platform, which is what fans were hoping for. This wishlist possibly even included name changes, because PSN users are nothing if not imaginative dreamers.

Unfortunately, the update did not bring name changes with it, or any other new features, leaving many PS4 players in disbelief.

“Either there is some huge hidden feature announcement coming, or this is the biggest troll of an update ever,” reads the top comment on the post about the new firmware over on the PS4 subreddit. Its official description simply reads, “This system software update improves system performance.”

In response, someone on a ResetEra forum thread on the subject wrote, “Why wasn’t this 5.6 if it’s just stability? Something is awry.” This is a sentiment shared by others who are confident there must be another shoe to drop, in part due to unverified rumours and mysterious hints by PlayStation employees.

Firmware 6.0 arrived today and it’s kind of underwhelming. (Screenshot: Kotaku)

Sony has had a lot of those types of updates. In fact, it’s become something of a running joke. Performance is always getting improved, or becoming more stable, both things that sound good but are extremely vague.

“My playstation is so fucking stable I might get a horse,” quipped one Reddit poster in reaction to the latest update.

Firmware update 5.0, which came out last October, stood out as an exception. In that instance, Sony used the round number to push out new features for following and messaging other users. Even 5.50 added support for custom background wallpapers.

While not part of the latest firmware update, the PlayStation Store did receive some improvements recently that make it much easier to navigate. (Screenshot: Kotaku)

The fact that 6.0 even had a beta test period seemed like a good indication that it, too, might bring noticeable changes. Instead, the biggest fix arrived separately late last month when Sony fixed how search works on the PlayStation Store, adding a full on-screen keyboard and the ability to search by publisher name and genre.

It’s always possible that there are hidden changes lurking in the newest firmware that Sony chose not to mention in the patch notes. It wouldn’t be the first time. Firmware 3.5 was full of hidden nuggets such as the ability to disable the screenshot notification that pops up after capturing an image.

Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether that was the case with 6.0 as well, and what the logic is behind how its updates are numbered.

My favourite fan theory for why 6.0 was pushed out so fast, even though it only appears to include a small performance boost, is so Sony can beat Nintendo to the 6.0 punch. The Switch’s 6.0 update is due out next week on September 18, and will include the launch of its paid online service.

Nintendo has its own history of seemingly overzealous firmware updating, hitting 5.0 in its first year out in the wild. Of course, Switch users still can’t change their account usernames, either.


    This update bricked my console. Every time I turn it on, I get an error, saying it cannot find the file.

    I boot in same mode, and try to re install, and the same thing happens.

    I do not have ps plus (and why would you, it’s a single player games console), and don’t want to restore to factory default and lose my data.

      friend it is with regret that I need to tell you, you've already lost all your data. friggin sucks and shouldn't happen. but it did. :(

      Try safe mode, hook in an external storage device (USB/HD whatever you've got) to transfer saves before a factory reset?

      I do not have ps plus (and why would you, it’s a single player games console)

      Biggest joke of the year lol.

        how so? my ps4 has player literally 3 games this year. yakuza 0, god of war and now spiderman. why would i pay for an online service that i dont use.

        every multi plat game i play on xbox for superior online and game sharing. im playing tomb raider and desting:forsaken right now and havnt spent a cent.

          You made a fair point that PS4 only allow cloud save with PS+ but your line about being singleplayer machine.....

          You literally contradicted yourself by playing Destiny because that is a multiplayer game.

          Last edited 14/09/18 12:13 pm

            which i said im playing on my xbox...i only player single player games on my ps4. because all multiplayer games are better on xbox.

              I thought you said did not pay a single cent? How did you play multiplayer games on Xbox without Gold subscription?

                I didn’t pay a cent to obtain the game... god you’re thick

                  Alright I get it now. You have both consoles but don't buy any game for yourself and don't purchase any subscription and only freeload the games/subscription from owner of the console.

                  Thank you for clarifying. Now I get your situation.

        Yeah you gotta wonder where he's coming from on that one.

      My console soft-bricked from this update too. Had to reinstall a fresh OS installation, but luckily I had all my saves on auto upload to cloud since this happened with an update a year ago which caused me to lose every single save I had accumulated since the PS4 launch.

      My theory with my issue is that it was a HDD issue, as I swapped out the 1TB HDD in my Pro for a 2TB HDD from a Seagate external drive. After yesterdays soft-brick, I decided to put the original HDD back in it and see if my problems persist. Once there is a new update, I will know if it was the HDD, as every time I tried to update the PS4 from within the OS, it would fail and give me error codes and run the risk of bricking the console. The only way I could ever update successfully was to boot to safe mode and select the 'update via internet' option and let it do that.

    So basically because 6 is a round number we should all be entitled to exciting new features. Ok...

      I know you jest, but that's kinda it. Round numbers are typically saved for major updates, reflecting a significant change in how an OS works. Basically, reflecting a new generation for the OS. Minor changes being reflected in the sub titling of X.1, X.2, etc.

      Not sure entitled is quite right, but it was fair to many to expect something... well, something new. It wouldn't have even needed much, but to get what seems a sub-update as a leap to 6.0 isn't normal process.

      Naming conventions like these exist for good reasons.

        My experience of it in development is around the resourcing and planning of the release. You get your rapid, low-risk 'hotfixes' rolled out quickly with very little paperwork - usually to fix something a recent update broke. You tend to get a mix of minor enhancements and defect fixes in a standard sprint, your typical x.1 update, and anything 'extensive' that involves more significant development and/or testing gets its own round number release.

        It's often just a coincidence that the releases that feature feature changes, new functionality, and UI stuff - customer-visible type things - happen to require that extensive release treatment, but we've definitely got a couple major/extensive releases scheduled for performance-only, which will functionally be invisible to the user but require exhaustive testing owing to how many elements and services they touch.

        Given what they've put out in the past, I would not be surprised if Sony is following this approach to choosing their numbers. The number indicating the amount of work required, rather than the visibility of the changes.

          Good points. To me though, its more that if it was just tweaking under the hood, a jump to 5.6 (would that have been the next one?) would seem more logical, not a jump to 6.0. Even if it WAS a big under the hood type update, that would garner more than a small one-liner explanation of "This software update improves system performance".

          Even if it was just a couple more lines expanding on that would justify it, but something that appears no different to the past 5 updates makes the numbering seem unusual.

          I think the small competitive opportunity to 'beat' Nintendo to the 6.0 mark had a lot to do with it.

          It's true that version numbers are nothing more than bookkeeping, but it's hard to get that message across to people now that companies have figured out that they can hype the absolute crap out of their feature/content rollouts by making them milestone updates.

          That could be true, but if they've done such major internal work it'd be nice to get more than a one liner in the patch notes. Especially when the one liner is the same as the last few minor patches.

            Yeah, it'd be nice. Of course that makes me guess it's also due to what some other folks are speculating - the major work was security-related, patching jailbreak related exploits and calling it 'performance'. Generally when you do security work, you don't elaborate much on what you've done.

        This has long been a case with major software. It's also part of the reason I find Chrome & Firefox's versioning a joke. They started playing a game of "every change is a new version" just so they would have the higher numbers because of some fuzzy perception that people would think a higher version number meant it was better.

        I've long thought that the .1 or smaller releases should be for fixes and should indicate no major feature changes. Similarly, at least back in the days before subscription based licensing was so popular, I'd expect the .1 and .01 releases to be freebies. It was only the main releases that added or change major features and at the same time required a new purchase/upgrade fee.

    "improves system performance" is almost always code for we patched an exploit that allowed jailbreaking.
    They also released a vita patch for "improves system stability" which is basically the same bs excuse.

    Maybe Sony have adopted Linus Torvalds' approach to version numbering, i.e. "it's 6.0 now because I feel like it".

    Massive changes in resecuring the OS against jailbreaks that have opened in V5. Thats why its 6.0, and why it got beta tested.

    Thank the internet gods for that. It's Friday afternoon and I was worried we were going to finish the week without the internet getting gratuitously pissy about something.

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