PS4 Firmware Update 2.0 Freezing Consoles in Rest Mode, Delays Evolve Big Alpha

UPDATE (11/5/2014): Sony has released PS4 firmware update 2.01 today, which appears to have addressed the issues caused by 2.00. The Evolve Big Alpha went live for PS4 on Nov. 3 and ended Nov. 4. The original story can be read below.

If you’ve downloaded the PlayStation 4’s system update 2.0, don’t put the console into rest mode.

After the PS4’s newest system update, many users have been reporting that their consoles aren’t waking from Rest Mode. To solve the issue, any people experiencing this have been forced to manually power off the console, potentially causing system damage. Reddit is full of other potential fixes but none seem to be working 100% of the time.  Sony is investigating the issue, but until a new update is available, it would be best to either leave the console fully on or shut it fully off.

System update 2.0 also seems to be causing some developers headaches as well. 2K Games has postponed the Evolve Big Alpha because they have been “experiencing difficulties” since the firmware update went live. The Big Alpha was originally scheduled for this weekend, and still is on both the PC and Xbox One. In attempt to mitigate the PS4’s problems, if you got an alpha code for the PS4 and have either an Xbox One or a PC good enough to game on, 2K has provided directions in the link above for how to use your PS4 code to get alpha access on the other systems.

Needless to say, this is another major miscue for Sony, which has had other slip-ups in recent weeks and months. Hopefully this one is solved in the next couple days and no other games are affected.

(The above was an update to a previous news article. That article, titled “PS4 Firmware Update 2.0 Goes Live, Adds Share Play and YouTube Support” and published on Oct. 29 2014, is below.)

As of October 28, 2014, PlayStation 4’s system update 2.0 is available for download. This latest firmware update adds Share Play, YouTube support, and improved live broadcasting features, along with other relatively minor improvements.

Share Play is probably the biggest addition, though, and is the feature most unique to the PS4. Basically, it allows PlayStation Plus subscribers to share a game with someone who doesn’t have that game. Before this was only possible locally, if your friend was sitting right next to you, so it’s apt that Sony has been describing it as a “virtual couch.” There are two different modes available. The first allows someone to take control of the game in order to, for example, beat a particularly difficult section of a level for you. Only the game owner needs PS+ for this option, meaning fewer PS4 owners are left out. The second allows your friend to join your game for multiplayer, so games that were local multiplayer-only are now playable with people across the world. This is only available if both players have PS+, however, but if anything this just provides another reason to subscribe to the service. No matter which Share Play mode you choose, each session is limited to only one hour, but you’re able to start a new one immediately afterwards so the time limit seems a bit arbitrary. Regardless, Share Play sounds like it will be an advantage for the PS4, and I could see it being particularly useful (not to mention the increased sales for Sony) for convincing friends to get a game with a try-before-you-buy approach. The video below shows more how it works in action:

YouTube support is another key piece of the update, and frankly I’m surprised it took so long. With firmware v2.0, PS4 users can now upload videos directly to YouTube. Before, sharing them via Facebook was the only option. The PS4’s Share Factory app for editing footage is still an option for giving uploads a more polished look, but with this update, footage can also be trimmed and previewed right from the video upload screen. A YouTube app is also finally available on the PS4, so YouTube videos can be viewed directly on the console now without having to open the system’s internet browser.

The last major aspect of the update is the various improvements to PS4 live broadcasting. When viewing, you can now sort videos by which game they’re from, choose streams from people on your friends list, and follow certain broadcasters so they show up in your “Featured” streams.  If you broadcast footage yourself, there are now more customization options, such as including a message to viewers or customizing how you want your picture-in-picture to look (assuming you have a PlayStation Camera). Like the YouTube support, these all seem like things that should’ve been available a while ago, but since they weren’t, it’s good that Sony’s cleared up those deficiencies. Ultimately, the coolest feature of the bunch is Share Play. It’s the one feature that no other console does, and assuming sharing a game works well and doesn’t require a super-fast internet connection, it’ll be what the firmware update is remembered for.

The other new enhancements, like themes and new voice commands, are detailed in the video below:

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