It’s been a surprisingly tough week for the Consumer Experience team at Sony.
It started with the PS4 update 8.00, which included a pop-up warning that the PS5 could record voice chats, which players could then use as evidence in reports of abuse.
This caused a firestorm and more than a few memes that Sony has since tried to smooth out and explain.
Sony is not listening
A statement from Catherine Jensen, head of the Global Consumer Experience division at PlayStation, outlined the PS5 system.
She also issued an apology for the way the feature was communicated to the PlayStation community.
“Please note that this feature does not actively monitor or listen to your conversations ̵
Clearly, Sony does not intend to collect every piece of voice chat on their network and monitor it for inappropriate content. Of course, this does not stop people from worrying about security breaches or malicious actors who might abuse the system.
What can players report?
Sony is making an admirable effort to reduce voice chat abuse. The chat mode has become so infamous that most players simply mute all microphones in team play.
Jensen’s statement cleared up what the players will be able to do. Although we do not think it will soothe the concerns of some.
“If a PS5 player needs to submit a harassment report, they will be able to include up to a 40 second Voice Chat clip in their report – 20 seconds of the main conversation with the other player plus an additional 10 seconds before and after call selection.
Only the last five minutes of a Voice Chat are available for a player to use this reporting feature. “
There’s the kicker. While the voice chat clip should only be used to report harassment, DualSense has the last five minutes of chat available. The scrolling mail file should exist somewhere Sony can access if they wish.
Sony does not actively listen to your team directly Warzone strategy or your glow when you beat a friend at FIFA. But they record everything, albeit for only a small period.
Players cannot turn off the feature either.
“There will not be an option to deselect this Voice Chat recording feature because we want all users to feel secure when playing with others online, not just those who choose to enable it.”
Looks like you’re stuck with Sony recording if you want to use chat in the game …