Sony Tests “Hey, PlayStation” Voice Assistant on PS5
Sony has introduced a voice assistant for the PS5 gaming console awakened by players saying, “Hey, PlayStation.” The voice assistant is currently limited to speaking English and is only available in the U.S. and UK as part of a beta test package, including several other voice-related upgrades.
When alerted by its wake word, the new voice assistant responds to requests to find and open games and apps, adjust settings, and manage audio and video playback. The vocal control is already an option on the PS4, but the beta undergoing testing offers several technical upgrades, according to Sony. That said, it’s a fairly basic set of commands, a far cry from some of the features described in Sony patents over the last couple of years. The tech giant has filed more than a few ambitious voice AI dreams with the patent office, including one that would act as a video game coach. The voice AI could simultaneously help the player in a game while monitoring phone calls and other real-world activities. Previous to that, Sony patents laid out how the voice assistant could complete microtransactions during gameplay and more, all connected to the player by a controller with a microphone.
The voice assistant is optional, and the wake word can be deactivated from the settings menu. Though Sony outlined how it hopes to gather information from Voice Command users to improve the final version, they also emphasized the importance of privacy and some of the steps they are taking to avoid accusations of being lax on that front.
The beta test also includes changes to the social platform and accessibility tools. On the text-to-speech front, Sony is adding a half dozen new languages to its Screen Reader tool. The additional languages include Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, and Korean, nearly half of the 15 languages and dialects available.
Meanwhile, the voice chat platform is now referred to as a voice party chat system. Player’s who set up the room can decide if people can join without an invitation or if they’re a requirement for entry. This comes less than a year after Sony teamed with Discord to improve social interactions on Sony PlayStation’s network.