Sony has published new details about the PlayStation 5’s recording of voice chats, after the company appeared to be caught flat-footed earlier this week when it released the latest PlayStation 4 system software update and users caught wind of the feature unexpectedly.
“We didn’t clearly communicate this feature or explain why we were introducing it, and we apologize for that,” Catherine Jensen, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s vice president for global consumer experience, said in a PlayStation Blog post on Friday afternoon.
Following the release of PS4 system software version 8.00 on Wednesday, players began seeing a notification and a message on the console regarding its party chat feature. Titled “About Party Safety,” the note said, “Please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users. By participating in voice chats, you agree to your voice being recorded.” The message also noted, “These recordings will be used only for safety and moderation purposes by PlayStation Safety.”
Sony later updated its PlayStation Blog post about the v8.00 firmware to acknowledge the “About Party Safety” message and notification, explaining that the recording feature would be available exclusively on PS5 when the console launches on Nov. 12. The update also said that the feature would allow users to submit the recordings to Sony for moderation purposes. But the entire episode raised eyebrows among the PlayStation community, especially with respect to privacy concerns, leading Sony to publish further details on Friday.