Recent changes to how parties work on PS4 have certainly not been popular.
Sony has acknowledged the response to one particular change made to PS4 recently. With the release of firmware update 8.00 – likely to be the last major update for seven-year-old console, Sony changed the structure of parties.
Previously, anyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription could start a party, and invite others to join them in-game as well as obviously in voice chat. Invites could be sent out to anyone, friends and others you meet online, and everyone went their separate ways once the party had been disbanded.
With firmware 8.00, Sony made it to so PS4 parties are tied to message groups. This isn’t so much a problem if you only really have a couple of friend groups you chat and play with, but it’s needlessly complicated for those who just want to create a party with someone who isn’t in the same group as they are.
What was previously a single click to invite a random to party chat, has now turned into creating a new message group and inviting them to that, then to party chat. This is obviously an necessary hassle, particularly for people who don’t tend to stick with the same group, as they’ll now end up with dozens of message groups for every party they joined.
In an official Tweet, Sony said it’s “looking into your feedback,” promising an update at some point in the future.
Hey folks – just wanted to let you know that we’re looking into your feedback on the recent changes to Parties on PS4.
Thanks for speaking up – we’ll keep you posted
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 17, 2020
Sony also recently had to apologise for the confusion around a voice recording feature added with the same firmware. The platform holder made it possible for players to record a few seconds of party chat when they want to report abusive/inappropriate behaviour. The wording, however, coupled with Sony’s trademark fire-and-forget approach to communication, lead some to believe the company was recording party chat for its own needs.