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PlayStation 5 users can now use pointers to help friends find hidden loot

Neat trick: PlayStation 5 users may soon have a new way to interact with friends on the platform. A new feature hit beta today that allows friends to point to areas of a player’s game screen to help them find hidden items or navigate through more challenging sections.

On Wednesday, Sony rolled out PlayStation System Software version 9.00. Most of the adjustments are rather ho-hum, but one is pretty cool.

First the boring: Version 9.00 adds AI-driven noise cancellation to the DuelSense controller’s mic to filter out button clicking and background gameplay noise during chats. Developers also tweaked the controller’s speaker to make it sound better.

I’m not sure how many players will benefit from these fixes. Most of my PS5 friends and I use headsets for chatting. I don’t know anyone who uses the controller’s mic and speaker setup for voice chat. So, for most users, these aren’t anything they need or will use.

Another mundane update is a new setting for the PS5’s power indicators. If the brightness of two strip lights on the edges of the PS5 bothers you, you can now go to Settings > System > Beep and Light and then select Brightness. Oddly, there is no option to turn them completely off, but you can adjust them to your preference of Dim, Medium, or Bright (default).

The most exciting part of the update is a feature that most of us can’t even access yet. If you own a PS5, you might be familiar with its “Share Screen” functionality. If not, you can think of it as a small-scale Twitch platform. You can use it by opening a party chat with friends, starting a game, and selecting Share Screen in the party window. It’s a simple way to show your gameplay to a few friends rather than broadcasting it to the entire internet.

Functionally, it is non-interactive from the viewing side – suitable for showing off a cool trick or something like that. However, update 9.00 has added “interactions” to the feature. Now, when you are watching your buddy play, you can add emojis and reactions to cheer on that cool trick. These interactions show up on everybody’s display, including the host.

An even cooler aspect of the feature is adding pointers to the screen in real-time to draw attention to something. For example, if you have trouble finding a hidden easter egg or prized loot, you can fire up a party with a few buddies versed in the game and ask for help. They can then use the pointers to show you where something is or what path to take (screenshot above). It’s a helpful feature since visual markers are more intuitive and efficient than explaining something verbally.

Some game-viewing platforms like Twitch have viewer interactions like emojis or fireworks that overlay on the screen. However, viewers have no control over their placement, and it usually costs Bits (Twitch currency) to activate. PlayStation’s Share Screen interactions are more controllable and cost nothing.

The experimental feature is currently in beta, so you have to be a beta tester to access it. However, signing up for the Beta Program only takes a minute on the PlayStation website.

It’s worth noting that Share Screen interactions only work when viewing from a PS5, for now. Sony promised the functionality would extend to the PlayStation apps on iOS and Android later this month. A mobile touchscreen might make a more suitable interface for the feature than a DualSense controller anyway.

Image credit: Trusted Reviews

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