Following some surprise and confusion earlier this week surrounding a message in PS4's latest system update notifying users that "voice chats may be recorded and sent to us by other users" - a statement that spawned more than a couple of memes - Sony has offered further clarification on just how, exactly, PS5's new voice chat reporting works.
In a new post on the PlayStation blog, global consumer experience division head Catherine Jensen began by apologising for the confusing way the new feature had been presented to PS4 players. "PlayStation gamers learned about this new function in an unexpected way following the recent PS4 8.00 system update," she wrote. "We didn't clearly communicate this feature or explain why we were introducing it, and we apologise for that."
Expanding on Sony's initial attempts to offer clarification earlier this week, Jensen explained that PlayStation 5 will include a new online security feature that enables a player to submit a 40-second audio clip from a current voice chat session for moderation in instances where other players engage in problematic behaviour.
"We believe that it's critical that gamers be able to quickly and accurately report abuse or harassment if they experience it while on PlayStation Network," wrote Jensen. "If a PS5 player needs to file a harassment report, they will be able to include up to a 40 second-long voice chat clip in their report - 20 seconds of the main conversation with the other player, plus an additional 10 seconds before and after the conversation selection. Only the most recent five minutes of a voice chat will be available for a player to use for this reporting function."
"These reports can be submitted directly through the PS5 console," continued Jensen, "and will be sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will then listen to the recording and take action, if needed". She did note, however, that "some submitted reports won't be valid, and our team will take this as an opportunity to provide guidance and education."
Jensen explained that PlayStation 5's new voice chat security feature is non-optional as Sony wants "all users to feel safe when playing with others online, not just those who choose to enable it". And given the cross-console voice chat functionality possible between PS4 and PS5, owners of Sony's current-gen machine are now being informed, as we saw earlier this week, that their conversations with PlayStation 5 users will be recorded too.
"We appreciate your support, and want you to know that our team will always work to create a positive experience on PlayStation so you can focus on playing great games and having fun with your friends," Jensen concluded.