With the launch of PlayStation 4’s System Software 8.00 update on October 15 to be exact, Sony introduced a number of changes aimed to improve the PlayStation 4 environment was announced. One of these finally brings the console’s security up to date with other services—enhanced two-factor authentication
The official PlayStation blog post on the update has this to say on the feature
“Enhanced 2-Step Verification
The 2-Step Verification (2SV) feature on PS4 will be enhanced to support third-party authenticator apps as an option during the activation flow and 2SV sign-in across PS4, mobile and web.”
Now, what’s this about?
Players are likely familiar with two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification (2SV) as Sony refers to it. This is a standard safety measure to allow players to further secure their accounts from unauthorized access. Generally, 2FA is done via SMS and email while other platforms such as Steam, have an external mobile app that serves as the 2FA authenticator.
PS4 has had 2FA since 2016, however, this has been limited to first-party apps, limiting its usefulness. With the latest update, PlayStation 4 will now be able to use third-party authenticator apps, such as Google Authenticator, to log in to their PSN accounts.
Apart from allowing 2FA from third-party authenticator apps, a number of other handy features were also added to the PS4’s software as well.
Among these features are new UI improvements to party and messages, new avatars, Quick Menu quality of life upgrades and a more direct and flexible Parental Control system.
As of the latest update, both Party and Messages are now closely tied together in the UI. With this, party voice chat and messages are now all located within one interface and are both accessible at the same time, in contrast to previous iterations of the UI where a different setup was needed in order to have voice chats.
New premade avatars were also included in the update. These include new avatars from iconic PlayStation titles which include God of War, The Last of Us Part II, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Ghost of Tsushima among other titles.
For those who don’t like dealing with voice chat with random players online, an option to mute all microphones has been added to the Quick Menu. This would allow users to directly disable all microphones in-game with one click.
In terms of parental controls, the updates aim to combine the management of options for communicating with other players and viewing user-generated content. This will allow better control and filtering of audio and visual content that is received by the players, and can also be used to request access to use above mentioned features.
Unfortunately, PlayStation will be taking away key community features in the community app. Upon the implementation of the 8.00 update, users can no longer create private communities inside the Community App in the PS4. Only existing private communities will be accessible after the update.
Playstation’s Remote Play App will also be receiving a makeover in this update. The app will be renamed to PS Remote Play, and PS5 has also been added to the possible consoles that can be accessed by the app in anticipation of PS5’s release on the 12 of November.