PS5 can record your voice chats — and gamers aren't happy

(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 launch may be imminent, but there’s still a bunch of stuff we don’t know about the console and its software. Well we’ve just heard about a new feature relating to voice chat, and it’s making a lot of people very unhappy.

Specifically it’s the fact that the PS5 will let users record voice party chats, in order to better report bad behaviour to Sony. And this feature also affects PS4 players.

Originally a message was passed around stating "please be aware that voice chats in parties may be recorded and sent to us by other users. By participating in voice chat, you agree to your voice being recorded." People speculated that this meant Sony was listening to or recording private group chats.

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In the post-Snowden world you can never be too sure what’s actually going on behind the scenes, but Sony has insisted that it's not going to be the one recording anything. That was clarified in an update to the Firmware 8.00 blog post:

“Following this update, users are seeing a notification about Party Safety and that voice chats in parties may be recorded. Voice chat recording for moderation is a feature that will be available on PS5 when it launches, and will enable users to record their voice chats on PS5 and submit them for moderation review. The pop up you’re seeing on PS4 right now is to let you know that when you participate in a chat with a PS5 user (post-launch), they may submit those recordings from their PS5 console to SIE.”

Sony isn’t listening to the recordings; this is just so PS5 users can record the contents of their voice party chat — specifically so they can submit recordings for moderation. In other words if someone is breaking the Community Code of Conduct in chat you can report them to Sony with evidence, even if they’re on a PS4 console. 

If anything the notification message is a good thing, because it’s forewarning you of the possibility that PS5 owners could be recording you in chat.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.