Select PS5 owners can now register their interest in participating in the PS5 System Software Beta Program , a public beta program Sony launched today in an effort to get help testing out system updates.
Sony has run similar public beta programs for PlayStation consoles past, but this time around it's especially significant because many people have reported serious PS5 issues like problems with transferring data to external hard drives or crashing and critical errors when the console is put in Rest Mode.
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Some of those issues have been addressed by system updates Sony has been releasing at a steady cadence over the last few months, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.
To join the PS5 system software beta program, you must be a PlayStation Network account holder 18 years or over who resides in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, or Japan. Of course, you'll also have to own a PS5, which have been notoriously difficult to get ahold of since the console's December 2020 debut.
PS5 restocks are happening regularly at major retailers, but stock still seems to sell out quickly. However, with Amazon Prime Day coming up next week we're likely to see a fresh influx of PS5 hardware. Though we won't know for sure until the deals start flying, these retailers could have PS5 stock for Prime Day.
If you do manage to get ahold of a PS5 and sign up to take part in the system software beta, you still may not be called upon to serve: Sony says it will select potential beta participants from the pool of those who sign up, and email them directly with instructions on how to download specific beta versions of the system software ahead of time.
While you should always be cautious about installing unfinished software on hardware you own, these "betas" are probably a safe bet. They'll likely be pretty close to final versions of the software, given that Sony is willing to release them onto public consoles and provide testers with an option to roll their PS5s back to the latest official system software release. Still, it couldn't hurt to back up your PS5 to external storage if you have the option — better safe than sorry!
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Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.