Last Wednesday, PlayStation’s product development teams introduced new system software updates for PS5, PS4 and the PS Remote Play App.
I sat down with Hideaki Nishino, SVP of Platform Experience, to get the scoop behind some of the new features, including 3D audio for built-in TV speakers and M.2 SSD storage expansion on PS5. We also discussed mobile app updates like Share Screen on PS App, which started rolling out yesterday on iOS and Android.*
Listen to our full interview on the Official PlayStation Podcast here for insights on how the features came together, or read on for some key excerpts, edited for brevity and clarity.
PlayStation.Blog: Can you give us a little sense of what you do as SVP of Platform Experience?
Nishino-san: Here at SIE, I work for hardware, system software, and network platform products and services. I don’t contribute to the games or studio teams, but everything other than the games side of things.
PlayStation.Blog: Congrats on the launch of the September system update on PS5. Are there a couple features you found particularly important?
Nishino-san: We launched many features with the September Update, but one I’m personally enjoying is the trophy tracker. Of course, I want to get more trophies and show them off. The trophy tracker allows me to easily pin the trophies I’m tracking down.
PlayStation.Blog: A lot of people have been asking, when are we going to get an update on 3D audio coming through the TV speakers (in addition to headsets).
Nishino-san: Yeah, absolutely. 3D audio has been a key part of our vision for PS5: delivering a really immersive experience not just through visuals but audio as well. When I turn on 3D audio for TV speakers, it sounds different. It’s difficult to describe, but I hope everybody will try it and experience it.
It feels like the sound is coming from around my ears and from the front as well. So, it’s definitely giving you a different experience. I’m really proud of the team that delivered this 3D audio experience.
PlayStation.Blog: I think a big feature for many people is the ability to expand PS5 storage [through M.2 SSD]…What does adding a new feature of this magnitude represent for the team?
Nishino-san: As we have many PS4 users today, we saw various console usage patterns. We launched PS5 in two forms: one comes with the disc drive and one comes without. We really wanted to provide customer choice — that was the concept.
We knew any capacity we put into the machine as storage, one day you’ll hit the capacity. We wanted to provide options. It was important for us to enable upgrade capability for users. We designed the M.2 SSD feature back in 2018. At that time, we were not sure if Gen4 SSDs were coming up or not, but we believed they were.
With [lead system architect Mark Cerny], we debated and discussed. We finally decided, ‘yeah, let’s do this.’ This will open the door for users to expand and improve the capability of the PS5. So, that’s the behind-the-scenes conversation we had internally, and I’m glad we can deliver this now for the holiday season.