PS4's 2.0 Update Lets You Listen to Your Music While Playing Games

The system's home screen will also be improved, plus details on other features coming to PS4, Vita, and PS TV.

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Update: One of the features Sony said is coming as part of the 2.00 update--the ability to back up data to a USB drive--actually won't be included in this particular firmware.

Original Story: We've been hearing about the PlayStation 4's 2.00 firmware update for more than two months now. It's still not quite ready, but Sony has detailed more (but not all) of the changes it will bring with it, including the ability to listen to your own music while playing games.

By loading music onto a USB drive, you'll be able to make use of the new USB Music Player feature being introduced in the 2.00 update. This is briefly described in a new PlayStation Blog post and is said to allow you to listen to music while playing games. However, it's unclear if in-game music will be automatically disabled when doing so.

Supported file types include MP3, MP4, M4A, and 3GP. Unfortunately, these files will have to remain on the USB drive in order to be listened to--you won't be able to copy them to your PS4's hard drive and play them from there. That seems like a real oversight (especially considering it's something the Xbox 360 supported many years ago), but it's hopefully something that will be rectified in the future. If it is, Sony isn't providing any indication that it plans to do so yet.

The content area--that is, the home screen where you see your most recently used games and apps--is also being improved, albeit not to the degree many are likely hoping for. This area will now limit what it displays to your 15 most-used games or apps, with the rest being stored in the Library section. The Library has been updated to let you filter and sort through what you have stored on the system, providing options like sorting by recently used, install date, name, and type.

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One of the major 2.00 features we've already heard about is theme support, something which recently launched on PlayStation Vita. In addition to themes, you'll be able to select from a number of colors (red, blue, green, pink, purple, gray, and gold) to serve as the home screen's background in place of the existing light blue option. You can see what these look like in the gallery below.

Other small additions in 2.00 include a "players you may know" area in the What's New section, improved voice commands, enhanced live streaming (both for those streaming and those looking for streams to watch), and a way to back up PS4 data (settings, saves, screenshots, downloads, video clips, and other things) to a USB drive [see update note above]. There's also a small feature I'll be especially grateful for: A new "Add to Library" button on the PlayStation Store, which will make it easy to claim a free PlayStation Plus game without having to download it immediately.

The 2.00 update also brings with it the other features we heard about in August--YouTube sharing for videos and the much-anticipated Share Play.

New updates for both the PlayStation Vita/PlayStation TV and the mobile PlayStation App are coming up, too. The new Vita update, version 3.35, will be released at the same time as the PS4's 2.00 update (whenever that is--Sony still isn't saying). It'll add four-player Remote Play support to the PS TV, while introducing the Live From PlayStation app (used for watching PS4 game streams) to both Vita and PS TV. The PlayStation App's 2.00 update, meanwhile, will also come at the same time and redesigns the home screen, while providing a new layout on tablets.

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