PS4 update lets parents control how long their kid can play

Folks worried that their kids are spending a little too much time gaming should be pleased to hear about Sony’s latest PS4 update.

System software update 5.50 includes a new feature called Play Time Management, as well as changes to the Library interface, the ability to add custom wallpapers, and a supersampling mode that makes 4K games look better on 1080p TVs.

Play Time Management gives Family Managers (or other adult family members set as guardians) the ability to set limits on their kids play time and which games they’re playing and/or watching. Family Managers can set their kids Play Time limits on the PS4 itself or through PSN on the web.

So as not to surprise kids in the middle of a sick run, Play Time Management will warn kids that their time is running short so they can finish up and save.

Other new additions include a “This PS4” and “PS Plus” tab, differentiating between apps and games already installed on the PS4 and apps and games you have on the PS Plus Monthly free games platform, respectively.

The Supersampling Mode feature is big news for folks who are interested in the PS4 Pro but not so interested in investing in a brand new TV. Players with an HDTV (1080p or less) can enable the Supersampling Mode in Settings so that games will render a higher resolution and then be downscaled to match the HDTV. This will provide an image clarity boost even without a 4K TV. That said, Sony warns that performance may vary with this, as various games are optimized differently.

The update also includes enhancements to the interface, letting users quickly message or invite friends, change volume, and more from the newly revamped Quick Menu. This feature should come in handy for folks who often play with their friends online, but hate having to click out of their game and tediously navigate through a labyrinthine menu.

Finally, users can now upload their own custom wallpapers via USB, as well as zoom, crop and preview those images before committing. One slightly funny caveat: users must put the image in a folder titled IMAGES for the PS4 to recognize them.

Right now, the 5.50 update is only available as a beta to those who signed up and were selected for the early release program.