A recent post on the official PlayStation blog from Catherine Jensen, the VP of Global Consumer Experience for Sony Interactive Entertainment, shed some new light on an all new voice chat functionality coming to the PlayStation 5 console.
The Global Consumer Experience division of PlayStation works to perfect the gaming experience across the PlayStation Network. The department also creates troubleshooting guides and manages the Ask PlayStation customer support channel in order to help gamers manager their PlayStation experience.
“Our goal is the help foster a fun and positive experience when you’re playing online with friends and other gamers,” Jensen said.
Part of the team’s job is to manage online safety across the PSN. With that in mind, they’re rolling out a new voice chat reporting function on the PlayStation 5 that will make it easier to report verbal harassment.
Unfortunately, the online gaming world has a huge issue when it comes to harassment, with obscenities and horrible inappropriate conduct sometimes running rampant. The purpose of the new function, according to Jensen, is to weed out behavior that is in violation of the PlayStation Network Community Code of Conduct.
However, it should be noted that this is a reporting function, and not a service that actively monitors gamer conversations. Those remain private unless the reporting service is activated.
Gamers were first alerted to the new system following a system update, and there were some misunderstandings as to the nature of this feature.
“We didn’t clearly communicate this feature or explain why we were introducing it, and we apologize for that,” Jensen said. “When the PS5 console launches in November, PS5 users will be able to chat with PS4 users — which is why we needed to include an advisory with the latest PS4 system update. We should have more clearly explained why this function was being rolled out, along with details on how it will work on the PS5 console.”
Jensen goes on to say that following the launch of the PS5 next month, if a player using that console has to file a harassment report, they will be able to do so while including a 40-second long Voice Chat clip in the report. This includes 20 seconds of the actual conversation with the offending player, in addition to 10 seconds before and after the selection.
It should be noted that only the most recent five minutes of Voice Chat will be available for this reporting function.
Reports are then directly submitted through the PS5. It goes to the Consumer Experience team, who will listen and take action if necessary.
There is no option for opting out of this reporting function.
“We want all users to feel safe when playing with others online,” Jensen said, “not just those who choose to enable it.”