After revealing one of the most highly anticipated features for the PlayStation 4 in the form of remote play from a PC or Mac, Sony has rolled out when the update will go live: today. As you're reading this news your PS4 is likely already updating and downloading the new firmware patch for the eighth-gen system.
Gamespot did a quick rundown of the new features in update 3.5, revealing that there are a lot of new features for PS4 owners to take advantage of, including the ability to finally appear offline. This was a much-requested feature given that a lot of people have been wanting to change their status to appear offline because some people didn't want to go online and have their friends or party see them as online. Some people just wanted to watch movies or play games alone and in silence, and sometimes that's difficult to do when your status appears online.
Steam has had this featured implemented for quite some time, enabling users to have various status states, including the ability to appear offline. It's a nice way to garner some sense of privacy with our ever-connected digital world we live.
The option to appear offline has been coupled with the new friends online notification. If you do decide to appear online you can now receive notifications when certain friends hop online so you can begin to play your PS4 games. You can even choose which friends you receive notifications for, so that one guy... Gary, the one who swept your high-school sweetheart out of your life on prom night? Well yeah... you won't be receiving any notifications when Gary comes online.
Being notified about when friends come online also ties into a brand new feature that Sony seems to be really proud of for the PS4: scheduled events. These aren't just any kind of scheduled events, these are user scheduled events. This enables PlayStation owners to setup events on a day and time and invite their friends into a party, or create a special event and invite those within the PlayStation community to the event.
I'm not really into the social utility aspect of home consoles, but it's neat how gamers can name the event, select the game they want the event attached to, and invite the people that they want to attend. It's like a user-friendly version of those guild schedulers you see on third-party websites for games like World of Warcraft or EVE Online. The addition of the event scheduler means that you can easily put together multiplayer party for something like Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 or finally challenge your rival in a Friday night race in Driveclub.
There's also the new Play Together feature that allows party members to see what their friends are playing. So if you're in a party with a group of friends you can see if they're playing something you might like to join them in.
A new teen registration feature has also been implemented, so those between 13 and 17 years of age can play games in offline mode until a parent enables the PS4's online mode.
And finally there's the remote play feature that enables PC or Mac users to play games on their PS4 from the PC or Mac. The 3.5 update is available right now and ripe for use.