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Sony's big PS4 software update is now available

Sony's big PS4 software update is now available

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Ask anyone that's purchased a digital copy of a full PlayStation 4 or Xbox One game and they'll tell you it's an arduous experience — even with the "play while you wait" features that both consoles offer. Thankfully Sony is just days away from making things more convenient. The PS4's next big firmware update arrives on April 30th, the company announced today. Once it's installed, you'll be able to download games pre-ordered from Sony's store early so they'll immediately be ready to play on release day. PC gamers have had access to early downloads for some time now, but console makers have struggled some in bringing the same concept to the living room.

It's a shame preloading wasn't ready in time for Infamous: Second Son, but the feature is still coming ahead of significant releases including MLB 14 The Show and Watch Dogs. Both will likely be massive downloads. Sony says you'll be able to download pre-ordered games "up to several days in advance." The final call on that window is likely made by publishers, but even a 24-hour head start is better than getting slammed with a major wait on launch day. The Xbox One does not yet offer similar functionality, but Microsoft has said it's a possibility.

As announced previously, the PS4 1.70 update will also introduce SHAREfactory, Sony's "rich video editor app" that will give users greater flexibility in personalizing their recorded game clips. "With SHAREfactory, you can now easily combine your captured video clips for editing, personalize them with special effects using filters, transitions, and themes, as well as share them with your friends and social networks," the company says. Exporting those videos to external USB storage will also be supported with the new firmware. And for those who like to record gameplay using their own gear, the PS4 will now allow HDCP to be switched off, removing a hurdle that prevented video capture before.

Update April 29th, 8:47PM: The update will also include the ability to dim the PS4 controller's light bar, automatically pair with a PlayStation Vita if you're signed into the same account on both systems, search for friends of friends on PlayStation Network, and share songs from Music Unlimited, among other things. The PlayStation App for Android will add push notifications and send friend requests via email and text messages.