The Playstation 4 system update version 2.50, codenamed “Yukimura,” launched on March 26, 2015 with a multitude of features including, “Improved and Expanded Accessibility Options.” The added features are customized button assignments for the Dualshock 4 wireless controller, zoom for displayed pictures and inverted colors, text to speech, enlarged text, as well as bolder fonts and higher contrast UI.
The additional Playstation 4 accessibility options are a big improvement for players with visual disabilities. The text to speech feature applies to Message and Party and is only available in English but the inclusion of the feature at all is a big step forward as an oft requested feature. Zoom and invert colors are for all system functions, apps and in-game while enlarged text applies to the UI. Bolder fonts and higher contrast UI are for system applications but not for games or third party applications.
Other general features in the update includes a suspend/resume mode, system back up capability with an external USB drive, as well as new organization and sharing options for friends and trophies. New accessibility options are also included on the Playstation Vita and the Playstation App.
Yukimura’s new and upgraded accessibility options for Playstation devices has generated an excited buzz, particularly for the text to speech feature. For disabled gamers, accessibility features don’t provide a “better than” but a “the same as” non-disabled gamers’ gaming experience. For example, while limited, the text to speech feature allows for direct communications between a disabled gamers and friends without relying on the assistance of a non-disabled person. The option to use all of the available features on the Playstation 4 independently is what every disabled gamer wants. Hopefully, the accessibility menu will continue receiving updates and upgrades over the life of the Playstation 4.