Forget high definition graphics or Kinect-driven voice commands; the Xbox One’s coolest feature is its suspend mode. Quite simply, Xbox One players can turn off the system at any time, and the next time they turn the console on, it’ll pick up exactly where they left off. While it’s not a perfect system – games that require an online connection won’t work with suspend, for example – it’s still an incredibly simple and convenient feature, and goes a long way towards making the Xbox One feel like the next evolutionary step in console gaming.
So far, however, PlayStation 4 owners haven’t been as lucky. While suspend/resume was supposed to be available at launch, the feature didn’t make the cut, either when the console shipped or in the 300 megabyte day one patch. In fact, it’s been almost a year and a half since the PlayStation 4’s debut, and despite Sony’s promises that suspend mode is still coming, PS4 owners still have to stop and start their games the old-fashioned way.
Finally, however, it looks like PlayStation 4 owners’ long wait might be coming to an end. Sony regularly shares firmware updates with so-called MVPs to help with beta testing, and it looks like one of those players broke his or her non-disclosure agreement and posted screengrabs of the PlayStation 4’s upcoming 2.5 update to NeoGAF. The original pictures have been removed since then, but this the Internet: once the information is out there, it’s extremely difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.
Under the “Main Features” heading, the 2.5 update notes clearly list the ability to “enter rest mode without closing any applications,” which certainly sounds like the long-awaited suspend feature. Another leaked image shows a button remapping screen, allowing players to change the controller layout for games that don’t support that option natively.
There’s always a chance that these screens could be fake – it wouldn’t be the first time that “leaked” information turned out to be a hoax, after all – but it seems likely that the information is legitimate. For one, the original thread was allegedly shut down by Sony itself. Further, a blog comment made by PlayStation social media manager Fred Dutton just over a month ago promised that “the next update is not too far out.”
If that’s true, then it would make sense that Sony has moved into the testing phase. However, the beta process could take longer than expected; the PlayStation 4’s last major update, 2.0, froze systems that were put in standby mode, requiring users to rely on a potentially damaging hard-reset. Sony will want to avoid similar problems with 2.5, so expect the update to stay in testing until everything is pretty much perfect.