Sony’s latest PS5 beta, which began rolling out Wednesday, adds support for a new “Hey PlayStation!” voice command you can use to open games, apps, and settings and control movies and songs. I’ve been able to test the new feature, and to my surprise, it actually works quite well, and I could see it being a genuinely useful way to navigate the console’s UI.
One thing I was happy to see was that the voice command feature was opt-in — if that holds once the software update is released widely, that means you’ll have to actively choose if you want your PS5 to be listening to your voice. After I installed the beta, I had to dig into the PS5’s settings to a new “Voice Command (Preview)” section to turn it on.
When you do, your PS5 will show you instructions on how to prompt the voice command feature — just say “Hey PlayStation” (after making sure your mic isn’t muted and that your console is connected to the internet). The instructions also include a list of some things you can ask your PlayStation to do, like open a specific game or pause music.
Here are some of voice commands available.
Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge
Once the feature is on, when you say “Hey PlayStation,” a pulsating white dot will appear in the top left corner of your screen. When you say your command, it’ll appear as text next to the dot. In my testing, if the console understood my command, such as “go to the main menu” or “open Fortnite,” it would then do the thing.
When I would make a more vague statement, such as just the word “Persona,” my PS5 instead shows games it thinks are in realm of what I’m looking for. If it found just one option, I could say “yes” or “no” to opening it. If it found a few, it presented them as a numbered list, and I could say the number to go to that thing or “see more” to view a page of search results.
When your PS5 is listening for…