Update: Sony has confirmed on its website that the PlayStation Communities feature will no longer be available, starting April 2021. PlayStation Communities is now listed under 'Discontinued PlayStation apps, features and services', with a statement that reads:
"Thank you for using the PS Communities feature on your PS4 console. Beginning in April 2021, this feature will no longer be supported or available on your PS4 console.
"However, you'll still be able to stay connected and enjoy messaging features and more on your PS4 and the PlayStation App."
TechRadar has contacted Sony for further comment.
Original Story: Sony is shutting down another PS4 feature next month, as part of an ongoing update for the last-gen console.
The PlayStation Communities feature is to be axed in April, according to an email sent to PlayStation 4 owners (via Siliconera). Communities allowed for PS4 players with shared interests to come together to play games, form parties, share screenshots and chat about topics related to their interest.
The feature's discontinuation isn't a huge shock given that Sony terminated the PlayStation Communities app in March last year, and that the ability to create private parties was removed from the PS4 last year. In addition, the patch notes for the ongoing 8.5 beta update for the PS4 apparently mentioned the removal of the feature (via MP1st).
It looks like the removal of Communities from PS4 could be the end of the PlayStation feature altogether, as it isn't offered on the new PS5 – and Sony hasn't mentioned any plans to bring the feature to the latest PlayStation.
But it's not all bad news, as this new update also brings with it some quality-of-life improvements, such as the ability to turn off notifications for specific groups you're in.
Another one bites the dust
This is the second PS4 feature we've seen Sony remove recently. Earlier this month, the company announced that users will no longer be able to rent or purchase movies or TV shows from the PlayStation Store when using a PS5, PS4 or PS4 Pro.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony pointed towards the “tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment services on our consoles” as the reason behind that decision.
Sony has said the change will take effect on August 31, 2021 and that users can still access movie and TV content they've purchased through the PlayStation Store for on-demand playback.
While we're not expecting Sony to stop supporting the PS4 anytime soon, it does seem that the company is winding down on any PlayStation 4 features it feels aren't essential.