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Sony Added A Secret Feature, But It Barely Works

Sony recently rolled out the PlayStation 5's first major update, and while many of the added features show a lot of promise and at least one major issue with the system's storage has been fixed, the update also brought attention to a small yet important new feature in the system settings. The larger function it's tied to is apparently not new; many PS5 owners report it's been part of the console since launch. Fortunately, that doesn't detract from how useful this feature could end up being for some people.

The Verge's Tom Warren reported a few bonus additions to the PS5 update that were not mentioned in Sony's announcement, including one related to the console's "HDMI Device Link" feature. HDMI Device Link offers "One-Touch Play" and "Power Off Link" settings, which unify your television and PS5 so you can turn both devices on and off at once. What's more, linking the two will automatically set your TV to the proper input.

In the past, however, there was no way to adjust the HDMI Device Link settings, which meant you basically had to let the PS5 do what it wanted to your TV, whether that was turning it on, turning it off, or changing its input. With the latest update, the HDMI Device Link functions can be toggled on and off — a change that many will undoubtedly appreciate.

That is, if you can get HDMI Device Link to work in the first place.

Ari Notis of Kotaku shared his HDMI Device Link experience, which was a bit of a letdown. Using a 2019 Sharp Roku TV, Notis found that he was unable to get this power option working for either setting. Even after moving his system to another television, which he noted was a Toshiba Amazon Fire TV, it was a no-go. When Notis consulted other members of the Kotaku staff, he found that he was not alone. Two of his fellow writers tested the HDMI Device Link settings and ran into similar issues. The only notable exception was when a PS5 was hooked up to an older TV. In that case, both One-Touch Play and Power Off Link appeared to work without a hitch.

From his field testing, Notis concluded that "HDMI Link works in some cases, but it's unclear what pre-requisites, if any, are required in HDMI displays for these two new functions to function." He submitted an inquiry to Sony, but has yet to receive a response.

Will Sony iron out the kinks? Considering all of the impressive things the PS5 can already do, it's reasonable to assume that the required specs for this feature will be addressed. For now, at least, those who can use the HDMI Device Link settings are able to turn them off now.