Discord integration has finally come to PS5 thanks to Sony's latest software update. This comes after Discord made its way to Xbox last year, and now owners of Sony's console can too enjoy cross-platform voice communication. However, there are also major problems with voice chatting, in general, today, and Discord being available on both PlayStation and Xbox may not change things as much as you might think.
So, in this article, we'll talk about Discord coming to PS5 and whether or not that really matters.
Related: Is Call of Duty Coming to Switch Anytime Soon?
Discord on PS5
Thanks to version 7 of the PS5 software, which has just gone live recently at the time of writing, now Discord is finally available on PS5. Much like the original Xbox integration, this integration requires you to join a call on PC or mobile and then hit a 'transfer to PlayStation' button.
Once you do that, and you select your PS5, Discord voice chatting will essentially look and function a lot like a party chat in the background natively on PS5. Xbox's Discord integration eventually got upgraded to be able to join channels and whatnot directly on Xbox, so it's probably safe to assume that functionality will also eventually come to PlayStation.
As of right now, though, you can use Discord on your PlayStation to chat with other people on Xbox, PC, or mobile for a truly cross-platform chatting experience. And, as mentioned above, we can really only expect that experience on PlayStation to get better and better in time.
Related: Why Are So Many People Still Playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?
The Problem With Voice Chats
There's a problem with voice chatting, though. The thing is that voice chatting when gaming has been a mainstream thing since 2005/2006 with the release of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but voice chat isn't necessarily more popular in the way you'd expect in 2023.
Yes, it is true that almost everyone who plays games nowadays has access to a mic or can get a decent one at a relatively low cost, but that doesn't mean that there are more people hopping on the mic in the game chat of whatever game you're playing at the moment.
Actually, that number is usually lower now than it was years and years ago. The problem comes down to party chat as well as services like Discord. More and more people choose to just party chat or use a third-party application to chat with their friends rather than actually use their mic in game chat.
Related: Why Are Snipers Popular in Some Call of Duty Games and Not Others?
What this means is that even though it's easier than ever before to chat with your friends and more people than ever before have mics, you won't notice more people in game chat than before, and in fact, you might see that less and less than you ever did before, years past.
With Discord now being supported on both major consoles as well as PC and mobile, it's hard to not expect that situation to get any worse. Ultimately, most people don't get a lot of joy out of talking to random strangers on the internet when they could otherwise be talking to friends. Some people do, sure, but in general, it seems to be the case that most don't prefer that.
Will the Voice Chat Problem Ever Get Better?
So, on one hand, it's great news that Discord, for example, is out on PS5. Now, if you want, you can hop in your friend's server while they're playing something on PC or Xbox while you're playing Horizon: Forbidden West or whatever else on your PS5. Awesome.
Related: Why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Is Losing Players
But then there's everything described above. Unfortunately, we probably aren't ever going to go back to the scale at which people would hop on a particular game's in-game chat. However, that doesn't necessarily mean all is lost, either. It may be harder to make new friends randomly playing games, sure, but this new way of doing voice chatting has its own benefits, too.
For one, it's a lot easier to form and maintain lasting friendships when you can be talking to your friends regardless of what you're playing. You don't have to worry as much about your buddy moving to a different game where you won't be able to hang out anymore because now you can just chat with him all the same while you're doing your own thing.
It's also really helpful for community building. Say you've got a squad of people you play with regularly and you aren't especially interested in talking with the random people in a particular lobby in a game. With party chats and Discord and all of that it's incredibly easy to create a space for you and your friends to have fun together.
Plus, of course, people still use game chat now, and they probably always will. And depending on the game, how often people use game chat will vary, too, meaning that some games where it's more useful will see it used more often. All of which is to say that game chat isn't dead just yet.