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PlayStation 4 to get 'suspend/resume' feature at long last

Sony's update will also include a range of social features, and a backup -and-restore option that lets users offload data to a USB drive.

Sony's PlayStation 4 is getting an update on Thursday. Sony

Sony's PlayStation 4 will finally get a feature users first heard about at the console's unveiling in 2013.

Sony will push out a major PlayStation 4 update Thursday that will include the long-awaited suspend/resume feature, the company confirmed Wednesday. The update, PlayStation 4 v2.50, will be available for free, and include some other notable additions, including the ability to back up hard-drive data to a USB drive and then restore that back to the PlayStation 4.

But it's addition of the suspend/resume feature that might be the most important. Sony first announced the feature in 2013, promising that it would allow gamers to pause a game and put the console into rest mode. After booting the PlayStation 4 back up, gamers could pick up right where they left off without going through the main menu and choosing their game.

The addition of such a feature represents a major improvement. Historically, gamers would either need to save their progress and turn a console off or leave the console running if they had to leave and wanted to come back to a title. The suspend/resume feature eliminates those problems.

According to Sony, suspend/resume will work on "nearly all of your PS4 games." The company didn't say which games would not work with the feature, but now that it'll be baked into the console, it's likely that most, if not all, of the games released on the PlayStation 4 would support it.

The update also includes a range of social features, including improved ways to find friends and play games with them. Sony has also added new accessibility options for players with disabilities, allowing them to customize button assignments, use text-to-speech features, and enlarge text. PlayStation 4 owners will also be given the option to automatically install system software updates.

Sony's announcement comes just days after Microsoft previewed its own upcoming updates to its Xbox One console. Microsoft's updates will include improvements to party chats and the ability to see what the gamer did to earn an achievement.

Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.