February 3, 2023

Sony is getting rid of Braces, a PlayStation 5 feature that has been present since the system’s launch, because apparently no one uses it (through Eurogamer). In case you’ve never heard of it (which shouldn’t be too surprising): Accolades are a way to anonymously reward other players online for being a “good sport”, “helpful” or “welcoming”, who then appear on player profiles.

on a PlayStation support pageSony says Accolades will disappear this fall, and the message is actually a bit sad. “The feature hasn’t seen the level of usage we expected, so we’re refocusing our efforts,” Sony said. “We encourage the community to continue sending positive messages to each other.”

The number of awards you earn in each category will be displayed on your profile.
Image: Sony

Sony probably rolled this out as a way to encourage the online gaming community to be a little less toxic, but players weren’t all that interested in using this system to compliment others. In addition, accolades are not available for every title and are much less relevant in cross-platform multiplayer games, although some games such as overwatch and (on PC) League of Legends have similar built-in functions with Recommendations and Honour. After introducing approvals, Blizzard developers reported in a 2019 GDC presentation that they saw a 40 percent reduction in “disruptive behavior” matches.

It also doesn’t help that Sony doesn’t make Accolades easy to find (this youtube video can you show how they work in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War), and a lot players just don’t know how to use it.

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With the launch of the PS5, Sony introduced a host of new features and revamped the Ribbon UI system interface on the PS4. Some things would inevitably just not arouse enough interest, but to me it seems a bit quick to make distinctions, especially since PS5 consoles are only now becoming easier to buy.

While it takes away accolades, Sony continues to add more upgrades to other parts of the PS5. After PlayStation revised its subscription options in March, earlier this month PlayStation introduced a new loyalty program, PlayStation Stars, which allows players to earn points that they can then use on new games.