Returnal could be due for a big update, judging by a large patch recently spotted for the developer beta version of the game.
The self-describing Twitter account PlayStation Game Size (opens in new tab) shared the news about the internal update, which it says increases the game's size by about 6 GB. That's the only detail about the update we have so far, but the fact that the beta's size increased so much after the update indicates this may be something more significant than performance improvements and bug fixes.
Developer Housemarque has itself seen some big changes since it released Returnal in April, chiefly being outright purchased by its longtime collaborator Sony. We don't know what the studio's first project as a PlayStation Studio is set to be, but returning to Returnal would be a sensible start.
One of the most commonly requested feature updates from the Returnal player community is a manual save system, which would allow players to stop a run partway through and return to it later. Housemarque acknowledged the requests soon after Returnal came out, but has made no official announcements about whether it will or won't be able to fulfill them.
Otherwise, a big Returnal update could potentially add new biomes to explore within Atropos, or expand the existing biomes with more enemies and level variety. A Sony and Housemarque representative said the company didn't have anything to share about the beta update report when reached for comment, so we'll just have to wait and see if and when it crosses over to the public side.