We’re less than one month away from the launch of PlayStation 5 and Sony has finally unveiled the console UI and exactly how we’ll be interacting with our games, friends, and of course, trophies. Sony is leveraging the power of the SSD packed into each and every PS5 and delivering an experience that will be swift and easy on the eyes. “We believe your play time is valuable and should be meaningful, and all the new features we’re delivering are inspired by that concept and vision” Sony Senior VP, Hideaki Nishino stated in a PS blog post today. New features include Control Center, Activities, and picture-in-picture guides. Let’s break down each highlighted feature from today’s video.
With a single press of the PS button users will be greeted with Control Center, a one stop shop to see online friends, check a download, turn off the power, and more. The most prominent feature of Control Center are what Sony calls Cards. Cards let you interact with games and the PS5 in a host of different ways. There are Cards for news, screenshots you’ve captured, and even Activity Cards which unlock some of the most exciting aspects of the new UI.
In the video, Sony’s Sid Shuman demonstrated how an Activity Card for Sackboy: A Big Adventure showed progress toward a particular level in that game. With a quick selection, the game whisks you off to that level and loads right in. Another example showed a particular objective which the player had not yet completed in Sackboy, so the user takes advantage of official game help, which are short videos or screenshots giving hints to that objective. It’s a fantastic alternative to pulling up YouTube guides or following a walkthrough that might contain unavoidable spoilers. Users can even play the video in a picture-in-picture mode and even place the video at any corner around the screen. Sharing gameplay with your friends also takes advantage of the PiP move. Much like the of video tip Activity, players can share their gameplay with a friend and see that friend’s screen with the same PiP options.
New Home Screen
Sony has taken the main row of games and apps that you’re familiar with on PS4 and reduced the size of the icons so that more information from each game/app can be prominently seen and reached. The design is simple, snappy and was designed to feature the game content in beautiful 4K/HDR, out of the box. Unlike the PS4, the new Home screen will have a separate tab for games and media – a welcome change from those who thought the PS4 home screen was cluttered. One of the more welcome enhancements to the home screen is the baked in PlayStation Store which no longer launches via a separate app. Navigation to, and through, the PS Store should be quick, and seamless from the home screen.
There were a lot of other enhancements and features I didn’t mention here that Sony showed off in their video, so check it out for yourself and let us know what you think, Deer Reader!