There is only month left until we finally have our hands on the next generation of the PlayStation console: the long awaited PlayStation 5. Well, not me because I don’t really want to have to sell one of my organs to afford one but I want to talk about it nonetheless. Sony recently revealed some of the elements of the PlayStation 5 user interface and it certainly looks impressive. Let’s take a look at some of the main things that we learnt from the UI reveal for the PlayStation 5.
The Control Centre
As the name suggests, the control centre is a hub of sorts that can be accessed instantly with the press of the button. Accessing it whilst you’re playing a game doesn’t disturb or close your gameplay either, which is pretty cool. The Control Centre is a seamless user hub that holds some of the new features that I’ll discuss in a moment, but I thought it was a well-designed feature in itself that was worthy of mentioning.
Activities and Cards
In the UI video, Sid Shuman- the Senior Director of Global Content Communications for PlayStation- mentioned the plan to “remove barriers” entirely within gameplay and the activity system is a step in the right direction. Each game you play on the PlayStation 5 will have its own activities displayed on a unique card, with each card providing more information for specific levels such as in game objectives and progress towards trophies. Another cool feature is how each card will display how much playtime is left, estimating how long it will take you to complete the level. Some activities can allow you to jump directly to that specific section in the game too. One of the more controversial additions is the inclusion of the “Official Game Help” feature. This is a feature accessible to those with the PlayStation Plus Subscription service. If you’re struggling with something in game, you can go to this feature and it can provide you with the information that you need to complete a certain task or finish a particularly challenging level. This takes away the need to trawl through tons of web pages, potentially spoiler filled articles and long winded YouTube videos. The example used in the demonstration was a quick video clip, giving the player the exact information they needed. This is incredibly user friendly and a great idea, but it does make me somewhat concerned about those who create these kind of helpful tutorials as a living. Plenty of journalists, content creators and YouTube channels create in-depth gaming guides to help with tricky tasks and give gamers the full experience of their chosen game. I just hope this feature doesn’t make what they do redundant, as it takes so much time and effort to master a game in order to create these guides.
Online Multiplayer and Chat
The Dual sense controller for the PlayStation 5 will have a microphone integrated into it so if you join a party and want to chat, you can jump right in to a conversation which is pretty awesome. This mic will also allow for voice dictation, eliminating the need to type things out if you’re sending a message or searching for something. You can mute people immediately from the controller too. I’m definitely making a note of that one. There are some interesting additions to parties and multiplayer in general- such as being able to share your screen with friends, quickly jumping into multiplayer games due to the high speed SSD of the PlayStation 5 and the ability to take screenshots and capture videos with friends up to 4K in quality (a new feature about captures is that if the game developer feels that there may be spoilers in your capture, you will receive a warning message before posting) – however this will only apply if you have a dedicated friend group with that you play PlayStation with. If you only have a couple of friends that you play with or are forever alone- like me, yay for my fear of socialisation- then these changes aren’t going to make much difference to your PlayStation experience.
The Home Screen demonstrated showed off some intriguing new features too, such as the PlayStation Store becoming an integrated feature rather than a standalone app (side note- the PS Store will also have backwards compatible games available for purchase). I really like the introduction of a hub for each game. There is a similar system in place now for the PlayStation 4 but the next gen version looks more in-depth. Each games hub will be integrated with their own activity cards so you can keep track of progress and see what you’ve missed as well as other information such as DLC info. Some of the backwards compatible games will also be receiving their own hub. The Home Screen is looking to personalise the user experience as much as possible for the next generation of PlayStation console.
We won’t see the full user interface package until the PlayStation 5 arrives on November 12th for the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea and the rest of the world on November 19th. I’ll be watching all the videos that I can until I have a good enough connection in the black market so that I can sell a kidney. Yes, I’ve literally changed my mind about the organ selling thing since I started writing this. Don’t judge. For more on the PlayStation 5 user interface, have a read of the official PlayStation blog and check out the full video above.