It’s a huge departure
While Microsoft has been doling out Xbox Series X hardware to various people and letting them run wild, Sony has been a little more cautious with how it’s showing off the PS5. Today, a lot of the mystery behind the curtain has been alleviated a bit, as Sony has released a lengthy look at the PS5 UI. Finally!
The below 11-minute video is comprehensive, so if you were curious as to what your PS5 is going to look like in a month, this is the place to be. It starts at the very beginning of the experience: the initial login and profile selection. Then it zooms right into the “card-based” home screen UI, which is dubbed “the control center.” Digital Foundry acquired more info from Sony if you want to delve further.
Another big aspect of the UI involves several mechanics built around activities. You’ll be able to see how long certain tasks take to complete (with an estimated time) and in some cases “jump to activities immediately” by selecting them from a prompt. The feature is called “game help,” and it’ll need to be enabled by developers: you also need to have PlayStation Plus to use it.
Think of it like in-game guides. One example showed a game help tip layered side-by-side with Sackboy: A Big Adventure, much like watching a YouTube video to discover the location of a secret: without the extra time and showboating padded on for YouTube ads.
Party and social features are also getting a huge bump, as the video explains that players can now place a shared screen of their friends in picture-in-picture mode next to their game, while they chat with their friends. The demo used another person playing Uncharted: Lost Legacy with a live feed (much like a Twitch stream) as a sample of how this can play out. You can also join games in progress through the card system (which Sony says is faster since the SSD can boot up titles quicker).
We also get a quick look at the PS5 storefront near the end. It’s looking good! Picture-in-picture could be a game-changer, especially if Sony expands upon it.