A few short weeks out from the PlayStation 5’s launch, Sony has finally shown what the console’s interface will look like on your TV. The system’s user interface seems to build off of multiple different previous PlayStation systems, while sprinkling some impressive new features on top.
The presentation began with the console being booted from rest mode, rather than a full shutdown, and with Sackboy: A Big Adventure in the middle of gameplay.
Levels load from where they left off, but over top of the gameplay you’ll see the PS5’s control center, which is comprised of cards. These interactive tiles display a variety of information. The leftmost card provides news updates on the games you follow, with the card to the right of that displaying recently captured screenshots or video.
The rest of the cards are activities, and these allow you to see how far you’ve progressed in certain levels, as well as remaining objectives that need to be completed. The PS5 also provides an estimate of how much time is left to complete each objective.
Players are then able to jump directly to a level or an objective from a selected card, select specific objectives, and even have the system show off how to complete them via built-in video tutorials. These tutorials can be played picture-in-picture, or snapped to the side of a game.
Trophies are a huge part of the PlayStation ecosystem, and many players dedicate time to collecting as many trophies as possible, with the hopes of obtaining a game’s platinum trophy. It seems these new systems will be of incredible use for those types of players.
The presentation moved on to how parties and chat will work. A pop-up shows a party invite, with another player deciding to share their view of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy gameplay. You can then decide whether or not to view their gameplay, and either watch via picture-in-picture, or pin it to the side of your own game, which you can continue to play while viewing your friend’s screen.
The new DualSense controller has a mic built into it, which allows for dictation of text chat, much like a lot of modern phones.
If a player is invited to a multiplayer match, a similar card will pop up, and the player can quickly jump into that game (Destruction AllStars being displayed here). We didn’t see much of the DualSense’s new create button, which is replacing the old share button on the DualShock 4, but initially it has exactly the same functionality. This time around, screenshots and videos can be captured in up to 4K on the PS5.
Finally, the home screen was shown off, which is where the console will default if booted from a complete shutdown. This is the aspect that is the most similar to the PlayStation 4’s home screen, with a row of most recently played games.
One of the tidbits Sony did mention is that media apps such as Netflix will have dedicated icons on the home screen, rather than being bundled into a difficult to navigate “TV & Video” folder like the current-gen system, which is a relief to anyone who uses their PlayStation for streaming video.
Only select titles will be featuring some of the cool new cards and activities that were displayed in the showcase, so developers will probably need to program them themselves. It’s safe to say that any PS5 game from one of PlayStation’s own studios will feature that functionality.