One of the core aspects of the PS5 we’ve been waiting to see more has been the UI. Particularly because all signs pointed to some new features and integrations. This morning, Sony finally pulled the wraps off of the redesigned UX that will accompany their new hardware.
Redesigned Main UI
The main UI has had an overhaul in presentation while some of the immediate functionality remains the same. The core functionality for simple tasks like accessing your newest game remain simple and fast. The core functions of both user interactions and accessing menu options like the store are all cached to the PS5’s SSD which makes navigation extremely fast.
“Cards and Activities”
One of the aspects that was lacking in the PS4’s UI, was any meaningful information on specific titles. Compared to the Game Hubs of the Xbox One, the PS4 offered very little information/interaction with specific titles. With the PS5, they completely changed the way you will interact with games and it’s likely the aspect we’re most excited about.
Highlighting a title will bring up a sub-menu that will feature “Cards” which act as a list of curated challenges and activities related to the game. The “Activities” themselves allow developers to provides players with specific obstacles to overcome and even dedicated entry points into the game at specific points. Additionally, this all housed within a new control center for each game where other features are present as well. One of the features shown is “Game Help” where a player can pull up a video of how to overcome a tricky section in a game and even have it running picture-in-picture alongside their game.
The control center can even take that a step further and allow you to quickly jump between titles, chat with friends, but more impressively, even watch friends as they play still in picture-in-picture. From the video, it’s very impressive.
Summary and Video
Overall we’re really liking what we see out of the PS5 UI so far. It does raise the question of how many of the PS5’s resources Sony is dedicating to its usage. After all, early in the Xbox One’s life we saw the Xbox team try to allocate more power to the CPU by eventually minimizing “additional functions”. However, according to Sony the impact should be minimal:
“Hardware resource is limited and defined, and it’s shared between the game and our system side,” confirms Hideaki Nishino. “We define how much of the resource can be spent by the system side, but it’s a similar amount [to] what we are doing with PlayStation 4. That’s a philosophical thing: we are trying to give as much power and resource as possible back to the game side, because the game is the core, and then we bring Control Centre and Activity Cards while minimising the [system] resources we spend.”
We highly recommend watching the full presentation via the video below. And stay tuned for our Bitcast this Saturday as we discuss this in-depth!