Sony gives us first look at the PlayStation 5 user interface

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October 16, 2020
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Sony has finally unveiled the upcoming PlayStation 5’s user interface in stark detail in a new 11-minute video.

Set for an official launch on November 12, the PlayStation 5 has fans and console afficionados on their toes. While the initial announcement gave us great insight into the kind of games we can expect to play on the platform, not much was said about the user experience or what the updated UI is going to look like. Yesterday, however, we got our first look at the PS5 UI, and it is even better than we expected.

As the video shows, there are two main components worth talking about: Home Screen and Control Center.

The new home screen is going to look familiar to PS4 users, as it inherits much of its predecessor’s layout, especially that horizontal tile system that you can scroll through for displaying games and additional information. A notable improvement has been the reduction in the size of the tiles, so that they take up lesser space on the screen. We also get to see how hovering above each tile reveals Activities, video clips and screenshots, and game news. These are all available to PS5 titles and will also be available for backward-compatible PS4 titles.

Another new sight is the Explore tab, that shows all your games, game content, game news, and also news on PlayStation hardware. This tab will initially only be available in the US and will eventually be made available in other regions.

As far as the Control Center is concerned, it is easily the biggest new feature added to the PS5 UI. Triggered by pressing the PlayStation button, this feature essentially displays quick access options for things like switching games, notifications, your friends list, your audio settings, controller settings, and power.

A particularly interesting aspect of the Control Center is the “card”, which is essentially a context-specific piece of display that provides options depending on the game or application you are currently on.

An important card is the Activities card, which displays all the possible activities you can perform within a specific game, as well as within a specific level of that game, as shown below.

You will also see cards for things like any trophies you may have collected, news about the game you are playing, and any screenshots and video clips you may have recorded.

Some games will even offer helpful game guides and videos to get you through those particularly tough levels. This feature, of course, depends on the game and in any case, it will only be available to PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Videos can be captured with up to 4K resolution now, and can be shared to social media. It appears that speech-to-text will be a significant feature as well, as you can simply speak into the microphone integrated within your controlled and watch the message or caption appear on the screen.

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