The “Activities” feature on the PlayStation 5 is one of the console’s most defining features that sets it apart from not only the PlayStation 4 but also the Xbox Series X. Through these Activities, players are able to pinpoint exactly what they need to do in games that support the feature with things like tips and even video walkthroughs included in them. Within some leaked documents from Sony that included a presentation about the Activities, we’re able to know more about Sony’s intents and inspirations behind the helpful feature.
Those internal documents were obtained by Vice Games after first being sent out to different developers in 2019, the outlet said. A presentation within the documents about the Activities reaffirmed what people can already tell about Sony by looking at its first-party studios’ games: That it supports single-player experiences. The documents had data to back that up as well by showing info on time players spent playing offline compared to offline, but that info wasn’t revealed.
What was detailed were the common problems Sony said players had with single-player games. Some of those reasons dealt with time where players might take a long break from the game and forget what they were doing when they return or are unsure of how long something might take and therefore wouldn’t play unless they had a set amount of time devoted to the game. Others were worried about being able to “engage socially without risk of spoilers” and having to sift through tons of help videos when they get stuck.
The Activities then are supposed to help with these kinds of issues. The feature supports anti-spoiler content to make sure they’re not revealing too much to the players and will curate the Activities players show immediately when opening the menu to what parts of the game the player is currently in or has visited. Referencing the Uncharted games, a heavily single-player-focused franchise with tons to do, one of Sony’s presentation slides said the Activities could help change players’ questions and get them back in the game.
“We can change 'should I start playing' to 'which part should I start playing?'" the slide in question said. "The options are there. The choices are clear. The game is calling. Pick up that controller. It's time to play.”
These Activities are supported in many of the PlayStation 5 games now available on the console, but you’ll see them used in different ways across the titles. They’re of course entirely optional, so if you don’t want any help at all, you’re free to continue your games solo.