PlayStation fans got their first real in-depth look at the PlayStation 5 interface users will experience when the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition launch next month. Through a video breaking down some of the key components of the PlayStation 5 UI, we got to see things like Activities, a new feature that’ll assist players with their games without having to worry about spoilers, and new ways that parties and player-to-player communications have been integrated into the experience without getting in the way of whatever you’re doing. All these features and more come together to show a new experience that’s looking to be a big upgrade from what we have now on the PlayStation 4.
The video in question can be seen below for those who haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. In over 11 minutes of footage from a PlayStation 5, we’re able to see what navigating the new UI looks like and what we can expect from it.
It’s a lot to take in which means there are a lot of standout features packed into the video that could’ve easily been spotlighted on their own had we learned about these features in piecemeal fashion rather than in one video. Below we’ve highlighted 10 of the biggest takeaways from the PlayStation 5’s UI reveal to give an idea of what we can most look forward to with the release of the next-gen consoles.
The PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition are scheduled to launch on November 12th with a bunch of games already confirmed for the console and more to come.
New Control Center
The new Control Center offers a broad look at the changes made from the PlayStation 4 to the PlayStation 5, but there’s one big change in particular that’s worth noting. When pressing the PlayStation button on the DualSense controller, it’ll no longer take you back to the dashboard which currently means leaving your game. Instead, it’ll pull up the Control Center right on top of the game that you’re in which means you won’t have to wait to load whatever you’re trying to look at and then load back into the game when you’re done.
From there, you can navigate through all the settings and other options you’d normally be able to look through on the PlayStation 4 including notifications, lists of friends, and controlling power options like putting the console to sleep. You’ll also notice that the boxy tiles from the PlayStation 4 have been replaced with “Cards” here that are more rounded and show more than just games and apps you have downloaded.prevnext
One of the new features you’ll notice first when you pull up the Control Center are the Cards referencing “Activities.” These Activities look like they’ll be tied closely together with Trophies in that they present players with different tasks to accomplish like finishing levels or completing other objectives in whatever games players are playing.
“Activities are displayed via on-screen cards in the Control Center, which enables you to discover new gameplay opportunities, go back to things you missed, jump directly into levels or challenges you want to play, and much more,” Sony said about the Activities feature. “Some Activity cards can be put in picture-in-picture mode, so you can view them without having to leave the game.”
The image above shows how one of the cards can be placed in those side views to look at while you’re seeing everything in your game so that you can be sure you’re in the right area.prevnext
Sometimes when you’ll be playing a game on the PlayStation 5, you may end up needing a bit of help figuring out some puzzle or finding something you can’t seem to locate. To assist with that, the PlayStation 5 has a new feature aptly called “Game Help.”
By using Game Help, players can look up tips for the game they’re playing to help them complete Activities. An example shown in the video had the player highlighting a task that asked them to find a costume piece, and after selecting that task, they were presented with a three-part tip guide that included a video guiding them to the location. That video can be played in the Card itself so you don’t have to leave the game.
The only catches with the Game Help feature is that it’s only available for PlayStation Plus subscribers and isn’t included in every PlayStation 5 game, but it still looks to be an extremely helpful feature regardless.prevnext
Quick-Join for Parties and Voice Chat
When you receive a notification from a friend or someone else who wants to get in touch with you on the PlayStation 5, it shows up in the top-right corner in a rounded box mirroring the look of the new Cards. What’s notable about this notification is that it presents players with an option to quickly join the party chat without ever having to leave the screen you’re on.
When opening the notification, you can either select the “View Party” option to get a more detailed look at everyone who’s in the party or you can just hop right into the voice chat immediately. With the microphone integrated into the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, you can start talking right away while you get whatever headset you may have nearby set up for better quality.prevnext
Immediately after it was shown how players could hop into parties with ease by navigating the notifications and never leaving the game, another picture-in-picture feature was confirmed. Players can still share their screens with one another so that people in a party can watch what players are doing, but this time, you can pop that second feed into a corner of the screen so that you can both play your game and watch them at the same time.
This kind of feature will take multitasking to a new level on the PlayStation 5 as you’re able to play your own game while also watching, assisting with, or discussing someone else’s experience at the same time. It’s like a party-exclusive Game Help feature itself is someone needs assistance with a game, or you can just watch each other play for fun.prevnext
Joining Friends' Games Quickly
Made possible partially because of the PlayStation 5’s upgraded speed and partially because of the new user experience created from the Control Center, players will also be able to easily join in whatever game their parties may be playing. By pulling up the Control Center and navigating to the card that shows what the other party members are playing, you can quickly switch to that game by selecting “Join” if you own it. The demo showed in the video showed the process taking only a few seconds.
There’s an option already on the PlayStation 4 that allows players to do something similar, but it requires you to leave what you’re doing and takes a bit more time before you get to it compared to what the PlayStation 5 offers.prevnext
Pretty much every major game nowadays has a photo mode built into it, and with the graphics the next-gen consoles are going to be offering, the craze over perfect photos and videos won’t be going away anytime soon. That makes it all the more important to know that when you’re taking photos with the PlayStation 5’s capture options, you can capture them and present them to others in 4K resolution.
To take those screenshots or videos, you start by selecting the “Create” option on the DualSense controller. Capturing things like this in 4K will of course be determined by what the game itself can offer, so that sort of option likely won’t be available on every game.prevnext
PlayStation Store Integration
One of the biggest features for people who are constantly browsing games to see what’s new is the integration of the PlayStation Store into the dashboard players visit when they go back to the PlayStation 5’s main menu. To the far left of the rounded tiles showing different games and other apps downloaded, you’ll find the PlayStation Store icon exactly where it’s located on the PlayStation 4.
But on the PlayStation 5, you won’t have to pull up an entirely different app every time you open the PlayStation Store. PlayStation 4 owners will know all too well how long it takes to open and navigate the PlayStation Store at times, so the new experience should hopefully be much smoother. Sony also said players will be able to easily browse games in the revamped store and will benefit from a more personalized experience.prevnext
Voice Dictation with DualSense
When you’re sending one of those screenshots you took to a friend or just want to tell them something quickly, you can still send messages through the Control Center and party options. The PlayStation 5 offers a new way to do this without having to type everything out though since you can use the voice dictation option to speak what you want to say and have it transcribed into text.
Voice dictation already exists on the PlayStation 4 in different ways, but it’s made better here by the DualSense controller. Since the controller has a built-in microphone, you no longer have to speak into a headset nor do you have to type out whatever long message you’re trying to send. Just select the voice dictation option and speak into the microphone and you’ll have your words transcribed to send to your friends.prevnext
The last of the notable takeaways from the video falls in line with the Game Help feature that assists players while avoiding spoilers. Whenever you’re sending a screenshot or a video of something you did in a game to someone else, you can easily do so through the options referenced previously, but there’s still always the chance that whatever you’re sending could contain a spoiler the other person wasn’t aware of. The PlayStation 5 will try to do away with that via spoiler warnings that notify the recipient before they open the message.
When some form of media is sent over, it’ll be determined by the games’ developers whether whatever was in that screenshot or video could be viewed as a spoiler based on where you were in the game when you captured the content. If It’s determined that the content is indeed a spoiler, a popup will warn the person getting the content. That popup was not yet shown, however.prev