Surprise State of Play Showcases First Look at PlayStation 5’s User Experience

Before anyone knew what Sony’s and Burger King’s PS5-related partnership meant, many assumed it would have something to do with showing off the PS5 UI on Thursday–today. While that was quickly proven inaccurate, since Burger King is hosting a PS5 giveaway, Sony has elected to treat fans to a first look at PS5’s user experience. A surprise State of Play video went live this morning, showcasing the new console’s UI and the many functions packed within it.

Sony’s Sid Shuman hosts the first look walkthrough, which begins with the PS5 starting out of Rest Mode. From there, the Control Center is shown off. Square icons known as Cards fill the screen, and will allow users to “interact with games and the system in a variety of ways.” One Card is for “Official News,” so players remain up-to-date regarding news from publishers they follow.

“Activities” serve as one of the more powerful facets of the PS5’s user experience by removing barriers to gameplay. In the video, tapping the PlayStation button instantly places the player back in-game, which, in this case, is Sackboy: A Big Adventure. From the Control Center, the user switches between “a number of available Activities” in Sackboy that are “both active and suggested by the system.”

When Shuman clicks on one Activity, we see the player is at 33 percent completion in a certain Sackboy level. The displayed information additionally showcases Total Progress, as well unmet progress objectives. Another scroll down and PlayStation’s “personal playtime estimate” appears on-screen. Apparently, this is based on how much time a player should have left to complete the selected level. According to Shuman, some Activities will let users jump to that specific place in-game.

“Game Help” takes center-stage next. It’s available with select in-game activities for PS Plus subscribers across certain PS5 titles. This feature will see players gain access to hints without needing a web search. The hint shown is a clip that’s on display in the Activities Card. Thankfully, the game itself won’t close while Game Help is open. The Card will instead be available on-screen during playtime. Users can either place the Card in Picture-in-Picture mode or side-by-side view. Pinning a Card for ease of access on the Control Center serves as another quality of life feature.

Shuman then walks us through a brief look at Party. For one, an Interactive Notification pops up with a tap of the PS button. From there, players can instantly join a voice chat started by a friend on the PS mobile app, PS4, or PS5. Thanks to DualSense’s embedded mic, users can start chatting right then and there.

Share Screen allows players in a party to show what their screen looks like to friends while playing. The player can then watch their friend’s gameplay and play their own game simultaneously. This Card can also be put in Picture-in-Picture mode or pinned to the side. Moreover, gamers will have the ability to join friends in multiplayer titles from a Card in Control Center. A few functions of the new Create button are shown, too. Notably, screenshots and video on PS5 can be captured at up to 4K resolution.

The Home Screen is where users start from the PS5’s “powered-off state.” In addition, it’s where players will find themselves when choosing a new game to play or download. Media-related apps have their own Home Screen space, Shuman notes. Hovering over a game and scrolling down shows activities to jump into, news stories to catch up on, DLC, and more. Backward compatible PS4 titles will benefit from some of the features in question.

To the left of the Home Screen sits an “Explore” icon, which displays all of a player’s games. Explore will feature in the Control Center and mobile app, too. It specifically keeps players in-the-know with stories from PlayStation and publishers/games they follow. Explore will first get tested in the U.S. at launch; thus, not every territory will have access to it on day one.

Near the end of the video, we learn that PlayStation Store no longer counts as a standalone app. As Shuman explains it, the store’s been “completely integrated into the system.” Expect a “more personalized store experience” and a faster one, too, courtesy of the PS5’s speed.

The video wraps up with a quick look at how recently captured media appears in the Control Center. Players can share screenshots and clips with friends or on social media from Control Center. Users even have the option to send a screenshot along with a message in a Party. Interestingly, typing the message is no longer necessary. A player will be able to simply vocalize their message by selecting the microphone button. And if captured screenshots feature content from a game that a friend hasn’t gotten to yet, developers may send said friend a warning should the shot contain potential spoilers.

This isn’t all, either, since there’s still more of the user experience to show. When additional details will roll out currently remains a mystery. This certainly seems to have been a good place to start, though.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]