Sony likes to annoy Microsoft. At the precise moment when the press around the world was allowed to unveil his first impressions of the Xbox Series X, the Japanese manufacturer posted on YouTube an 11-minute video revealing the long-awaited user interface of the PlayStation 5. As expected, the PS5 does not share much with the PS4.
A simplified home screen
Upon startup, future owners of the PlayStation 5 will see an interface separated into two tabs. On one side there are Games and on the other a category Media. The first section provides access to its catalog of games and to the PlayStation Store (it is no longer an application, it is now integrated into the system). The second is currently unknown. It should probably offer an interface that brings together your favorite streaming applications.
On the # PlayStation5, games are separate from media applications. Each game has a full page for watching gameplay videos or joining games. Another change: PlayStation Store is integrated into the home screen. It is no longer an app. pic.twitter.com/xvsgDaWLob
– 01net (@ 01net) October 15, 2020
In the section Games, each application is entitled to its own background in 4K. By moving on their icon, a player can view their next goals, join a game in progress, compare their progress with that of their friends, access gameplay videos or view game news. Sony explained that all games PS5 were compatible with this new interface and that backward compatible PS4 games can also join if their developers wish.
The control center revolutionizes the PS5
The real novelty of the PlayStation 5 is the appearance of a new menu called “control center”. In the middle of the game, a player can request it by pressing the PS button. This center will allow players to consult their notifications, check the progress of their downloads and, above all, access their next objectives. If a trophy can be obtained within the next few minutes, the control center will tell you. It also allows you to quickly switch to another game to join a friend.
The other interesting novelty of this control center is the possibility of displaying videos in picture-in-picture or in split screen. Are you stuck in a level? Press the PS button to access a video walkthrough corresponding to the current objective (this idea is reminiscent of Google Stadia). If fullscreen isn’t your thing, you can display it next to your game to replicate the action you couldn’t find.
If you’re stuck in a level (or looking for a trophy), the Control Center can offer you video walkthroughs. You can pin it in a corner of the screen, split the screen in half or just watch it in a floating window. Sony imitates Stadia. # PlayStation5 pic.twitter.com/SjwvGqHqjk
– 01net (@ 01net) October 15, 2020
Another idea from Sony, the PS5 allows you to watch a friend’s game in picture-in-picture while you continue to play your own game. Notifications now appear in a corner of the screen and no longer force you to return to the home screen. To pick up a call Party or reply to a message, that may be practical.
Finally, Sony showed what happens when you press the button Create of the controller, the one that replaces the button Share. Here, no real surprise, a sub-menu appears at the bottom of the screen and allows you to take screenshots or broadcast your game. The latter is nevertheless much more responsive than that of the PS4.
Sony will unveil the rest of the PS5 interface at a later date. This first glimpse shows us, however, that the Japanese have kept their promise and really designed a new system on new bases. For its part, Microsoft opts for continuity and wants its Xbox Series to share their OS with the Xbox One.