For the last few months Sony and Microsoft have slowly been revealing more and more information about their next gen consoles, but we hadn’t seen anything at all yet on what the PlayStation 5 would look like once you booted it up. Last week, Sony released a brief video detailing the new experience and some of the new features coming with the PS5 in November.
A prominent feature of the new user experience is a cards-based interface that appears when you press the PS button. The cards allow quick access to recent and suggested content and features and leverage a new concept called “Activities” that Sony hopes will help gamers discover new gameplay features. Some of the activities shown off include party features, social sharing, and highlighting particular in game objectives complete with tasks list, percentage complete, and (for PlayStation Plus users only) in game video hints.
While the cards UI looks great, the success of the feature will be heavily dependent on developers to come up with creative and useful ways to utilize the game-specific activities. I’m not sure yet whether it’ll take off beyond Sony first party titles or if it will be useful for all game genres. If it doesn’t take off within games, the cards could still turn out to be good ways to provide quick contextual options for access system features but only time will tell.
For me personally, as long as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X allow me to get in and out of the games I want to play quickly I am happy to see them experiment with what “next gen” could mean for the rest of the user experiences.