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Friday, 16 October 2020 21:22

State of Play - User experience

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State of Play

User Experience

 

The introduction was done by Hideaki Nishino.

This video will be all about the new interface, system and their capabilities due to the new hardware of the latest Sony console, the PS 5. We will have a real show about the new generation of consoles.

Everything can be resumed with only one sentence : the gameplay of the user is precious, then it should be at the centre of the interface usage.

Every Playstation team in the world has worked and focused on this subject to make a perfect user experience for the player and its loyal and passionate community.

Everything was done from scratch, a focus was also done on an usage with a 4K resolution and the capabilities of the consoles hardware. All that to be in harmony with the new games and future features.

The interface is a pre-production, so there may be some small differences with what we will experience when the console will be in stores in November.

Now, time for Sid Shuman to present the new interface more in detail.

First step, the player has to identify himself, there is only one profile so easy for Sid to choose. The logo of the profile is a Killzone logo, which could be a hint but nothing is more sure.

Now it is real, as he names it, the Control Centre. Very aesthetic, with one blink we can understand the new interface. It is intuitive and no need for great explanation, everyone should be able to navigate through it.

One thing that catched my eyes, the part that was on top of the menu with the PS 4 is now on bottom. More visible with a black line. Not like it is now, if you have or not a special theme for your menu.

We see some rectangles in the middle of the screen. The first one gives you a view on news for the games you follow, the second one screenshots of your latest playtime. The next “cards” show the last game you played and the possibility to enter the latest party from the interface itself. Those are labelled “Activities”. One named Adventure, is the latest point when the player stopped playing.

The presented game is Sackboy, in this game you have different Levels in which you may play, directly accessible with the “Activities” cards. Which will shorten your waiting time. Those cards gives you also a view on the different objectives of your missions, which is really helpful to know what you have to do before beginning to play.

As he describes it, in one clic you are at the point you stopped playing.

 

The “Activities” cards also show an estimation of playtime needed for the chosen activity. This can be great for the player that doesn’t have that much time to play and wants to be sure to have enough time to play and not being frustrated to have to stop playing.

If it is not enough, those cards shows you the objectives that have to be accomplished, and you can be helped for it. It will be able for some games (no further infos in the video, maybe on the PS blog) and for the players that have a Playstation Plus subscription.

It will be even possible to use that option while you play, for example the video may be on the left of your screen while you play.

If you receive a vocal group chat, you can accept without being interrupted in your playtime. So, you just have to accept it and you’ll can chat directly with your pals. You even have a screen share option on your chat. So you may play while you have a visual on your pals playtime, all that without having to stop playing.

Now, the video will show us some online gaming experience. The example chosen is Destruction All Star. Some friends of his are playing and he wants to join them. Which he is able to do while he plays something else. While going through his “Activities” cards he can join them. There is a mention “Joinable”, he doesn’t speak about it, this should be a hint that some games won’t have that feature. As long as we know it as soon as we buy the game, we do not see any problem about it.

With the button “Create” you can take a photo or a video, the system saves regularly by itself some photos and videos, also available with that button. If you take the photo with that button or with the photo option of the game, you will be able to have photos and videos in 4K and share them on social media.

Then we have a visual on the interface when we start the Playstation 5 after actually turning it off and not putting it in standby. The last games played, the store, the PS Plus, etc. are noted. in small square boxes. From there, again we can choose a game and even choose a well-defined activity of the game that we want to access and not wasting a single second of playing time. We also see video clips, news, DLCs. available and other info.

PS 4 games compatible on PS 5 will be able to benefit from some of these possibilities as well, and this is good news for those who will have some of these games to play on their new console.

The box, "Explore" is highlighted now, always accessible through the part of the interface accessed by starting the console when it was off and not in standby. You will be able to see all the news of the games that you follow, any media that may be interesting can be found there. This will be available on the US release date.

A great novelty, the Playstation Store is no longer a separate app but is an integrated part of the interface. We will therefore be entitled to a faster Store, on the one hand due to the powerful machine, then because its accessibility is easier and because it will be personalized according to the player who uses it.

Of course we will see the special offers, the PS 5 and 4 games compatible with the new machine. By pressing the PS button, you return to the Control Center, the menu described at the start of the video.

He shows how we can share the photo he took during the Destruction All Star game. This sharing can be done on a social network or in a voice chat, the famous "Party". With voice detection, you can even dictate to the console a text that you want to send with the photo to make life easier for those who share.

This may all change, and with the PS community they hope they can continuously improve the PS 5 experience.

In conclusion, totally personal, I am quite happy with this video and impressed by the possibilities and promises of the Control Center.

The only negative point I can see is that the console will have a lot to do at the same time. Although (yes be careful it will be very weird) the noise of the PS 4 didn't bother me more than that, I'm sure we will have the same problem with the PS 5. Maybe not right away, however over time this will become inevitable. These options as cool as they are, will certainly require the PS 5 to perform consistently and with games that will be performance-demanding too, it might just induce a console to run at full blast.

Frankly if this is it, for me it is not the greatest drama, but it is true that it can be embarrassing.

For everything else, we really notice that everything is easy, everything is done in an optimal way to allow the player to be able to play quickly, well and to be able to be in communication with his friends and relatives. Ease also comes from getting used to it, but from what you see, it seems very accessible and easy to use.

The Control Center impressed me with the "Activities" cards, sharing is also cool with image sharing or help for game solutions. Then the main menu when turning on the console is finally quite ordinary compared to the Control Center, but the PS Store detail is cool. Being able to access so easily the games that you want to have or that you want info about, is a real plus.

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