Sony’s State of Play gave users a glimpse of the new user interface and experience on the PlayStation 5. As a brief first look at the new UX, Sony avoided the deep dive. Instead, it provided a quick overview of some of the interface highlights, including a remodeled XrossMediaBar, parties, and the new navigation feature it calls “Cards.”
You can tell the UI is entirely different from any previous PlayStation model. Instead of a XrossMediaBar that takes up the entire screen as it does on the PS4 and PS3, the PlayStation 5’s XrossMediaBar is smaller and is oriented more to the upper left of the home screen. Other than its size and location, it still looks like Sony’s traditional XrossMediaBar with icons for games, library, capture gallery, the PlayStation Store, and the rest of what users have come to expect.
players can display video picture-in-picture in one of six out-of-the-way zones. For example, this feature allows players to run a video walkthrough in the corner of the screen they can follow while playing along. Shuman emphasized that not all games will support this feature, likely because it is something developers have to code in themselves. Still, you can expect that many studios will take advantage of Cards, especially as they grow accustomed to the new programming environment. Picture-in-picture does work for screen sharing in any game as you can seeing the screenshot above because it is part of the PS5 OS.
Users can also easily access parties and chat through the cards. While in chat, players can share their screen with party members, and this can be displayed in PIP mode, even if you are playing a different game. Voice chat is, of course, available, but for those that would rather text, there is a voice-to-text option using the DualSense controller’s integrated microphone. Time will tell how well this works. Experience has shown that even some of the best dictation software is less than ideal for chatting in real-time.
The PlayStation Store is no longer a stand-alone app. Sony’s digital marketplace has been integrated into the PlayStation 5’s operating system to make the experience of browsing and buying games more seamless and fast. This quicker experience is a pretty big deal. Previous versions of the PlayStation Store on the PS3 and PS4 were clunky and slow.