Sony just revealed one of the final big questions about the upcoming PlayStation 5: what the user interface looks like. A lengthy new walkthrough shows off what it’ll look like to actually use the upcoming console when it launches on November 12th.
The new UI is a big change for Sony, offering a complete overhaul of the rather spartan menus that the PlayStation 4 offered. Similar to the PlayStation 4, Sony will offer a row of installed or available games (or streaming apps, in a separate tab) that shows off the various games, each with its own hub.
Scrolling down with that game hub will show more specific activities and game modes that can be launched directly from the home screen, along with other news and clips from the title. Sony says that some backwards compatible PS4 games will offer similar functionality, too.
Sony is also experimenting with an Explore menu that shows official news from Sony and developers, along with trending videos and gameplay clips, although it says that it’s still testing the feature and that not all users may have access to it at launch.
There’s a new “Control Center” menu, accessed at any time by pressing the PlayStation button, which gives players access to a wide array of system tools, like seeing notifications, which friends are online, controlling music, managing settings for the console and controller, and seeing the status of downloads. There’s also a new series of cards, a key part of the user interface that serves as a sort of ongoing feed of news about games, recent achievements or screenshots, and more.
Also in the row of cards are new “Activities,” individual cards that link out to specific levels or gameplay modes within a game. Selecting an activity will give an overview of that level, including a personalized estimate of how much time the PlayStation 5 thinks it’ll take you to finish the level and any objects you have yet to accomplish.
Some games and objectives will also include official “Game Help” for PlayStation Plus subscribers, which will show helpful videos and hints for the specific objective directly within the game. Some cards will even support a picture-in-picture mode or split-screen view to help players see the hints side by side.
Sony is also expanding how parties will work on the PlayStation 5. Players can now share their screens with other members of their party and even pin those separate gameplay streams alongside their own. Parties are also meant to serve as more persistent gameplay groups, instead of one-off voice chat channels.
Lastly, the PlayStation Store has also been directly integrated into the overall software (instead of a separate application), making it easier to find new games and apps to purchase and download on the PlayStation 5.