We’re less than a month away from the next console generation release. Finally, Sony has unveiled the PS5 UI–user interface–after Microsoft has already shown the Xbox Series X off. Now that we know how both console UIs will fare, we can compare them to see how they will help shape the next generation of gaming.
You may preach against it, but we all fall for judging books by their covers. Our console home menus are the central hub of our games and services, so the look and feel of them matter quite a bit.
To start, the UI for Xbox Series X follows from its predecessor. Microsoft seems to know that what they’re doing here is working well. Quick access to recently played games is something that all players yearn for. It’s simple, and not confusing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s not like we’re freaking out about anything. It would’ve been nice to see some changes, though.
The PS5, however, is making a much larger jump. The PS4 home screen UI serves well for themes, easy games access and clean designs. It’s similar to the PS3 home screen, where we have the line of applications running horizontally on the screen. Instead, the PS5 changes a lot more than I, and many would’ve expected.
The horizontal menu is still there, but tucked away at the top corner. This gives us more space to give us a sneak peek at titles, trophies, and more. As a theme collector, I still hope that I’ll be able to add themes from my favourite games from my home screen, but otherwise, it looks great.
The PS5 now sorts your games and media in separate areas. This allows us to keep the main reason for our console in one area, but media services in another, and not too far away. As stated before, the Xbox Series X’s UI is still pretty identical to their previous console. This doesn’t mean it’s anything bad, but there’s not much to judge with what we already can see.
Besides this, one way that the Xbox Series X is winning is through its new “quick resume” feature. This allows players to jump between opened games, even after shutting down the console. Those SSDs are working hard to allow players to have little to no loading screens. The elements of this console’s UI allows us to only hit a few buttons before we’re already loading another title.
Sony has their own way of doing this. If you want to jump into one level of a game, you can use what’s called “activities”. These will be listed in an area featuring different cards, which you can swipe through and choose from. The example used in the first look video used Sackboy: A Big Adventure as an example. Will this work for many other games with less linear levels? We’ll have to wait and see.
Friends and community are big aspects of next-gen consoles. Sony showed off some cool, new details on how we can connect with our friends. Have you ever wanted to quickly jump into your friend’s party? Well, now you can, with this new feature that utilizes the console’s fast hard drive.
In the same area that you can hop into activities, you have the ability to watch your friend’s screen, join their voice chat or join their actual party. In Sony’s reveal video, it only took about 10 seconds in total.
Microsoft is all about connections too. From a community tab, you can see what screenshots your friends have posted, or see what’s trending. The Xbox Series X will also allow you to seamlessly accept party requests, use shortcuts, and make connections.
Both companies seem to be weighing heavily on creating, sharing, and connecting. Whichever console you choose, you’ll be able to easily find what you’re looking for and play with your friends faster.
Making yourself noticeable on your console is important for Microsoft. According to this blog post, you’ll be able to change and customize your profile from all your devices. Not only will you be able to change your theme, but titles, fonts, and colour schemes.
We don’t know much about how PlayStation will improve the user experience, but we can see from the first look released yesterday that the startup menu will be displayed like so. Instead of their classic blue background, logging on will be done in this serene environment. All your users will be displayed with their respective icons, alongside who has PS Plus and what their name is.
No matter which console you purchase, you’re in for some major upgrades and comfortable user experiences. How do you like the UIs? Do they look easy to use? Will they feel good by next month? Let us know!