What will the PlayStation 5’s operating system be like? We know a lot about Sony’s next-gen system, like PS5's SSD hard drive and PS4 backwards compatibility – but we don’t yet know what it’ll be like when you power it up. Modern systems like the PlayStation 4 have a main menu before you get into your game, allowing you to contact friends and connect to the PlayStation Store. However, it sounds like the PS5 will take things to the next level.
A patent published by Sony Interactive Entertainment last week discusses “interactive interfaces”, and it tallies with comments that architect Mark Cerny made to Wired last year. Effectively, the Japanese giant wants to erase the disconnect between the operating system and the game, putting elements of every title’s user interface in the console’s main menu itself. We’ll allow the Marble Madness man to explain:
“We don't want the player to have to boot the game, see what's up, boot the game, see what's up,” he said. “Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them – and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”
What does this mean, then? Well, let’s say you’ve got Call of Duty: Modern Warfare installed on your PS5. It sounds like Cerny is describing a scenario whereby, without even booting the game, you’ll be able to see available mulitplayer playlists and activities directly from the PS5’s main menu. In addition, the console will show you which missions you’ve completed in single player, and it’ll allow you to jump into any one directly.
It sounds like a small thing, but by integrating the game’s user interface into the console’s operating system, it means that you’ll effectively be able to skip several steps in the traditional game booting process. Where you currently have to select a game, wait for it to load, select a mode, and select a level, you’ll instead be able to select a stage directly from the PS5’s main menu itself. Speed and efficiency are crucial to the next-gen experience, it seems.