Before building a console like the PlayStation 5, manufacturers like Sony do a lot of research. And one thing it realised while designing the console is that, contrary to common opinion, single player games are thriving in its ecosystem. In fact, the manufacturer realised that more people are playing PlayStation 4 games offline than online – a surprising statistic when you consider the most popular titles are all multiplayer focused.
According to a Vice report, referencing an internal presentation that the platform holder shared with game developers last year, it then looked to learn the problems that people have playing single player campaigns. And they were many: some felt that the titles didn’t communicate how long tasks would take, while others fell off releases and forgot what they were doing in them, subsequently never coming back.
It’s a problem that the manufacturer sought to solve, and its solution was Activity Cards. For those of you who don’t know, these decks effectively allow you to jump into specific sections of a game. In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it means you can pick a quest and start it in under five seconds; you don’t need to travel to the specific location, and you can launch directly into the side-quest from the console’s main menu.
Interestingly, all of these activities come with an estimated time. So, the console will tell you if the quest will take five minutes, 10 minutes, or more. It’s all part of the organisation’s attempt to provide more feedback about the game you’re playing, and get you to the good stuff quicker. “In an ideal world, every player has the time to spend hours per day, every day, playing games,” the company’s presentation explained. “In reality, most people have jobs. Or kids. Or school. Or all of the above.”
And it’s true! If you’re reading this site, then gaming is probably your primary hobby, but even people like us – who specifically make time to play – will have found ourselves falling off certain titles, forgetting what we’re doing, or just outright questioning whether we have enough free time to play a specific game. The idea with the PS5, and we’re sure it’s an evolving concept, is to help you to find things to do – and get you to them quicker than before.