PS5 Needs to Do a Better Job of Alerting You to the Things Going on in Your Games 1
Image: Push Square

The PS5 is a fantastic console, but increasingly we’ve been feeling that its operating system doesn’t feel designed with modern games in mind. This is particularly ironic when you consider Sony’s live service push: Helldivers 2 has already struck big, but it’s desperate to add Concord or Fairgame$ to the mix.

Here’s the thing: like it or loathe it, many games are built around seasons these days. If you watched Ubisoft Forward overnight, you’d have probably noticed how it announced updates and roadmaps for many of its games: The Crew Motorfest is getting a new map, XDefiant is adding an extra faction, and Skull & Bones is bringing dragons to its sailing simulation.

This is how most games function these days: every six weeks Genshin Impact gets new time-limited events and content updates; Honkai Star Rail the same. If you play Call of Duty, there’s a Gundam update available now, featuring skins and some gameplay modes. Obviously, Fortnite is all about car customisation and Mad Max-esque gauntlets at the moment as well.

Games, rather than being static entities that can be played, completed, and shelved, are becoming more like television: there’s a schedule bringing new things to experience every day. But the PS5 itself needs to act like the Radio Times, to communicate to you what’s going on in your favourite titles, and why you should be paying attention.

As it stands, outside the extremely undercooked News section and that What’s New tab which isn’t even available outside the United States, the console is doing nothing to spotlight the ever-changing nature of the titles installed on your hard drive. Compare to the App Store, for example, where every time you load it up you’re introduced to the events Happening Now across a spectrum of games.

Sony’s tried to build a free-to-play category on the PS Store, intended to teach you about the events ongoing in popular games – but this is merely a contextless list of logos, rather than information about what’s actually going on each game. It’s alarming how static the system feels, when the content on it is ever-changing these days.

The platform holder will be aware of the problem: it’ll want to communicate all of the latest content to players, because it knows that’ll drive engagement and, ultimately, revenue. But its slow moving, and it takes an eternity for the firm to actually incorporate the features players want. PS Stars, for example, is still restricted to the mobile app only.

Perhaps this will be something it’ll finally get around to exploring on the PS6, but for now, the PS5 doesn’t really feel designed with the modern game in mind.