In context: We finally got a look at Sony's all-new design for the PlayStation 5 last week, which is quite different from past iterations. Its sleek futuristic look is not everyone's cup of tea judging by reactions on social media and forums. However, that is not likely to change the company's decision on its aesthetics this late in the game, even though press images disclaim that the "design is subject to change without notice."
This week Sony revealed that along with the PS5's new external look, it is also getting an overhauled user interface. We did not get a look at anything except for the startup screen during last week's presentation, but PlayStation's Vice President of UX Design Matt MacLaurin said that users could expect a brand new interface.
"[We created a] 100 percent overhaul of the PS4 UI (PS4 interface above) and some very different new concepts," explained MacLaurin in a LinkedIn discussion. "[PS5's OS is] more subtle than flashy, but no pixel is untouched. It's practical first, but it's a whole new visual language and a complete rearchitecting of the user interface."
In addition to a new look, a patent published earlier this month revealed the interface might incorporate machine learning to provide useful real-time feedback to users. For example, it may offer gameplay advice when it sees a player struggling in a particular part of a game.
"Behavior metrics [will be] used to generate a gameplay model for the user to identify deviation in the gameplay behavior of the user in each of the different portions of the game that prevented the user from advancing," the patent reads. "[It will] identify gameplay hints for advancing in each of the different portions of the game using machine learning logic . . . the gameplay hints [appear within the] interface of the game . . ."
The features described in the patent will probably not be available at launch, but might be something to look forward to with future versions of the PlayStation 5 operating system.
Maclaurin declined to say when we might get a look at the new UI, but Sony has promised that much more info, game reveals, and surprises are coming before launch. A demo of the PS5 interface will likely be shown before we can get our hands on one.