A new patent from Sony suggests that a big change may be coming to the PS5 UI, and possibly future PlayStation consoles as well. The new patent describes a system that allows players to switch to other applications on their console without having to leave a game. This is a major step up from the current UI, which forces players to back out to the home menu before entering other applications.
Filed earlier this summer and published on November 18, 2021, the patent focuses on a UI window that would appear over the game. Through this window, players would be able to access other applications such as streaming music, the PlayStation Store, and others. The patent does note, however, that streaming music may require the player “to pause the execution of the video game application, switch back to the home page, and select the music streaming icon.”
Furthermore, players can access their preferred application through a series of interfaces called “Action Cards.” These action cards can be brought up or stowed away using the new UI pop-up window, at which point the player can choose to use them. There are various display options as well. Some of the referenced display options include a picture-in-picture mode for streaming music, as well as a pin-to-side mode that places the application besides the gameplay screen. This seems like it could be the evolution of the PS5’s current Activity Cards, giving players access to more features without leaving the game they are playing.
You can check out the official patent designs below:
A similar system is already in place on existing PS4 and PS5 consoles. Namely, both allow players to listen to music on Spotify while playing a game. The feature can also show what song is playing in a small window. However, this is the first time a PlayStation interface would allow users to freely access the console’s applications without having to leave their game. This is also in line with Sony’s original design motivation behind the PS5’s UI, which is to keep players engaged and in-game.
[Source: Sony Patent via OPAttack]