Last week, we got our first proper look at the PlayStation 5 and some of the amazing games coming to the console. While we didn’t get any VR-specific news, a Sony executive recently commented that the PS5 user interface (UI) is a complete overhaul from the PS4. Could this include an overhaul to the UI for PSVR as well?
As reported by The Verge, Sony’s VP of UX Design at PlayStation, Matt MacLaurin answered some questions about the PS5 in a now-deleted LinkedIn thread. He described the system’s UI as a “very interesting evolution of the OS” and a “100 percent overhaul of the PS4 UI and some very different new concepts”.
“As it’s UI it’s practical first, but it’s a whole new visual language and a complete rearchitecting of the user interface,” he said, also noting that the new UI is “more subtle than flashy, but no pixel is untouched.”
This seems to allude to the likelihood of the horizontally laid out “XrossMediaBar” (XMB) retiring, which has been the foundation of Sony’s UI designs for the PSP, PS3, PS Vita, and PS4.
For us, the biggest question that comes with these comments is whether the PlayStation VR UI will be included in this overhaul as well. Currently on the PlayStation 4, the PSVR UI is just the standard PS4 UI floating in a big rectangle positioned in the center of your field of view. Not only is this aesthetically uninspired, it’s also immersion breaking to navigate when using PSVR given that it’s a UI designed for flatscreens and isn’t crafted for VR at all.
We do know that current generation PSVR hardware will be compatible with the PS5. However, the question now is whether PSVR on PS5 will simply use a similar method for UI, displaying the new flatscreen UI in a large floating rectangle, or whether we might see something new, designed specifically for VR. We certainly hope it’s the latter.
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