×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sony wants PS5 to be 'easy as Netflix'

The Playstation 5 continues to be a bit of an enigma for gamers. Though the system is supposedly coming out at some point later in the year, we don't know a whole lot about it other than bits we've gleaned from patents for sweat-using controllers and mysterious dev kits. However, we may now have an idea of how fast Sony wants the system to run.

A new bit of info comes to fans from Kotaku's Jason Schrier, who posted this to the ResetEra forums: "I have heard some fascinating things about the PS5's operating system like this – one of the pitches they've been making to developers is 'playing a PS5 game should be as easy as Netflix.' They want to make players feel like they can load up the game immediately and know exactly how much time a given activity is going to take them. They want people to feel more inclined to play in short bursts rather than only wanting to turn on the console when they have a few hours to spare."

This lines up pretty well with details the system's lead architect, Mark Cerny, gave to Wired last year. "Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games, we don't want the player to have to boot the game, see what's up, boot the game, see what's up," Cerney explained. "Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like."

The timing of this news is especially notable in light of Sony's decision to slow download speeds for PlayStation Network customers in Europe. This is being done to help conserve bandwidth and curb network congestion as more people are staying indoors to practice social distancing.

This led to several jokes from current and former customers, who quipped that they didn't think PlayStation Network speeds could possibly get any slower than they already are. It seems that Sony is very aware that some customers have already had issues with the PS4's download speeds. This new info could be proof that Sony intends to build their next console around improvements to the previous generation.

The new details also seem to build off of a recently-published Sony patent. Filed in 2018, this patent application is titled "Dynamic Interfaces for Launching Direct Gameplay," and it seems to have a lot in common with what we're hearing now from both Schrier and Cerny.

As it's explained by a ResetEra user, "Seems like developers will be able to create custom tiles with a lot of functionality and have this be presented in the general PS5 OS. Think of a tile as an extension of the game (a mini app/widget merged into the OS) showing i.e. your latest position in an RPG with a screenshot, current gear and a button for jumping straight back into the action in a second. Or a Multiplayer FPS tile with a matchmaking button pre-set to ... your favorite mode."

Basically, the idea here seems to be to give players shortcuts to certain activities in a game that could be pulled up straight from the menu screen. Say you wanted to join a "Plunder" mode match in Call of Duty: Warzone. You'd simply select Warzone from your main menu and it would give you a list of current activities to choose from. You could theoretically select "Plunder" and jump right in, rather than wait while the game loaded and then had you chose your specific mode of play from the in-game menu. It almost seems like traditional menu screens could possibly be a thing of the past in the next console generation, but we'll have to wait and see.

So that sounds awesome, right? On the downside, that also seems to be pretty much in line with the rumors we've heard regarding the PS5's high price point. A source for Bloomberg reported that the system could retail for close to $500, due to the expense of the parts being used in making it. In other words, Sony is going to have to pay a pretty penny to get the results they want, particularly with download speeds ... and then they would probably have to charge an even higher amount to have any kind of worthwhile profit margin.

While there are still several details regarding the PS5 that are still up in the air, it's very exciting to see a dedication to giving fans a quicker and easier experience than ever before.