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PS5 Will Launch Without This PS4 Feature

The PlayStation 5 is due out on Thursday, Nov. 12, in markets such as the U.S. — and when it launches, it will be without a feature the PlayStation 4 and other consoles have had in the past. The game system will not have a web browser.  

The information comes via an interview with Japanese-language publication AV Watch, which came to the media's attention when it was translated by Twitter user Nibel. It featured some news from Sony senior vice president of Platform Planning & Management Hideaki Nishino.

 "Currently, we do not intend to install a web browser on PS5," Nishino said. "Of course, I use it as a component for various network functions, but I have doubts about whether a web browser is required for game consoles as an application, so please let me know."

The statement indicates that Sony is open to changing its mind if this is a feature that people still want. Nishino added that, since it would be necessary to add certain safeguards, it would take some time to install a web browser. 

Reaction on the Twittersphere to the lack of a browser seems mixed. While some felt that the missing feature makes the console feel incomplete, others wondered if anyone ever actually used their PlayStations to surf the Internet. Some worried about a potential lack of access to apps such as YouTube or Netflix, although there doesn't seem to be any danger of that if the buttons on the universal remote are any indication. 

One user pointed out that the lack of a browser means better security. "By removing the browser, you remove a lot of ways in for potential hackers," YouTuber @pausebreakalex posted. It's worth noting that the Nintendo Switch also does not offer a web browser, so the PlayStation 5 is not marking new ground here. 

The interview with Nishino detailed other features that the PlayStation 5 does not have. For example, it will not support 1440p high-resolution monitors, as "top priority" is being given to the television gaming experience. Again, however, it seems that Sony is flexible on this point and will offer it if consumers want it. 

Additionally, Nishino revealed some vague — but promising — assurances regarding the fate of PlayStation Virtual Reality. He confirmed that PSVR would be supported in some way on the PlayStation 5. "I believe that the PS5 will improve the experience," Nishino said. "I would expect the PS5 to have a VR experience that is appropriate for the PS5. I can't comment any further, but I'm looking forward to it."

This is good news, since at launch the PSVR headset basically works as a backwards-compatible device on the PlayStation 5, a Sony spokesperson told Upload. No PSVR games have been announced for the PlayStation 5, and No Man's Sky and Hitman 3 have been confirmed to have VR capability only in their PlayStation 4 versions. The PS5's new camera peripheral also doesn't work with PSVR out of the box: PS5 only supports PSVR if you request a free adapter in order to use it. A patent filed in 2019, and a new one discovered in September for controllers, indicates Nishino may be referring to a PSVR 2 system in the works.