PS5 Activities can totally change the way you start a play session, but they will take some extra work from developers to really shine.
Sony just gave the world a long-awaited deep dive into the PS5 UI, and one of the standout features is PS5 Activities. These cards automatically pop up for each game with interesting places to start playing, so you can just hit the card and load right into the content in question. They can also include guide videos that use your context in the game to figure out what you need to know without showing spoilers, and they offer other quick-access features as well.
PS5 will show off a bunch of features like this in PS5 launch games like Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and first-party Sony titles are sure to take advantage of Activities. However, Sony wants to make sure every game uses the new system wherever it makes sense. Hideaki Nishino, Sony Interactive Entertainment's senior vice president of platform and planning management, confirmed to Digital Foundry that it will require some extra work on the back end.
"So, Activities is the way the inside of the game context is exposed - we are asking developers to expose this data so it can be integrated with the system UI and that can be shown as a card, so that's one thing," Nishino said. "The other one is Official Game Help - so we can show the Official Game Help video when you are stuck in the game, you can bring up the cards, and you can watch it."
Developers and publishers will need to give PS5 "the best insight information to the system" to make Activities work in their games. But Nishino said the ways it makes playing games easier and more approachable - including estimated completion times for supported challenges - will pay off for players.
"It's a really great experience, having the user more engaged with the game. This system is [there] to support great play and a great time. I speak to my team, it's like a theatre setting - it's there to energize all the actors on the stage, to perform at their best. And you should not notice what's going on behind the scenes."
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