The PS5 Activities feature was created to address problems players experience with single-player games.
This is according to a new report from Vice by journalist Patrick Klepek, who obtained a confidential internal Sony document that Klepek says was originally part of a two-part presentation back in 2019. The information in the presentation reveals that Sony was inspired to create the Activities feature thanks to player feedback regarding single-player games. Interestingly, Sony's internal data found that "single player is thriving", but players often have trouble fitting a play session into their busy schedules.
The list of problems players associate with single-player games offers some interesting insight into why Sony created the Activities feature and its functions as part of the PS5 UI. You can see the list down below:
- "No idea how long I might need, don't play unless I have 2+ free hours"
- "Takes a lot of time to scan through long help videos when stuck"
- "How to engage socially without risk of spoilers"
- "Forgot what I was doing in this game last time, hard to get back in"
As you can see, the issues mostly relate to fitting a game into a busy schedule and knowing whether or not a certain section of a game requires a big time sink. The Activities feature on the PS5 works in different ways depending on what game you're playing.
In general terms, Activities display on-screen cards that can hint at something you might have missed in-game, allow you to jump into a particular section of a game from the home screen instantly - be it a quest or side mission - and tell you how long it will take to complete a certain task or section.
Another feature known as Game Help also acts as a guide for players who get stuck, which addresses the feedback players had about not being able to quickly find a solution. As an example, Demon's Souls has 180 videos that can offer guidance during a play session.
It's interesting to see what influenced Sony's decision to introduce this new feature to its next-gen console.
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