A PlayStation 5 Menu Feature Teased Last Year Seems to Have a New Name

A PlayStation 5 Menu Feature Teased Last Year Seems to Have a New Name

It sounds like "Activities" will let players hop straight into action from the PS5's menu.

Time and again since the PlayStation 5's specs were revealed earlier this year, we've heard a lot about how fast the console is. The idea of faster or practically non-existent loading times within games has been one of the big selling points, but today it sounds like a slick, fast-load menu feature that Sony's Mark Cerny teased last year has an official name now.

"Activities," according to a WRC 9: World Rally Championship preview from Gamereactor, will let players hop straight into races by way of links on the PS5 menu. The preview was taken down, but not before Gematsu backed up the entire piece.

Our friends at Eurogamer note that "Activities" is likely the same boot-bypassing user interface feature that Cerny, the system architect of the PS5, teased back in 2019 when talking with Wired:

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," Cerny says. "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."

At this point, it's not clear if Activities is a required feature for games coming to the PS5, one that Sony handles itself, or if developers will be able to opt-in. Judging by how Cerny describes it, the menu is more sophisticated in what it surfaces than simply offering quick loads to a particular mission or game mode—besides, something like Spider-Man: Miles Morales would presumably show different kinds of relevant choices than, say, Bugsnax. The feature could conceivably call for some extra work for each game.

While we got a very, very short glimpse of the PS5's boot screen during June's reveal event, we've still not seen the console's new menus and UI in-action. A patent filed last month suggests that Sony is also looking to intelligently serve up hints and feedback through the UI.

A short while after the showcase, PlayStation's VP of UX Design Matt MacLaurin claimed that the new PS5 interface is a "100% overhaul of the PS4 UI" and, despite an emphasis on practicality and subtlety, will feature a "new visual language and a complete rearchitecting."

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Mathew Olson

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Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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