After what seems like an eternity of silence and sparse information, more actual details about the PlayStation 5 have started to emerge this week. Following on from the rather satisfying PS5 teardown video in which Sony's VP of Mechanical Design, Yasuhiro Ootori, gave us a look at what's inside the sizeable new console, we now have some clear details on how PS4 backwards compatibility will work too.
The news on that regard is good, with >99% of the 4,000+ existing PS4 games being PS5 compatible at launch, and Game Boost mode offering higher resolution and improved frame rates across a range of titles. The clip-on covers and liquid metal thermal interface are undoubtedly interesting too, but there is still one major element that remains a mystery.
Yes, we are unfortunately still in the dark about the system's UI and what new features it may bring, chief among which for anyone reading this website is likely to be the elusive "Create" menu.
It may not be quite the news you were hoping for...
I have already speculated about what could be hiding behind that new Create button when the DualSense™ wireless controller was announced, and it is clear that people would definitely like to see some sort of system level photo mode to unify controls and bring access to more titles. However, with less than 5 weeks until the initial console launch, the truth is that we still don't know exactly what it is that Sony felt justified not only changing the name, but also teasing a future reveal for it.
Tucked away in today's release of backwards compatibility information though, there could be a clue as to how the Create menu will operate, and it may not be quite the news you were hoping for.
Found on the PlayStation.com help page, there is a section covering the limitations of existing services when used on the new hardware, and this just happens to include a comparison between the outgoing SHARE menu and the Create menu that replaces it.
System level vs bespoke tools...
The fact that the familiar SHARE menu is absent when using a PS5 should be obvious, it has been replaced after all, but there is a list of button shortcuts for the new Create menu that has me thinking that the upcoming functions might not be quite so unlike the existing system after all.
"The SHARE menu cannot be displayed during PS4 gameplay on PS5 consoles. You can take screenshots and images by pressing the create button on your DualSense wireless controller to show the create menu. Additionally, you can use the button shortcuts to start / stop video recording or to save screenshots as follows:
Single press the Create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4) to show the create menu
Press and hold the Create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4) to take a screenshot
Double press the Create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4) to start and stop video recording manually."
One action to enter the menu, another to capture an image, and a third to control video recording; that's identical to what we currently have with the PS4's SHARE system. That's not to say that we need new control inputs for the feature to be transformative but, if Create really did bring with it a set of system level capture tools or something else that might change the way virtual photographers can capture their images, would it include a shortcut to save a screenshot without using it? I would tend to think not.
Naturally, this is reading between the lines and it may not be unreasonable to think that, as the listed behaviour is specific to the the use of PS4 software, it could be a different scenario when PS5 titles are involved. However, it is starting to seem less now and I wonder if the Create button's touted new features are in fact less about creating and simply about more convenient sharing.
What do you make of the latest batch of information and what do you still hope will be in the Create menu, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.