When Sony announced its next-generation PlayStation 4 console at a media event in New York earlier this month, it conveniently hid the console's main unit. To date, nobody really knows what the console itself looks like, except its specifications, and its new controller that adds a touchpad and 3D-gyro to usual PS3 fare. Sony maintained it was strategic. With PS4, the company wanted to focus more on the experiences the console gave to gamers, rather than its specifications. A huge part of that experience-delivery is care of the revamped in-and-off game user-interface (UI). The company released a few high-resolution screenshots for us to chew on.
The PlayStation 4 user interface is heavily web-based, building on the revamped PlayStation Network (PSN), a social network for gamers that let them share their experiences, find people to play with/against, and socialize in general. The thing about social networks is, if it has to truly envelope a person's online life, it should first envelope the devices the person uses, apart from the console itself. New PSN apps will be posted for smartphones and tablets among all major platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone/RT/8).
The screenshots posted by Sony (via EDGE) reveal the new home screen, game streaming, a quick video editor, friend feeds, and how user profiles will be presented. The home screen looks like a usual carousel with live network information, game rewards/bonuses, and store access. The user profile screen uses a minimalist, yet effective layout showing the person's achievements, games owned/currently playing, and a feed.
Friend feeds are arranged either as lists, or as an irregular matrix collage, complete with interactive elements such as videos, live updates, etc. The Game Streaming feature allows you to stream your game for your friends to watch, and if it's a multi-player/cooperative, instantly join in on the action. The feature even lets you hand over control of your game to your friends, in case you're stuck at a tricky part of the game. Epic moments of your game can be recorded onto the console's hard drive, edited (crop/join), and uploaded onto PSN. Most of this functionality (except joining in on a game) will be carried on to the smartphone/tablet apps. Find more screenshots at the source.
Sony PlayStation 4 start selling some time in November. Yeah, that far!