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PS4 UI and Social Features, Shuhei Yoshida on Ease of Use

Fred Dutton's Avatar + Posted by Fred Dutton on Sep 02, 2013 // SCEE Blog Manager

One of the most memorable moments from our Gamescom press conference was surely the sight of Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida taking the gathered audience on a tour of the new PS4 user interface, live on stage, from the comfort of a big leather armchair.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please do take a look at the video below to see him hop seamlessly from the PS4 home screen into a livecast of a friend playing Killzone: Shadow Fall, before joining that game and then, finally, sending a screenshot of the session straight out to his Twitter feed.

PlayStation.Blog caught up with Yoshida-san the morning after the show to go into a little more detail on the PS4 UI, and find out what he’s most excited for players to see come November 15th.

PlayStation.Blog: Obviously not many people have used the PS4 UI yet, so can you tell us a little bit about how it feels?

Shuhei Yoshida: What I showed was only a small portion of the UI. Obviously the system software is still in development. We really wanted to show off the social aspect of the UI. The minute you boot up, you’ll see all the information about games you own, what your friends are doing, whether there’s any new DLC coming out, or if your friends have shared a video or screenshot. And you can also spectate anyone playing PS4.

The demonstration was to show that my friend Eric was playing Killzone. I was able to spectate, but also join the game. All PS4 games allow you to take screenshots, so I pressed the share button to automatically take one. And PS4 also records the last 15 minutes of gameplay, so I had the choice of either uploading the screenshot or the video. So I tweeted out the screenshot to my actual Twitter account. And if I chose to, I could have posted the video to my Facebook. It’s very easy to do.

“It’s very easy to do.”

PSB: We’ve increased the friend list limit to 2,000 with PS4. As someone who really enjoys social media, are you looking forward to that huge influx of new friend requests that will surely come on launch day?

Yoshida: I have maxed out all the friends lists of all the consoles I have! The thing about friends lists though, is that you might meet a person in a game and make friends with them, but then after a couple of months you might forget who they are. So I’m really excited to be able to add the real names of friends, like on Facebook, so you can see who that person is and bring your own friend network onto your console.

Of course, it’s optional, so you don’t have to do it if you don’t like it, but I’m the kind of person who enjoys a game much more if I know who I’m playing with. So I’m really looking forward to this!

PSB: What aspect of PS4 are you most excited for gamers to discover when they purchase their new system?

Yoshida: The discoverability of things. It’s like checking your social media every day. I really like that people can find out about new games, information, and what their friends are doing, without even booting the game. For example, you can check out whether you have had new challenges from friends from the home screen of every game. All the important information is presented to you immediately. The same game might come out on PS3 and PS4, but playing the game on PS4 will be much more fun, I would expect.

“The indie movement is so exciting to me.”

PSB: You’ve been with PlayStation for many years and witnessed all our major platform launches. With a few months left until the release date, how are you feeling about the PS4 launch, compared with previous platforms’ launch dates?

Yoshida: The indie movement is so exciting to me. It really reminds me of when we were working on the original PlayStation. Back then, PlayStation really expanded the audience for gaming and brought in a lot of new developers. Lots of unique, interesting games came out of nowhere.

I feel a similar kind of vibe and passion from those indie people today. I’m so excited this time. It was scary going into PS3, actually. Everything was going bigger, but this time around it’s a really great combination of big and better games, and smaller, really creative, interesting titles.

PSB: Are there any indie titles in particular you’re really looking forward to playing on PS4?

Yoshida: I’m always a huge fan of Octodad. I was watching the live demo before the press conference and was like “Let me play!” And The Witness. It wasn’t in the show, but I can’t wait to play the game when it comes out.

PSB: While we’re on the topic of games, I know everyone is always interested to find out what you’re playing at present. Can you offer our readers three recommendations that you think they should check out?

Yoshida: Along with our huge catalogue from Worldwide Studios, Dragon’s Crown is a game I’m playing and really digging. It’s a very immersive, action brawler RPG with beautiful graphics. I’m playing on PS Vita, and it’s very beautiful on the PS Vita screen. I highly recommend it.

I still haven’t been able to make huge progress on Hotline Miami. It’s very hard! But it’s so addictive! I really like it. It’s like playing Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls — you have to die a lot to learn how to play.

The other recommendation… maybe Velocity Ultra? That’s so great. Or PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate, perhaps. These are all games on PS Vita, but Dragon’s Crown and Hotline Miami you can also play on PS3.

//Add Your Own

74 Comments

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51

+ CommandingTiger on September 2nd, 2013 at 5:30 pm said:

I’m hoping you can create your own personal characte like you did with PS Home.


52

+ Gamerzlimited on September 2nd, 2013 at 5:59 pm said:

@IzoGray I thumbs up your idea for #4. It would be helpful to have a feature like that as I don’t have many friends with PS3s. Most of the friends I have are people I meet when I’m playing online.

My suggestions for features:
1. The ability to change usernames. My username isn’t my real username that I use and that name belongs to someone else in my family. I wouldn’t mind to pay a small fee if I can.
2. Uploading your own unique avatars. I don’t like people using the same avatar as me as they can get confused with someone else. I’m pretty sure there might be some strict rules about this.
3. I said this many times before, but the option to delete trophies. I don’t like have a trophy list that is stuck at 0% or games I don’t play anymore. It would be a nice feature to delete them.


53

+ Teflon02 on September 2nd, 2013 at 6:06 pm said:

@52 they don’t have option to delete trophies but you can hide trophy lists now, I hid some of my 0 percent lists, hope to get that feature tho


54

+ JimmyChaos on September 2nd, 2013 at 6:41 pm said:

When he was typing at the end, the way the cursor was moving and hovering over what he was selecting reminded me of using the playstation move. Do you think he was using the controller with the ps4 camera to type?


55

+ Gamerzlimited on September 2nd, 2013 at 6:46 pm said:

@Teflon02 We can hide trophy lists? I know we can disable notifications, but lists too? Then that’s actually better because it won’t affect the percentage of the total amount of trophies you earned already. Thanks for letting me know, I have no idea that feature was there.

I know our argument has went into the wrong direction, but it’s in the past now. Let’s not talk about that anymore or being up related to it.


56

+ Killa_LJ_318 on September 2nd, 2013 at 7:35 pm said:

Love the new interface. I hope I can customize the background like with the 3. Can’t wait 2 try out the share button & stuff. Getting mine day 1. Wifey’s gonna have 2 wait till tax time. lol


57

+ DaveedT13 on September 2nd, 2013 at 8:41 pm said:

@54 JimmyChaos: I think he was using the DualShock4 TouchPad. : )
@56 I hope we can customize the background too like with the PS3 but also the colors of the interface would be great!

One feature I hope is now part of the console that was the only flaw with the PS3 IMO is a multi-login option. When we put on a second controller we should have to choose a profile right away. I know that splitscreen is rare these days but I’m pretty sure it’s not dead so this featured MUST be include with the PS4. (It’s also much easier for the devs if include compared to the ps3 where devs must code their own “in-house” multi-login)


58

+ Elvick_ on September 2nd, 2013 at 10:01 pm said:

Some silly comments up in here.


59

+ Elvick_ on September 2nd, 2013 at 10:03 pm said:

@54: That is a way to move the cursor, in some promo video they showed that. I think it was the one that was acted. With a two guys and a girl. Guy starts off playing Knack, then his friend wants him to play killzone, then he downloads it and continues playing Knack while he waits for MP to install, then the girl messages him and he sends a message.

It’s poorly acted, but showed the features pretty well in real life situations.


60

+ KnightRid on September 3rd, 2013 at 3:54 am said:

This is the number one reason I will not be buying a PS4. I do not care, nor want all of this social gaming crap. I am on twitter 24/7, had to get a facebook account just because of reviews I do but that is it. I do not want to watch nor share videos of me playing a game. I dont want to pop in and out to type “I am playing this game please watch my videos because I need more virtual friends.”.

I have read this from a LOT of sites and people yet Sony keeps pushing it out there. Is this big in Japan or something? If it is, the USA is not Japan.

I loved my PS2, like my PS3 but the PS4 seems to be targeting 12 year olds, of which I am not.

P.S. Lowering Vita to $200 and not including a 32gb memory card is still a fail. Sales will climb as people scramble to snag the lower price and then will fall rapidly. Sdcard technology, it was out there Sony, it is a shame you forgot to look on the internet to see it.


61

+ Sum-Mischief on September 3rd, 2013 at 4:23 am said:

I order the Ps4 the very next morning after it was announced. Now the waiting game ….


62

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on September 3rd, 2013 at 5:47 am said:

@1..i don’t think HOME will be a part of PS4 very very sad to say but then again it wasnt really that interesting..yeah its cool to have your own apt and stuff in it..but then what?..all that stuff is pretty cool..but theres nothing FUN about it..and as far as your apt appliances you cant access your PS3 HDD videos from the PS HOME TV or play MUSIC from your PS3 HDD..and it was super laggy..and the times that ive tried to make the best use of it people were actually very ANTISOCIAL..lol .So I would be VERY SURPRISED and INTRIGUED if it comes to the PS4..but i HIGHLY DOUBT IT..


63

+ zombie9 on September 3rd, 2013 at 9:07 am said:

I stopped reading this because they said the F word (Facebook) am I the only person on this planet who refuses to go there. I figure PS4 out by my self !!!


64

+ Barence on September 3rd, 2013 at 9:21 am said:

It seems to flow nicely, I am excited and interested to see how it will feel in my hands.


65

+ Harerazer on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:05 am said:

I love all the people complaining about the social features and sharing on the PS4. Why do you play muliplayer online games if you don’t like social features? I’m guessing these are people who just don’t have much of a social life…and they suck at games because if you’re not routinely having those “Oh that was crazy!” moments playing your games and doing things to brag about to your friends then you really aren’t much of a game player and you have no friends.

Mayhaps ye should go back to yon NES?


66

+ PHEEliNUX on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:07 am said:

The question is, Would it be as bad and buggy as the XMB?


67

+ thewindowsguy on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:31 am said:

The UI was fun to watch. I can’t wait until I get hands on with the PS4 to really know what it’s about. Wish I could be an early tester.


68

+ betzelelgalut on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:55 am said:

something i would really love to see is a port of the fold.it, seti apps, and crowd sourcing science games for finding exp-planets, ported to the PS4. i think that if those games were to be ported to a good console it would increase the science communities discoveries in amazing ways. also something like a siri A.I. agent on the console would be awesome as well. maybe with a software update or something.


69

+ TwinDad on September 3rd, 2013 at 11:34 am said:

From the few minutes I had of hands on time at PAX. The UI looks simple, but busy. I’ll wait to get more hands on time before I make suggestions on improvements.

@Harerazer,

A better reaction would be that social features can be ignored and they have no impact on a user who wishes to not want them. However your personal attack, might not have been the best response.


70

+ Metalsonic_69 on September 3rd, 2013 at 1:16 pm said:

I’m more interested in sharing screenshots/videos with my PSN friends than with my Facebook friends.


71

+ TheMovieHero on September 3rd, 2013 at 3:26 pm said:

Sony I’d really like to know if the subaccount I made at 17 can be upgraded to a masteraccount now that I’m 23. Otherwise all these features on ps4 can’t be used by me and many other users.


72

+ CASHviLLe_615 on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:07 pm said:

THANK YOU SONY FOR KEEPING THE XMB ALIVE

2 PS4 CONSOLE NOV. 15 LOVE IT


73

+ Onsokumaru-san on September 4th, 2013 at 2:11 am said:

Would really like to see more of the UI up close


74

+ Roxous on September 8th, 2013 at 6:19 pm said:

@KnightRid streaming gameplay is huge in America. Check out twitch.TV.


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