Sony’s “Unified UI” Menu Screen Patent Can Mean Multiple Apps For PS5

Sony Interactive Entertainment has reportedly been preparing to showcase the PlayStation 5 user interface (UI) in the coming days. Before that eventual reveal though, a new finding suggests what the new design will be capable of.

According to a recently granted patent, Sony has been working on a “unified UI” menu screen that will allow players to execute multiple programs or applications with ease. The filing points out that currently, players have to open up an entirely separate menu screen in order to access the UI while running a program or application. The proposed solution, based on the filing, is to give players a UI that overlaps a running program or application. Hence, players will not have to exit their current session to access the menu screen.

…acquiring a menu display instruction from a user requesting a menu screen of a system to be displayed while an application program is running; and displaying a second menu screen in which, in addition to a content icon included in a first menu screen of the system that is displayed when the application program is not running, an instruction icon for entering an instruction to the running application program is displayed while being mixed with the content icon, when the menu display instruction is acquired.

The patent incidentally comes only a few days after PlayStation’s vice president of UX design Matt MacLaurin confirmed that the new PlayStation 5 UI is “a 100 percent overhaul” of the current PlayStation 4 UI. He added that the new UI uses “some very different new concepts” and was designed to be “practical” first and foremost. MacLaurin also teased that PlayStation 5 uses “a whole new visual language” as a UI and for that matter, the current UI had to go through a “complete re-architecting” from the ground up.

While pointing out that “very few pixels” are left from the PlayStation 4 UI, MacLaurin stated that in terms of functionality, a user can navigate across the entire PlayStation 5 UI in a matter of milliseconds. The aforementioned patent for a unified UI appears to be part of that quick navigational aspect.