TGO Daily | October 16, 2020 | PS5 UI Shown Off

Hello! Apologies for the lack of newsletter yesterday — I ran out of time. Don’t worry though, you probably didn’t miss out on anything you care about. It was a slow day.

Today features three stories which I initially glanced over, but ended up being much more interesting than their headlines indicated. I hope it brings you some value 🙂

Until tomorrow,

Adrian


In The News

Sony shows off PS5 UI

Sony recently showed off the PlayStation 5 user interface (UI), and while I originally thought it was going to be fairly standard, there are actually some super cool features on there that you should know about.

If you hit the PlayStation button while you are playing your game, it will bring up the usual “Control Centre,” where you get access to the usual options. The biggest new addition to it is what they call “Activities.” These are essentially curated challenges/objectives for the game you are playing, which aren’t necessarily reflected in the game itself. It gives you a breakdown of the objectives to complete the Activity, and approximately how long it should take. If you choose to start an Activity, clicking on it will immediately take you to where you need to be. (This is somewhat difficult to explain through text, but there’s a lot of potential here. Watch the video linked above to get a better grasp).

They’ve also introduced “Official Game Help” to the Control Centre, which are tutorials that help you get through a difficult portion of a game. In some cases, they will give you hints rather than outright solutions. The solutions themselves are videos showing you exactly what to do, which can then be put into picture-in-picture, allowing you to play alongside the tutorial.

Both of those features would require a lot of meta-data from developers, but if implemented correctly, are super exciting to me. They’ve mentioned that Activities in particular will be great ways for developers to spotlight things in a game that might go overlooked.

They’ve also integrated picture-in-picture for watching what your friends are playing while in a party with them. Another great idea, as long as the video isn’t too obtrusive.


Oculus Quest 2 issues

Facebook recently released the Oculus Quest 2 — a follow-up to the highly successful standalone VR headset. Priced at $300, it’s an attractive option for new and existing customers alike.

The Quest 2 is also the first headset to require a Facebook account in order to use it. In some cases, this has turned the Quest 2 into what they’re calling a “$300 paperweight.” Issues arise most commonly for people who are creating Facebook accounts for the first time, or reactivating old ones.

Turns out that Facebook’s systems don’t take too kindly to new accounts instantly integrating with other services. Customers have had their accounts suspended or banned within minutes, completely locking them out of the VR headset.

Until the bug and existing Facebook suspensions are resolved by Oculus customer support, affected users are effectively stuck in limbo: unable to use their Quest 2s or access their Oculus library, unable to use another Oculus device, and unable to create a new Facebook account, having already entered their unique personal details. The situation has driven some to refund their Quest 2 headsets, although they are still locked out of their Oculus libraries.

— Emma Kent, Eurogamer

If you’re thinking about getting a VR headset, and don’t mind signing in with your Facebook account, the Quest is actually a pretty cool device. Otherwise, wireless headsets will become more and more popular over the next few years, feel free to give those a look.


Gamestop and Microsoft team up

Information has been revealed that GameStop and Microsoft have partnered in revenue sharing for digital downloads. The agreement allows GameStop to get a share of any revenue, full-game or DLC, on a console purchased in their stores. This will even apply to pre-owned consoles which are then re-sold to a different customer.

Apparently this has been rumoured for a while, and then confirmed by investment advisor DOMO Capital Management (thanks to gi.biz). Considering the struggles that GameStop have been facing over the last few years thanks to a major shift to digital downloads, deals like this could be its saving grace. There’s no word yet on if they have a similar agreement with Sony.