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PS5’s Activity Cards Explained: Our Pre-Launch Experience

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One of PS5’s new UI features comes in the form of Activity Cards, a series of game-specific and more general panels available in the PS5’s Control Center. While we saw some specific-use cases in the PS5 UI reveal, we’ve now had a bit more hands-on time with them in multiple games, and can better explain how they work.Specifically, we can speak about using them in conjunction with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro’s Playroom. And of course, you can see more of the PS5’s UI in our full PS5 review.

PS5 Overall Use

No matter what game we’ve played on PS5, some Activity Cards are a constant. A newsfeed card has been apparent whenever pulling up this feature. It has changed somewhat in our pre-launch experience – when Insomniac revealed new videos for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, for example, that took the prominent featured spot on the newsfeed card.

As of right now, it’s unclear what other console-wide cards may be added in the future, but they do offer Sony a platform to directly flag any major updates to players, no matter what game they’re playing. Additionally, a recent media capture card has been present for me while using the PS5, letting me quickly access my previous screenshots and clips captured via the Share button.

Astro’s Playroom Activities Cards

Diving into game-specific uses, Astro’s Playroom offers a bit more of a clear use case for future games. A host of game-specific cards will pop up while playing, based on recent use of Playroom, and I’ve seen both Trophy-specific cards and Level-focused ones featured most often.

Playroom is split into four main worlds, each with four levels apiece. Cards allowed me to immediately jump into a level from the Control Center, rather than going through any in-game menu. Playroom makes this feature a little redundant, because the game’s pause menu is a world map that lets you instantly hop into any level. But its benefits for future games with many more levels or more points to jump to is immediately clear. There’s no additional loads and no hopping out of the game – if I want to head back to a level, I can see my percentage completion for it when it comes to artifacts and collectibles, and click right into it. And for completionists/Platinum trophy hunters like myself, that is a wonderful, direct, and easy use.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Activities Cards

Miles Morales may also be a good test case for where more narrative, as well as open world, games take us on the PS5 when it comes to these cards.

At first. When starting up Miles Morales, the Cards feed is relatively non-existent. But as I got deeper into the story, if I pulled the cards up with a new narrative mission to go to, it would be an option as a card. And Miles’ collectibles open up as you progress later into its story, so cards served as a reminder for my progress on collectible tech stashes, or time capsules that were akin to Peter Parker’s collectible backpacks in the first Spider-Man. And as I gained access to more one-off side missions, some of those would come up as options, too.

As with Astro’s Playroom, because Miles Morales’ collectibles often pop up as you’re exploring the city, it may be easier for some players to just keep swinging around and stumble across them. But it’s an obvious primer for how developers can use these cards in other upcoming open-world games, which we haven’t gotten to test yet.Of course, we’ve only gotten to see these cards be used in a pre-launch capacity with some of the PS5’s launch lineup, and we’ll continue to test them as we gain access to more games.

In the meantime, we also have news on how the PS5 has 667GB of usable storage space, why it doesn’t seem to have custom themes, how the Create button differs from the PS4 Share button, and you can read our full PS5 console review. And if you’re interested in the PS5’s launch lineup, check out our Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales review and our Astro’s Playroom review.

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