Gaming, VR World

PS4 and PS Vita to Get Interactive Themes

The PlayStation 4 and PS Vita handheld are getting customizable themes, Sony has confirmed in their pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference.

The long-awaited features are planned to roll out with system update 2.0 on PS4 and 3.30 on the PS Vita, and will feature dynamic semi-interactive animations.

Along with re-creating virtual environments from various games, the themes will have customized homescreen layouts for a distinct style and look.

Much to the delight of the audience, SCEJA President Atsushi Morita showcased the PS4’s new interactive dashboards with a Kuro and Toro theme. As players swipe through their system apps and games library, Toro sits with a virtual DualShock 4, making faces and the like while Kuro dances in a very kawaii manner.

PS Vita themes appear to be comprised of pane-specific wallpapers and images, with matching color-coded buttons that mirror a game’s specific style.

Sony has yet to officially confirm which themes will be available for both systems during the Fall updates, and we’ll likely see content respectively tailored to the North American and Japanese markets.

PS Vita Theme Danganaropa

The PS Vita themes appear to be comprised of a customized wallpaper-and-button combo, creating a tasteful blend of style and personality.

PS Vita’s 3.30 firmware update will also introduce the Live From PlayStation app to the handheld, allowing users to view streamed content from other PS4 players. With the app PS Vita owners will be able to tune into game broadcasts across USTREAM and Twitch TV while away from the console.

Share Play will be another key feature implemented with the PS4’s new software update. The mode, which was supposed to be available on launch, effectively allows PS Plus subscribers to hand off their gaming session to a friend across the PlayStation Network.

Sony has confirmed that Share Play will be limited to one-hour sessions that can be replayed indefinitely. YouTube video sharing will be included as well.

PS4 Themes 2

Having these digital animals fall asleep when hovering over the shutdown button is an example of a theme’s user interactivity.

PS4 fans have clamored for custom dashboard skins for quite some time now, and it’s great to see that gamers will be able to add some much-needed pizzazz to the console’s liquid-blue homescreen. Maybe we’ll also see the ability to set in-console snapshots as wallpapers sometime in the future.

Unfortunately it appears that folders won’t be added with the new update.

The demand for folder sorting is through the roof thanks to the PS4’s horizontal library interface, which grows to epic proportions if enough games and apps are installed.

Both system software updates are planned to release in the Fall, and it’ll be interesting to see what digital backgrounds Sony offers up.