Sony recently gave us more intel on its upcoming home console. It will officially be called the PlayStation 5 (shocker!) and via another Wired interview we learned how Sony intends to leverage the system’s super fast SSD, among other details. These include a complete overhaul for the PlayStation system software and a controller with enhanced haptic feedback going well beyond the DualShock’s rumble feature. You can read more about these new features in our handy round-up. In the meantime, let’s talk trophies.
There are plenty of PlayStation fans who don’t bother with them at all, but for others, trophy hunting has become a fun (and often obsessive) pursuit. They help lengthen the lifespan of our favourite games, encouraging us to challenge ourselves or go and unearth content – such as side quests and alternate endings – we may have missed.
When trophies first appeared a couple years into the PlayStation 3’s life, there were only a handful of games that supported them before they became a mandatory feature. The jump to PlayStation 4 didn’t see much improvement though introduced the concept of rarity, allowing us to see how many players had unlocked a certain trophy via an attached percentage.
Right now, we have no confirmation as to how the PS5 will handle trophies when the console launches in late 2020. Despite being a hugely important feature for some, the trophy system has never really got much attention from Sony though we’re hoping that will soon change.
One of the improvements PlayStation boss, Jim Ryan, talks about in the Wired interview is how the operating system will be able to show more information about which games you are playing and, more relevantly, the specific activities you’re engaging in.
It sounds like Sony is alluding to a more socially connected experience that will go hand in hand with any updates it’s making to the PS5’s broadcasting capabilities. Hopefully, this will have an impact on trophies too.
Since trophies were first introduced, players were excited by the prospect of being able to show off their virtual silverware. Although few will remember, PlayStation Home was meant to have a feature allowing you to show off your biggest gaming accomplishments. That never came to fruition, however. If you want to show off your trophies, all you have is an icon next to your PSN profile and that’s it.
With the PS5, Sony could make trophies a far more engaging, meaningful part of gaming. For a start, the system could start tracking a lot more in-game stats, whether they’re related to specific trophies or not. Things like playtime, your K:D ratio in a shooter or the number of deaths in a Souls-like could all be shown in the system software. As an extension of that, you could also see your progress toward trophies and have suggestions on what you might like to take on next, similar to what you see on Xbox One right now.
They could take another leaf out of Microsoft’s playbook by stacking your trophy hunting up against the exploits of your friends, but simply having a way to show off your proudest accolades would be a positive step forward and one that bridge the gap between the plain PSN placards we have now and something more akin to a social media profile.
Rewards are another potential game changer and, again, this is something Sony has been nudging towards. Scoring a platinum trophy in Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, or Marvel’s Spider-Man will earn you exclusive rewards such as an email certificate or exclusive PSN avatars. A small gesture yet one that makes that platinum hunt all the more satisfying.
Sony may surprise us with yet another intel drop in the coming weeks and months, though we’re guessing it will hold off until an official reveal event sometime early next year. Naturally, we’ll be hoping for a peek at the new and improved PlayStation Network with PS5 trophies in tow.