When I first got my PlayStation 3, I would spend ages going through the PlayStation Store, looking for freebies and random demos to download. Within those free goodies were a plethora of themes, giving my console a personal touch – a feature the PS5 is sorely lacking. We are now in the fourth year of the console’s existence, yet PS5 themes are still nowhere to be found.
It may seem like a small nitpick, but adding a personable flavor to our possessions is undoubtedly something we all do. It’s just human nature to share our passions, whether that is through a social media post or lengthy discussions with our friends. But in the confines of our homes, we do that through hanging posters, displaying prized memorabilia, or simply changing the backgrounds of gaming consoles. This ability has persisted since the PS3 and through to the PS4 era, often promoting many of the best games found on these platforms.
There are loads of dynamic or static themes available, some of them exclusive to PS Plus subscribers. One of the coolest PS3 themes in existence is the Man of Steel tie-in theme, released as a promotional download for Zack Snyder’s 2013 DCEU movie. It isn’t very flashy, but the simple notion of making it seem like Henry Cavill’s Superman is soaring across my TV screen still brings a smile to my face.
From a business perspective, it is an easy way to cross-promote different types of media outside games. Even if you’re not necessarily a fan of said product, a cool theme might just be enough to pique your interest. However, on the player front, the potential of booting up to images of new PS5 games on your radar should be easily accessible. Hovering over the titles on your dashboard to produce a faux PS5 theme isn’t enough.
Yeah, it is cool to hear notes of Spider-Man 2‘s excellent John Paesano score, but what if I could see Miles and Peter swinging across my PS5 home screen on a more permanent basis? It’s not a massive ask, regardless of what game, movie, or product is featured on these hypothetical themes. Xbox players can enjoy custom backgrounds currently, whether that is with their own photos or official selections from Microsoft itself.
Want to take to the stars? Whack on the Starfield theme and you’re away with the Constellation team. Eager to display Captain Price’s scowl when your Xbox turns on? There’s a Modern Warfare 3 theme waiting to be deployed. The PS5 includes basic features like social media integration and entertainment apps, but the absence of customization feels like an oversight regarding the fundamental aspects of the console. That, and the lack of a dedicated internet browser and media player, which the Xbox also supports through Microsoft Edge and the Movies and TV application.
Sony can continue to release fresh additions to the best PS5 games out there, but I’d like to have a bespoke experience ready for me before I boot them up.