Officially, the PlayStation 5 does not include a web browser, marking an apparent downgrade of the software from the PlayStation 4. But Ars discovered that the PS5 actually includes a limited and hidden web browsing interface that you can use to load sites. Generic web on your TV in a pinch.
The easiest way to access the PS5 web browser is to go to the system settings and load the user guide. Unlike most other system information menus, this one loads in a web browser that points to the live URL at manuals.playstation.net.
If you visit this address from a standard PC or mobile web browser, the site displays an error message. But if you access it from the PS5 menu, you see an image explaining “how to navigate this user guide” with the DualSense controller, as seen above.
While this user guide is fun (and informative) to use, it does not offer any external links that could provide a link to the wider web. And with no option to just type in a generalized URL through the PS5 interface, the user’s guide is of limited use for surfing the information superhighway (as all the hippest kids of the ’90s would say. ).
To get this kind of wider access, you need to scroll down to the PS5 Users and Accounts menu and head to the “Link to Other Services” option. There you can choose to log into a Twitter account, which opens a web page with a Twitter login prompt.
As designed, this page is for logging into Twitter, linking your account to the PS5, and returning you to the system menu. However, if you click on the little Twitter icon in the top corner, it will take you to the standard Twitter web interface instead, just like it would in any other browser. Log in from there and you get full access to Twitter through the PS5’s web browser.
While you still can’t type in the URL bar on this interface, Twitter.com provides (slightly cumbersome) access to the wider web via clickable links in tweets and profile descriptions. If the site you’re interested in has a Twitter account (or is just discussed on social media), finding those links is usually as easy as typing your target in the Twitter search bar.
You can even plug in a USB keyboard to make it easier to find and / or browse links with the arrow and Enter keys. USB mice don’t seem to work with the PS5 browser, however, you still need to use the DualSense controllers to scroll or move the pointer on the screen.
Testing the waters of the web
After some spot testing, we found that the PS5 web browser seems to work fine for pages that contain mostly text and images. The multimedia and / or interactive pages were a bit more hit and miss, however.
Video sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Twitch worked without too much trouble on the PS5, with sound, although they tried to go “full screen” with one video failing on each one. Music streaming sites like Spotify, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp, on the other hand, could usually load the interface but couldn’t actually play music through the PS5 in our testing.
When it comes to productivity sites, I was surprised that I could log into Ars’ Slack web interface and even type my coworkers from the PS5. Ars Technica’s WordPress-based content management system has also been loaded, although I decided to write this post on a PC (after struggling to write a similar post on an Xbox One seven years ago). years).
Trying to write on Google Docs, however, led to an error asking me to update my browser (if only that was possible) and an inability to type in the main compose window. The top menu on the site worked fine, however, so I could create a full document by inserting web images and “special characters” one by one on the PS5 if I really wanted to.
Why is it hidden?
That said, for Sony, upgrading the PS5 browser from its “run down interface for user guide and web service connections” to “a full browser that works reliably on the web” would likely take some effort. decent (and customer support). And Sony recently suggested that making that effort just isn’t a priority right now.
“Currently, we have no plans to include a web browser in the PS5,” said Sony senior vice president Hideaki Nishino. a recent interview with the Japanese site AV Watch (like translated by Twitter user Nibel). “We have doubts whether a web browser is necessary for a game console as an app, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
(On the Xbox One and S / X series, third-party browsers like Monument can meet your browsing needs perfectly).
For now, if you are desperate to load a webpage through your PS5 for some reason, the workaround outlined above will allow you to do so. But don’t be surprised if this is the closest thing to official PS5 web browsing support in the near future.