There are a lot of great innovations developed for modern video game consoles, with some being more impactful than others. Yet, just because a certain innovation is not groundbreaking, it does not mean that they are not awesome or exciting. One of the best things about the HD consoles starting with the PlayStation 3, is the ability to customize things about them. But how do you change the PS5 background?
The unfortunate thing about the PS5 is that you cannot change the background of your PS5 like you could with the PS3 and PS4. The only customization that can occur with your background is if the PS5 game you are playing comes equipped with a dynamic background that is used on the home screen while you are playing the game.
But why is it that the PS5’s background cannot change? Is this a problem with competing consoles? And when will this actually change?
How to Change PS5 Background
Unfortunately, if you were looking to customize your PS5’s background, you are currently unable to do that (as of the posting of this article, anyway). The only way that the theme can be modified in any way is through hovering over a specific game in the PS5’s user interface (UI), which applies a theme related to the game as long as you are hovering.
This is actually similar to a feature that the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 have for certain games, where, if a custom theme is made for the game, they will show a custom background (and sometimes song) while hovering over its game icon. However, both of these consoles have custom themes, which makes it a bit strange that the PS5 is the first PlayStation home console without custom themes since the PlayStation 2.
Why hasn’t Sony allowed users to change the PS5’s background?
While it may seem confusing as to why the PS5 does not allow for custom backgrounds, IGN actually has an interesting theory as to why this is, and why the PS5 may never allow for custom themes and backgrounds. The speculation is that the PS5’s UI is being de-emphasized by comparison to the PS4, and may believe that having a single default theme besides the mini-themes that you see when hovering games is better for the UI’s design.
When will Sony allow users to change their PS5 background?
Honestly, answering this question is a little hard, because Sony has not yet commented on the backgrounds (or lack thereof). It is even possible, though unlikely (or at least foolish) that they may never even add custom backgrounds. Stranger things have happened, after all. Themes have been a thing for PS devices ever since the release of the PlayStation Portable, which allowed you to upload your own custom backgrounds.
The PlayStation Vita also had this and official themes that can be downloaded from the PlayStation Network, as did the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. So we are just crossing our fingers and hoping that Sony is not experiencing a serious lack of judgment here, especially since backgrounds technically can be changed via the game you are playing.
Can you upload your own custom backgrounds to the PS5?
While the PS5 does not have official backgrounds, it cannot be denied that people have found a lot of ways to modify their consoles in ways that were not intended by the manufacturer. Before we go into this, we should note that modifying your PS5 in unauthorized ways is in violation of Sony’s terms of service.
Not only can this cause your warranty to be invalidated, but it can also get you in trouble with Sony for the modification.
This is particularly because a lot of people modify their consoles for the purpose of pirating games on it, whether that be pirating PS5 games or pirating games from other platforms on the console. Another point of concern is that modifying your console, even doing only software mods instead of hardware mods, can screw up your console, possibly even beyond repair.
With that said, there have been recent findings with respect to hacking the PS5. However, there is nothing as of yet that can allow the changing of PS5 themes or backgrounds.
Can you change backgrounds on the Xbox Series or Nintendo Switch line of consoles?
The PS5 has two main competitors in the game console space: Microsoft with the Xbox, and Nintendo with the Nintendo Switch. Since the PS5 does not yet have backgrounds, it begs the question, does its competitors’ platforms?
While the Nintendo 3DS was noted for having quite a few custom backgrounds (some free, but most paid), the Nintendo Switch is extremely lacking in that area as well. Nintendo Switch owners will attest that the only backgrounds they have are simply light mode and dark mode.
However, the reason why there are no custom themes available for the Nintendo Switch beyond light and dark modes may simply be because Nintendo’s home consoles have never had custom themes before. Heck, aside from the Nintendo 3DS, custom themes on Nintendo handhelds have not been possible.
Thus, while it was disappointing to see that the Nintendo Switch was so limited with possible themes, it’s important to remember that themes on Nintendo consoles were the exception, not the norm.
As far as the Xbox Series X goes, Microsoft not only offers dynamic themes for download, but they also allow you to put your own custom backgrounds as your Xbox background, using any image you like, from a USB drive. You can also use screenshots you have taken on your Xbox as your background (one editor, for example, has a screenshot of Kassandra hanging from the bicep of a woman’s statue in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey).
This should come as no surprise that this is possible, as the Xbox One also allowed its users to customize the background in this way. Microsoft is very big on creating a consistent ecosystem for its Xbox line of consoles, after all.