Sony SVP Hideaki Nishino stated in an interview that he “doubts whether it’s really necessary to have a discrete browser app beyond the browser capabilities used for certain network-based functions”.
The PS5 won’t output natively to 1440p monitors either, instead scaling up from 1080p. Nishino says this is because Sony wanted to focus on TV support at first, but notes that there’s no technical reason why it couldn’t be done and may be added if the company decides there’s enough demand.
The PS4 web browser was used a surprising amount by gamers, used for checking game stats, news, sports, and reportedly for porn.
A significant 51.1% of all console traffic to Pornhub was from PlayStation 4 users in 2019, which gives you a good indication of the demographic of PS4 owners.
51.1% of all console traffic to Pornhub was from PlayStation 4
It looks like teenage boys the world over will have to find another way of getting their browser based fix on the Sony PS5. But will this omission impact the PS5 upgrade path and actually hinder sales?!
There is also a valid argument for needing a web browser. If you travel with the console (many people do!) you need the browser to negotiate any captive portal logon.
“I use the browser all the time to stream sports that may not be in my region or have a native app carrying them.”
This only sucks because I travel a lot and take my PS4 with me to to hotels and need a browser to sign into the hotel Wi-Fi
— Andrew of Team Stryker (@TSComic) November 9, 2020
Another viewpoint on the issue that the PlayStation 5 will not have a web browser is that it nullifies the ability to play cloud based game services.
The lack of browser is simple :
They don't want people to play Xcloud on PS5 once it's available for browsers.
— Philippe Guérin (@Lynx6767) November 11, 2020