been absurdly lucky enough to stumble into a PS5 pre-order among the absolute chaos, I’ve now had the Playstation 5 for a few weeks and have been playing it every day. So, with lots of thoughts about Sony’s newest, shiniest, biggest console swirling about my head, I present to you my rambling review of the PS5. Is this new generation worth jumping into? Does it have any major problems? Are there actually games to play on it? WHY IS IT SO DAMN BIG!?
Feel free to use the links below to jump to whatever part of the review is most relevant to you.
You certainly can’t accuse Sony of playing it safe when it came to designing how the PS5 would look. It’s more like a piece of modern art than a console with its sleek, curved panels and its black and white paint scheme. In fact, it’s like someone at Sony accidentally hired an architect to design the PS5 and didn’t want to tell anyone about their cock-up, so they rolled with it. Zoom in close and you’ll find that the console’s panels have a texture that’s actually made up of the same symbols adorning the face buttons on the controller, the famous circle, square, triangle and ex. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s a design that demands an opinion, dominating whatever space you put it in. Personally, I don’t really like it. With that said, it feels like the PS5 was really designed to be stood vertically rather than horizontally like I have it. The curves work better when they’re pointing to the sky like the tower of Sauron. I also think the version of the PS5 without a disc-drive looks better because the disc-drive adds a camel-like hump that upsets the flowing lines.
There’s a stand included in the box for keeping the PS5 steady when its vertical. For horizontal use you rotate a piece of the stand and then awkwardly clip it on the back of the machine. It almost makes the console look like its floating, which is pretty cool, but it’s not as solidly held as I’d like – if you shift the console at all it will easily slip straight off the stand. Just something to keep in mind if you’re fiddling with cables or anything like that.
It’s a big bastard of a machine, too. 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1-inches of white and black plastic that practically warps gravity around it. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now, but I still can’t help but notice the PS5 whenever I come into my room. It has justification for being this size when it comes to handling heat and staying quiet, though, so I’m willing to forgive its generous proportions. Just consider where you’re going to put this thing when you buy it. You could ending having to buy a whole new TV stand.
I appreciate the mild lighting that sits under the white panels, too. When the console is on they provide a nice, subtle blue illumination, and then the PS5 is in rest mode there’s a pleasant orange glow. Although in the year of 2020, I do think Sony missed a trick by not letting us customize the lighting.
As for those huge white wings, they’re easy to pop on and off to access the storage expansion slot (more on that later) and because they’ve been designed that way we might see some customisation options popping up. If nothing else, they’d be a doddle to paint if you fancy something more colourful.
Ports & Connections
On the front of the PS5 you’ll find a Hi-Speed USB Type-A port and a USB Type-C SuperSpeed port. It’s nice to see type-C getting adopted, if only so fiddling around with getting the damn connector the right way around is never something we ever have to deal with again. On the rear there’s two type-A SuperSpeed USB ports as well, bringing the total up to four.
The rest of the machine’s butt-end is made up of a Ethernet port, a HDMI 2.1 port and the power port. There’s no external power-brick here, so you don’t have to worry about having that lying around anywhere. Annoyingly, there’s no optical port, so that could be problematic depending on the audio gear you have. You can get optical to HDMI splitters, though, so there is at least a workaround.
Do keep in mind that many TVs require you to activate certain settings to access 4k and HDR. My Panasonic was actually a pain about this as I had to swap HDMI modes that didn’t even reference HDR in order to get 4K and HDR working at the same time. It’s just something to remember.
Under the hood the PS5 is packing some serious tech, starting with the 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor running at 3.5Ghz. It’s a formidabble leap up from the processors of the previous generation. Down the line, the extra processing power should finally allow for big improvements in A.I., as well as in physics and other areas. That processor is paired with a custom AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU that can clock up to 2.23Ghz and delivers a shade over 10-teraflops of power. That’s a lot of graphical muscle, and its augmented with ray-tracing capabilities so that you can enjoy all that fancy new lighting. Finally, 16GB of RAM rounds out the system, making Good Chrome’s tabs drool. All this power is so that the PS4 can deliver 4K visuals with high framerates, although as we’ll talk about it isn’t quite as simple as getting all the goodies without some sacrifices.
On paper Microsoft’s claim that the Xbox Series X is the most powerful console ever is genuinely true when you look at the raw numbers. However, things aren’t always that simple, and so far the reality is the PS5 has been matching or beating the Xbox Series X on multiplatform titles like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Think of it like a car: lots of power is awesome to have, but you need to be able to deliver all that raw strength to the wheels without just spinning the tyres. Currently, that’s where the PS5 is winning – it has less raw power, but it’s getting all that power to the tyres more efficiently. The question is, why? Well, according to some developers it might be because the Xbox development tools arrived quite late, meaning they’ve had less time to get to grips with the console and how to use its oomph properly.
Putting aside console vs console, the PS5 is a beast that packs a lot of punch considering the price-tag. It delivers ray-tracing, high-framerates and 4k for a very respectable price. Mind you, if you were dreaming of 4k 60FPS gaming then those dreams will be shattered. That isn’t really the fault of the PS5, it’s simply a reality of the available technology. Even some of the most powerful graphics cards on the market would struggle to hit 4k 60FPS with ray-tracing enabled. And so instead we have titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls offering you a choice between prettier visuals and 30FPS, or slightly less shiny visuals at a buttery smooth 60FPS. Personally, I think once you switch to 60FPS it’s hard to go back, even for those extra bits of graphical sexiness.
I would have loved to have a 1440p mode. 4K visuals are nice, but honestly the difference between 4k and 1440p isn’t that big, and the lower resolution could have meant 1440p, 60FPS and ray-tracing all at the same time. But 4k sounds better and is something most people are familiar with, so it makes sense that Sony would aim for 4k gaming.
Now that we’ve talked about the tech, let’s just talk about how pretty it all looks. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is pretty stunning even if all that gorgeous ray-tracing is hard to appreciate when you’re swinging through the city, and Sackboy’s Big Adventure is certainly colourful, but the real showcase of the PS5 is Demon’s Souls. It might be a remake of a PS3 game, but you’d never think that when you gaze at the frankly ludicrous level of detail. If this level of fidelity, detail and lighting can be achieved this early in the console’s lifespan, just imagine what will be appearing a few years from now when developers begin to really understand the tools they have.
All this power requires some serious heat management or else you risk the console melting into a puddle of plastic goo, which would suck when you’ve just spent £350 or more on it. The PS5 employs two fans to shove the heat out of the machine and they do a damn fine job of it. Stick your hand behind the PS5 during a gaming session and you can feel the hot air being pushed into the outside world, acting as a nice little way of heating up your room if you can’t be bothered turning on the heating. With all that heat being generated, definitely make sure you keep the PS5 in a well ventilated area so that it doesn’t suck all that hot air straight back in.
Those two fans do an impressive job of keeping the PS5 running near-silent, although it’s worth noting that both the PS4 and Xbox One were quiet when they first launched, too. The real test will be a few years down the line when the hardware is being pushed to the limit. However, there is one caveat to my experience: my PS5 does have a noticeable buzz that isn’t always there. It could be coil whine, but other people have also discovered it can be caused by a sticker inside the machine coming loose and hit the fan, or the fan cage itself needing some rubber o-rings to dampen it. Whatever it is, the buzz isn’t too loud, so I’m not worried. Overall, coming from my PS4 Pro which was nearly committing suicide when playing Ghost of Tsushimi, the quietness of the PS5 has been absolutely wonderful.
My final word on the hardware is that while I personally like having a disc-drive, the £350 asking price for the digital version of the PS5 is a bargain. If you don’t mind going digital then you’re getting seriously impressive specs for the money.
Leading up the launch of the PS5 Sony was heavily pushing the fact that is machine would be running a custom 825GB SSD that would massively reduce loading times. Those claims are wholly accurate. The SSD is astoundingly fast, matching high-end PC drives by providing speeds of up to 5.5GBps. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, going from hitting play on the PS5 to swinging around New York takes roughly 20-seconds, while fast-travelling around New York takes maybe 2-3 seconds. Demon’s Souls offers nearly instantaneous fast-travel times as well. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is mighty fast too, taking under 10-seconds from “continue” on the menu to playing the game.
Of course, a fast drive impacts pretty much everything. Booting the PS5 from cold is less than 20-seconds, so when combined with jumping into a game you can go from turning on the PS5 to playing a game anywhere from around 30-60 seconds, which blows my mind. It makes sitting down to play feel…easier. I know that sounds strange, but sometimes all that stopped me from playing something was that I couldn’t be bothered firing up the console and waiting around for it load, and then waiting around for the game to load. Is it a first-world problem? Of fucking course it is, but we’re reviewing a £450 console here, we’re firmly in first-world problem territory. The SSD in the PS5 means just leaping in for a quick five minutes feels perfectly doable.
But this glorious, blazing speed does come at a price, namely space. Of that 825GB, the PS5 ships with 667GB of free space, assuming that you delete the included Astro’s Playroom. That isn’t a lot of storage space to play around with. On the plus side, the SSD allows developers much faster access to files and that means they can reduce the overall size of their games, but with 4k textures and such now becoming normal that reduction may be balanced out by much larger texture sizes. Time will tell.
There’s a slot underneath the hood of the PS5 where a SSD can be placed to ramp up the space you have. However, that slot is currently disabled and Sony haven’t been forthcoming as to when it will be enabled. Once it is, you’ll still need to buy a drive that meets Sony’s speed requirements, which makes sense because certain games will be designed with that speed in mind. Because of this, you’ll have to shell out a substantial amount of cash.
The other option is an external drive which can be plugged into the rear of the console, using one of the three USB ports that the PS5 offers. There’s a catch, though; the external drive can only be used to store and play PS4 games. While it isn’t surprising that you can’t run a PS5 game off the drive, it is frustrating that you can’t use an external drive to store PS5 and then transfer them to the console when needed. Still, if you have a lot of PS4 games you want to play, an external drive will an invaluable purchase unless you happen to have excellent download speeds.
The Dualsense Controller
The handles are beefier, longer and have an elegant curve that sits beautifully in my hands. Yup, while the new Dualsense doesn’t beat the Xbox controller in terms of erganomics, it’s still more than comfortable enough to hold. It’s 282g heavier than the Dualshock 4, but that extra weight is nicely balanced and frankly it actually makes the Dualsense feel like a more premium product. I like a bit of heft in my controllers. It’s finished with a black and white colour scheme that matches the console itself, and like the console I’m not a huge fan of it visually.
Sony have opted to keep the symmetrical analogue stick design that has been a hallmark of their controllers since the original Playstation, which is a shame because I still prefer the offset design of the Xbox controller. But the buttons themselves have changed. Now, the face buttons are imitating Casper the ghost with their transparency, and travel further than the ones on the Dualshock 4, making them less squishy. The D-pad has gone through the same changes. I like these new buttons because you can clearly feel when you’ve activated them. It’s like using a mechanical keyboard, except without the loud clicking sounds that make your neighbours resent you and anyone you live with want to commit murder.
Slightly awkwardly the PS button sits just above the mute button, which resulted in loads of under-my-breath cursing as I accidentally hit the wrong one for the 40th fucking time in 5-minutes. This mute button is due to the fact that the controller now has an in-built microphone that’s turned ON by default, so keep that in mind unless you want to reveal deep, dark personal information in the middle of a multiplayer match. The microphone quality is…okay. It’s passable, but if you chat to people a lot you’re going to want to get a headset.
There is some concern sounding the microphone and changes in Sony’s policies that allow users to send in recordings of voice chat, as well as policy changes indicated that Sony and its partners have the right to use your audio and such for advertising and other uses without needing to inform you.
The touchpad has also carried over to the new generation but now its white and even has a nice little RGB light strip running around the edge. It’s there. It works. I barely ever used it, just like on the PS4. But it does seem a bit more precise than the previous generation.
As for the lightbar that was on the PS4, its been pared back on the Dualsense. By which I mean its gone. The small strip of RGB around the trackpad is the only lighting on the controller now. What this means for PS VR games remains to be seen because I don’t haven my PS VR unit anymore to test it. But what I do know is that losing the PS4’s massive torch makes gaming in the dark nicer.
Included on PS5 is a copy of Astro’s Playroom, a charming little platformer that acts as both a celebration of all things Playstation and as a demo for capabilities of the new Dualsense controller. Haptic feedback is the name of the new gimmick, and it aims to make you feel the games you play. There’s some proper bloody witchcraft at work, but basically it’s controller rumble but improved and much more detailed. You can feel your characters footsteps or even the gentle drops of rain falling from the sky. It’s impossible to adequately describe, but Astro’s Playroom uses it to great effect, letting you feel the direction of a stomping enemy via the vibrations in the controller. You can even feel your own footsteps thanks to the little taps generated each side of the controller.
The adaptive triggers are just as cool to use. Basically, the developers can program resistance into the triggers, making them harder to pull. Going back to Astro’s Playroom, you get to spend coins on capsules that you then break open by pulling the right trigger. About half-way down on the pull there’s a load of resistance, just like if you had closed your hand around a tin can. To crack the capsule you have to pull through that resistance until it suddenly gives way, again just like crushing a Coke can. Another great example is when you turn into a spring in Astro, and pulling the trigger results in increasingly more resistance against your finger. There’s a lot of potential awesomeness in these adaptive triggers, and I’m sad that didn’t get a chance to play DiRT 5 or WRC 9 to see how cool racing games could be.
The haptics and triggers are nothing short of excellent, and when used well could bring a lot to the table. But the big question is whether developers of multi-platform games are really going to use the Dualsense’s full potential, or if a year or two from now the only ones bothering will be 1st party titles. Even Spider-Man: Milles Morales kept its use of haptics and the adaptive triggers to a bare minimum, though I appreciated some of the subtle touches, like how triggering Miles’ Venom abilities would send a ripple across the controller.
Battery life doesn’t seem to have changed much. I was getting around 8-12 hours depending on how heavily game’s were using the haptics and adaptive triggers (both of which can be turned off) and if I had a headset plugged into the controller as well. Only time will tell how well the internal battery will handle hundreds of charges.
Although Sony’s marketing would love for you to believe that their new Tempest 3D audio system is brand new, it’s not. 3D audio has been around for a long time, with a recent example being Dolby Atmos. This is Sony’s attempt at creating something like Dolby Atmos that aims to reproduce incredible sound and accurate specialization. Essentially, the Tempest applies effects to the sound in real-time that seek to trick your ears into thinking sounds are coming from different directions, rather than just left or right like stereo would normally. The tricky thing everyone’s ears are different, and that can thrown the sound off. To try to combat this, there are 5 presets you can pick from that replicate 5, the hope being that your own sound flaps will fit into one of those 5.
Actually using the 3D audio is a little tricky. First, you need a pair of stereo headphones, and then you have to hook them up through either the controller or USB. But that’s not guarantee that it’ll work properly because as people are reporting, not all headsets are equal. There are many examples of people experiencing heavily muffled audio until they turn the 3D setting off. This may likely be because the PS5 controller can’t deliver enough power to the better headsets out there, resulting in low volume. And once you’ve got all that sorted, you still need to play a game that is 3D audio compatible.
Is it worth? I think so. I can’t compare it to something like Dolby Atmos because I’m not rich enough to afford that kind of setup, but I did test out the 3D audio with an Arctis Pro Wireless and a HyperX Cloud. The audio that delivered to my ears was not only detailed but also provided outstanding positional audio. Swinging through the streets in Spider-Man it was possible to focus on the sound of a car passing underneath and listen to it move from in front of me, to below me, to behind me. There was plenty of range in the sound, too, so the blare of a horn cut through everything else before it faded away as I swung onwards. Demon’s Souls also boasts some astonishing sound design that makes superb use of the 3D audio. Best of all, Sony are promising that Tempest will be made compatible with sound bars, speakers and even TV speakers in the future.
Using The PS5
Over on the Xbox, Microsoft decided to keep the same interface which means that all your muscle memory carries straight over, making the new consoles a doddle to use. This design choice however, does mean that your shiny new console doesn’t feel quite so new. Sony have gone the other route, massively overhauling the interface so that it looks and feels very different. The result makes the PS5 feel more special and cool and new, but it also leads to some daft moments where muscle memory ends up fighting against the new design. There’s some great stuff in the interface, but there’s a couple of annoying quirks, too, as we’ll discuss. Of course, this is one of the trickier aspects of the PS5 to review, because who knows what Sony might completely change in the coming months and years?
The main screen has a little of the PS4 DNA in it, resembling the cross-media bar. All your recent games are lined up from left to right, and when you highlight one of them an image from the game takes over most of the screen and even some of the game’s music will play. Highlight Spider-Man: Miles Morales, for instance, and a hip-hop beat will blast out of the speakers. By scrolling down you can check out game specific options like trophies, news and more.
You also access the new PSN store from the home screen, and due to the new SSD and the fact that the store is now baked into the interface rather than being a separate app it’s lighting fast. The PS4’s store was incredibly sluggish, to the point of being a total chore to use. I’d only ever venture into it when I had something specific in mind. By comparison, the PS5 store loads almost instantly, so it’s a lot easier to just hop in and have a quick look at the latest sales. However, the store isn’t quite as fleshed out with the only categories being PS4, PS5 and PS VR. It also seems to be impossible to find the sale that’s currently supposed to be running on the store. Hopefully Sony will work on fleshing the store out to match the PS4. For now, it just being much, much quicker is enough. Plus, those horrible PSN download speeds are vastly better now.
You’ve got all your media and entertainment in the Media tab, and everything you’d imagine is there, from Amazon Prime to Spotify. Go nuts.
Tapping the PS button in a game brings up what Sony call the Command Centre, although sadly it does not appear to be capable of launching ballistic missiles, so that sucks. This is basically the quick menu from the PS4, and lets you quickly access things like downloads, notifications and so on. There’s a decent degree of customization on offer, so you can swap out certain things if you want.
The Control Centre also houses the new Card system that Sony has been pushing hard. These come with a bunch of different uses like tracking progress on a certain quest, even going so far as to tell you how long a mission might take. While playing Miles Morales I was going to turn the console off, but in the process I glanced at the Cards and found out the next mission was only going to take 5-minutes, so I stayed on and did it. Cards also can even be used to let you jump directly into in-game challenges, bypassing the game’s main menu and splash screens. Astro’s Playroom makes good use of this so that you hop in and try to beat a friend’s speedrun time.
There’s some very cool potential in the Card system, but much like the Dualsense’s new feature it’s heavily reliant on developers making use of it. All Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla does with cards is such you your progress toward finishing the entire storyline, and Trophies. That’s it. Likewise, there’s a new game help system that developers can use to provide hints, tips and even videos for their games, but how many companies will actually bother with it a year or two from now?
Probably the thing that kept catching me out was the way you turn the PS5 off. Years and years of muscle memory has me holding down the PS button until the power menu pops up and then selecting either rest mode or power off. It’s a sleek, easy way of doing things, but the PS5 changes this completely. Instead, you tap the PS button, scroll over to the power settings and select what you want. A long hold of the button now takes you back to the home screen.
There are smaller issues that might be a case of being looked over when Sony were designing the new interface. For example, your friends list is stuck inside the weirdly named Game Base, and to actually get to them you also have to scroll past recent parties. Speaking of parties, there’s no way to see who is in them, or indeed if anybody is in them at all, which is a weird oversight.
I’m not a fan of the way trophies are handled, either. Instead of a nice, easy list of trophies they now pop up in big tiles from left to right that makes quickly checking them more hassle than it needs to be.
One area where the Xbox has a major advantage is its Quick Resume feature that lets it suspend up to five different games that you can then hop between almost instantly. Imagine playing a single-player game and then jumping straight over to a multiplayer match, and then back to your single-player game once you’re finished playing with your mates. It’s a cool feature, and one that the PS5 doesn’t emulate, sadly. There’s a hint that it might be coming, though, as there’s a Game Switch menu when you tap the PS button that lets you pick between your last three played games.
Overall, the new interface is pretty nice. Most of my troubles with it simply come down to not being used to it yet. I’m sure a few months from now I won’t constantly be muttering under my breath because I forgot where to find my screenshots again. But there’s room for improvement in some areas, which is expected.
Nearing launch Sony’s explanation of what you could play on the PS5 was fuzzy at best. Thankfully, that’s all cleared up now and you can play almost every single PS4 game on the PS5. In fact, if you have a PSN subscription Sony are giving you a bunch of awesome games such as God of War and Until Dawn for free. Unfortunately, while the new Xbox consoles have supreme backwards compatibility all the way back to the original Xbox, the PS5 doesn’t let you play PS1, PS2 or PS3 games natively, although you can still use Playstation Now to stream older titles.
The actual experience of playing a PS4 game on the PS5 is going to vary. For the most part, if a developer doesn’t specifically update a game to make use of the PS5’s hardware then the game will mostly behave exactly as it did on the PS4. If the framerate was capped at 30FPS then that’s what you’re going to get, albeit it should be much smoother as the raw power of the PS5 shoves through framrate drops like a sumo wrestling barging through a crowd in front of a McDonalds. If the game had an unlocked framerate or a dynamic resolution you should see the PS5 stretching its legs a little more. Plus, the SSD will boost loading times. The guys over at Toms Guide, for example, found that load times for titles like The Last of Us Part 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 were cut in half, while God of War shaved 13-seconds off its time. The results will vary, but no matter what you play the SSD should make it a smoother, quicker experience.
If a developer opts to go back and update their game to PS5, that’s when you’ll see some results. Ghost of Tsushimi, for example, has been updated to run at a sily smooth 60FPS which makes an already superb game even better. Likewise titles like God of War have gotten upgrades, making the prospect of revisiting some older games all the more alluring.
Meanwhile, a lot of PS4 games are getting PS5 upgrades for free. Ubisoft are doing great with this, so if you buy a PS4 version of something like Watch Dogs: Legion you’ll be able to upgrade it to the better PS5 version when you get the new console. Keep in mind, though, this isn’t Sony mandated thing, so how upgrades work varies from company to company. Just look at the recent debacle with Control for an example of a developer opting to not simply offer a straight upgrade.
One hiccup in the whole PS4 to PS5 experience that people have encountered is that sometimes the PS5 will download both versions of the game, taking up valuable space. On top of that, the icon which denotes the PS5 version is easily mistaken with the PS4 version, so there have been numerous examples of people accidentally playing the PS4 version of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Over on the Xbox, the Smart-Delivery system takes into account the console your playing on and will deliver the appropriate version of the game. The PS5 doesn’t do this, and while it isn’t a huge deal, it’s also a strange design oversight. Certainly, it’s nice to have the option to play the PS4 version, although I can’t think of a lot of reasons why you would do that, but in my view it should default to the PS5 version.
So ultimately, backwards compatibility on the PS4 is pretty solid, although doesn’t match up to the Xbox where going back to play older games is a breeze compared to the PS5’s Dumb Delivery system.
The Launch Line-up
What’s a new console without shiny new games to play on it? This is where things get complicated, because a lot of people love the line-up of games, whereas I’m a little more lukewarm. That’s due to the fact that there’s only two actual Playstation 5 exclusive games, with the rest also being available on the PS4. Astro’s Playroom (which is free) and Demon’s Souls are the only two true PS5 only games – one of those is free, and the other one is actually a remake of a PS3 game.
Still, Demon’s Souls is a graphical powerhouse that showcases the hardware wonderfully, while Astro’s Playroom is a cutesy, fun platformer that is surprisingly good fun to play through. Then there’s the likes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy’s Big Adventure and Bugsnax, all offering radically different styles of game. Miles Morales is tweaks the Spider-Man formula for the better, Sackboy is just an awesome way to relax with graphics that look like you could reach out and touch them, and Bugsnax might be the most horrifying game ever.
I’d say that in terms of pure games, there’s not a strong reason to run out and get a PS5 right now unless Demon’s Souls is a major priority to you. Everything else is available on last-gen hardware, and while the PS5 undoubtedly offers a drastically improved experience it might be worth waiting a bit until we start seeing more PS5 exclusives like Ratchet & Clank: Rift in Time that can make proper use of tech the PS5 has hiding under its shiny, curvy body.
BUT! And it’s a big BUT, if you are jumping into Playstation for the first time, it’s obviously a different case. By subscribing to Playstation Plus you get instant access to the Playstation Plus Collection, a selection of some of the best PS4 games available. For the cost of £7 a month (and plenty of year-long subscription offers going cheap) you get games like God of War, The Last of Us, Until Dawn, Ratchet & Clank and Days Gone. For someone jumping over from the Xbox or someone getting into console gaming for the first time, the 20 games being offered are a curated selection of excellence that will provide hundreds of hours of gameplay.
Historically, buying a console at or near launch is a risky proposition, one typically know as early-adopter’s syndrome. There’s a higher chance of the initial console’s have big problems, and the PS5 is no exception. Personally, I’ve run into numerous crashes, the front port not charging the controller, the disc-drive spinning up a disc despite me not playing the game that the disc is for, game’s asking to be re-copied to the drive and downloads becoming stuck.
Other people have encountered much larger issues. There are many reports of Rest Mode having problems with PS4 games or even just in general, resulting in some cases where the whole console was bricked, leading people to have to reset the whole thing. There’s also problems external hard-drives such as drive corruption, crashes and more. And other folks have just had dozens of crashes and error codes.
So far none of the problems seem too common, although it’s impossible to get real numbers. It doesn’t appear as bad as something like the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death, but in 2020 it’s annoying that a £450 purchases still carries a bunch of risks. If you hold off, you should be buying into a much more stable system.
Is The PS5 A Good Console?
Yes. It is.
That’s a different thing from it being a console you should go out and buy right now, though. Now, obviously a console is a luxury thing and you don’t ever NEED to have it, really, but we’re gamers. The concept of NOT at least drooling over a new console is a concept punishable by death. With all that said, this new generation of consoles has struggled a little to provide reasons why you should upgrade right now and not just wait. Right now, it seems like like most releases will be heading to the last-gen machines where they’ll still run pretty well. Hell, a lot of people don’t actually have a 4K HDR TV with which to take full-advantage of the PS5 anyway, and with 100+ million PS4s in the wild, Sony would be crazy to abandon support for their last-gen system.
Simply said, I can’t tell you if the PS5 is worth buying right now (or whenever it finally comes back into stock) because its value is so subjective. I do think it’s a damn fine machine that feels astoundingly quick and spews out gloriously gorgeous graphics. And the Dualsense controller is comfortable and awe-inspiring when the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are used to their full potential. But the games aren’t there just yet, so I don’t think you’re missing out too badly by waiting or if you just missed the initial launch. There’s still amazing games to play on the PS4, and when you do make the jump all those great games will come with you. Some of them will even play better.
So, yes, the PS5 is a good console. Great, even. It smashes the PS4 into the ground across the board. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Whether it’s a future you want to invest in now or later, that’s up to you.