Technology is on an endless cycle of evolution. Tech comes and goes as the new replaces the old. This applies to just about everything. Computer parts, microphones, software, you name it. Time marches ever onward and leaves only relics in its wake.
The same goes for video game consoles. Every decade or so, the big names of the industry release a new box thing that plays new games. And every decade or so, assholes use bots to buy out all the stock so they can sell them at double the price. Which makes it impossible for regular people to get a hold of the damn things. At least not without great persistence.
This is my really roundabout way of saying that I’ve finally got a Playstation 5.
So, was it worth the effort? Is the next generation of gaming something to look forward to? Or should you just stick with what you’ve got?
There are a few things we need to discuss when answering those questions. They are:
- The console itself; how’s it look, how’s it work, how loud is it?
- The controller; how’s it feel in your hands, how does it work with the game?
- The interface; how nice is the UI and how easy is it to follow?
- The games; are there actual games worth playing on the thing?
- Affordability; what do the price tags look like?
We’ll start from the bottom, because those are the two that most people actually care about.
The big problem is the price tag. Depending on which version of the console you get (digital only or physical), it could cost you $400 (digital) or $500 (physical). That’s if you’re avoiding scalpers, of course; those assholes will charge you double that. No matter how much you want this console, do not buy from a scalper.
The games are pretty pricey, too. If you want the standard edition of a game, it’s likely you’ll need to fork over $70 bucks. Not all of them are that pricey, thankfully. But a good number of them are. So unless you really want to play a game, I’d recommend waiting until a price drop.
Speaking of which: let’s talk about the games. Currently, there aren’t many exclusives that you need this console to play. A good number of them are coming out on PS4 or other platforms. Right now, the only game you can only play on the PS5 itself is the Demon’s Souls remake. Everything else you can find elsewhere.
Thankfully, the future looks bright on that front. We’ve got a new Ratchet and Clank coming out, Returnal looks cool (even if that title is stupid), and we’ve got sequels to Horizon: Zero Dawn and God of War in the works! Give it some time and this thing will have a hell of a library behind it!
Okay, now let’s talk about the actual console. What’s in the box?
A fucking goliath, that’s what! This thing is huge! It is literally as big as my entire torso!
It does look alright, though. It’s like a giant wi-fi modem with the Playstation logo on it. It took some getting used to, but the design has grown on me. I only wish it came in a more uniform color, like all black or all white.
It’s also pretty quiet. At least right now. It definitely has moments where it gets loud, like when it’s reading a disc or booting up a game. But aside from that, the thing is pretty quiet. Whether or not that’ll change is still yet to be seen.
Also, the loading times are insane. By which I mean the lack of loading times. While playing certain games, the load times are virtually non-existent. It’s so smooth that it’s honestly kind of jarring!
There’s one thing about it that bothers me, though. I bought the physical version because I wanted to be able to play all my PS4 games on it. Interestingly, you need to insert the disc with the face down. Which is completely unlike any other console I’ve ever played on. I genuinely wonder if they put the disc drive in upside down in my model. It isn’t a huge problem, but it does take some getting used to.
Overall: decent console. Looks alright and it’s nice and quiet.
The controller is pretty good, too. I’m not a huge fan of the look, but it feels very good in your hands and the buttons are very responsive. It’s a cozy and responsive controller.
It does have a few gimmicks to help it stand out. Those being the enhanced rumble and the adaptive triggers.
Basically, the rumble here can simulate a lot of things. For example: when playing Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition and rev up Nero’s sword, you can feel the rumbling in your controller like a motorcycle engine. When playing Demon’s Souls, you can feel the impact of your weapons on your enemy. So on and so forth.
It’s a fun gimmick, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. Soon enough, you’ll stop noticing it and start focusing entirely on the game. It’s cool, but you’ll stop caring after a few hours of playing a given game.
The adaptive triggers are slightly better in this regard. Basically, the triggers will resist you more depending on what they’re doing. This is done to replicate certain feelings, such as the weight of a gun trigger. For example: when playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the triggers have a slight resistance to them to simulate the feeling of pressing on the web shooters.
Whether this will excite you or annoy you depends on both you and the game. Personally, I haven’t run into a game where it’s especially frustrating yet. It’s just one of those things that I’ve had to adjust to. Although their presence hasn’t become simple white noise to me yet, like the rumbling feature.
Now, to wrap things up, let’s talk about the interface. How easy is it to navigate the PS5 system?
Pretty easy. The menu is simple and clean, with all the icons being small and organized. There are virtually no waiting times when you load up a game or the store. It’s super smooth and convenient.
In a lot of ways, it functions like the PS4, only smoother and quicker. It’s just different enough to require adjustment time but familiar enough to not be jarring. It’s incredibly simple, although it can look a bit cluttered. Still, you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.
Overall, the Playstation 5 is a rock solid console. It functions great, it looks great, and it’s easy to navigate. The big problems right now are the lack of exclusive games and the price tag. If you’re considering picking it up, I’d give it a few more months. Once the library has expanded a bit, then pick it up.
And of course: don’t buy from scalpers. Don’t let them win.