I’ll say nothing on the terrible launch, because I don’t want to reach the end of the supposedly infinite word count, so this will only contain the detail of the PS5 itself, as a product. Fuck it’s marketing. There, I’m glad I got that out of my system, so now I’ll focus on this brand-new gaming system instead. To keep a long story short, the PS5 is a fantastic machine and more than lives up to the hype on performance, and then some.(Brighter than my future.)
It might just be the excitement getting me to exaggerate a little, but I was visibly impressed when playing a PS5 game for the first time after booting everything up and getting all my account data transferred over. The first time set up didn’t take much effort but be prepared to spend maybe an hour or so transferring some data across, choosing new settings and adjusting your preferences. Once everything was ready for me to play around with, I got straight in to the homescreen and started installing the games I decided would be promoted to sit on my limited storage space.(Glorious HD Kratos!)
It was a tough moment as I looked through my physical and digital libraries, teary eyed and emotional, only choosing a couple of them because the storage size is feckin’ tiny. I have just over 600GB to use, and although there aren’t many games that I would commit to just yet in this new generation it’s still a let-down. I haven’t heard any word of a software update that will allow compatibility with external hard drives, something that will be sorely needed, but it is my understanding that it will come eventually, so there is a little ray of hope. On the Brightside, for the limited amount if space I do have, it’s all on a solid-state drive, meaning everything is fucking fast, and I mean Super Saiyan Sonic the Hedgehog collecting all the Dragonballs in moments fast.(Another pending review of an awesome exclusive)
The homescreen menus are much less intrusive on the screen and have been filtered appropriately to distinguish between gaming and media. In other words, they are now separate categories, rather than the video section acting as something of an app to display other video apps and subscriptions. For me, it makes navigation less of a chore, and I can flit between games and Netflix/Disney+ without any messing around. It also makes changes to how the PS Store is presented, which acts like less of an app and is instead tied to the homescreen, so it will show a dropdown of different deals, available games and their associated filters etc.
There are a ton of convenient improvements and they actually happen right away, no more watching the hamster run around his wheel, no buffering, it all happens there in the moment. I hated how long it took the PS4 to do something as simple as showing me a screenshot of a game. By the time I would see it the next game in that series would be released, so the changes here are more than something small. My games library is now less confusing with all the different categories of purchased, installed and all that other crap that had me looking down multiple lists of what I actually have. The library will now display all my games, digital or otherwise, and any that I haven’t installed can be downloaded right there, unless it’s on disc.(To the LIBRARY!!!)
It’s not only a beast between the sheets, but a beast in the streets too. It’s a big chunk of plastic that takes up way more space than I anticipated, and it resulted in me making some rearrangements in my living room to accommodate the newest member of my gaming family. It’s definitely not the most innovative design, looking some futuristic Apple iPhone headquarters, downsized to fit inside a house but still quite big in comparison to other household items. The PS4 was sleek, simple and different, and the Pro just made slight changes but stuck to the original concept. I’m not sure if I like this deformed stormtrooper sitting beside my TV, having as much space as needed to as to allow proper ventilation. However, it’s what lies under the hood that matters more to me, and I have been more than happy with everything so far. It barely makes a sound, if any, and stays cool over the hours that I spent having it on. I only have to listen to the star ship taking off if my PS4 decides to turn the warp drive on (for it being a base PS4 it still runs very well).
I have played a few games on it now, some upgrading from PS4 to PS5, some being PS4 version only but playing through backwards compatibility and at least one exclusive to PS5. I made my comparisons, noticed the differences, particularly in the free upgrades, and made sure to have a second pair of eyes to confirm the truth of what I could see. Well let me just tell you, everything looks amaaaaaaaaaaazing. Even in the upgrades, the changes are not subtle at all, with way more detail on display, much smoother frame rates and being lightning fast. Ghost of Tsushima, which I pray to every deity on the Norse pantheon for a PS5 upgrade, runs like a dream on a cloud.(Do the right thing Sony!)
It was never a slow game to begin with, and playing it on the vanilla PS4 at first and now seeing it first-hand on the next gen I am getting what can only be described as a vision of Valhalla with my mortal eyes. There are virtually no more loading times, not even the slightest stutter, regardless of how much action is on my screen. I played Demon’s Souls for the first time ever, having never played the original, and I’ve been nothing but blown away with the detail and how well it runs. No bugs or glitches, no waiting times, it’s just gloriously glorious. A review on that game will likely follow because it deserves its own recognition.
The last thing I want to mention is the new controller. I’m a little bummed of the colour scheme, just the majority white and a little black. To me, it looks a little bland, whereas if it had the standard button colours (blue X, pink square, red circle and green triangle) it would have been a lot nicer. The feel of the controller itself is very comfortable, despite it looking quite chunky. It’s light, but it rumbles, shakes, and dances away in my hands at the most appropriate moments during gameplay. The buttons are very responsive, and the sounds that come from the tiny speakers are a lot less of a nuisance, in fact they’re just the right volume.
There is a free game that comes along with the console, Astro-Room, and it’s a lot more fun than what it would seem. It’s a delightful little twist on learning about the capabilities of the controller and although its purpose is to showcase the features of the dual shock 5 (I think that’s the name of it), it’s still a nice little game to play, pretending to be one of the little bots living inside the PS5. The controller also makes better use of the PS button. One little press brings up a small menu of icons at the bottom of the screen, where you can check the progress of the current game you’re playing, keep and eye on downloads, check the time, look at which of your friends are online and even make use of the power options. Holding the button brings you straight back to the homescreen and from there you can close the app, return to the game or do everything else you can do from there. It’s much more responsive than before and makes it easier to go between screens without accidentally mucking something up.(These little dudes are so cool!)
It’s a highly recommended console to get, and I cannot wait to see what developers can do to push its boundaries. So far what I have seen at launch is just a taste of things to come, but 2021 might be a turnaround for this horrible year, at least in terms of gaming, and we could see something that truly makes a statement of us being in the newest generation, and we are alive to see it. Also, I do get a kick from all of those Karens online that berate myself and others for stealing their kids’ Xmas from them because we’re grown men and women with a gaming console, and we pried them from their hands. Just like any other mature adult, I take these insults quite well when I remind them that I don’t give a flying fiddler’s fuck about their hellspawn thousands of miles away, and that Xmas is about family, not material things, so a reality check is needed. I do hope anyone that hasn’t gotten one yet won’t have to wait long, and that there will still be something to be excited for when more stock becomes available.
Well, those are our thoughts on the PS5, do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below. Also don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel and if you’re feeling generous feel free to donate to our Patreon, thanks for reading.