The next generation is finally here, but it comes with a backlog of delayed titles and a limited launch lineup. Initial reactions are positive. Those anticipating a visual update equivalent to the jump from PS2 to PS3 or even PS3 to PS4 may be disappointed, although this visual upgrade is very subtle. This isn’t a generation where we go from 2D to 3D or SD to HD. It’s all in the details.
Its design is bold. It’s the biggest console ever made, and if used as a weapon, it might kill someone. When it arrived, I set it in my entertainment center and shot it. Everyone said it would explode in minutes. I’ve moved it closer to my TV and am more confident it won’t spontaneously combust.
While it will erupt from your TV set like Hulk from his trousers, I believe it was safe there. It’s huge since the console’s casing is designed for airflow. Even if it touches the sides, the console has room to breathe. So it may suck air into the vents and exhale it from its ass. The CPU is cooled with liquid metal like a Terminator, and there’s a huge fan within.
Even though it’s the most advanced console cooling system ever devised, I prefer it out in the open. Regardless of where you put it, you must utilize the stand to ensure proper ventilation. You turn the stand and snap it to the back.
If you want it standing up, unscrew the stand, remove the bottom cap, insert it into the stand where the screw was, and screw it on. It’s easy to set up. Standing, it resembles a sci-fi modem or a robot tulip. The PS5 is a silent beast that you won’t forget due to its stunning look.
DualSense Is King
DualSense is amazing. It’s safe to say it’s my all-time favorite controller. Hefty and full of features, it’s a next-gen piece of gear. The haptic feedback simulates varied surfaces, impacts, and other feelings your character feels in-game. These localized and diverse rumbles work together with the controller’s speaker to deceive your brain into thinking you’re there. It works wonders.
Adaptive triggers can be tweaked to fight back against you to simulate tension. Astro’s Playroom is a great example, employing the triggers to mimic the taught string on a pulled bow or a toy Gatling gun firing. When a trigger first fought me, I was afraid of cracking. Once you utilize it, it’s just another element that adds to the experience.
If you have accessibility issues, these functions can be disabled system-wide. I hope third-party apps take full advantage of the pad. I hope Sony’s first-party developers do. Apart from minor web tension and train vibrations, the controller isn’t used to its full extent in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
I’d love to play Death Stranding – or any Kojima game – with DualSense. The controller’s only flaw is its battery. It has a built-in battery that lasts all day, but it doesn’t charge. You can plug it in while playing, but it won’t charge because it’s so hungry. When not using your PS5, you must charge it in Rest Mode.
While you won’t be able to play PS3 or older titles on PS5, you can transfer your PS4 collection to PS5. It doesn’t accomplish much with older games (at least without an official patch from each developer), but it will smooth up the frame rate to 60fps for games with uncapped frame rates (like Ghost of Tsushima).
One of the first PS4 titles to receive an official next-gen patch, Days Gone plays significantly better now. 60fps makes aiming easier, and 4K resolution highlights Bend Studios’ universe. Gorgeous wet mud textures and ground textures. But backward compatibility isn’t a priority.
Sony isn’t treating the PS5 as a PS4 Pro upgrade. It’s a new console with a new UI, new features, and a new look. One benefit of Sony considering the console as its own is that you can play on both your PS4 and PS5 simultaneously. So I can give my PS4 Pro to my son, and he still has access to my complete library.
My eldest son may access my library and play on my OG PS4, which is set as my primary console. Since this works with my digital library, I’m glad it works with my physical collection. Editor’s note: This may have changed with the day one patch.
Ready to Go
I’ve seen four PS5 games so far. I can’t discuss one, but the others are more significant as next-generation showcases. Astro’s Playroom comes pre-loaded on PS5 and shows all the new features, including DualSense. To demonstrate the controller’s haptic feedback and adjustable triggers, hop on this first.
M: Miles Morales is the first game to show off PS5’s graphics capability. You can notice tiny bobbles or ripped areas of fabric on garments. Ground textures and materials appear more natural. Then there’s ray tracing, which allows light to bounce off objects and reflect more organically on characters and the world.
One of my earliest next-gen wow moments was looking out a shop window. In Miles Morales, we meet the Underground, many high-tech baddies. You eventually discover their lair. Their gear has neon strips, and the floor is reflective, making for a visual extravaganza unmatched on old hardware.
Next-gen games will feature neon, flamboyant VFX, and wet surfaces. It also helps Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition. With the Demon’s Souls remake on the way, the PS5 launch lineup seems powerful if light. But Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and Astro’s Playroom are unique experiences.
Another next-gen feature is familiar to PC gamers: an SSD. This means that developers will need to learn to substitute tooltips with something else, as you won’t have time to read them. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you can zip through an air vent from within a structure and immediately zoom into the open-world area outdoors, with no loading screens required.
A card hunter’s fantasy. When you push the PS button on your controller, a row of cards appears, indicating your overall level of progress. If you are stuck on a part, you can use these to watch guide videos. You can also use cards to jump to stages if you’ve missed collectibles. I doubt I’ll use them much, but completionists will love them. Also, when I used a card, I mistakenly reverted to the beginning of a level.
PS Plus Collection
To make up for a slow start, your PS Plus subscription now includes a slew of PS4 classics for the PS5. You can choose from Bloodborne, God of War, or The Last of Us Remastered. It’s not as good as Xbox Game Pass, but every game here is a classic.
Audio… In 3D
If a headset supports 3D audio, PS5 has it. Sadly, I don’t, and Sony didn’t send me one to test. As haptic feedback for your ears, it should allow you to sense a distance between left and right. You will hear arrows zipping by your brain.
Next-Gen Is Here
Thanks to a few showcase games and an amazing, inventive controller, the PS5 feels next-gen. The graphics may not have the initial wow factor of earlier generations, but you can notice it in the finer details, fast load times, and steady frame rates. I’m excited to see what Sony Santa Monica does with the upcoming God of War. PlayStation was the place to be for intriguing exclusives in the last generation, and Sony profited. That excites me about PS5.