Review | PlayStation 5 Offers a Semi-True, Next-Gen Experience

Review | PlayStation 5 Offers a Semi-True, Next-Gen Experience

Simply put, the PlayStation 5 is great.

Is next gen” as big of a leap as we hoped it would be? No, but it does makes up in power for what it lacks in innovation. When it comes to that brand new, next-gen feeling, the PlayStation 5 is the best you can do.

From a sleek and ultra-futuristic design, to the lightning-fast SSD and the most advanced controller ever, PlayStation 5 impresses across the board. Though, it’s not without its faults.

For the Hatred of Loading Screens

Source: Sony

The most notable upgrade is the speed at which games now load. It took me a total of 11.8 seconds from when I clicked on “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” on the home screen to when I was in the menu. It then only took me 4.4 seconds to load into New York as the famous web-slinger.

Source: Respawn/EA/Lucasfilm

That’s roughly 15 seconds of loading to get into a game of that scale, with no additional loading within the game itself. Go ahead, take a second to wrap your brains around that.

And that speed doesn’t just apply to games designed for next-gen. “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” took only 53 seconds to load into the menu on the PlayStation 5 (including about 30 seconds of logos and title), while it took a whole 1 minute and 45 seconds on the classic Xbox One (also including logos and title).

Gaming on next gen is an upgrade for all of your games, new and old.

This is all due to the custom SSD storage Sony has packed inside. It is able to transfer data at rates much faster than anything that’s ever been inside a console. However, there’s only about 670 GB of available storage at launch, which sucks since there’s no option for expandable storage yet. That will fill up fast for most buyers, so fingers crossed that Sony would get some options out there quickly.

Hair has Never Looked Better

Source: Game Informer

The main thing everybody looks for in next gen is better graphics. Here, the graphics are noticeably better than current gen, but it isn’t as big of an upgrade as something like the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4.

While the focus of next gen seems to have been speed and performance, graphics still got a sizeable bump. Details and textures are notably more accurate, and ray tracing has made lighting look life-like. Reflections in windows, puddles, and glasses look so damn good compared to them being nonexistent with ray tracing turned off.

I know this will sound weird, but the most noticeable example of all of this is in the hair.

@MrDude_7

Hair in video games has always looked a bit wonky, with hair either looking too shiny, too stiff, or just solid. On PlayStation 5, especially in “Spider-Man: Miles Morales,” hair looks natural. It feels like characters can brush their hand through it without it reacting as one object. Then, with ray tracing turned on, each strand of hair picks up the light in just the right ways.

All this really stands out on a 4K, HDR display. The colors are more vivid, the blacks are deeper, and it’s overall a sharper image (duh, it’s 4K). But don’t get me wrong, the games still look great on my main 1080p TV, 4K just gives it that added punch.

On PlayStation 5, the graphics have improved definitively, but I’ll be looking towards the mid-cycle console launch to refine it even further.

PlayStation 5 is Huge

Source: Sony

The design of this console is a highly controversial topic, but personally, I really dig it. It finally looks like a console from the future, and demands your attention. Some people may not like that, it’s a matter of personal taste.

The only drawback is its massive size. Standing at 15 inches tall and 10 inches deep, the PlayStation 5 does not fit under my TV vertically. It doesn’t even fit on its side. The console takes up a lot of space. The design also doesn’t look as great on its side, but it still works.

The stand that comes with it is easy enough to figure out, but can be annoying to set up, especially if you move the console’s position a lot for whatever reason.

However, nobody can deny how quiet this machine is. Despite a couple of occasions where the fan kicks in when beginning to load or download a game, you literally have to put your ear up to the console to hear it. Whether it will stay this quiet over its lifetime, only time will tell.

Controller

Source: Sony

Oh. My. God. This controller is amazing. The size and weight feel just right, joysticks have a lot of grip, there is a freaking touchpad, and the haptics are mind-blowingly good.

Everything you’ve heard about that last feature is true. It’s so hard to put into words. The haptics are so precise that when playing “Astro’s Playroom”, I can feel each individual footstep of his left and right foot, as well as the surface he’s walking on.

Let me try to describe this the best that I can.

Each surface has a different haptic feel. Glass and metal have a quick, hard haptic experience (while both feel unique). Sand and grass are softer (still unique). This, combined with sounds from the speaker in the controller, creates a weird sense that you can feel what’s happening in the game.

Then there are the adaptive triggers that my mind is still boggled by experiencing. They will “adapt” to each situation. For example, “Astro’s Playroom” has you playing as a spring character whom you control by springing with the trigger.

While playing as him, the triggers have a spring-y feel to it. There is a constant resistance to them as you pull. This is different than another situation where the triggers are normal up until about halfway where you must pull harder to complete the action.

The best example is in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The aiming trigger has a constant resistance, while the firing trigger needs to be pulled past a certain point, where it punches back when each bullet is fired. It’s really quite impressive.

Both of these features seemed like major gimmicks at first, but they are legitimately game-changers. This might actually be my new favorite controller.

PlayStation 5 Final Thoughts

The PlayStation 5 is a great console. While it’s not as big of a leap as next gen should’ve been, the price tag is warranted by the ultra-fast SSD, ray-tracing, and its amazing controller.

Sure, the design may be big, and the UI a bit undercooked, but it doesn’t take too much away from the overall experience. It all comes down to games in the end, and PlayStation’s gaming lineup has always been unmatched. With the games out now, and the ones set to launch in 2021 especially, PlayStation 5 will easily become a must buy for a lot of gamers.

Pros:
– Super fast across the board
– Controller is one of the best ever
– Ray-tracing and native 4K
– Unmatched exclusives
Cons:
– Won’t fit in some living rooms
– UI is a bit undercooked
– Small Storage
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Writer, filmmaker, gamer, and a huge film geek! I could talk about this stuff for days... try me. Follow me on Twitter at @MrDude_7
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