PS5 Review: Console Gaming At Its Finest

The PlayStation 5 is finally here. After years of waiting and months of speculation, we can now tell you what we think about Sony’s brand new console and how it performs overall.

First up, this is not a full review as we haven’t spent enough time with the PS5 yet for that. But I have been able to spend some time with both versions (the cheaper $US500 RRP one and the pricier Pro) to see how they stack up against each other. And whatever your thoughts are on their respective specs, there’s no denying that both consoles look absolutely stunning.

It was the Xbox One X that made me realize what a difference a new console can make, and the Pro I’ve been playing with for the last few days has been an even bigger eye-opener. This will be a long review, so without further ado, let’s get started.

Image Credit: notebookcheck.net

Resolution and Game Load Times

The PS5 is easily one of the most powerful consoles ever released. It runs games at native 4K resolution with HDR enabled 90 percent of the time. When it dips below, it does so very slightly – by all accounts, you’d need to be looking at two screens side-by-side to really notice any significant difference (and even then, it’s still barely noticeable).

Game load times are significantly faster than on the standard model too. Games like Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima load significantly faster, but the Pro still offers the best improvements. Loading times are still on par with how fast they used to be on PS4 (a few seconds), but they’re nowhere near as slow as they seemed like they were the last generation.

Storage and Ports

Sony has listened to fans’ requests here – the new console comes with a bigger hard drive this time around (1TB instead of 500GB), plus both versions come with an extra USB port under the front flap for charging your controllers or connecting any other devices.

It’s also loaded up with more ports than ever before, including two HDMI outputs that you can switch between using just one TV remote. The clean lines have gone in favor of way more ports. It’s easy to connect the PS5 up to your TV, but you’ll have to figure out cable management for yourself.

The Pro comes with a stand that attaches magnetically and offers a range of viewing angles, while the cheaper model just has a flat base which means it sits horizontally. There’s no difference in performance between them, so I’d recommend sticking with the standard version unless you’re going for style points or have space issues.

Performance

To give an example of how good this machine looks in action, Ghost of Tsushima – one of Sony’s flagship titles from E3 – looks absolutely incredible on both consoles. Some scenes look better on the Pro, but there are very few instances where they do.

Loading times aside (which we’ll get to in a bit), I actually found that the slightly inferior standard model looked better, and that’s incredible considering how much more power it has inside. The only downside is that the cheaper machine runs hotter than its pricier counterpart.

As far as games go, Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man have been the standouts so far for me. These are both gorgeous-looking titles that have not only been developed from the ground up for this generation but also designed around what makes these consoles unique.

In Spidey’s case, it means making full use of those additional controls afforded by the two joysticks on each controller – it works really well here, and there were certain instances where being able to switch between the two sticks quickly saved me from taking damage or performing a fatality.

The other shining example of how well these console works is found in Death Stranding, which again makes brilliant use of those joysticks for actions like balancing and running (the latter also looks absolutely incredible on 4K).

While playing these games, I’ve had to constantly remind myself that what I was seeing wasn’t pre-rendered footage because it looked so good. One problem here is that Sony still hasn’t given us any idea why we’re doing half the things we’re doing – you’re thrown into both games with little to no backstory and tasked with figuring out what’s going on as you go along.

Drawbacks

As first impressions go, there really isn’t anything that could’ve made me happier. Performance-wise it seems like PS5 is the perfect balance between price and power, which is precisely what fans asked for.

Loading times are still slow in some cases, but I think the more significant issue here is storage space – 1TB doesn’t go a long way these days, so you’ll need to buy an external hard drive if you plan on supporting the industry’s push towards 4K gaming.

The Bottom Line

Sony’s commendable record speaks volumes about how this company approaches their consumer base; instead of trying to tons of money off people who are at least a few years away from being able to afford their latest invention, they go out of their way to make the product affordable and accessible.

This mindset is especially evident with the PlayStation 4’s controller, dubbed DualShock 4. Yes, I know that many of you thought, “Oh no! Not another boring update!” but I think it improves their past designs. It might look like a slightly more extended version of its predecessors at first glance, but then you remember that it has been given added functionality in the form of a touchpad and LED-based light bar (both located above and below the central buttons).

That being said, Sony has given us yet another console that hits all the right marks. There are still some questions surrounding backward compatibility, VR support, and potential crossplay with other consoles that I hope to get answered before launch day, but for now, I’m just happy that things are looking up again.

After everything that went down with the PS4, I was starting to wonder if this generation would even be worth it. The future of console gaming is here, and you need to look no further than the PlayStation 5 for proof.

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