Sony’s next-generation console – the PlayStation 5 brings a leap towards an unconventional design, better graphics, and a faster overall package. But is the hype worth the money? We find out.
- Pros: New DualShock 5 controller, super-quick load times, backwards compatibility
- Cons: PS5 design too unconventional, heavy
Finally, the PS5 is here. The company and the fans went through a roller coaster ride starting with trademark problems, silent company, eager fans and more.
Sony’s next-generation console – the PlayStation 5 brings a leap towards an unconventional design, better graphics, and a faster overall package. The new PS5 also gets a new DualShock 5 controller which brings in a whole new level of immersible gaming to your fingertips.
Having said that, the PS5 does have its own set of chinks, bugs you may call – the interface is not yet ready – and with almost all PS4 games running on the PS5 – is upgrade an option you really want?
Overall, the PS5 does have a lot of positives and if we are weighing these out – do the pros outweigh the cons? Let’s find out in our review.
Sony PS5 Review: Looks, build, and design
The design has been in discussions for too long – ever since Sony unveiled the PS5 last year. The PS5 is massive. For someone who has used the PS4 Pro extensively, and the PS4 as well – the PS5 is a big slab of two polycarbonate slightly curved panels put together with the main console in the middle. The design is polarising – you either like it or you like it. Yes.
The PS5 towers over the PS4 Pro, the newly released Xbox Series X, and the Series S look way too tiny. The PS5 can be propped up on a table using a stand which gets a single screw and fits on the underside. Sony has not provided a tool to screw the screw in – what the screw.
The stand can also be used to prop the PS5 horizontally – which takes up lesser headspace in case you are putting it in front of your television. No, do not let anyone touch the PS5.
At the first glance – the entire backside is a heat sink with two USB 3.0 ports, a LAN port, one HDMI port, and a power socket. Nothing much to dwell on here. However, the front side gets LED lights which are – let’s face it – better than the ones on the PS4 or the PS4 Pro. There is also a Hi-Speed Type-A port on the front. It also gets a Type-C SuperSpeed port – something the PS4 series did not have.
The PS5 ditches the optical audio port – meaning users who have high-end audio devices connected – like soundbars or tower speakers – will have to make do with wireless connectivity, or get optical-to-HDMI splitters.
The PS5 also gets a PCIe 4.0 M.2 expansion slot which can be accessed by opening the console – not that we did – but this is only when you intend to expand the 1GB SSD that is already present. It is important to note that you will have to use PS5-certified SSDs meeting Sony’s bandwidth protocols.
Sony PS5 Review: Software interface and gaming performance
The PS5 interface is super smooth – load up times are incredible. The earlier PS4 series is quick – but the PS5 is next level – thanks to the SSD storage and the new evolved software from Sony.
Jumping in and out of games is easier – unlike in PS4 where pressing the PS button would take you to the home screen – pressing it this time opens a short menu at the base of the screen.
The PS5 home screen gets a similar look to the PS4 – bringing a horizontal row of tiles showcasing recent games. Unlike the PS4, highlighting a game icon will case the entire home screen to show the game and its music in the background. We thought that was a neat addition. But you know what is not neat – the PS5 does not get a custom wallpaper addition like the PS4. Maybe Sony will add it later, fingers crossed.
There is an Explore tab that brings to you news and updates – and a Game Library tab that allowed for downloading of the earlier games titles which were saved on the PS4. There is a Create button that lets you take screenshots and game recordings and also allows you to capture videos and screenshots.
For us longtime PS4 users – pressing the PS button on the controller no longer takes you to the home screen – instead opens a short menu at the base of the screen which now gets the home button, switch apps, view friends, check any notifications, and also keep a check on the DS5’s battery life.
The control centre is customisable and you can change it to access network settings, accessibility options, and what not – a massive improvement over the PS4 quick menu feature which looked crude and was not customisable.
The software is snappy and clean. If you press the PS button – it brings up the Activities menu which shows off information like the current progress of your mission, upcoming trophies, or basically in-game activities you can go for.
For example, while playing Spiderman: Miles Morales, we were able to jump into side-quests from the Activities menu instead of looking for them inside the game.
That may not sound like a lot but for someone who gets to play on weekends – the idea of straightaway jumping into side-quests or a specific timeline inside the game is pretty much evolutionary. Once the PS5 goes back – we will miss that on our PS4.
The gaming performance is incredi…no wait – what exactly did you expect from the octa-core AMD Zen 2 chip with 10.3 teraflops of graphics power and an SSD storage?
The performance is among the best Sony has ever had on a gaming console. The hype was not that much during the PS4 or the PS3. Maybe the Ps1 – for obvious reasons. The PS5 brings oodles of power and performance – something which all game manufacturers should take note of and make use of. There are a handful of PS5-exclusive titles which have been designed to leverage the power of the PS5 – and we were awed by the framerate, loading speeds, and the overall fluidity of the gaming – user interface mix.
Game loading times were instantaneous. The new loading times are crazy – if not crazy fast. The PS5 boots up at least 7 seconds faster than the PS4. Then there’s the backwards compatibility. Something which was missed out on the PS3 to PS4. The PS5 supports almost all the PS4 games and if you have downloaded quite a several games – you can re-download them again on your PS5.
Also, for PS4 Pro users – the PS5 still offers the game enhancements which the Pro offered. For standard PS4 – this is a boon because you will now be able to utilize the full-fledged game effects like 60fps and 4K gaming which the PS4 was unable to push out.
Also, you could connect your PS4 DualShock 4 to the PS5 with the simple act of just attaching the controller using a USB cable to the PS5. No, we know what you are thinking – you cannot attach the PS5 controller to the PS4.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the PS4 controller on the PS5 will only worky for PS4 games. For instance, Miles Morales will require the new DS5 and not the DS4.
Of course, there will be heat and noise. But thanks to the massive fan and the large vents – the PS5 stayed cool. We can’t say quiet – there was an ample amount of fan noise as we belted out FIFA 20 at 60fps and 4K.
There also 3D audio – thanks to the PS5’s Tempest Engine which delivers 3D audio for supported games and allows you to also hear game sounds. The PS5’s 3D audio is capable of working with most audio headsets – Sony has its own Pulse 3D wireless headset which leverages this technology.
Sony PS5 Review: DualSense 5; Worth the hype?
The PS5 hype did reign high for a while – but then it was the turn of the DualSense Controller. The gamepad gets new haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and like the DualShock 4 – an inbuilt speaker which is now louder and clearer.
The DualSense brings a whole new level of immersion while we played Miles Morales. There was feedback for swinging, beating up enemies, and getting beaten up as well.
The adaptive triggers are worthy – like Thor-worthy. The triggers bring a similar kind of force you would be using in real life. The controller would light up in triggers depending on the scene. There was a realistic resistance when web-slinging through the building in Manhattan. The triggers would also accurately function on Miles’ Venom attacks.
The DualSense has a lot of potential and has currently a decent crop of games which will take advantage of the next-gen controller.
Other than haptics, the DualSense is pretty much a standard controller when compared with the DualShock 4. The design is more or less – similar to different character lines and different LED sets on the top. It still gets L1/R1, L2/R2, L3/R3 buttons, the touchpad seems more responsive and is slightly bigger than the D-Pad on the PS4.
Sony PS5 Review: Price and verdict
The PS5 is currently available in its disc-only version at Rs 49,990. The console is terrific – offering mind-blowing gaming performance with super-quick loading times and a controller which makes the gameplay super immersive.
Yeah, Xbox is good and all – but it’s not the PS5.
For those on the PS4 looking for an upgrade – the PS5 is for you. Go get it. The same goes for those looking to get their first gaming console. Get the PS5.
For those on the PS4 Pro – wait it out till you can’t. Then wait it out some more. There is absolutely no hurry in getting the PS5 if you are on the PS4 Pro already.