My first two weeks with the PlayStation 5

Ivan Franco

Posts: 251   +9
TechSpot Elite

I’ve had a PS5 for a couple of weeks and my feelings about it keep changing. On the most basic level, hey, it’s a means to play the next generation of PlayStation games. On another, there isn’t yet a next generation of PlayStation games, and the console’s interface doesn’t feel quite ready.

I’m not worried about the games. Over the generations, Sony’s internal studios have gotten so skilled, and given us such a remarkable streak of high-quality, exclusive games, that a new PlayStation can—at worst—be the tax to pay for the opportunity to play Sony games. Just as so many Nintendo systems are bought for the chance to play the new Mario or Zelda.

That’s the worst case scenario. My new PS5—sent to me by Sony, though I also paid for a separate one that has yet to arrive—will be the machine on which I’ll play the next games from the makers of Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Ghost of Tsushima, Astrobot, and so much more. And I’ll be happy to have it.

The best case scenario is I’ll really like the PS5 as a console, that it’ll be a pleasure to use, maybe become one of my favorite appliances.

What I feel good about

The potential for lots of great games. As mentioned above, a lot of in-house teams with great pedigrees will be developing exclusively for this machine. There’s good reason for high hopes.

Games load super-fast. Sony’s promise here is that loading times will be eradicated, which isn’t exactly the case when I boot up the new Sack Boy or Devil May Cry, but the new Miles Morales game sure comes close. Boot it up the first time (or the first time after it receives any patches, it seems) and you’ll get into the action in 40 seconds.

Boot it up the next time, and you’re playing in 15. If you use the PS5’s new game hub shortcuts, which can take you from the system menu right into a specific game mission, you’re in within 11 seconds. It’s astounding. You can indeed fast-travel from one corner of the game’s map to another in an eyeblink. And if you want to laugh at how old-timey games used to work, just boot up Miles Morales on a PS4. That version has loading screens. How quaint.

The system will waste less of my time. Speed really is the PS5’s thing. The notoriously sluggish PSN store is now baked into the system’s menu and briskly loads all of its items. Downloading games not only seems to go faster, but the PS5 doesn’t pull the PS4’s dirtiest trick and elongate the downloads process with a subsequent, near-interminable file-copying process. Download a game or patch and you can quickly load up the game.

The gorgeous game The Pathless is one of my early PS5 favorites.

What I’m not sure about

Did the wheel need another reinvention? The unexpected appeal of the Xbox Series S (and X) for me has been its continuity with the Xbox One platform. Everything I knew about how to operate an Xbox One applies to the Series consoles with some new features—a PlayStation-inspired capture button on the controller, for example—added in.

The PS5, however, reminds me how most consoles debut, with a brand new user-interface clearly several point-zero updates away from what it should be. Some problems: The PS5 gives users a less configurable home screen than the PS4, and requires more button presses to access most of your games, check your screen captures, or even put the system in rest mode (five button presses for that!).

Key functionality like checking a game’s update history are inexplicably only available for a handful of recent games you’ve played, since any other games are sequestered to a separate page that offers far less information. The new user experience isn’t all backwards steps. A new play time tracker is a terrific addition, as is the import of an Xbox 360 feature that lets players select camera inversion preferences for their games on a system level.

Will I keep caring about the controller’s special features? Like just about everyone else who has tried the PS5 controller, I’m impressed. The DualSense’s rumble and resisting triggers are astounding. The new Astro’s Playroom game is an astounding showcase for them.

But is this really going to transcend being a launch gimmick? Has that ever happened before with a cool new controller? Developers ran out of clever uses for the Wii Remote quickly. Remember when Sony added a touch pad to the game controller? I was excited, only to see PS4 game designers mostly just use it as an extra button. I’d like the DualSense’s tech to flourish, but history makes me skeptical.

Those new cards and help systems. Again, there may be something great here and it’s too early to judge. As soon as you highlight a PS5 game on the system’s menu—or any time you’re playing a game and press your controller’s PlayStation button—you’ll load up some oddly large digital cards, some of which represent missions, levels, or side quests you’ve accessed in a game. The cards explain what the mission is and, more impressively, let you load right into them.

This is a potentially revolutionary change to how we approach games, inviting us to get right to the page we want to read without having to thumb through the whole book or, to break the physics of this metaphor, even first take the book off the shelf. This seems wild. It is wild. I wonder if it’s too wild, because it currently feels really weird to access specific portions of a game without loading the game itself.

Miles Morales appears to generate cards every time new main missions and side missions become available. A couple of nights ago, I was browsing the PS5’s main menu and saw a Miles Morales card for a quest I didn’t realize I’d unlocked. I was confused. Where was it located in the game’s virtual New York City. Did I want to go into the game and travel to it? Or just take this shortcut from the home menu. I’ve been trying to get used to this new option, and, like I said, I’m not sure about this. It might grow on me?

These cards let you load directly into specific parts of a game.

I’m not sure it’s going to fully displace my PS4. I’m fine chucking any of my consoles when I get their successors, so it’s disappointing when I get one that doesn’t enable that. The PS4 not running the many PS3 games I loved was a letdown.

The prospect of bringing my PS4 library—one of my favorite collection of games ever—to a new console was exciting. Then I popped in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. And there are many more games about which Sony is warning PS5 users to expect “unexpected game behavior.” That’s a bummer, though you know what’s not? That I can finish the PS4’s Ghost of Tsushima and finally dig into The Last Of Us Part II and Nioh 2 on a new system that will run them better. Maybe I’ll even give Days Gone another shot.

Okay, so how does it compare to the new Xbox?

I’ve had an Xbox Series S for two weeks, and just got a Series X. Aesthetically, the PS5 my second favorite of the machines, since I’m partial to the tiny book-sized S but don’t like the look of the X in the horizontal position my entertainment center requires. I adore weird-looking consoles, chief among them, the purple GameCube, so I like that the PS5 looks like a giant, high-tech eclair.

In terms of performance? So far, it’s mostly been apples to oranges for me. I’m running different games on my S and my 5, and I don’t expect Microsoft’s junior next-gen console to run any games as well as Sony’s powerhouse. I’ve barely touched my Series X, so I can’t compare. I also know, as mentioned way above, that I can’t go into a generation without playing new PlayStation games. For me a PS5 is a must, and the Series S is a viable secondary or tertiary console for playing Game Pass games and Microsoft’s promising—but less proven—upcoming slate of exclusives.

Would I recommend the PS5 now?

Not quite. Nor would I recommend the Series X right now, to be clear. The PS5’s launch games are better than the PS4’s, but don’t feel so good that the PS5 is a must-get on day one. The system’s user interface feels unfinished and in need of some updates. I like my PS5 now, but I could have waited a few more months, maybe until the new Ratchet & Clank, before it began to feel essential to pay the PlayStation tax.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,719   +3,616
The only question I have:

Can the dual sense controller work on the PC ?

Thus far I see nothing else about it I desire.

I agree with you: right now there’s no compelling reason to buy PS5 beyond the hype of getting it.
 

dangh

Posts: 163   +192
I'm happy with my ps5, demon souls, valhalla and miles morales looks great, many other hand got upgrades, and it is so nice to play games with absolutely stable fps and quick loading. And all that irritating on ds4 rubble now work flawlessly!
And yes, dual sense works on Windows with steam. But games won't be used advanced features.
 
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Kosmoz

Posts: 16   +25
Does not matter what this author thinks or recommends, both PS5 and XSX/S are selling like hot cakes and will continue to do so for a long time (especially PS5).

I bought my PS3 slim for one game only GT5. I ended playing 2 games on it GT5 and GT6 for about 1 and a half years before I sold it and I was content with my purchase, game time/fun and selling price too.

I bought the PS4 Pro for 1 game also: Bloodborne and I loved it and ended up playing 5-6 more (GoW, Uncharted, Shadow of the Colossus, etc). Sold it after 1 year again at a good price.

I am the guy that buys for consoles for 1 game only and if it happens I like more than one game fine, if not I don't care I buy it even for 1. But then again I don't like to rush and buy a console (or any product for that matter) day 1. I don't like early adopter issues or being a beta tester, so I can wait months or years to buy it, because I primarily game on PC.

That one game that I would buy the PS5 for is Demon's Souls. When I will buy the PS5 it will be for that game, and if it happens I'll like other games too, fine, if not, fine again.
 

amghwk

Posts: 863   +686
PS5 is the next gen of the venerable PlayStation series. It's not a matter of "IF I should get it, but WHEN I should get it".

This must be the worst of all PlayStation Day-1 release games line-up, but, we all know it will only get better. It's the next gen of Sony after all for all the doubts people have.

The pandemic may be one of the reasons for the lackluster games so far, but I'm sure whatever new games that appear for the PC will also be released for the PS5. And whatever not going to be released for the PC too.

PlayStation's exclusives have always been a strong point for Sony's consoles. It will be likewise for this gen also.

With current status of gaming scene, where almost all games have cross-platform multi-platform release, the PS5 might actually be a better value for purchasing a gaming machine (compared to building a 4K gaming PC).

I admit I was never interested in Xbox series, since I've been a PlayStation user since the original PlayStation 1, and have been impressed with it ever since.

I'm still keeping my legendary PS2 slim connected to Raspberry Pi 4 via Network cable for playing the games with the attached 256GB USB drive on the r-pi4, through SMB share.
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 1,013   +451
Sony will only have a few exclusives, Sony has already confirmed pc will be getting first party titles. Meaning Sonys games will be more like timed exclusives.

Its definitely one of the worse releases for consoles. Demand so high but no supply. Currently Japan is sold out of PS5s but has only sold like 118k units. Its the 2nd worse selling Playstation. PS3 only sold 113k when it launched. Will it get better, probably but will it be this year, not likely.

Restocks have happened but mainly all online. Best Buy and Walmart have already said they won't have any in stores for ppl to just walking in and buying. All orders have to be online only.

As for MS, MS dont care if they sell a ton or win anything. They simply have a console cause they can. They are more focused on getting cross play for a lot of games. Hell they are the reason Sony is even doing cross play. MS has the greatest platform ever created (PC), they won a long time ago.
 
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pencea

Posts: 233   +188
I'm happy with my ps5, demon souls, valhalla and miles morales looks great, many other hand got upgrades, and it is so nice to play games with absolutely stable fps and quick loading. And all that irritating on ds4 rubble now work flawlessly!
And yes, dual sense works on Windows with steam. But games won't be used advanced features.
Yup, been having a great time with my PS5. Astro's Playroom is such a great showcase for the dual sense control. It's something that actually needs to be experienced. The easter eggs & many of the Playstation gadgets that you come across pays great homage to those who been gaming on the psone era until now.

Demons Souls looks absolute beautiful & it's a delight to play. Ditto to Spider Man Miles Morales too. The upcoming God of War, Ratchet & Clank. Horizon Zero Dawn, will be even sweeter. Noise wise it's super quiet, definitely a world of difference compared to my PS4 Pro.

Overall really enjoying it.

I own a decent gaming PC rig but that doesn't stop me from enjoying consoles too.
 
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dangh

Posts: 163   +192
Sony will only have a few exclusives, Sony has already confirmed pc will be getting first party titles. Meaning Sonys games will be more like timed exclusives.

Its definitely one of the worse releases for consoles. Demand so high but no supply. Currently Japan is sold out of PS5s but has only sold like 118k units. Its the 2nd worse selling Playstation. PS3 only sold 113k when it launched. Will it get better, probably but will it be this year, not likely.

Restocks have happened but mainly all online. Best Buy and Walmart have already said they won't have any in stores for ppl to just walking in and buying. All orders have to be online only.

As for MS, MS dont care if they sell a ton or win anything. They simply have a console cause they can. They are more focused on getting cross play for a lot of games. Hell they are the reason Sony is even doing cross play. MS has the greatest platform ever created (PC), they won a long time ago.
Sony never confirmed their first part titles will be released on pc. Only one title has did this.

Current lineup is actually best launch lineup ever. I know memory make it all looks better, but in reality ps3, ps4, xbox one and x360 jak much worse choice of starting games.

 

Krackan

Posts: 76   +81
I never trust reviews from people who don't actually pay for the system or games. They're probably more than burnt out and jaded based on the fact that they do almost nothing BUT play games and test systems. Let's get a review from someone who spent their hard earned money on it, and not one of these entitled bloggers, yeah?
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 1,013   +451
Sony never confirmed their first part titles will be released on pc. Only one title has did this.

Current lineup is actually best launch lineup ever. I know memory make it all looks better, but in reality ps3, ps4, xbox one and x360 jak much worse choice of starting games.
Maybe I choose the wrong word. But my point is that their exclusives will be coming to pc.
This was announced back in June. https://www.kitguru.net/desktop-pc/...ames-announced-for-ps5-are-also-coming-to-pc/
 

amghwk

Posts: 863   +686
There is a reason for exclusivity for consoles - for their own existence. Giving away all first party titles for PCs just doesn't make sense for the production of consoles. They do get money from the "extra sales" from Steam/Epic/Origin, etc., but the exclusive titles for the consoles, which make the best of use of the internal hardware and functions will always be the priority.

Remember - games are developed by other companies, mostly. If Sony releases the first party titles to PCs, where is the incentive to produce consoles for Sony? Sony wants people to buy their consoles. So that people can play exclusives and have unique experiences on their consoles.

The links about ideas are just that. Ideas.

If they are going to release new exclusives, that will only happen at the end of PS5's life, when the Sony's board has decided they already got their investment back, and when the sale of consoles trickles down, and only then they will release to other platforms for the extra cash. By then, at the end of one gen's life, exclusivity doesn't matter anymore.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,013   +451
Again tho the point is that they have confirmed that first party titles will come to pc. When that happens, likely at least after the first year of said game. PC is gonna get some Sony games just a matter of time.
 

dangh

Posts: 163   +192
Maybe I choose the wrong word. But my point is that their exclusives will be coming to pc.
This was announced back in June. https://www.kitguru.net/desktop-pc/...ames-announced-for-ps5-are-also-coming-to-pc/
Oh that sure. Those are third party timed ex, or not even timed, bugsnax came to pc same day I think.
Ps5 is good for first party exclusives like spiderman or tlou, tsushima and so on. I do not like idea of third party exclusivity as this reducing in weird way number of players. But I'm strongly for first party exclusivity as those games are much better thanks to good understanding of system and less push for commercial success.