Last week Sony launched their long awaited PlayStation 5 and my goodness what a challenge it was to get one of these things. Thankfully I was able to secure a PS5 a while back during the first wave of preorders and it is like a dream come true to finally get to hold it in my hands. The PS5 is beautiful inside and out and it’s truly living up to all the hype behind it. PlayStation 5 started really strong out of the gate with Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls launch titles, amazing controller features, and a super clean user interface. Here is my hands on breakdown of the next gen console.
Once unboxed, I was surprised the console was not as massive as I had heard other people were suggesting. That’s not to say it isn’t large, in fact it is about the size of a compact gaming desktop. While personally I did not find the size of the console a problem I can see how some people may feel differently about how much space it takes up on their entertainment center. It is still taller than any other console to date.
While going through the normal console setup routine, I noticed the cables for the PS5 were really short, like considerably shorter than the PS4’s cables. The power and HDMI cables were just barely long enough to reach my screen and power surge. Thankfully I was able to make everything work since my setup is generally close together and it wasn’t a problem to connect everything. I only mention the cable sizes in case some other players who are considering getting a PS5 for the holidays (especially if you have a larger entertainment space and need longer cables to reach your screen or outlet) may need to go to a third party for longer cables.
After my setup was complete, powering on the system and seeing the menus for the first time was awesome. Logging in and accessing my account through PSN was a breeze. Throughout the setup process, the console even asks if you would like to insert a game to begin installation while you complete the setup so you can play once you’re done. Once completed the user interface feels smooth and easy to navigate. It really feels like an upgrade to the setup you already know and love from the PS4.
Gaming on the PS5 is incredible. The PlayStation 5’s visuals are amazing. Games like Spider Man Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls really take advantage of the consoles’ power and are a great showcase of what the system can do. Both games also offer different modes to make visual changes as well. For example Miles Morales runs by default on fidelity mode which lowers the frame rates in favor of more detailed shadows and ray tracing features. Once switched off into performance mode however, the game loosens up and it feel like you’re playing on a high end PC. The frames were free and the camera sped up and it was a true next gen experience. As well, visuals don’t get reduced much when running in performance modes which is awesome because it allows you to get that extra boost in game play without sacrificing much detail.
Next I absolutely must talk about the controller. The PS5 controller is a thing of genius. While it remains simple to look at, Sony has added some crazy features that I didn’t even know I wanted in a controller. It has a headphone jack, a wireless built in microphone, a speaker, a track pad, lights in the center, small printed grip on the back, and the incredible adaptive triggers. It feels like its existence is impossible because they fit so much into a tiny space but it’s here and it is mind blowing. The control plays similar to how it used to on the PS4 however those adaptive triggers really bring things up to the next level. Every game you play changes the way the triggers feel and one of the best examples of this is the new Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War. Cold War takes advantage of this feature in an incredible way because each weapon responds differently as you use it.
At first I was confused about what was happening because the pressure behind the triggers both got heavier and the right one had 2 stages of pressing. Initially I thought my controller had malfunctioned because I remember it feeling much lighter moments before playing COD. After playing a few games I quickly realized how it was affecting the experience and how it changed with each weapon. Essentially what is happening is the pressure resistance gets heavier on the left trigger depending on how heavy your weapon is (since this is how it would feel if you were lifting it to aim down sights in real life) then the right trigger changes depending on the gun you have to replicate the vibration of the trigger when firing shots. If the gun is smaller the pressure is lighter and aiming is almost instant, when you use a light machine gun or rifle it takes much longer to aim and shoot due to the weight of the gun. This change to game play is so simple yet it fundamentally changes the whole experience. It becomes more immersive because you have to adapt to using those heavier guns since they all feel different and it is unlike any other platform.
While I loved pretty much everything about the experience so far, there were just a few things I had issues with. Personally I thought the packaging of the console was very straight forward and underwhelming. Not that packaging is super important to me or anything, I just recognized that there was barely anything in the box. Simply just two cardboard pieces holding the console in place. None of this is a complaint, just more of an observation however, I would have liked to see some cool game pictures or stickers or something else on the box considering its the newest console.
Finally my number one issue with the console is it’s lack of storage space. The box says it has 825GB of storage but it doesn’t tell you that about 150 of those GB are already used for internal software. Basically you are actually starting somewhere closer to 670 or so GB of actual free space and this is tragically no where near enough. Considering how big game files are now, unless you are a super chill gamer that plays one or 2 games a year, this doesn’t work, especially for content creators who record game play and save photos from the console. I actually ran out of space day one, and I flipped out in confusion as to how I ran out of space to fast. When I figured out what had happened I realized an external hard drive is an absolute must.
Overall I think the console is a huge success and we are only seeing the beginning of what is possible on the PS5. Other than the lack of storage space, the console is well designed and handles everything you can throw at it with ease. It is quiet, fast, powerful, and games on the platform elevate the experience to a whole new level which make it a clear winner for me. Honestly, there is so much more to get into with the console and I don’t have space to add onto this post, however, I will get into more details about it at a later time. For now thank you for reading this post, and let me know what you think about PS5 in the comments as well.