I finally was able to get my hands on a PlayStation 5 over Christmas. This is a record for me as it’s taken me more than two years to get a new console. For those keeping score it took me a year to acquire an Xbox Series X and two years to acquire a PlayStation 5.
I chose the disc version as I still and will always believe having physical media is better than relying on a company to keep a digital title alive. I had really given up on getting a PS5. I figured down the road I would just pick up a broken one to add to my console display. Well now I actually get to use one!
The console shipped and arrived during the week between Christmas and New Years. It arrived in a box within a box that it was shipped in. I was reminded by the sleeve around the PlayStation 5 box that this console shipped with God of War Ragnarok. Of course when you open the box you find out it’s a digital copy (sigh). Under that sleeve is the regular PS5 box that I think everyone at this point is aware of. Inside is, well honestly disappointing. I mean, I am happy with how there’s no excess to the packaging but the Xbox Series X still had some drama and excitement in the way they packaged it. The PS5 box just has your accessories inelegantly stuffed on a partition above your console which itself slides out of the case.
Everyone says that the PS5 is big. It is but really not that much bigger than a launch PlayStation 3. The fins certainly make it look bigger than it is. I quite like the aesthetic of the console. Sony always designs things that are pleasing to the eye.
The PlayStation 5 console came with an HDMI cable, USB-C cable, power cable and a DualSense controller. Upon taking the DualSense out of the foam baggy thing it was in I promptly dropped it on the floor and thus doing some damage to the right stick. Perfect. It now scratches when I move it around. Time to order a new one of those…I am happy to see that we are continuing the trend of keeping the power supplies INSIDE the console. Power bricks suck and always will.
The PS5 was easy to set up. Sony wants you to use their app to set the device up though they make it easy to skip. And by the time I got signed in on the app the console was ready to go anyway.
I put my PlayStation 5 next to my Xbox Series X which both sit on top of my local storage Dell server. It is also hooked up to my Zowie monitor so no 4K at the moment. I have a bunch of work to do with my main A/V setup so at the moment I am running both consoles this way.
The user interface on the PS5 is pretty good. It’s basically a touch up of the PlayStation 4’s interface but pressing the PlayStation button brings up a very useful quick menu that reminds me a lot of the PlayStation 3’s XMB interface which I really liked.
I plugged the DualSense controller in to the PS5 with the included USB cable to allow it to charge while I set up things and started looking around the console. The DualSense is really comfortable. It feels great in the hand and the buttons feel great to the touch. The sticks are basically the same as what was on the PS4 and of course the one is a bit damage because of my being stupid. Still works but it doesn’t feel as good as the left stick. The biggest upgrade to the controller and probably the reason why a controller costs nearly a 15% of a new console is the new adaptive triggers. I played through Astro’s Playroom and it really shows off what those triggers can do. This fancy feature comes at a cost of battery. I barely got an hour in with the controller disconnected and running off battery and Bluetooth and it was already down to 50%. Turning off that feature seems to be the best thing to do. Oh and Astro’s Playroom is a fantastic game even if it’s really a controller demo.
Sony gives you access to most of the PS4 games and even some of the PS3 games you owned digitally in the past and allows you to download them. And I am happy to report that I inserted every PlayStation 4 game I own and the console not only detected them but then proceeded to install and download updates. Keep in mind that even though the PS5 has installed your physical games you will still need that game disc inserted to play.
The only issue I see here is the storage is not incredible. You have 825GB total and some of that is being used by the console for it’s operating system and settings. Do you remember the day when you thought you could never fill up a 2GB hard disk drive? I do… The storage is fast though and it starts games up quickly.
Sony does have their own version of Game Pass but I haven’t subscribed to it. To me it’s not worth it. I have tested PlayStation Now in the past and it does a pretty good job streaming on console and on PC.
I did buy a couple games specifically for the PlayStation 5. Redout 2 and Hot Wheels Unleashed. Both racing games I know but for some reason Gran Turismo 7 is out of stock everywhere and these games were both a good price.
The performance of the PlayStation 5 is great. It is honestly hard to gauge as I am only running it at 1080P right now but compared to the Xbox Series X, it holds its own. I find the interface simpler and easier to navigate. Perhaps something I would like to see is Sony allowing more customization of the theme. Right now there is nothing. Even the Switch lets you choose Between a white and a black background.
So far I am happy with the purchase. It was not cheap as it’s now over $700 here in Canada. That’s more than I payed for my launch PlayStation 3. And here’s the thing. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have pretty much the same library. If one is smart you buy the one that has or will have the most exclusives that you want to play. I don’t recommend buying both. I did because it’s something I do. Time will tell which of the consoles I grow to like more. Or will I simply revert to PC and my Steam Deck?…