Late PlayStation 5 Review
Yes, we know this is a fairly Late PlayStation 5 Review, you can blame 2020 and Holiday shenanigans for that one. Here it finally is. Let’s get into it.
We’re back from a much-needed vacay, after having 2020 nearly completely break all spirit and will. It was a rough year, but we have pulled through it. There were some rather awesome things to come out of that awful year, and one of them is the magnificent PlayStation 5 console. After having spent good 3-ish months with the console, and being pretty familiar with its ins and outs, now is actually a pretty good time to drop this Late PlayStation 5 Review. So here we go. Some house cleaning first, there will be no comparison to what is on offer on Xbox Series X, this will be on the PlayStation 5’s own merit. Late PlayStation 5 Review – Let’s go!
All I can say is WOW! This thing is one heck of a behemoth. I’ll admit it, when the Duelsense controller was first revealed, I was not impressed. Ok, that’s putting it very lightly, I hated it and felt it resembled an Xbox One S controller wearing a ladies thin strap vest (And now you can’t unsee that image). Then after setting my eyes on the reveal of the console, that hideous controller design just suddenly clicked. And now with the actual console sitting right here in the flesh, I’m absolutely blown away by its design. Very futuristic-looking and sleek with its curves and unusual shapes. Weird thing is that Sony has actually given us this design before and we didn’t even blink, with the PSVR sitting next to the PS5 like it belongs, almost like they were released at the same time. Very sneaky Sony.
Yes, the design is not to everyone’s taste and even more so about its massive size, which a lot of people will have trouble having it fit into their entertainment cabinets. But, where there’s a will there’s a way. And it’s very rare that anyone has decided not to buy a console because of its shape or size. On the console, you get 2X USB 3.2 ports on the back, 1X Gigabit Ethernet Port, 1X HDMI 2.1 Port (and yes the cable is a 40Gbps Ultra Highspeed HDMI 2.1 cable packed in) RIP Optical Port. On the front, you have access to 1X USB Type C port and a Highspeed USB 2.0, type-A port. If you’ve gone for the Disc version, you get both Power and Eject buttons, the digital version, for obvious reasons omits the Eject Button. All finished in a rather annoyingly easy to leave fingerprints to gloss black finish between the 2 Off-White panels. Two thin LED light strips finish off the look in an elegant, sleek package. Even if you don’t like design, one thing is for sure, it absolutely has the sort of exotic Dubai-Esque skyscraper presence.
This is the True-Next-Gen killer feature of this entire package. The Duelsense controller is about my favourite thing about the PS5. Every single PS5 owner should fire-up Astro’s Playroom even before trying any game in their collection and they’ll understand why immediately at the splash screen. First thing’s first, this controller feels amazing in the hands. Size is a perfect fit (for my hands at least), a huge upgrade over the Dualshock 4. It has an interest heft to it, feeling rather densely packed. With excellent plastic materials used. The overall placement of buttons and analogue sticks are still pretty similar to the Dualshock controllers before it, but on this size controller, it just feels right. I love the small touches such as the textured back, behind the two stalks. Little easter egg there, that texture is actually small, almost invisible to the human eye, PlayStation Icons (Triangle, Cross [Yes it’s a Cross, not an X, don’t argue], Square and Circle).
Sony Marketing has been droning on about haptics and adaptive triggers. At face value it seems like its just marketing gibberish. Until you get your hands on Astro’s Playroom and have your mind absolutely blown. The trouble with feeling, is that it’s very hard to adequately describe. This is something you have to feel to appreciate the tech. My most favorite next-gen feature is the use of haptics and Adaptive triggers, more so than the power bump and loading speeds. If you have a friend with a PS5, when this pandemic thing blows over, go get your hands on their Duelsense and you’ll see what I’m droning on about.
The User Experience
“No Pixel Untouched” is what the Sony team promised before the UI was revealed and I gotta say they delivered on their promise. The entire UI is super sleek, high resolution, all in HDR at 4K and speedy AF. What a joy to experience a next-gen console with a next-gen feeling UI. Nailed it. A quick tap of the PS button will bring up your new PS5 best friend, the Control Centre. From here, you will be able to jump straight into sections of games, while skipping the Developer splash screens in the activity cards. You’ll access developer walkthroughs and tips to a section of the game you find yourself in. Negative points for having this cool feature hidden behind the PS Plus Paywall. Ok, so what else can you do in this new best friend of yours? Your friends, your Party chats, all of those are now handled very neatly and easy to access in the Control Centre. You can also get a quick view of what’s currently downloading or uploading. Your notifications live here too. And trophies, and your currently connected devices such as your controller or headsets (with Battery display for good measure). It seems like a lot, but it is very minimalistic and quite easy to get around.
A couple of issues I need to mention. First and foremost. Storage. WTF SONY!!! Your 825GB SSD, only gives you access to 667 GB when all is said and done. Which is really tiny. To make matters worse, yes you can attach a USB Hard drive for your PS4 games, and believe me you need it, but you can’t temporarily hold your PS5 games to the USB storage. I say forget all hopes of faster load times of your PS4 games and keep them on the USB drive. That SSD is precious. But wait there’s more, Why oh Why is the SSD M.2 expansion slot disabled at launch when you so badly need the additional storage space. I understand that M.2 drives need to be vetted first by Sony before being put on a white list, but it’s still extremely aggravating. Do not even think of pre-purchasing an SSD before Sony releases official list, as even though it might be a PCIE 4.0 M.2, it might not have the necessary speeds PS5 needs to run PS5 games.
Next in my hate list, I can’t stand that if you are a PSVR owner, you have to sacrifice one of your USB 3.2 Ports to use with the Camera Adaptor. Because they decided to not add the PS4 Camera port to the back of the console and save us all an extra USB port. Sigh! Ok last one, some players, are experiencing issues with the HDMI port and specifically the HDCP2.3 handshake on certain AVR’s. I happen to be one of those people, who had to downgrade the HDCP to 1.4 to get the console to play nice with my Denon 4KHDR AVR. Please note, this isn’t related to the Denon devices that have a problem with 4K120 HDMI 2.1 inputs. My unit is still an HDMI 2.0 uni, meaning you’ll only get 4K@60 with 10 bit HDR. Which honestly is perfect for me until I get my hands on a 4K120 display, then will look into an upgrade. Again, this is a rare issue, but after following on social media, it seems it is something that has affected a few users, so do yourself a favour and just read up online and see if your AVR has reported issues or not.
In conclusion to this late PlayStation 5 Review, Sony has nailed just how Next-Gen this entire package feels. From the raw performance to the look, the feel and OH MY THAT CONROLLER. Chef’s Kiss to Mark Cerny and Team! Now if they can spend the next few months working on some instability issues, the expansion debacle and we’re going to have a real masterpiece of a console on our hands. With Backwards compatibility that works so much better than we all thought it would, and performance that has consistently punched above its weight, the PS5 is a worthy successor to the PS4 and definitely worth it’s asking price. I didn’t even get to talk about the epic graphics or the ridiculously fast load times, but I don’t need to, it excels even with their exclusion from the conversation. A definite worthwhile purchase, if you can find a unit that is.