After seven years of massive success with the PS4, Sony’s PlayStation 5 was released on November 12, 2020, for $499. That’s two days after its primary rival, Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles, which went on sale on November 10.
Sony’s last generation found success by focusing solely on games, and the PlayStation 5 appears to be heading in the same direction. We’ve been testing the console for a long time, and Sony seems to follow the trend. The PlayStation 5 is extremely powerful, simple to operate, and far superior to the PlayStation 4.
Let’s dive deeper and discover how PS5 proves superior to PS4 and Xbox Series X and where it falls short.
PlayStation 5: Pros and Cons
- Improved user interface
- Runs quieter than PS4 Pro
- Powerful next-gen hardware
- DualSense is impressive
- Strong launch library
- Games run smoothly
- Impressive console design
- Strong backward compatibility
- Controller’s haptic feedback is best in class
- Wide selection of PlayStation 5 accessories
- Spider-Man Miles Morales is a great launch title
- Only 667 GB of storage out of the box
- No way to expand storage at launch
- This console is HUGE
- Series X is more powerful
PlayStation 5: Box Opening and Examining the Design
The Sony PlayStation 5 is very much an absolute legend of a console in regards to size, as demonstrated in T3’s PS5 unpacking video. This system has a height of just about 40 cm, a depth of 26 cm, and a width of 10 cm. The PS5 isn’t for you if you want something small and easy to hide in your entertainment setup.
The console is delivered in a segmented white cardboard box that not only securely holds the hardware but also includes the base, DualSense controller, wires, and information papers.
The PS5 base is distinctive to Sony in the next generation, while Microsoft’s Xbox Series X & Xbox Series S avoid them due to their larger, more traditional, and sturdy designs that are rectangular prisms.
The base can be attached to the console in either a horizontal or horizontal orientation, though it’s evident that vertical installation is preferred. When displayed horizontally, the base fits into the bottom of the PlayStation 5 and simply clips onto one of the flared case wings.
As we indicated in our judgment, we are great lovers of the console’s design in particular. The PS5 design has divided players, but we believe its size and futuristic, flaring shape elicits a feeling of awe and strength.
Every time we glance at the PS5, we get that same thrill we used to experience when a new console was released. This was a unique portal to another universe of mind-blowing adventures, and it should be viewed as the future, even alien technology that it is.
Look, we understand that a console’s design isn’t as important to many people as power and efficiency. We agree – we’d rather my system be a pixel-pushing behemoth than win a design prize. But here’s the thing about the PS5, at least for us: it really does both, as we’ll see soon.
There are a lot of minor aspects within the PS5’s design that we also adore. Its top-mounted vents, for instance, appear to belong on a hypercar like that of the Pagani Zonda. At the same time, the little cross, circle, triangle, and square pattern on the interior of the flared paneling of the console is also a beautiful touch. It seems to us that the PS5 was built and designed with great care.
We particularly like the two-tone overall appearance provided by the console panels in white carried through to the center, shiny bodywork. The matte panels in white contrast nicely with the gloss core and emphasize the system’s sleek lines.
Overall, We appreciate Sony’s commitment to the PS5 design and willingness to go the extra mile with its vision. Sony did not take the safe route, and while the outcomes may divide opinion, they have strong supporters in us.
But, from a strictly practical standpoint, We would advise you to consider where you may place this device in your setup. Its size will likely prevent it from fitting into a TV cabinet, and we don’t think it would be great for cooling either.
I ended up mounting the unit vertically, with the base attached, behind the television, just on the top plate of the TV cabinet.
A solid, stable foundation that protects the console from being in the way and provides plenty of space for heat venting.
PlayStation 5: Price and Competition
On November 12, 2020, the PS5 was released in Sony PlayStation 5 stores in North America, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand. It was released two days after Microsoft’s new-generation consoles, the Xbox Series – X and Xbox Series – S. The console became accessible to the rest of the world one week later, on November 19.
The PS5 was initially priced at $499.99 for the base version of the console with a 4K Blu-ray disc drive. If that’s too much money to spend, there’s also the PS5 Digital Edition, which is nearly identical save for the absence of the disc drive. At launch, it cost $399.99, a $100 savings over the standard model.
The PS5 is more costly than the launch prices of the PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro, each $399.99, but they were released seven and four years ago, respectively, and you’re getting a generational leap in hardware for $100 more. Don’t get us wrong: the PS5 is still costly, but the price increase feels justified for what you get.
Sony is one of many console manufacturers with new hardware on the market; the Xbox Series X/S is the closest competitor to Sony’s PlayStation 5. The PS5 is more expensive than Microsoft’s current systems, which are priced at $499 and $299, respectively, and Xbox will not follow PlayStation with price increases. At least not yet.
If you’re curious about how PS5 and Xbox Series X compare, make sure to read our PS5 vs. Xbox Series X comparison in this review.
Though Sony PlayStation 5 video game consoles are currently scarce, Walmart will have a PlayStation 5 restock on November 21 and 23. You can also buy a used PlayStation 5 or an eBay PlayStation 5, but make sure that you are selecting a reliable seller.
- PlayStation 5 for Sale (Standard)
- BEST BUY PlayStation 5 – $499.99
- WALMART PlayStation 5 – $499.99
- TARGET PlayStation 5 – $499.99
- PlayStation 5 GAMESTOP – $499.99
- PlayStation 5 for Sale (All-Digital)
- BEST BUY PlayStation 5 – $399.99
- PlayStation 5 WALMART – $399.99
- TARGET PlayStation 5 – $399.99
PlayStation 5: DualSense Controller
Once you start using a DualSense controller, it’s immediately evident that this is a significant shift for Sony, which has scarcely modified its controller design in the past 20 years. It’s not the same. The grips are tactile, where the fingers rest and thumb sticks feel responsive and swift, plus the buttons possess depth.
The haptics are the stars of the show. Swinging across New York City in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, new DualSense controllers, didn’t simply rumble like a conventional DualShock. They responded like Spider-webbing. The haptic feedback goes beyond the standard short and long sensations we’ve come to expect from the time of the Rumble Pak Nintendo 64.
It has the same nuance as the renowned feel-how-many-ice-cubes-I’m-shaking tactile feedback in the Joy-Cons of the Nintendo Switch. As a result, various gaming motions feel distinct in your hands.
The DualSense’s capabilities are highlighted in Astro’s Playroom on the PS5, where you can roam about as an adorable little robot and enjoy the entire range of the DualSense’s capabilities. Each terrain you walk on has a different feel in your palms. The metals feel hard and sharp, whereas the grass is softer and swishy. Furthermore, the haptic feedback is direction-based, allowing you to tell where inputs are emanating from or when an object whooshes by you.
The latest adaptive trigger keys raise the sense of immersion even more. Pulling the trigger in different settings might feel different in games. For example, when you wish to deploy your jetpack in Astro’s Playroom, hard tension rises as you pull the controls to lift off. When you pull hard enough, it yields abruptly, and even the DualSense responds in your hands like that of a gun’s recoil. It’s insane.
Whether game makers will take advantage of these new features is yet to be seen. For example, the DualShock 4’s touchpad has been rarely used as anything more than a large button. Even though Sony competed well with the motion-based Nintendo Wii, the DualShock 3’s six-axis motion sensor was seldom used. However, the haptic feedback of the DualSense is different since it is about feedback rather than input, as the touchpad, as well as motion sensitivity, are.
Most games currently employ feedback in some form, but not all games require motion control.
Perhaps the most significant new aspect is the fact that DualSense’s battery outperforms the DualShock 4. The PS4 controller battery performance is typically so bad that it has become a meme. At best, you’ll get approximately eight hours out of a single charge, and that’s with a brand-new controller. You’ll get gradually less over time. There’s no knowing how significantly the DualSense battery life may degrade over time. Still, at launch, it surpasses its predecessor by a few hours, for approximately 11 to 12 hours of use/charge— although not fantastic, but better.
PlayStation 5: Performance
As someone who got five years out of my PS4, the PlayStation 5 represents a considerable quality improvement – games I played on the PS4 earlier this year, such as “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” appear noticeably finer and run significantly quicker on PS5.
Returning to Manhattan in “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” exhibits how much faster the loading times are – fast travel scenes and most loading screens only take a few moments compared to “Spider-Man” on PS4. Due to faster loading conditions, the upgraded hard drive allows Spider-Man to swing through the city faster. Back in 2019, Sony conducted a tech demo of “Spider-Man” to illustrate the power of the PS5 drive to shareholders.
Basic actions on the PlayStation 5 are much more responsive in general, thanks to the improved CPU and M.2 drive — switching between games, installing updates, and transferring files feel much easier when compared to the PS4’s outdated interface, even though you’ll find many similarities in the menu options of PS4 vs. PS5.
PlayStation 5: Interface
The home screen of the PlayStation 5 differs dramatically from that of the PS4, with the XMB menu having significantly smaller icons with larger images to fit the screen. When compared to the PS4, navigation is lightning fast, with the PlayStation button on the controller bringing up a short menu for typical settings.
Notably, on the PS5 home screen, games and media have been separated into separate pages; the PlayStation 4 lacked a clear visual separation between games and media apps. Although the HBO Max app has yet to be available, the PS5 continues to support most major streaming platforms.
When activated, the PlayStation menu displays activity cards for your current games. Activity cards will direct you to specific activities, track your progress, deliver news, and display screenshots that you have recently taken. The card icons are a little large for my taste, and I’d like to be able to disable them, but they never feel like an impediment.
Sony has made it possible to transfer data from your PlayStation 4 to your PlayStation 5, but not all save data will transfer between the PS5 and PS4 versions of a game. You’ll have to check game by game; we hope that Sony will make this process easier in the future.
PlayStation 5: Backward Compatibility
The PS5 is backward compatible with practically all PS4 games, which significantly improved over Sony’s utter lack of backward compatibility in the last generation. I tested about a dozen PS4 titles on PS5, including Mortal Kombat 11, The Last of Us Part II, God of War, Tetris Effect, and Resident Evil 2, and nearly all of them loaded and ran faster than on my launch PS4. My PS5 played digital and disc-based PS4 games flawlessly, and my physical movies played flawlessly on the system’s 4K Blu-ray drive.
The PS5 supports any PS4 Pro enhancements a game provides; thus, games with higher resolution or frame rate modes gain the most from Sony’s new console. Coming from a launch PS4, finally being able to appreciate God of War’s high-frame rate mode or play Tetris Effect in 4K was almost worth the price of admission in and of itself (the load, as mentioned above, time boosts undoubtedly don’t hurt, either).
The PS5 is designed to connect with most first-party and properly licensed PS4 attachments, so I had no trouble transferring my previous-generation gear. My old headsets worked perfectly with the DualSense’s 3.5 mm audio connector, and pairing my DualShock 4 to the PS5 was as simple as plugging it in via USB cable.
Third-party wired controllers, such as my Hori Fightpad and Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick, also functioned seamlessly when I mashed buttons in Mortal Kombat. Just keep in mind that the DualShock 4 only works with PS4 games that are backward compatible; therefore, it won’t function with PlayStation 5 games.
More recently, a new patent application submitted by PlayStation designers suggests that the PS5 can run PS1, PS2, and PS3 titles in the future, giving you even more reason to buy a PS5.
PlayStation 5: Storage
Storage space is the PS5’s Achilles’ heel. Players will only have 667GB of the 825 GB hard drive available for games due to the proprietary solid-state drive and the size of the operating system. That is a pittance that will cause the same headaches that players had with the PS4. They’ll have to decide which titles to preserve and which to remove from their system (even if they can redownload them in most cases).
Most current PlayStation 4 users almost certainly purchased the PS4 Pro with 1TB of storage space. A PS4 Pro 1TB supplied around 862GB of usable storage after deducting the storage reserved by the system. Despite the ever-increasing size of AAA titles, the PlayStation 5 needs to catch up.
Owners can increase their storage capacity by purchasing and installing an NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. The console includes an open SSD slot for this reason, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the better possibilities available. These are the only hard drives that will allow you to use the PS5’s load rates. A typical NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD costs around $200, which is not inexpensive. On the bright side, it costs considerably less than the $220 storage cards used by Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S consoles.
You can also connect a PlayStation 5 external hard drive HDD or SSD, but any games saved on it will not benefit from the system’s speed. Furthermore, any PS5 games placed there will not be playable until they are transferred to the internal drive, making external drives only viable for older titles.
PlayStation 5: Detail vs. Frame Rate
The visuals on the PS5 are lush, and games appear better; there’s a granular richness that comes with native 4K that adds a lot of visual depth and appeal. However, as much as Sony and Microsoft trumpet new graphical enhancements and the fact that their latest consoles are “8K ready,” the defining visual upgrade is its higher frame rate, which poses a problem: To get the most out of your new console, you may need to get a new television.
Gaming TVs are a relatively new product category, with the LG CX OLED, which I used to test the PS5, being one of the best. The refresh rate is what distinguishes a game television. The refresh rate is measured in hertz, just as frames are in frames-per-second (FPS) (Hz). Magic happens when these two numbers meet.
The LG CX OLED TV has a high refresh rate that ranks at 120 Hz, and the PlayStation 5 supports 120 frames per second of gaming. That means you’ll see twice as many frames on a regular TV. Consider it similar to those little flipbook animations. The smoother the motion grows as the number of frames increases. Every movement, every kick, punch, and web swing has a hyperreal smoothness. (I’m referring to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.) It’s fantastic.)
Rendering all those extra fps necessitates a significant amount of graphical horsepower, which the PlayStation 5 happily possesses. When I played games at 120 frames per second, I never experienced delay or hitching, and, most significantly, the PS5 never became loud. If you go close enough, you can hear the fans working, but they never spin up so fast that they sound like a jet engine; they’re scarcely audible even when under heavy load.
As mentioned in our review of the Xbox Series X, the 120-Hz gameplay complicates this review. It is objectively fantastic, but purchasing a brand-new console and an expensive new TV in the face of global inflation is a bit excessive. If you are in lookfor a new television, this is something to think about. Consider buying a 4K TV a few years ago. There was some content available, but the costs remained exorbitant, making it a luxury purchase.
PlayStation 5: Media playback
The PlayStation 5 is a formidable home entertainment hub, thanks to its Blu-ray drive, extensive software catalog, and USB slots for file transfers. Because the PS5 supports HDMI-CEC, connecting it to major smart TV brands such as Samsung and LG allows you to operate the PlayStation 5 console with your TV remote, including pause and play capabilities during movies. To enable this feature on the PS5, ensure that “HDMI Device Link” is enabled in the settings.
The PlayStation 5 can play 4K UHD Blu-ray discs with HDR10 color and bitstream surround sound, but more specialist formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+ aren’t supported. However, this may change in the future with a software update. While DVD movies can be played on the PS5’s disc drive, 3D Blu-ray movies and CDs are not supported.
Common streaming apps, such as Netflix, function normally on the PS5; however, the Interface moves a little faster than on a typical smart TV or streaming stick. Sony no longer sells digital movies and shows through the PlayStation Store on the PS5. However, you can still access your digital library through popular platforms such as Vudu and Amazon Prime Video.
Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox, the PlayStation 5 does not automatically activate HDCP when watching copyrighted content. However, this is only an issue if you frequently record your games with an external capture card.
PlayStation 5: Services and Games
As if it wasn’t obvious, we have been running games meant for the PS4 on the PS5. Fortunately, the large majority of PS4 games work on the new device. It’s also possible to load saves out of an existing PS4 using a cable or the PS Plus cloud storage – this is a welcome addition. On PS5, you can also utilize a PS4 controller to browse the Interface and play PS4 games.
The problem with Sony’s backward compatibility promise is that it does not include any built-in optimization.
Where possible, the Xbox Series X will improve the graphical quality of older titles. In contrast, the PlayStation would cut its performance to suit the platform for which the game was originally intended- whether it was PS4 or PS4 Pro. Unofficially, several PS4 titles played better on the PS5: Monster Hunter World, for instance, was running at 4K with a higher frame rate than on the PS4 Pro.
So backward compatibility is limited, but fans can still play their beloved PS4 titles while waiting for PS5 releases to begin.
They won’t have to wait long: Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are exclusive launch releases for the PS5, with titles like FIFA 21, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla all available on both next-gen consoles. It’s an excellent roster, supplemented by the PlayStation Plus Collection, the collection of Twenty exclusive plus non-exclusive popular games available for free to PS Plus subscribers.
Speaking of whom, if you have a PS Plus subscription, you can take advantage of the usual array of offers and free monthly games, as well as the cloud-based storage and other perks.
The PS5 also includes a one-of-a-kind game helper for the members of PS Plus, accessible via the Game Hub; this assistant currently serves the next-gen PS5 exclusives and provides suggestions when you get stuck on a level. It’s not a groundbreaking function, but it could save you from opening YouTube on another device when you’re stuck.
Comparison To Xbox Series X And The Series S
PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X
|Console||PlayStation 5||Xbox Series X|
|Resolution||4K@60fps, up to 120fps||4K@60fps, up to 120fps|
|Disc support||up to 4K UHD Blu-ray||up to 4K UHD Blu-ray|
|CPU||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.5GHz with SMT (variable frequency)||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)|
|GPU||Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz (variable frequency); 10.28 teraflops GPU power||Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU 52 CUs @ 1.825GHz; 12.15 teraflops GPU power|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6 RAM||16GB GDDR6 RAM|
|Memory bandwidth||448GB/s||10GB at 560GB/s, 6GB at 336GB/s|
|Storage||825GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD||1TB PCie Gen 4 NVME SSD|
|Storage expansion||NVMe SSD Slot, support for USD HDD||1TB expansion card, support for USB HDD|
|I/O throughput||5.5GB/s (raw), 8-9GB/s (compressed)||2.4GB/s (raw), 4.8GB/s (compressed)|
|Dimensions||390 x 104 x 260 mm||151 x 151 x 301 mm|
For the time being, the PS5 has the better game selection, which is perhaps the most crucial factor. However, the Xbox’s performance is objectively superior.
While Sony tries to catch up in terms of having an everlasting catalog of titles (and Nintendo doesn’t even try), Microsoft is the sole major player making significant investments in consistency across generations — specifically, ensuring your investment in the Xbox ecosystem doesn’t devalue. Just last week, Xbox revealed that over 70 original Xbox plus Xbox 360 titles would be added to its portfolio of scores of others, all of which would be backward compatible as well as many of which would see performance improvements.
While this came with the unfortunate announcement that Xbox’s backward compatibility program had reached its limit (related to technical and legal reasons), it still provides the latest Xbox consoles, the most fantastic intergenerational collection on the market today.
The significance of owning an initial Xbox Series X|S began to be realized around November 2021 after the release of a close-to-perfect racing game “Forza Horizon 5. “Halo Infinite” was released in early December, while its multiplayer was already available. Gamers of the beta test flights unanimously agreed that perhaps the series has returned better than ever. We also experienced the campaign during the preview session. We are certain that “Halo Infinite” was already well on its path to winning back the enchantment of the franchise’s early games. Both brands capitalize on Xbox’s historical strengths: flawlessly polished games designed for multiplayer and robust online communities.
The appeal of the Halo branding cannot be overstated. It not only propelled the first Xbox from obscurity to prominence in the gaming industry 20 years ago, but it also aided in the growth of the Xbox 360′s share of the market for years. With the announcement of “Halo Infinite” multiplayer going free and accessible weeks before the game’s full release, we already had people who hadn’t considered an Xbox in the previous year started searching for one.
It combines the “Halo Infinite” value with a slew of Microsoft-backed technical improvements to games, such as automatic high-dynamic-range colors, frame rate gains, and free cloud data storage across consoles, PC, and smartphone platforms.
Xbox Games Pass is also still an excellent value for many people. I either already own the games I’d like to play through the subscription service, or I’d never be interested in them. But checking in every month or so to see if there are any new titles worth visiting has been a delightful routine, and it also ensures I get to try out any first-party games at launch for free.
Given the stability of studios acquired by Microsoft through its massive acquisition of Bethesda Softworks, there will be a long future of being able to check out high-quality, high-budget games for a cheap monthly subscription.
But facts are facts, and my Xbox Series machines were usually in sleep mode more often than any other console until recently. It’s fun to revisit old memories, but new ones capture my attention more fiercely and for longer lengths of time.
I frequently use Xbox consoles as a repository for numerous multiplatform games, whether “Destiny 2,” “Fortnite,” or one of the many open-world Ubisoft titles I still play. But, compared to the hundreds of hours I spent on “Demon’s Souls” or even the Nintendo Switch, those are usually one- to two-hour tours once or twice a week.
The arrival of “Forza Horizon 5” changed everything, as the Xbox has now become my primary gaming platform. With the Xbox’s distinctive Brief Resume function, it’s simple to get into a quick five-minute race on Forza, then return to grinding out the progression on “Halo Infinite,” or even pause to replay the Xbox 360-era Dead Space trilogy. And there’s no mistaking the console versions here.
If an older Xbox game has been upgraded for newer consoles, you will get the most recent version of the game, with no additional installs required. If the PS5 is a premium item in terms of hardware, the Xbox, with Smart Delivery, Quick Resume, and a far more intuitive user interface, is a luxury item in terms of software.
This generation’s Xbox took a long time to prove itself, and it’s just now starting to stand on its own two feet. The PS5 had a strong start in 2021, but the Xbox is finally catching up.
Which PS Model Should You Purchase?
Most early adopters should go with the regular PlayStation 5 ($500) because you’ll need the Blu-ray drive to play any physical PlayStation 4 games you have.
If you’re not interested in 4K Blu-ray playback and don’t have a collection of PS4 discs, the all-digital system ($400) should suffice because new PS5 titles on the disc must be installed regardless.
Should You Purchase a PS5?
The PS5 is an improved version of the previous generation console in terms of design and performance. Many people may regard it as a seismic shift. You’d be lucky if you could get your hands on one of them because they’re already out of stock in most places. You can still wait a few months for new PS5 titles before upgrading.
I really like gaming on the PS5, and it’s a breath of fresh air. It is now the best gaming console available, making your gaming session both a visual pleasure and an immersive experience.
The new PS5 is a good option for new console consumers because it fully enters the realm of next-generation gaming. The PS5 Blu-ray variant costs $499.99, while the digital variant costs $399.99.
I did not encounter any troubles or problems during my two weeks with the console, but this is a perception issue since many PS5 owners report concerns online. Most of the issues are nitpicky, and I don’t want to get into them right now. Because there aren’t many games for the PS5, you may be satisfied with a PS4 and not miss the PS5.
However, if you’re in the market for a new game system, the PS5 should be at the top of your list. We want to remind you that the PS4 is available for less than half the price of the PS5. Just consider it.
Are you a gaming fan? Will you purchase a PS5, or are you planning to stick to your PS4? Share your selection and views in the comments below.