The New Playstation 5 (Honest Review)




It's PlayStation 5 time. So we only really get truly new consoles every couple of years. I don't know who decided that, but unlike you know, the PC world or smartphones where you get a new, incremental update every year, we really have to wait for a new console. And so when we finally do get that new console, we have big expectations for generational improvements. So welcome to the full review of Sony's new PlayStation 5. So we've all talked about this design. It's huge. It's an eye catcher. It feels very intentional to me, like it's supposed to feel like a new generation. They have this black and white motif going on throughout the whole thing, the controller and the official headphones and all the accessories. Even that Controller Doc looks like a mini PS5, which is cool. This is actually kind of risky for them because clearly not everyone's home aesthetic can fit this look or work this in without sticking out. And that's the risk they chose. I happen to like the mat White sides. Actually, the blue led glowing is pretty cool, but I don't like is much the glossy black middle. To me, it looks like the cheapest part. And also, if you ever touch it, that is fingerprint city. But yeah, hopefully you're not touching the console too much after the first time you set it up.

Speaking of set up, if you remember that black plastic stand it came with, it's meant definitely to be used in both portrait and landscape, or I guess, vertical or horizontal modes. I'm not using the PS5 with it on the vertical mode, and I don't think most people will now, technically, I'm just gonna say you should use the stand at all times for ideal airflow and, you know, they build the whole swiveling, hidden screw design in there. So once you pick your orientation, you can set it up on the stand and never have to deal with it again horizontally. Of course, you need that stand for it to not wobble. But personally, I'm cool with it vertically with no stand. It doesn't completely block the ventilation and it looks great. We'll see. If I regret that. So do I. think Sony made the design this way, so it would be a statement piece in whatever room you put it in next year Tv. Is that a bit of a risk Yes, but I think this crazy design has both a higher ceiling and a lower floor for how good it can look versus something safer, like the Xbox one. Meaning If you put in a room where it belongs and it looks like this new modern motif, it's gonna look amazing anyway. All right, enough about the design.


So once you're lucky enough to own a PS5, you'll notice the experience. Overall is a few things. Number one. It's faster, it's redesigned, and it's definitely trying to be next generation. It is a gaming console, fundamentally so. It's still doing all the same stuff, but the UI is new, you know. It's got all kinds of little particles and lights and stuff in there. Looks great on a high resolution TV and even better in HDR, and it's definitely fast. Just flying around the menus and the store and launching games is quick, as you'd expect from a significantly faster SSD. Now in this Gaming console world. It's practically heresy to ever compare it to anything? PCs, but I think this is just we're thinking about for just a second. If this PlayStation 5 was a gaming PC and it's not, obviously it's not. But if it was a gaming PC, it would be actually extremely small Number one. It'll be pretty inexpensive at 500 bucks, and it would have a pretty incredible promise of being relevant for the next, like four straight years and potentially even getting better over time. It would be really hard to find a gaming PC that's this small, this cheap and this relevant for this long of a time. Now there's a lot of reasons why this doesn't hold up, of course, the main one being graphical prowess of a real PC. But if you think about it, that is a pretty impressive value proposition for a console. But once you fire up that PS5 and actually start using it, you'll slowly start to notice one by one. This next generation stuff adding up one of the big focus is was the improved specs and the new horsepower and the faster storage, which should hopefully result in faster load times. So it doesn't have that quick resume feature that the Xbox Series X has. But it's pretty close, and that's a direct result of the faster SSD. And speaking of storage, I know it says 825 gigs on the box. but after the OS installed, you have somewhere near like 670 gigs, just so you know.


And so when you start installing some of the big, newer games like some of these files can be truly gigantic. For me, Spiderman was about 40 gigs, and NBA2K a little less. Then there's, um, PS4 games, but generally they're a little bit smaller. Need for speed was under 30 GB'S. Just something to keep an eye on the external. SSD support is for saving backwards compatible games on Lee, not for playing them. And then let's talk about the games So the PlayStation store shows pretty much all of the games from last generation PS4 are still compatible, which is great. If you have some PS4 games, you still want to play, they should show up here, and it should work basically exactly the same There have been some bugs reported, but generally they're gonna load and play the same, and then you can even sort by that in the PlayStation store. So if you only want to PS5 only new titles, you can see those that are coming soon or have already launched. And then ultimately everyone as a gamer is different. I consider myself a pretty casual gamer, so I spend most of my time in NBA2K and driving games like dirt need for speed, things like that. And, of course, I played a lot of the new Spiderman Miles Morales game, which is the launch title for it, and some others just tossed in for fun. And then for other people, there's other titles they've been waiting for. Theirs demon souls I see gets a lot of hype. There's Assassin's creed. There's all kinds of stuff like that, and that catalog should be growing and improving over time.


PS5 Games

Ray Tracing 

 You may be asking how are the games? And does it feel like next Gen gaming? Well, the answer to that question. It's different in different games. Let me explain. Basically, overall we know, of course, console quality graphics have never really touched PC quality graphics. But this time around you keep hearing about Ray tracing and better reflections and shadows and high resolution and high frame rates. Basically, what I've found is no single one of these things, by itself makes a huge difference. But putting them all together, this stuff adds up to feel different. And that's not even talking about the controller, which I'll get to in a minute. So Spiderman Morales, in my weeks of testing easily the prettiest game I've played for sure, there's a reason this is the headlining launch title for the PS5, and this game seems to be the best demo of Ray tracing with all the reflections and lighting and different textures all over the place as it takes place in a crowded New York city. Plus, it's in winter, so there's lots of particles again in the air with snow and really just whether you're in a battle with enemies, where the camera is super dynamic and moving around a lot. Or if you're just hanging out around New York City between missions, which is extremely accurate, by the way. There's just a ton to look around at now in this game, something to note.


I think this kind of defines the console experience this time around. At this level, you choose in this game between high fidelity mode or high performance mode, you can switch whenever you want. So when you're in high fidelity mode, Ray tracing is on. This is the best looking version of the game. The textures and the details are at their highest quality, but that's limited to 30 frames per second. If you look at pretty much any reflective surface like a window or some glass, you can see there's some level of real reflections going on. And that's what we're talking about when we say Ray tracing. That's an added level of realism. But if you switch to performance mode and go to that same spot, you'll notice two things. 1. There's nothing at all in that glass. It's just kind of fake reflections that move around as you move doesn't really represent the real world behind it all 2. well, this is obviously less graphically intensive. So now you're running at 60 FPS instead of 30. So now everything is much smoother, which for a lot of this game you might be into see the thing about Ray. There's different amounts of different levels of Ray tracing, and so on the PS5 I would describe it as a sort of partial ray tracing. Does that make sense? Like most windows and obvious large glass surfaces, they do the reflections, which is dope. Even like a storefront window. If you look closely, you can still see it's doing a realistic reflection and shadow. It's amazing. But also some puddles and car windows are just doing lighting and shadows without the reflections. And so not every single surface in every model and texture in the game is super high quality. I think most people, though, won't be pixel peeping that much. Or caring about that as long as they're like slinging around through the city and glorious high resolution on a big TV like you're not gonna be looking at all that stuff. But at least now you've seen the difference. For me, it's actually kind of a tough call, but I think in this game most of the time I prefer high performance mode. At 60 FPs. You get that smooth motion. Like even without the super realistic reflections on glass and textures, it still looks pretty damn good, and the lighting still beams off the character. The snow still flows in all the tiny little particles. I love the look of this game, even with Ray tracing basically turned off. That's the difference between a PC, which is much bigger and much more expensive, and this that's all.

NBA 2K21 

 Three other PS5 game I've spent more time in was NBA2K 21 this game is technically next gen of course, it's made for PS5, but for my fellow 2K players, we already kind of know 2K is kind of like the iPhone of console games, like they make a new version every year, but it's kind of same stuff, just a little bit different. Maybe a little bit better. So the gameplay is all still familiar, same controls. But for this game, they're focused on realism really seems to be in again Ray tracing and like on the way that the materials look. So players hair textures, air more accurate and the sweat rolling down their face and reflecting the lights. All that stuff is more clear. The textures on the court, also with reflections off the hardwood, are a little better, more detailed and even the cut scenes just overall. Everything has a little layer of polish and shine over it. Things might be a placebo effect also, but I feel like there are some new animations as well that are a little more accurate to the players, though still not totally fluid. But it helps that, you know everything seems a little more realistic, even though you can already tell when James Harden is doing James Harden things you can already tell when Russell Westbrook is doing Russell Westbrook Westbrook things. It's just a good time.


PS5 Controller


You know what game you gotta play, though, If you get a PS5 Astros playroom, I'm telling you, it's the best demo of the new controller that you're going to see.  But to summarize this'll New dual sense controller is sweet. It's bigger. It's a little heavier in the hands. It has this quality buttons. It's USB C, and the battery. Life for me turns out to be pretty good. I got two full days of a ton of gaming before I killed it, which is in line with what I was getting out of a PS4 controller.

But the real next gen feeling part of it is the new and massively improved haptics inside and the adaptive triggers. So playing through Astros playroom, it's actually not even that good of a game. To be honest, like you're more just kind of exploring and wandering around, doing stuff, hitting, stuff, grabbing stuff, whatever you could play for a while, I never really do anything or win anything but the next gen feel of the controller haptics making sand feel like sand through your hands, making ice feel like ice is amazing and the adaptive triggers kicking in, making it difficult to squeeze. And when you need to compress the spring, really adding and feeling that resistance as you squeeze thumb is so good it's even more immersive to me than the haptics, the Spiderman game, to my disappointment, kind of didn't really do much with all or either of these things. I was hoping Spiderman climbing on metal and glass would feel like metal or glass. Or maybe the triggers would get harder to pull if I was slinging through the city and I slung through a building that was extra far away, something like that. But there's pretty much none of that in this game. At best, you get the occasional vibration when punching or throwing things. Obviously, that doesn't feel at all like the difference maker on the PS5 in 2K 21 though I love this. So in this game you hold the trigger to sprint, right? If you're running, hold the trigger. And so in 21 the Mawr, tired and fatigued, your player was, the harder it was toe pull down the sprint trigger. So if you're getting back on defense after a fast break, you can feel it's heavier and it's harder to sprint. And throughout a game it gets heavier and heavier so that to me that was good. That was a great use, because really, the point is instead of having to look at the screen you're now feeling when the character is more tired and that is what makes it feel more next gen to me, nevertheless, I still personally wish I would see more of this stuff throughout other games. I played some other PS4 games like FIFA and need for speed and dirt. And, of course, it's still doing normal tiny vibrations. You would think like in a driving game, the controller would be going crazy with all the different surfaces and collisions. But here it's not. The PS4 stuff still feels like PS4 stuff, and the PS5 stuff feels like a little bit under utilized. I think part of it might be that developers might be a little tentative to over use it like there might be scared of like scaring people off. In a way, I have been told on Twitter a lot of people just turn off the vibrations on controllers right away, so you don't wanna over utilize it and put too much of it in your game where people will turn it off. But yeah, I don't know, I think they are great. 

Final Thoughts 

So the console is quiet, which is really nice now. And a stark difference versus the PS4 for me, which sounded like a jet After five minutes of gaming under my TV fingers crossed, it stays this way after years of sitting here slowly gathering dust and probably not having ideal airflow with me not using the stand, but yeah, So far, so good load times was a big thing to keep an eye on for the new generation of console. I found load times to be faster, but not like some blink of the eye. Never see a splash screen again type faster, but it was noticeably faster in every single game, whether it was a PS5 optimized game or even a backwards compatible PS4 game. And that is thanks to the lightning fast SSDI. And again, it's one more little thing that adds to the experience that feels like next generation gaming.

 I like the slightly new menu organization, the new UI with all your most recent games in that strip on the home screen and then the rest of your library at the end with all your games. And when you press the PlayStation button now in a game, you can not only go home or to your normal settings, but it pops off this card view that's pretty useful for navigating around checkpoints or different stages or progress in a game and every developer. We use it differently, but some will just show your level or some trophies. Others will show hold tutorials inside this car that will help you get around. But yeah, generally, this is a welcome addition. I like it. And just generally speaking, I'm a fan of the whole thing, I guess this fall. See, Carter would say the PS5 is a major major. Go. If you could get your hands on it right, it's It's basically a computer that's guaranteed, hopefully to have ah, long life cycle and to improve over time as the game library grows. And that's something we've got to keep an eye on and trust developers to do. But I think it's happening. I'm excited for it. The most interesting piece for me will be to wait and see how this controller gets implemented in future games. But as a whole, I'm giving a thumbs up to the PS5 and I can't wait to get home and play more games.