10 days in with my PS5: Excellent console, but not essential just yet


Graphic by Alex Hanks

Ryder Martin, Staff Writer

As a lucky individual who was able to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 during the initial launch window, I’ve had 10 days of hands-on experience with Sony’s latest home console, and there’s plenty to unpack about it.

For starters, the console is fast. One of the major points of emphasis for the PS5 is speed, demonstrated by the console prompting you to load and install a game while the system finishes its setup. Most of this speed can be attributed to the PS5’s solid state drive, a first for PlayStation, allowing for load times much quicker than the PS4. The experience of booting up “Spider Man: Miles Morales” and being on the main menu in less than five seconds is impressive. This enhanced speed also applies to the download and installation of game updates, with less evidence of bottlenecked internet speeds, leading to game and system updates taking almost a third of the time of those on the PS4.

​On launch day, I picked up two games for my PS5: the aforementioned “Spider Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.” Both games serve as fantastic showcases of the PS5’s enhanced lighting features as well as their blazing fast load time, making them must haves for any new PS5 owner.

In addition to original PS5 titles, the console also offers proper widespread backwards compatibility with PS4 titles, the first time PlayStation has supported the feature since the early models of the PS3. With few exceptions, this leaves almost eight years’ worth of fantastic PS4 games that are playable on your PS5. Graphically, don’t expect a huge jump from previous generations. The PS5 is all about small performance leaps over the PS4: the quality of hair, smoke and particle effects; better reflections; and framerate improvements.

​One important highlight of the PS5 is its new DualSense controller. Carrying on the lineage of PlayStation’s DualShock line of controllers, the DualSense truly feels like one of the few major technical leaps the console makes. The controller’s main selling points are its adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. With adaptive triggers, the controller can actually provide tension against your inputs, providing immersion and feedback when pulling the trigger in a first-person shooter or accelerating in a racing game at levels never before seen. An evolution of existing rumble technology, haptic feedback also offers a level of immersion that must be felt in order for the details of what can be communicated through this feature to be truly understood.

With all this being said, is the PS5 a must-have console right now? Not necessarily. While the PS5 is a standout console in terms of performance, there are some aspects of the console that hold it back from being an absolute must buy.

First, the game selection, while excellent, mostly consists of games also available on the PS4 with the exception of “Demon’s Souls” and a few others.

There are also the requisite early-launch console bugs that still need to be ironed out. I’ve had two instances of a game just refusing to load until the system is reset and two game crashes, including one that was catastrophic enough to make my PS5 turn itself off.

Finally, storage is an issue, the PS5 only having around 667 gigabytes worth of space for games on the system, which fills up very quickly with large game files. All told, getting a new console on release day is exciting but by no means necessary. Historically, a new console generation doesn’t truly start coming into its own and separating itself from the previous generation until at least two years after its initial release.

While the PS5 is well worth the investment, for those on the fence or with tighter funds, waiting is a viable option.