By Drew Page
Late 2020, the newest Sony-brand console, the PlayStation 5, was released. Early feedback was positive, but many complained about actually getting their hands on the product; with so few copies released, and highly increasing (perhaps intentionally) their demand.
Many think that this swayed reviewers, excited to have in their possession something that little others did. But did it? By some miracle, I too have the newest console in the PlayStation’s lineage, for lack of a better term, and what are my thoughts?
Right off the bat, the UI has been changed to be far more comfortable and effortless to use, which I find fantastic. A hand bar shows up at the bottom of the screen when you tap the home button, which allows you to swap between games instantaneously, play music in the background, and change your settings super fast. Loading times are also greatly improved, although the “no more loading screens” that was boasted throughout the marketing, really only applies to PS5 exclusives, or ports / remasters exclusive to the console. Therefore, PS4 games and PlayStation Now titles (PlayStation Now being a subscription service to stream and download older games in the PS1, 2, and 3’s library) still have standard loading times and speeds. The same goes for the graphics. However, the games that ARE improved by the PS5, truly do look incredible, and have a noticeable (if not monumental) difference.
The controller is a massive highlight of this console. It feels so effortless, and it melts in your hands whenever you use it. You almost forget you’re holding a controller, it’s so perfect. This may be one of the best video game controllers ever (which is a very bold statement, knowing the vast library of controllers in the past). And the adaptive triggers and HD, hyper-sensitive rumble aren’t even noticeable at first, which sounds like a negative, but the closer you examine is a HUGE positive. You want the rumble and triggers to immerse you, and keep you in that world, not become overbearing and noticeable. Not to mention, when you really pay attention to them, are quite advanced and far better than others have given them credit for online.
Judging a console by exclusives, despite what some may say, is a very healthy and almost necessary practice. Making a company work harder on their exclusives to compete with other consoles and companies causes competition, and with the competition causes beefiery, better games, and overall better the consumers come out. And I must say, with one Sackboy-ridden exception, the exclusives for the PS5 are really fantastic. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered are fantastic, open-world superhero games with great stories, fantastic graphics, addictive gameplay, tons of customization and cosmetics, and hours upon hours of playtime. Demon Souls is a remaster of a PS3 game, and much hasn’t changed, apart from the incredible, almost movie-quality appearance. This is both a blessing and a curse; everything that made the original great is here, and everything that made it…well, busted, notoriously difficult, tedious, and frustrating is here.
The PS5, in almost every sense, is a massive improvement to the older hardware in every way, with improved hardware and specs, an incredibly immersive and comfortable controller, and a sleek (but unchangeable) look.