Specifications for the PlayStation 5
- Pricing: $499 (regular), $399 (premium) (Digital Edition)
- CPU: 3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2 GPU: RDNA 2 GPU with a 10.3 teraflop performance
- RAM: 16GB of GDDR6 memory
- Storage: A custom 825GB solid-state drive
- Slot for an NVMe M.2 SSD is being added.
- 4K Blu-ray player with a disc drive
- The dimensions are 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches.
- Weight: 9.9 kilograms
The original version of this PS5 review was published on November 11, 2020.
The PlayStation 5 is nowhere (if you can get your hands on one), and it really seems like a quantum leap forward in console gaming. Sony’s latest system, which has incredible graphics technology and the highly inventive DualSense controller, allows for a degree of immersion that was previously impossible on prior console generations. In terms of gaming, the system’s lightning-fast SSD is a game-changer, allowing games to be loaded in seconds and, in some instances, introducing whole new ways to engage with them.
However, as we found in our PS5 review, Sony’s lightning-fast next-generation console is not without its flaws. For individuals with limited room, the system’s incredibly enormous chassis may prove to be a hindrance, since it is very large and unattractive. The new PlayStation 5 interface is gorgeous and responsive, although it still seems a bit barebones at this point in time. Furthermore, with many of the PS5’s most important titles now available on the PS4, the jury is still out on whether or not you should upgrade right immediately.
Despite this, the PS5 already seems like the console of the future, due to its strong backward compatibility, fast interface, stunning game performance, and amazing load times. It’s also difficult to go back.
Review of the PlayStation 5
The PlayStation 5 was released on November 12 in the United States and on November 19 in the United Kingdom and the majority of other countries across the globe. Compared to the regular PS5, which contains a 4K-Blu-ray drive, the PS5 Digital Edition costs $399, which is significant savings provided you don’t mind not having a physical disc.
2.PS5 Graphics Design
The PlayStation 5 has been talked about to death, but it is a really massive piece of technology. Despite its diminutive dimensions, Sony’s console measures 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches, making it larger than almost every game system released in the last decade, including the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. It’s also much larger than its new next-generation competitor, the Xbox Series X, and makes the Xbox Series S seem like a toy for youngsters.
Its enormous chassis enables the PS5 to provide impressive performance while remaining mainly cool and silent (which will be discussed more later), but its sheer size may be a problem for people who have limited space in their living rooms or other entertainment spaces.
If you want to position your PS5 vertically, you will almost certainly need a specialized little table unless you intend to place it on the floor. Even though the PS5 had to be placed horizontally in my entertainment center, it managed to do so with very little difficulty. Therefore, you should take measurements of your available area before installing a PlayStation 5 in your house.
Speaking of orientation, the PlayStation 5 is equipped with a removable stand that enables you to place the huge console either vertically or horizontally on a flat surface. If you want to use the stand in vertical mode, it screws into the bottom of the console (there is a screw included, but no tool for screwing it in), and if you want to use it in horizontal mode, it clamps on to the PS5’s backport area.
Although it would be great if the PS5 came with a tool for unscrewing the base, I had no trouble attaching and removing it with a penny. I discovered that the system is stable in vertical mode when the base is connected, but I noticed that the base was much fussier when the system was in horizontal mode. My first couple of attempts failed because I couldn’t get the top to lie flat and firmly on the base. Eventually, I was able to get the PS5 to remain horizontally positioned in my entertainment center, but the fact that the console slid off the base until it was perfectly aligned causes me some concern.
I’ll probably keep the PS5 in a horizontal position for most of my time with it, just because I’m concerned about accidentally tipping over the ridiculously tall chassis when it’s resting on my table while playing games on it (especially when my hyperactive nephews are over).
Since its unveiling, the PS5’s eye-catching, futuristic design has been the topic of considerable discussion, and I myself have mixed emotions about it even now. With its pointed white side panels and asymmetrical mass added by the Blu-ray drive, I think the console appears like an ugly, enormous cable modem when seen from above, especially when viewed vertically.
However, I’ve come to like how it appears when positioned horizontally beneath my television when its curves and edges seem to glow more brightly (even if it looks like a miniature Barclays Center). Aside from that, I like the beautiful LED status lights on either side of the interior, which are both sleeker and more prominent than the status lights on the PS4 console. Further personalization is provided via the little, concealed PlayStation controller symbols located inside the inner panels of the case. Whether you like it or not, the PlayStation 5 is a system that has been meticulously designed and that looks, unlike any other platform we’ve seen before.
3.PS5 Ports and Expansion Capability
The PlayStation 5 comes with a pretty typical selection of ports, as well as some nice contemporary conveniences. The USB Type-A connector is high-speed, and there is also a USB Type-C SuperSpeed port on the front panel. A console with a USB-C connection out of the box is a welcome sight, particularly for attaching contemporary peripherals and storage devices to the system in question.
There are two SuperSpeed USB-A connections, an Ethernet connector, an HDMI 2.1 port, and an AC adaptor located on the rear of the device. (For suggestions on TVs supporting HDMI 2.1, see our list of the best gaming TVs.) The optical audio connector from the PS4 has been removed from the PS5, which may be a disappointment for those who own high-end audio equipment that uses optical connections. Some businesses, such as Astro with its Astro A20 headset, are already providing optical-to-HDMI splitters, which is a step forward.
There is a PCIe 4.0 M.2 expansion slot in the PS5 that you can access by opening up the console and adding more storage to the console’s 825GB of built-in SSD storage space. Note that you will need to utilize certain PS5-certified SSDs that satisfy Sony’s bandwidth requirements, such as the Western Digital SN850, in order to complete the installation. These drives will not be supported until a period of time following the game’s release.
Upgrade (August 2020): A beta firmware update for the PlayStation 5 has enabled the expansion slot. We updated the SSD in our PS5 and were quite pleased with the results.
The PS5 may also be used with ordinary external hard drives, but solely for the purpose of transferring digital PS4 games or save data from one system to another.
4.Interface with the PS5
The interface on the PlayStation 5 is a clean, beautiful, and responsive development of the PlayStation 4 software. In contrast, switching between games and browsing menus seems immediate on the PS4, to the point that the PS4 interface has become slow and crowded in comparison. Though the PS5 interface lacks certain elements that I believe should be there, it offers some interesting new methods to pull you back into the game even quicker.
The home screen will be familiar to PS4 users, with a horizontal row of tiles displaying your most recent games and a search bar at the bottom. It is a nice aesthetic touch because when you choose a game, its graphics will take over your whole home screen as the game’s soundtrack plays in the background, which is a beautiful visual effect. I found the Explore page to be particularly useful since it displayed the latest news and updates, as well as the Game Library option, which enabled me to immediately begin downloading my library of PlayStation 4 games. With a single touch of the Create button, you can take movies and photos, as well as broadcast to YouTube or Twitch, just like you could on the PlayStation 4.
I appreciate that the PS5 software is simple and uncluttered in general, but I wish there was a way to organize your games into folders, as there is on the PS4. In addition, although it’s nice to watch the backdrop change depending on whatever game you’re currently playing, I’m shocked there isn’t an option to select personalized backgrounds instead.
Those who have been using the PlayStation 4 for a long time will have to relearn how to use it because a simple tap of the PlayStation button now brings up a control center that allows you to switch between apps, view friends, check notifications, monitor your controller’s battery life, and perform other functions from the bottom of your screen.
Even better, you may personalize the control center so that you have fast access to functions such as network settings, accessibility choices, and broadcast control settings when needed. It’s a significant upgrade over the PS4’s fast menu, which took up a much larger portion of the screen and wasn’t nearly as responsive or configurable.
The PS5 UI comes to life when you start playing a game, which is a welcome change from the previous generation of consoles. A game’s Activities menu is activated by tapping the PlayStation button while it is being played. The Activities menu displays information such as the current progress of your mission, an assortment of trophies that you can pursue, and a list of in-game activities that you can participate in right away.
Instead of having to hunt down a series of side missions and challenges in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I was able to access them directly from the Activities menu, saving me time that I would have otherwise spent swinging around Manhattan in search of them. If you want to go straight into a particular level in Astro’s Playroom without having to deal with any menus, you may do so from the Activities menu in your Game Library, which you can access before you ever start a game.
It’s not only appreciated but downright innovative, for someone like myself who doesn’t always have a lot of free time to go to particular sections of a game at the system level. The Activities menu, although it may seem to be a small concession to some, has the potential to fundamentally alter the way we interact with video games in the future. I’m looking forward to seeing how developers use it in the coming years.
My main beef with the PS5 on a software level is that, unlike the Xbox Series X and S, Sony’s system does not seem to be capable of suspending several games at the same time, which is a major disappointment. For example, whereas on the Xbox One, the Quick Resume function allows you to effortlessly switch between half a dozen games, starting up exactly where you left off in each of them, on the PlayStation 5, you must start each game from the beginning.
What’s even more irritating is that the console doesn’t notify you when your current game will be closed in favor of a new one, which may result in you losing whatever unsaved progress you’ve made.
5.The DualSense controller for the PS5.
The DualSense controller on Sony’s latest console, the PS5, may very well be the most cutting-edge feature of the system. When the haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and built-in speaker all work together, the result is an unprecedented degree of physical immersion that I have never previously experienced while playing a video game.
The DualSense performs particularly well in Astro’s Playroom, a free, pre-installed game that was created expressly to demonstrate the capabilities of Sony’s new controller. In this colorful 3D platformer, you may feel and hear the tiny impact of grains of sand when strolling through a storm, or you can enjoy a smooth gliding feeling while skating over ice, to name a few instances of the sensory experiences you can have. It is possible to create an incredibly precise degree of force feedback from anything, from just tugging on a rope to gliding about in a jetpack. It’s the sort of thing that you have to experience in order to believe.
If you’re already thinking about the DualSense versus DualShock 4 fight, the new controller comes out on top simply because of its sheer level of innovation.
The adaptable triggers are particularly remarkable, since they may grow more difficult to activate depending on what is going on in the game. The resistance provided by the triggers increased significantly while I was controlling my character while wearing a spring-loaded jumpsuit, perfectly simulating the sensation of pressing down on a spring and letting go of the spring. As I discovered when playing Astro’s Playroom, games may even make use of the DualSense’s built-in microphone, as I did when I had to blow on the controller to move an ice platform.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure also makes excellent use of the PlayStation 4 controller, as I discovered while going through thick grass and encountering a surprising feeling of resistance due to some consistent haptic patterns. During cutscenes, I noticed sensations traveling through particular areas of the controller, and I liked the gentle taps that followed Sackboy swinging his feet about while floating in the air. And, in Godfall’s sword-based combat, I saw the triggers tighten up, lending an additional layer of weight to the sensation of slicing through opponents who were subjected to heavy assaults.
My experience with Spider-Man: Miles Morales was enhanced by tiny, but highly nuanced sensations experienced throughout cutscenes. The vibrations were precisely timed to match the distant stomping of Rhino’s boots or the clinking of glasses in the background of the game. I really like the tiny sense of resistance I had while using the triggers to web-swing across Manhattan, as well as the faint buzz of electricity that emanated from the speaker every time I charged up Miles’ Venom attacks, which I found particularly effective.
With the addition of a built-in microphone, Sony’s new controller will enable you to communicate with pals even when you don’t have a gaming headset on hand. Furthermore, it is completely effective in a pinch. I had a lengthy voice conversation with my colleague Marshall, who was also using his DualSense controller, and we were both able to hear each other perfectly via the controller’s built-in speaker without any problems. During a competitive Call of Duty battle, you’ll still want to use a dedicated headset to hear your game and chat audio, but the fact that you can communicate with pals on the PS5 without using a headset is a nice touch.
Even while the DualSense already shows tremendous promise, it is only as excellent as the games that make use of it. Even while games such as Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man, Godfall, and Sackboy make use of Sony’s gamepad in innovative ways, I’m interested to see how many developers make use of the DualSense’s unique capabilities when more PlayStation 5 titles become available.
Aside from its enhanced haptics, the DualSense performs well as a conventional gamepad controller. It’s considerably larger than the DualShock 4 controller, has a more substantial feel, and has a design that seems to take a page from the Xbox Wireless Controller’s ergonomics. When playing more intense action games like Godfall and Devil May Cry 5, the DualSense’s meatier grip feels pleasant to use. However, I wish it were a little bit more compact since I noticed my hands becoming cramped when playing the DualSense.
The good news is that DualSense’s buttons and triggers are very responsive and comfortable to use throughout daily gaming. Because of the smooth D-pad and responsive face buttons on the controller, I had no trouble doing my standard Mortal Kombat 11 combinations. When I was gunning down Rebels in Battlefront II, the thumbsticks and triggers felt quick and precise to my movements. In comparison to the DualShock 4, the touchpad is much larger, and I like that the built-in lightbar extends around the middle rather than being buried at the top, as it was on the DualShock 4.
6.PS5 performance and load times are discussed.
With an 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, 10.3 teraflops of graphics capability, and a phenomenally fast bespoke SSD, the PlayStation 5 is poised to provide some of the greatest performance ever seen from a video game system, according to Sony. And, despite the fact that I’ve only played a handful of games that are intended to make use of the PS5’s capabilities, I’m already pleased with what Sony’s system is capable of producing in terms of realism, framerate, and, most crucially, load times.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but games running on Sony’s new system look really fantastic. The beautiful reds and purples of Spider-Man and his adversaries sprang out the screen in 4K, making Spider-Man: Miles Morales seem more like a high-end PC game than a PlayStation title. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is available now on PlayStation 4. Because of the ray-tracing capabilities provided by the console, Manhattan’s skyscrapers reflected off one another accurately, as did a sequence of lifelike puddles in a bustling Times Square, among other things.
There is a unique Performance mode in the Miles Morales PS5 version of the game, which disables features such as ray tracing and instead utilizes upscaled 4K in order to achieve a better framerate. Choosing this option and zipping around the city at a smooth 60 frames per second while still enjoying stunning graphics gave me the impression of being part of something that just could not be done on previous-generation consoles. Miles Morales on the PlayStation 4 ran with a frame rate of fewer than 30 frames per second, making it very difficult to return to the game.
However, although ray-traced graphics and 60 frames per second performance options are impressive, it is the PS5’s lightning-fast SSD that really distinguishes Sony’s system as next-generation. The delay between choosing the title from your home screen and being out on the streets beating up bad people in Spider-Man: Miles Morales is practically non-existent while playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The PS4 version of the identical procedure took about 20 seconds before I was able to begin playing.
In fact, I was able to go from Astro’s Playroom’s main hub area to any of the game’s many colorful levels without having to wait for a single loading screen to appear. The PS5’s fast SSD also enables you to skip to certain sections of a game through the Activities menu, and future games such as the dimension-hopping Ratchet & Clank: Rift will benefit from the system’s high performance. They’ll do some really innovative stuff with it, despite its outward appearance. We’ll have to wait and see how other games make use of the SSD, but it already seems like one of the most significant advancements in console gaming in quite some time.
While playing The Last of Us: Part II, I saw the most significant reduction in load times for PS4 games I’d ever experienced. The renowned action-adventure game from Naughty Dog launched more than twice as fast on the PlayStation 5 as it did on the PlayStation 4. It also took almost 30 seconds less time to enter into a playable encounter from the main menu. In Star Wars Battlefront II, I observed a similar trend of substantial gains, with the game booting up in approximately 33 seconds on PS5 compared to more than a minute on PlayStation 4.
When testing games like God of War and Mortal Kombat 11, the variations in load speeds were less apparent, but every single game I tested loaded the quickest on the PlayStation 5 system.
7.PS5 backward compatibility is available
The PS5 is backward compatible with almost all PS4 titles, which represents a significant improvement over Sony’s total lack of backward compatibility with its previous generation console. The Last of Us: Part II, God of War, Mortal Kombat 11, Tetris Effect, and Resident Evil 2 were among the PS4 titles I tried on the PS5, and nearly all of them loaded and ran quicker on the new console than they did on my original PS4. All of my PS4 games, both digital and disc-based, played flawlessly on my PS5, and my physical movies played flawlessly on the system’s 4K Blu-ray drive.
You may make use of any PS4 Pro improvements that a game provides, which means that titles with better resolution or frame rate options will benefit the most from Sony’s new system. If you’re coming from a launch-generation PS4, the opportunity to finally appreciate God of War’s high-frame-rate mode or play Tetris Effect in 4K seemed nearly worth the price of admission in and of itself (and the aforementioned load time reductions definitely don’t hurt, either.)
The PS5 is intended to be compatible with the vast majority of first-party and legally licensed PS4 peripherals, and I had no trouble transferring my old last-gen gear over to the new system. Connecting my DualShock 4 to the PS5 was as easy as putting it into the console’s USB port, and my current headphones functioned well with the DualSense’s 3.5 mm audio line, which was pleasant surprise.
As I pounded buttons in Mortal Kombat, I was able to use third-party wired controllers such as my Hori Fightpad and Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick without any issues. Just keep in mind that the DualShock 4 is only compatible with backward-compatible PS4 games, so you won’t be able to use it with games that are only compatible with the PlayStation 5.
8.The PlayStation 5 game lineup
The launch roster for the PlayStation 5 is off to a strong start. The major launch title for the system is Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a beautiful and entertaining sequel to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man that has ray-traced visuals and an optional 60 frames per second performance level, among other features.
However, Astro’s Playroom, the free pack-in game that showcases the DualSense controller, maybe even better. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a basic but delightful 3D platformer with plenty of character customization, but Astro’s Playroom maybe even better. Since the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2007, no system has debuted with a noteworthy game pre-installed, and Sony’s latest platformer is brimming with interesting treasures and easter eggs for die-hard PlayStation fans.
In contrast, if you want more adult action, Godfall is a fun and gorgeous action RPG that seems like a cross between the heavy combat of God of War 2018 and the complex treasure system of Destiny. Looking for something a little more stylish? Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is an upgraded edition of the critically acclaimed 2019 slash-em-up that includes ray-tracing and 120 frames-per-second performance settings.
Demon’s Souls, a graphically beautiful recreation of the critically acclaimed 2009 action/RPG of the same name, is one of the PS5’s most significant genuine launch exclusives. We’ve just recently begun testing Bluepoint’s fresh take on the cult classic, so stay tuned for additional first impressions and information.
The issue is that many of these titles may be played without a PlayStation 5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are also available on the PlayStation 4, as are many of the major third-party titles that were released at the time of the console’s release.
Games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, The Pathless, Dirt 5, and NBA 2K21 are among those being released this year. All of these titles will be accessible on the PS4, but you’ll need a PS5 in order to take advantage of features such as full 4K gaming and frame rate choices at 60 frames per second. Furthermore, Fortnite was PS5-optimized at launch, and titles like Madden NFL 21 and Watch Dogs Legion will provide free PS5 upgrades to those who already possess the respective PS4 versions of the respective games.
According to expectations, big PS5 exclusives such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West (the latter of which will have a PS4 version) will begin to arrive in 2021 and beyond.
While you do not need to have a PS5 in order to play some of the most anticipated new titles from Sony and third-party developers, you will enjoy much improved versions of these games on the new system. And don’t forget that the majority of your PS4 library will be transferred to your new console, along with significant graphic and performance improvements for certain games.
9.Apps for the PlayStation 5
The PlayStation 5 offers access to almost any entertainment app you could ever want, including Disney Plus, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus, which is new to the PlayStation ecosystem. In my testing, all of these applications performed similarly to their PS4 equivalents, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing.
It didn’t matter if I was binge-watching Chappelle’s Show on Netflix or keeping up with wrestling news on YouTube; every app I tried loaded fast and streamed consistently. But, perhaps more significantly, the PS5’s streaming applications are now simpler to reach than they were before, owing to a convenient Media tab that can be accessed by pressing a button on the home screen. That’s a significant improvement over the PS4, which buried all of its streaming applications under a clunky TV & Video menu that took forever to launch.
10.PS5 review: There’s a lot of heat and noise.
During my time with it, the PS5 remained cool and fairly silent, thanks to its huge internal fan and numerous vents around the interior of the chassis. Even when I spent hours exploring Astro’s Playroom or web-slinging criminals in Spider-Man, I was unable to detect any noise emanating from the console. When I was playing Star Wars Battlefront II, I did notice a few brief bursts of audible noise, and I could hear the discs spinning very loudly when I initially inserted the Blu-ray discs into the machine. However, as compared to the jet-engine-like sounds that emanate from my PS4 while it is merely downloading a game, the PS5 is delightfully silent.
11.PlayStation 5 review: 3D audio
In approved titles, the PS5’s Tempest Engine allows the console to provide 3D audio, which allows you to hear game sounds with more directionality than conventional stereo can provide. The 3D audio on the PS5 is intended to operate with the vast majority of current headphones and headsets, but Sony’s new Pulse 3D Wireless Headset is specifically tuned for the technology. Until far, we’ve only used an Astro A20 headset to experiment with 3D audio, and although the results have been mainly modest, they have shown great potential.
When I was in Astro’s Playroom, the PS5’s audio trickery was most noticeable, as I could hear the rain clearly pouring from above me, as well as the sound of a tornado whirling between my left and right ears as it propelled my character higher. Whether I was swinging about in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it was also simple to see where vehicles, aircraft, and adversaries were coming from because of the lighting effect, but I didn’t notice a significant change when the effect was turned on or off.
It will ultimately be up to developers to make the most of the PS5’s 3D audio technology, as it will be with many of the console’s other capabilities. We’re looking forward to trying out additional titles that have 3D audio support, as well as getting our hands on the Pulse 3D headset to enjoy the complete experience.
12.PS5 review: The last word
The PlayStation 5 represents a significant step forward in console gaming, with breathtaking 4K performance, lightning-fast load times, and a genuinely game-changing controller that makes gaming more immersive and tactile than ever before. It supports almost all PS4 games and, in many instances, makes them run and load faster than they ever have previously in their history.
However, there are a few compelling reasons to hold off on purchasing Sony’s latest system – if you can even locate one. The PlayStation 5’s launch roster includes just a few must-have exclusives, while PS4 users may still enjoy big titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which was previously available on the PS4. People with limited room may be concerned about the console’s enormous size, and the DualSense controller itself may be a bit too large for people with tiny hands.
Similar to the majority of console debuts, the PS5 is only going to grow better with time, thanks to additional exclusive titles and features for those who want to hold off on purchasing the system. The $499 Xbox Series X from Microsoft, which provides somewhat greater power and is compatible with four generations of Xbox games, is also a worthwhile consideration. In the meanwhile, if you do manage to get your hands on a PlayStation 5, be assured that you will be treated to a genuine next-gen experience, replete with improved haptics, stunning visuals, and almost no friction between you and the games you want to play.