PS5 Buyer's Guide: All You Need to Know About Sony's PlayStation 5

  • Beatrice Taylor
  • May 16, 2024
  • 107
PS5 Buyer's Guide: All You Need to Know About Sony's PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5, often abbreviated as PS5, represents Sony's leap into the ninth generation of gaming consoles. Officially launched on November 12, 2020, the PS5 had to meet high expectations set by its predecessor, the immensely popular PlayStation 4, which had sold over 116 million units by July 2021. The iconic PlayStation 2 is the only home console to have surpassed those sales figures. So, does the PS5 have what it takes to capture the hearts of gamers globally the way the PS4 did? Here's an in-depth look at the PlayStation 5.

Quick Overview: What is the PS5?

The PS5 is Sony's next-generation gaming console, formally named the Sony PlayStation 5. The consistent naming scheme follows previous iterations, ensuring no surprises there. The PS5 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, boasting more powerful specifications and a futuristic design. Its primary competitors include Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S. The Nintendo Switch, launched in 2017, is also considered a competitor, although to a lesser extent due to its distinct home-handheld hybrid design and comparatively lower technical specifications.

Upon its release, the PS5 was available in two versions: the standard PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Both models had identical specs, but the Digital Edition lacked a disc drive, limiting it to digitally downloaded games. As of November 2023, Sony replaced these models with the PS5 Slim, which has a smaller footprint and a removable disc reader. You can purchase the PS5 Slim with or without the disc reader, or buy the disc reader separately at a later time.
Much like its predecessors, the PS5 can also function as a media center, supporting various streaming apps. However, it does not support multimedia CDs, so users will need to rely on streaming services like Spotify for their music needs.

Is the PS5 Worth It?

PlayStation 5 photo

Whether you're transitioning from a PS4 or experiencing this new generation of consoles for the first time, the PS5 comes with a significant cost. As more games are released, consoles generally become more valuable, so it's important to consider: is the PS5 a worthwhile investment? With over a year on the market, the answer is a resounding yes. Numerous next-gen titles fully utilize the powerful DualSense controller, and after a global shortage during the pandemic, the console is becoming easier to find. While the improved graphics and faster load times are impressive, they are not revolutionary.

For those without a current console, the PS5 might be a good pick-up. However, it faces strong competition from the Xbox Series X. Unless you’re keen on PlayStation exclusives, Xbox Game Pass offers great value with access to a myriad of first-party games. One area where the Xbox Series X falls short is the controller. Sony's new DualSense controller, with its enhanced ergonomics, adaptive triggers, and haptic feedback, elevates the gaming experience significantly. C. Scott Brown from Android Authority noted that the DualSense has completely transformed his view of console gaming.

Even if you're waiting for a major upcoming title, buying a PS5 now will prepare you for future releases. Although deals on the console are just starting to appear, significant savings are unlikely for some time unless you opt for a refurbished unit.

Expert Opinions on the PS5

In her review for Android Authority, Sarah Chaney praised the PS5, highlighting its upgraded internals and controller as worthy successors to the PS4. The option to select between advanced graphics featuring real-time ray tracing and increased frame rates provides an experience more akin to PC gaming compared to earlier consoles. Sarah also emphasized the PS5's appeal to new console gamers, especially when paired with subscriptions to PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus, which provide a collection of top PS4 games and a new PS5 game each month.

For current PS4 owners, the decision is more nuanced. While improved loading times and enhanced graphics are beneficial, they may not justify an immediate upgrade. Initially, only a few exclusive titles were available for the PS5. However, as of March 2023, the console has seen several high-profile exclusive releases that fully utilize its capabilities, such as Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok.

One consideration before purchasing is the PS5's physical size. Sarah noted that it might be challenging to fit into your entertainment setup unless you have ample vertical or horizontal space. Additionally, the all-white design might clash with black furniture. Solutions to this issue include custom skins from Dbrand and official accessories from Sony.

Reviews from Around the Web

ps 5 logo

Other publications have also weighed in on the PS5. TechRadar’s Nick Pino and Adam Vjestica described it as "a superb console that offers a compelling next-gen gaming experience," praising its graphics, frame rates, and new UI while criticizing its size and limited SSD capacity. Wired’s Jess Grey lauded the 120Hz capabilities, improved battery life, haptics, and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller, though she noted the high cost during a global pandemic. IGN’s Luke Reilly found the console's design flamboyant but was impressed by its potential and the new controller, despite a limited launch lineup and storage.
Michael Andronico from Tom’s Guide called the PS5 "a huge generational leap — even if you don’t need one yet," praising the new controller but noting that it might feel too big for some users. Although he criticized the lack of true next-gen launch titles, he appreciated the increased speeds. Dan Ackerman from Cnet was "extremely impressed with the entire PS5 package," recommending the Digital Edition for its cost savings and reduced mechanical parts.

Reader Sentiment

Before the PS5's launch, readers were highly enthusiastic about getting their hands on the console. In a poll conducted by Android Authority prior to the release, 61.9% of nearly 15,000 voters expressed a preference for the PS5 over other platforms like the Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, or PC.


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