I can’t believe it hasn’t even been a week yet. Today will be my 5th day with my new PS5, but it feels like I have had it forever. I’m going to do a review of what it is like to operate and play, I will leave the specs out. The specs have been reported on so much, I feel like I have them all memorised.
Let’s start from the beginning. I left home at about 6:30am and headed into EB Games. I managed to arrive the same time as the store manager did, which worked nicely. We chatted for a bit whilst we waited for the shopping centre to open. When we headed in, it was just the two of us. I kind of thought that without a midnight launch, everyone would be lined up really early the next morning. Turns out, I was the only loser with that idea. He headed inside his store to set up and I patiently waited outside.
By 7:30 I had been joined by another 30 or so people, and the line headed a fair bit back. It was a socially distanced line, which made me happy. The manager had my order ready on the counter and since I had already paid, he told me to head inside. It was all bagged up and waiting for me. I was in and out in about 30 seconds. I buckled it up in the front seat and made the journey home, the excitement building all the while. It was finally time for the unboxing!
The first thing I noticed was how big and heavy the box was. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering how many reports on the size of the console there were, but it was heavier than I thought. I was prepared for the size and weight of it, so I was expecting it to not fit on my entertainment unit. I wasn’t disappointed! Luckily, I had already set up a little table next to the TV for the 5. At first, it looked like a mammoth, but I’ve since grown used to it.
Speaking of looks, I love the design of it. I know it has copped a fair bit of criticism, but I love it. I’ve always been a fan of white consoles, they just have a way of standing out. When the console is operating, the lights are very subtle but serve the appearance well. Finally, I love the fact that the console is covered in tiny symbols that match the controller buttons. They are so small that you can barely notice it, it feels pointless to do it. It is so cool though.
You cannot deny that it just stands out. It’s tall, it has a popped collar thing going on and it is an interesting shape. It has a sleek looking base that you need to attach, regardless of if you are standing it vertically or laying it down horizontally. I would advise vertically, it just looks nicer. I feel like it was designed with verticality in mind. It looks crooked and out of place when it is horizontal. This is the first time I’ve had a console that I’ve placed vertically.
I don’t know about you guys, but my PS4 Pro always sounded like it was about to take flight and exit the atmosphere. Obviously, it was something that got worse as the console aged, but even from the start it was pretty noisy. Even headphones didn’t block out. With that in mind, one of the first things I noticed was the sound of silence. Absolute silence. I’ve heard it whir once or twice when it is booting something up, but it is never more than a few seconds before we go back to that glorious silence. I played it heaps yesterday and didn’t hear a thing. By the end of the day, it was still completely cool to touch. It is safe to say that the fans are doing their jobs well. This could change as the console ages, but only time will tell on that.
The User Interface
If I had to use a word, I would be tempted to say perfect. It is a pretty major overhaul. The main menu has been divided into 2 categories : games and media. It is pretty easy to switch between the two and barely takes any time. I mean that literally. I’d be lying if I said I’d figured out everything, but it all seems simple enough to get the hang of.
The most notable chance is the ‘dynamic home screen’. Pressing the home button will bring you to what is known as the ‘Control Centre’. It will overlay whatever is on the screen and give you a variety of quick select options. Creating a party, putting on some music, checking out your trophies etc etc. You can customise what appears on your Control Centre, but I haven’t changed any of it yet. It will be pretty handy for streamers, I think.
Gosh darn, it is fast. I mean really fast. Everything. It is quick to boot up. The games are quick to load. Everything on the user interface is fast and seamless. There isn’t much else to say on the topic. It’s fast. I’ve counted a few times when I’ve hit a loading screen in Bugsnax. I’m yet to make it to 4 seconds. Spider-Man is astonishingly fast, especially by comparison to the PS4 version. Just wow.
It is a little bit bigger and heavier than the PS4 controller, but that isn’t a bad thing. It is comfortable to hold and I haven’t noticed any pain or cramping when I use it. Considering I have a medical history of joint pains and cramps, it’s nice for it to be comfortable.
It is a very similar design to the 4, but has made a tonne of subtle improvements. Playing ‘Astro’s Playroom’ is a good way to highlight all of these. I will do a review of that soonish and go into more detail, but for now I will just do a quick summary.
The adaptive triggers have the potential to be a really cool feature and can offer a surprising amount of resistance. The vibration in the controller is astonishing. You can literally feel it move all around your hands and it can focus in on one spot or everything. It has added a microphone which seems to work fairly well. It has a speaker which is still a cool feature.
Honestly though, it just depends on game developers for how well this all works in the future. It has some interesting potential though.
The future is now! This console is amazing. I’ve always been a Sony fan and have gotten every single PlayStation. The excitement never changes, but it is always amazing to feel the leap in technology. This could be a recency bias, but it feels like this generation has taken the largest leap yet. The load times (or lack thereof) are what really stand out to me. I’m very much in love.
I’ve got a few games on the go currently, I’ll be coming back with reviews of all of them in the next week or two. Did you get a PS5? What is your favourite feature or game?