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PS5: its first 6 months

After half a year in homes around the world, Sony’s new next-gen console has shown its capabilities and, also, its areas for improvement. We review all those characteristics that surround this team.

PS5: what I like the most

Simply put, the PS5 is a very well designed and solidly built product. Despite the difficulties in its production, due to the pandemic, Sony succeeded in launching the replacement for the PS4 on November 12. Once they reach the halfway point of their first year, their best assets are the following:

Power and performance

It took a few months to see what the PS5 is capable of. It is curious that with only a few exclusive titles in its short and fledgling catalog, it has already proven itself worthy of the next-gen label in capital letters. Only in this section, related to its performance, the great generational leap that it supposes from the PS4 Pro, not to mention from the original PS4, is perceived without much effort. With a great difference from its predecessors, the PS5 is a very quiet and powerful console. So powerful as to very stably reproduce titles at 4K dynamic and 60 fps with hardly any mess and without emitting, at least not noticeably for the user, a lot of heat. It seems silly, but it is not so much when we come from a PlayStation family that has generated constant inconveniences in this regard. In other words, the technological advance that this new console represents, in terms of energy efficiency and cooling, is to take your hat off.

That there are two versions

The community of followers of the Japanese brand did not welcome, from the outset, that two PS5 models were announced: one with an optical drive (Blu-Ray) and the other without it. Making a console depend only on its Internet connection to download titles in digital format was, for a few years, Microsoft’s own strategy with its Xbox One. However, after this time, it has been shown that the existence of these two Models are mainly due to the behavior of users when acquiring new video games: digital download grows unstoppable year after year. So why force those buyers to pay for an expensive player that they won’t use? The fear of the community, in reality, is not that there are two versions as such, but because of the great threat that this implies for the survival of the physical format. However, sales have once again shown that the decision to create two models, whose only difference lies in their optical drive, has been a success to suit all tastes and pockets.

High speed SSD

Announced as one of its star features, time has proved Sony right in this section. Using a fast SSD has a direct, very positive impact on the overall user experience. Accustomed to tedious loading screens between phases or dead times when starting a game, the SSD has eliminated at a stroke those extra minutes that, together, dragged video games when executing their code in previous generations. Gone are those moments of consulting the mobile or even reading the tips that appeared on the screen while the title loaded. Sometimes it even goes too fast …

Dual Sense remote

As much as they talk to you about it, until you have the controller of the PS5 in your hand, you will not understand well the small revolution that it represents. In addition to its great change in design, making it much more ergonomic, its haptic vibration by zones – with very specific and localized patterns – greatly accompanies the user in their general immersion. This, along with the music from the video game, the Dual Sense’s own speaker and adaptive triggers, complete a full-blown generational shift. When you try it, you no longer want to go back to the DualShock 4.

One or two Dual Sense controllers? A question that every PS5 owner has asked himself during these months. Apart from the classic recommendation of having two to enjoy cooperative or competitive social titles with another person, the use of these new technologies in the Dual Sense is so intense that, even for a single player, it is practically necessary to have an extra second controller that is charged for when the one you are using runs out. It is for this reason that the autonomy of the new PS5 controller may be somewhat short, depending on the title you are playing.

3D sound

Along with the television, one of the keys to enjoying with guarantees all the multimedia proposal that the PS5 brings. Sound, once relegated to an additional complement to what was happening on the screen, finally has a special role in the new console. Whether with Sony’s Pulse 3D headphones, designed in the style of the PS5, or with other decent headphones, feeling the wraparound effect of the Tempest Engine is yet another intergenerational boost that only Sony has set out to deliver. There are many benefits, when playing games, of being able to locate the origin of a sound source in a dimensional space generated in the headphones.

Interface: design and new functionalities

We told you in its day and we repeat it: renewing the interface of the console helps to have the feeling of being in another generation. After months of use, we not only ratify this premise, but we assure you that this renewal has brought new and appreciated features, such as the Activity Cards or the Game Help, with small visual guides to help the player face certain challenges.

Video Game Catalog

Let’s not forget that the pandemic is not only affecting PS5 production but also video game development. Even so, the new console has had a -although discreet- good start with exclusive titles such as Demon’s Souls, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Astro’s Playroom, Sackboy: An Adventure in Large or Destruction All Stars. To this list we must add the newcomers Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: A Dimension Apart, which we will talk to you about in these same pages in more detail due to their importance. A catalog that, in itself, improves on that of the first six months of PS4 during 2014. And that is not the end of the year.

PS4 compatibility

A powerful reason to upgrade to the PS5 if your video game collection is mainly made up of titles from the previous generation. Recall that Sony has not implemented this highly requested backward compatibility in any of the previous models of the PlayStation family. Therefore, this is, in its own right, one of the best-received novelties of the entire PS5 offering.

Peripherals

Having good headphones -like the official Pulse 3D-, a pair of Dual Sense controllers and a charging base, is part of a good setup to take full advantage of the benefits of this new console. At least initially. Recall that Sony has announced that it is working on the new virtual reality headset, PlayStation VR 2,
that, according to what has transpired,
Looks very good.

PS Plus, PS Now and Play At Home

The loyalty programs that have come with the PS5 have helped reinforce Sony’s offering under its PS Plus service. That, and the decision to allow different free-to-play titles to be played for free or to have a virtual paid library in constant renewal -PS Now-, have allowed it to take steps forward in its general online proposal. It is also worth noting the significant improvement of the PlayStation servers, relative to upload / download speeds, since the PS5 was released.

PS5: what I like least … for now

Not everything related to the PS5 is without improvements; quite the opposite. But if we have learned something in each launch of a new console, regardless of the manufacturer, it is that throughout its first year of life it must receive various updates that either comply with what was promised or fix any bugs that may occur. go giving. We are going to review some of your pending points today.

Lack of stock

Although at the beginning of this report we said that PS5 has sold almost 8 million consoles since its launch, its great challenge right now is to replace, as soon as possible, the shelves of the stores with new units. That is, to allow any potential buyer to get hold of their PS5 without major problems. We imagine that, if there had been no pandemic, the numbers that the sales of this new console would show would be an even higher record. If the lack of semiconductors around the planet is already causing long delays in the production of new technological products, it must be added that, a few weeks ago, PS5 was launched in China, which has forced Sony to derive a good part of the units available to that market. According to Jim Ryan himself, current CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, it will not be until 2022 when a certain normalization is reached in the production of PS5.

Interface and performance errors

The appearance of bugs or random crashes when putting the console in suspend mode, when transferring data from a PS4 to the PS5, ghost icons in the menu when you delete a game, problems with the synchronization of the trophy list, not being able to order games in folders or not being able to use themes, are the sign that the PS5 needs to continue having the usual polish after a launch. However, there are frequent updates that have activated some expected features, such as 120 Hz, or have corrected some inconveniences, such as the noise made by the optical drive when a disc was inserted. Others, such as the electrical noise -or coil whine- or the drift in the Dual Sense remote control, will have to be reviewed by Sony to determine if it is a specific number of units affected or it is much larger.

Price of your games

The great Achilles heel for every PS5 buyer. The new price standard for games on this console, around 80 euros, has received multiple criticisms from the community of PlayStation players.

SSD expansion

Although it may be done in the future, at the moment the internal capacity of the SSD that comes in the console cannot be expanded. It’s just a matter of time. There is a way to add more TB in SSD format to the general storage of the PS5, but partially disassembling the console … Sony itself will sell units for this purpose. And it is that only 1 TB, with what 4K games occupy, it can be very short.

Gadget thinks

We told you, back in November, that you might like the design of the PS5 more or less. However, it is undeniable that the console has its own style. We must admit that, seeing her so often, we have ended up pleasing -and a lot- her provocative curves. But what we like the most, without a doubt, is the ‘piece’ console that it is. We do not want to sound very sonyers, let us the expression, but the PS5 meets all the conditions to feel that we are in a new generation: its powerful graphics performance, its silent behavior, the surprising speed that you will never want to do without again. the greater immersion that the Dual Sense controller provides and the 3D sound, its new interface… Half a year later, as gamers, we cannot be happier with what the PS5 is capable of offering – it is not free of faults for now – and we can say with your mouth wide open that his arrival has elevated our gaming experience to levels that we have never enjoyed on a console. If we look at the competition, Xbox Series X | S, we miss features like Quick Resume or the Game Pass service. Something that would look great on the PS5. But that can also end up on the Sony platform.

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