I’ve now owned Sony’s newest console for the better part of a month, so I thought now would be a good time to jot down my thoughts about the console itself. Is it worth pursuing still, even with record levels of supply shortage?
Let’s start with what I’ve been messing around with. I bought a launch copy of Spiderman: Miles Morales as my first Playstation 5 game, as I’m sure many did. The launch titles for this generation have been very thin–and I wasn’t particularly interested in Demon’s Souls. I also snagged some accessories; somehow I ended up with 3 DualSense controllers (one with the console, an additional two because I was paranoid about launch shortages) and just today, after long amounts of searching, I found a Media Remote (I’ll get into why in a little bit).
Booting up games with the Playstation 5 has admittedly been a delight. Things load super quick, even Playstation 4 games which I am running off an external HD now. The very first game I played was actually not Miles Morales but Astro’s Playroom. One, it was already installed and two, I wanted to give the DualSense a run for its money.
Playing Playroom was actually interesting, you got to experience just everything you could from the controller right out the gate. While I enjoyed the Haptic feedback, I won’t say it was mindblowing as I’ve read in some other pieces. Seriously, they explain it as if it’s the world’s best thing, and that you tell all of these subtle nuances while going over different surfaces. You can, but the haptics to me were far more subtle than using the new adaptive triggers.
Having triggers fight me when using them to launch my player as if he was on a spring was frankly, a new sensation that I hadn’t encountered before. It’s much more apparent if you’re in a shooting game (Watch Dogs: Legion surprisingly features an update that takes advantage of the triggers–and the built in speaker!). You can really feel the pulse of popping the trigger on a gun which is fun.
Swinging around in New York City with these adaptive triggers in Miles Morales was fun too, but I did start to worry if this was going to cause finger fatigue at all–you’re having to apply much more pressure when doing different actions. I haven’t been bothered by it too much but it was a bit worrisome.
Graphically speaking, I will say that Miles Morales and Spiderman Remastered really stood out as impressive. Not as impressive? Watch Dogs: Legion, which looked “okay” and not really next-gen. In fact it looked like a slightly upgraded version of Watch Dogs 2 and I experienced just some weird texture pop-ins which wasn’t fun.
Taking the new toy for a spin
So how does the Playstation 5 itself, you know, perform?
Not necessarily smooth sailing. The UI has a few quirks that need to be worked out (like why on earth would I want the PS4 version of a game instead of the PS5 version?) and for some reason if a game has bonus content, you have to “switch” to the main game for it to default to that in your library. You can’t just select the main game vs bonus content.
There was also a few things that made me seriously paranoid when first using the console in Rest Mode. Apparently Spiderman Remastered had a glitch where you couldn’t put the console in rest mode as it would corrupt the storage and force you to Factory Reset the console. Think that’s a myth? During the very first playthrough I had with Miles Morales was during Extra Life, and picking up a record while trying to read a newspaper caused a show-stopping force close of the game. This isn’t the only time it’s happened–near the end of the game after loading into a new scene the game just closed on its own. All of that is to say for the most part I didn’t use Rest Mode at all and force closed out games when I was finished with them.
These are things that will be ironed out over time with a bug fix here and a patch there; it’s the price you pay for being an early adopter.
The console itself has ran pretty quiet for the most part when running games. It’s thankfully cool and quiet in that regard, but the disc drive…the disc drive has me a bit concerned.
It runs fairly loud when loading a game for the first time and quiets down, which isn’t an issue. What is an issue is the fact that it will spin up randomly during gameplay which can be a bit distracting. I ran a 4K Blu Ray Disc for the first time the other night to see if it would be a problem during movies, and it seems to quiet down just fine during that, but I also haven’t ran it for more then a few minutes so only time will tell. Sony–if you happen to read this please patch this!
Time will tell. I’m happy that I was able to snag one pretty much on release date–I know how lucky I was in that regard, but I also know it will probably be another full year (or more, with COVID causing developers hell when making these games) before the true muscle gets flexed in terms of power in games. In the meantime, I will test more and more and let you know in the coming months just how well the new machine is faring.