It almost seems surreal that the PlayStation 5 is finally here. Just last week I unboxed the PS5. Now, after spending over a week with the PlayStation 5, I’m here to share my thoughts and impressions on Sony’s next-generation console.
The PlayStation 5 is a massive leap over the PlayStation 4. The PS5 comes equipped with an ultra-high-speed SSD, a custom AMD CPU & GPU with Ray Tracing and has a custom built engine for 3D audio. Furthermore, one of the highlights of Sony’s next-generation console is the DualSense wireless controller.
What’s included in the PlayStation 5’s box
One of the first things I noticed about the PlayStation 5‘s box is its size. While I wouldn’t say that it is gigantic, it is certainly one of the largest console boxes I’ve encountered. Regardless, it’s not about the size of the box it’s what’s inside.
Upon opening the box, the PS5 and its accessories are contained in one cardboard box with a handle on the top. Opening the top flap reveals a tray that contains a PlayStation 5 quickstart guide, safety guide, power cable, HDMI 2.1 cable, base, the DualSense wireless controller and a USB-C to USB-A cable to charge the controller.
Next, the PlayStation 5 is wrapped in a white foam and secured between cardboard on either end of the console. The packaging is nothing fancy but it gets the job done.
The PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
Having heard so much about the DualSense wireless controller, it was one of the first things I couldn’t wait to try. Initially, the DualSense wireless controller looks similar to that of the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller. Immediately, upon holding it in my hands, I could feel a weight difference between the two controllers. The DualSense wireless controller is heavier and feels more sturdy and durable than the DualShock 4 ever did.
The share button from the DualShock 4 has been replaced with a create button that allows you to take pictures, save or start a recording and stream gameplay online. Additionally, the DualSense wireless controller has adaptive triggers, which allows you to feel tension. For example, in Astro’s Playroom ther is a part in the game where you redeem coins in a claw machine. When pulling the handle on the side of the claw machine there is resistance in one of the triggers that you feel and requires you to push down harder than usual.
Furthermore, the DualSense wireless controller has haptic feedback. The best way to describe haptic feedback is that it allows you to feel the world around you. It’s so much more than just rumble in a controller. Things like walking across sand or skating on ice can accurately be felt with the DualSense wireless controller.
Finally, the controller comes with a built in mic that allows you to chat with friends without a headset or use it in games. For example, in Astro’s Playroom you blow into the mic and it makes pinwheels which in turn move platforms. The DualSense wireless controller is one of the many aspects of what makes PlayStation 5‘s experience truly next-gen.
PlayStation 5 hardware design
The PlayStation 5 is a fairly big console. It measures 10.4cm wide x 39cm high x 26cm deep and weighs 4.5kg. The console can be oriented either horizontally or vertically and depending on the orientation the stand is either attached at the bottom or back of the console. After some rearranging of the shelves in my entertainment center, I positioned the console vertically and ensured that there is plenty of room around it for ventilation.
I have the PlayStation 5 with the UHD Blu-ray drive and most of the weight of the console comes from the area with the drive. The look of the console itself is futuristic with round edges that give it a softer feel to it. For those wondering, the PS5 is whisper quiet when playing games. No more jet engine waiting to take off sounds like we saw with PS4 Pro.
In addition to the power and eject buttons on the front of the console, there is a USB-A port and one USB-C port. After the initial wow of the console’s size, the PS5 looks right at home next to my other consoles—albeit a little bit beefier.
PlayStation 5 specs and storage
When it comes to hardware specs the PlayStation 5 has some pretty advanced technology under the hood that would cost a pretty penny if you were to build a comparable PC. It’s custom AMD CPU and GPU are capable of creating some truly amazing visuals. With Ray Tracing, games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales have unbelievable reflections and shadows that are not possible on previous consoles.
The PlayStation 5 comes with an 825GB SSD that is one of the fastest drives on the market. After formatting, the operating system and Astro’s Playroom there is a little over 660GB on the console. In games like Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man: Miles Morales there are virtually no load times. And, by this I mean maybe a second at most. However, most of the time it’s less than a second. Very impressive indeed!
PlayStation 5 specs
- CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz RDNA 2 GPU (variable frequency)
- Memory interface: 16GB GDDR6
- Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s
- Internal storage: Custom 825GB SSD
- I/O throughput: 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed)
- Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot
- External storage: USB HDD support
- Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive up to 100GB/disc (PlayStation 5)
- Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS, 8K capable
- Video out: HDMI 2.1
- Input/Output: 1x USB Type-A (Hi-Speed USB), USB Type-A (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps), 2x USB Type-C (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps)
- Networking: 10/100/1000 ethernet port, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/axBluetooth 5.1 wireless
PlayStation 5 game impressions
During my review period with PS5, I played Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Bugsnax. As of the writing of this review, I can only talk about Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man: Miles Morales per embargo guidelines. However, I can tell you that all three of the games exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.
Astro’s Playroom utilizes every single feature on the DualSense wireless controller and is more than a tech demo. In addition to platforming and collecting coins, your object is to collect PlayStation artifacts and collectables. Let’s just say, it’s a walk down memory lane.
There are even “cameo” appearances by some of your favourite PlayStation characters such as Snake, Crash Bandicoot, Lara Croft and more. The entire time I was playing the game I had a giant smile on my face. The visuals are bright and colourful and the sound will have you humming right along.
I really can’t say enough good things about Astro’s Playroom. Once you get your hands on the game and the DualSense wireless controller you see exactly what I mean.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
As a big fan of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4, I’ve really been looking forward to Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The game has incredibly fast load times, fast travelling from one area on the map to the next takes less than a second. Transitions between cinematics and gameplay are seamless. The game features the same great gameplay that made Spider-Man one of my favourite games on PS4. And, it makes use of the DualSense wireless controller‘s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
Moreover, the story in the game is totally captivating. When the game starts out, Miles is young, naive and comparable to that of a rookie sidekick. However, by the time the credits roll Miles has proved himself to be his own person and identity.
Visuals in the game are a sight to behold. From the bustling New York City at Christmas time, to the homeless shelter that Miles volunteers at—it’s all very impressive. The game features two graphical modes: Fidelity—4K 30fps with ray tracing and other improvements—and Performance—dynamic 4K 60fps. Either mode is impressive but I played the majority of the game using the Fidelity graphic mode.
PlayStation 5 provides a truly next-generation experience
The PlayStation 5 and DualSense wireless controller are both impressive pieces of technology. At first I was undecided on how I felt about the look of the console itself. Though, the more I looked at it in my entertainment centre the more I like its futuristic design and round curves. The DualSense wireless controller is a game changer! Having only played a handful of games on PS5, the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are awesome! I’m really interested to see how developers use these and other features in the controller in upcoming games.
The PlayStation 5‘s SSD is blazing fast and the load times in the games I played were virtually absent. Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man: Miles Morales load in the blink of an eye. If there is one nitpick I have about the console is the size of it’s hard drive. Out of the box you are left with about 660GB of space. With some games reaching over 100GB in size, it’s going to quickly fill up. If you are looking to expand storage, I highly recommend picking up one of Seagate’s Game Drives. They are relatively inexpensive and you can store PS4 games from it via backwards compatibility. Unfortunately, at this time, you can not store PS5 games on a USB hard drive.
Don’t forget to check out some of my other PS5 articles:
Overall, the PlayStation 5 provides a truly next-gen experience—more so than anything else I’ve played. With several exclusive titles at launch and many other third party titles available, the PS5 is going to be very popular amongst gamers. If you have any questions about the console or controller, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.