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As we found out in our PS5 Free Review, Sony’s next-generation system is not without its problems. Its massive chassis can be quite inelegant and could prove to be an issue for people with limited space. Although the new PS5 interface looks great and is fast, it feels a bit barebones. The verdict on whether you should upgrade to PS5 is still out.
Editor’s note: This PS5 review was published originally on November 11, 2020.
- PS5 stock update:
- PS5 vs Xbox Series X – Which console should you purchase?
- Take a look at the top PS5 games and buy them now
The PS5 is already the future console gaming thanks to its strong backwards compatibility and snappy interface. It’s difficult to go back.
Official Website: Get A Free PS5 For Limited Time (Click Here) WorldWide
PS5 Review: Where to Free
The PS5 was launched in the U.S. on November 12, and arrived in the U.K. on November 19. If you’re willing to go discless, the standard PS5 costs $499.
It is worth noting that the PS5 has been very difficult to purchase. Stock has been moving quickly in retail stock, so bookmark our PS5 Restock guide. Also, check out the links to retailers below.
The PS5 is an enormous piece of hardware that has been talked about countless times. The console measures 15.4 inches by 10.2 inches by 4.1 inches and dwarfs any other gaming system released in the last decade, such as the PS4 Slim or the PS4 Pro. It is also much larger than the Xbox Series X’s next-generation rival and makes the Xbox Series S seem like a child’s toy.
The PS5’s massive chassis is capable of delivering serious performance while remaining quiet and cool (which we’ll discuss later). However, the size of the new PlayStation could pose a problem for people with smaller entertainment areas.
If you intend to place your PS5 vertically, you will need a small table. The PS5 fit in my entertainment center in horizontal orientation. But it was barely. Before you install a PS5 in your home, measure the space available.
The PS5 comes with a stand that can be detached and positioned horizontally or vertically. In vertical mode, the stand screws into the console’s bottom (the PS5 comes with a screw but no tools), while in horizontal mode it clamps onto the PS5’s rear port.
Update (8/21) – A slightly redesign of the PS5 model has gone on sale in some markets. It features a stand with a screw and a 300g weight reduction. According to one tester, the lighter PS5 is due to a smaller heat sink which has led to higher operating temperatures.
Although a tool would be helpful on the PS5 Free, I was able to remove the base using a coin. It holds up well in vertical orientation with the base attached. However, I found that the base was more finicky when it is horizontally oriented. It took me several tries to get the PS5 to lie flat on the base. Although I finally got the PS5 horizontally to rest in my entertainment center, the fact that it would slide off the base quite easily if it wasn’t positioned correctly gave me cause for concern.
I will likely keep the PS5 horizontally oriented for the majority of my time with it. This is because I am afraid that it might tip over while sitting on my table.
Since its unveiling, the PS5’s futuristic, eye-catching design has been the topic of much discussion. I still have mixed feelings about it. The console is too large for its purpose, and looks ugly when it’s viewed vertically. This is due to the Blu-ray drive’s asymmetrical bulk and the white side panels.
It’s a great way to look at the interior, even if it does look like a Barclays Center miniature. The attractive LED status lights that are located on either side of the interior are both more prominent and sleeker than the PS4’s. The hidden PlayStation Controller icons in the inner panels add a nice touch. The PS5 is an amazing console that looks like no other.
PS5 Review: Ports and expansion
The PS5 Free comes with a standard set of ports and some modern conveniences. There’s a Hi Speed USB Type A port on the front and a USB Type C SuperSpeed port on the back. It is nice to finally see a console with USB-C connectivity, especially for modern accessories and storage drives.
You’ll find two SuperSpeed USB A ports, an Ethernet Jack, and an AC adapter in the back. For recommendations on TVs with HDMI 2.0, see the best gaming televisions. For those with high-end audio equipment with optical connections, the PS5’s optical audio port has been removed. However, there are companies that offer optical-to HDMI splitters such as Astro’s Astro 20 headset.
You can expand the 825GB SSD storage on your PS5 by opening the console. You will need to use only PS5-certified SSDs that comply with Sony’s bandwidth requirements. For example, the Western Digital SSN850. These drives will not be supported until at least one month after launch.
A PS5 beta firmware update has unlocked the expansion slot. We upgraded the SSD of our PS5 and got some great results.
You can also use standard external hard drives with the PS5, but not for saving your digital PS4 games and save files.
- Top PS5 External Hard Drives
Interface review – Page 5
The PS5 interface is an improved version of the PS4’s intuitive and clean PS4 software. The PS5 interface is instantaneous and allows you to jump in and out of games as well as navigate menus. This makes the PS4’s menu feel slow and cluttered. While there are some things I would like to see in the PS5 Free interface it offers some new and exciting ways to get to what your playing even quicker.
PS4 owners will recognize the home screen, which features a row of tiles that displays your most recent games. The art of a particular game will be highlighted on the home screen. In the background, the music and sound effects will play. You can also find news and updates on the Explore tab. I was able to immediately download my PS4 games from the Game Library tab. Similar to the PS4, the PS5 allows you to capture videos and screen shots, stream to YouTube or Twitch with just a tap of the Create button.
Although I love the overall design of PS5’s software, I wish it had an option to organize your games into folders like on PS4. It’s great to see the background change to match whatever game you’ve highlighted. However, I am surprised that there isn’t an option to create custom wallpapers.
The PS4’s long-standing users will need to shake off some muscle memory. A tap on the PlayStation button brings up a control centre that allows you to switch apps, view friends, check notifications, and monitor the battery life of your controller.
You can even customize the control center so you have quick access to network settings, accessibility options, and broadcast controls. This is a significant improvement over the PS4’s quick menu which took up much of the screen and was not as customizable or snappy.
The PS5 Free interface is very intuitive and easy to use. However, the best part about it is when you begin playing a game. When you are playing a PS5 video game, tap the PlayStation button to bring up the Activities menu. This displays information like the current status of your mission, the set of trophies that you can pursue, and a list with in-game activities you can get into.
It was easy to jump into side missions and challenges from the Activities menu of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which saved me time that I would have spent walking around Manhattan. The Activities menu can be accessed from your Game Library, so I could jump straight into Astro’s Playroom without needing to go through any menus.
It’s a great feature to be able to jump to specific parts of a game at the system level. Although it may seem like an insignificant concession, the Activities menu could change the way we play games. I am eager to see how developers use it over the next few years.
The biggest problem with the PS5 software-wise is the inability to suspend multiple titles simultaneously, unlike the Xbox Series X/S. The Quick Resume feature on Xbox lets you jump seamlessly between half-a dozen games and pick up exactly where you left off, but the PS5 requires that you start each game from scratch.
The console does not warn you when an existing game will close to make way for a newer one. This could cause you to lose any progress you have saved. Although the PS5 Free loading times are fast enough that Quick Resume is not an issue, it is a problem that Sony’s console does not have a solution to one of Series X’s most useful features.
DualSense controller review: 5
The PS5 DualSense controller is the next-generation thing about Sony’s new console. The gamepad’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers work in perfect harmony, creating an unparalleled level of tactile immersion that I have never experienced while playing games.
Astro’s Playroom is a great example of the DualSense’s capabilities. This free title was created to show off Sony’s new controller. This colorful 3D platformer lets you feel the subtle impact of grains in the sand as you walk through a storm. Or, you can glide smoothly over ice with a smooth glide sensation. You can feel the force feedback from everything, including pulling on a rope and gliding in a jetpack. This is the type of feeling you need to truly believe in.
The new controller is the best for pure innovation, if you are already thinking about the DualSense vs DualShock4 battle.
These adaptive triggers are particularly impressive because they can be difficult to activate depending on what’s going on in-game. The triggers were more resistant when I was wearing a spring-loaded jumpsuit. This replicated the sensation of pressing down on a spring to release it. The DualSense has a microphone built in, so you can use it to play games. I used the DualSense to move an ice platform in Astro’s Playroom.
Sackboy: Big Adventure makes great use of Sony’s controller. I felt a sudden resistance while walking through tall grass due to steady haptic patterns. I felt vibrations move through certain parts of the controller during cutscenes and loved the soft taps that Sackboy used to flail his feet while floating in the air. In Godfall’s sword-based combat, I felt the triggers tighten up to increase the weight of the sensation of slicing down heavy attackers.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a game that I enjoyed feeling subtle but very nuanced vibrations in cutscenes. The controller could perfectly match the clinking glasses or distant stomps from Rhino’s feet, providing tactile feedback. The slight resistance I felt when I used the triggers to web-swing Manhattan, and the gentle buzz of electricity that came out of my speaker each time I charged Miles’ Venom attacks, was also something I appreciated.
The new Sony controller comes with a microphone built in, so you can chat with your friends even if you don’t have a headset. It works great in pinches. Marshall, my colleague on DualSense, was also using it. We were able to communicate with each other through the controller’s speaker. While you will still need a headset to hear your Call of Duty game and chat audio, it’s nice that the controller can be used to talk with friends via PS5 Free without requiring a headset.
Although the DualSense has incredible potential, it is only as good and as useful as the games that use it. Although games such as Astro’s Playroom and Spider-Man do great things with Sony’s Gamepad, I am curious to see how many developers take advantage of the DualSense’s unique features when more PS5 games are released.
The DualSense performs well as a standard controller, despite its advanced haptics. The DualSense controller is significantly larger than the DualShock 4 and has a heavier feel. It also seems to be more ergonomically designed than the Xbox Wireless Controller. The DualSense’s thicker grip is satisfying to hold. However, my hands felt cramped while playing intense action games such as Godfall or Devil May Cry 5.
Good news: The DualSense’s triggers and buttons feel great in everyday gaming. The controller’s D-pad is very responsive and the buttons on my face are snappy, so I was able to do all of my Mortal Kombat 11 combos. When I shot down Rebels in Battlefront II, the triggers and thumbsticks felt responsive and precise. I prefer the larger touchpad this time, and that the lightbar wraps around it instead of being hidden at its top like on the DualShock 4.
- The Best PlayStation Now Games
PS5 Review: Performance and loading times
The PS5 Free boasts a powerful 8 core AMD Zen 2 processor, 10.3 Teraflops of graphics power, and an insanely fast custom SSD. It promises the best gaming console performance ever. Although I have only tried a few titles that use the PS5’s power and I am still impressed with what Sony’s console can do in terms of framerate, fidelity, and most importantly, load times.
It shouldn’t surprise you that games run beautifully on the new Sony PlayStation 3. Spider-Man Miles Morales was more like a high-end PC title than a PlayStation Free game. I marveled at the stunning reds and purples that Spider-Man and his adversaries displayed on the 4K screen. The console’s ray tracing support allowed Manhattan’s skyscrapers to reflect off each other realistically. A series of lifelike puddles also appeared in busy Times Square.
Miles Morales’ PS5 version has a special Performance Mode that disables effects like ray tracing, and uses upscaled 4K to increase framerate. This mode allowed me to zip through the city at 60 frames per second, while still enjoying stunning visuals. It was something I couldn’t do on my previous-generation consoles. It was difficult to return to Miles Morales’ PS4 version, which frequently chugged below 30 frames per second.
While 60 frames per second performance modes and ray-traced visuals are wonderful, the PS5’s super fast SSD is what makes this console feel next-gen. There’s virtually no downtime between loading a game such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and getting out on the streets, fighting bad guys. It took me around 20 seconds to start the PS4 version.
Astro’s Playroom was just as fast. I was able jump from the main area of the game to its vibrant levels in a matter of seconds. You can also skip to specific sections of a game using the Activities menu. Future titles like the dimension-hopping Ratchet & Clank look that they’ll do some really innovative things with the SSD on the PS5. While we will have to wait and see what other titles make use of the SSD, it feels like the most significant leap forward in console gaming for quite some time.