The launch of a new console always comes with ups and downs. The physical presentation may be great but it might have clunky menus, or it could have lightning-quick load times but sound like a passing train.
Several of our staff have now spent more than a week with the PlayStation 5 and have put together a list of things that they both really love about the newest member of Sony’s console family and also a few areas where the PS5 could use improvements.
Check out the video above, click through the gallery below, or scroll down for the full list!
What Works and What Doesn’t About the PS5
These are some of the best aspects of the PS5 console.
The PlayStation 5 is lightning fast. I expected it to be, but its speed surpassed even my high expectations. The loading speed for Spider-Man Miles Morales for instance from the main menu into the actual game itself is less than three seconds. That is absolutely insane, considering how big and dense with detail Miles Morales’s open world actually is. Nothing has made me feel like I’m now living in a new console generation like these load times.
– Mitchell Saltzman, Editorial Producer
PS5 games are certainly looking prettier than what I played on PS4, but I don’t know if I’ve ever appreciated a system for how quickly I can get into a game as the PS5. From being completely shut off to jumping into the world of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales took less than a minute or so, and it’s even faster when the system’s in rest mode naturally.
– Jonathon Dornbush, Senior Editor
64 PlayStation Game Easter Eggs in Astro’s Playroom
Trophies! The Trophies system, which recently underwent a math change, is now a breeze to load up and compare with other people’s progress. It’s also accessible from various places, both on a specific game basis and in an overall total, and Activities Cards can help you know your progress on Trophies for a game you’re in the midst of. And even better yet, at least so far, the trophy snapshot feature works much better. The PS5 took both screenshots and video clips for specific trophies, meaning at least with my launch lineup I’ve seen significantly less Trophy-unlock notifications set against a black transition screen.
– Jonathon Dornbush
THE UI Experience
As far as UI, the control center and capture menu are overlaid is a way that feels helpful and unobtrusive. It keeps the focus on gaming while supporting other features that may be going on in the background such as notifications and parties.
– Janet Garcia, Associate Editor
I had always felt like the DualSense Controller’s haptic feedback and vibration sounded a little too gimmicky, but I really was surprised at all the nuance and interesting feedback I was getting while playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Swinging from a web, I could actually feel tension pulling down the trigger. The second Miles jumped away from his webs – the tension would ease up immediately. It hit the very narrow mark of being cool to notice while playing, but never to the point of being annoyingly obvious or overstaying its welcome.
– Brendan Graeber, Editor
I know it’s been said over and over, but the nuanced feedback on the DualSense is a game-changer for me. It’s a small thing, but feeling the raindrops fall on Astro-bot’s umbrella through my hands was just…revolutionary. I only hope it doesn’t become a forgotten gimmick, and developers make full use of it moving forward.
– Lucy O’Brien, Executive Editor
The DualSense and sound design. While the DualSense itself has been heavily marketed as having nuanced vibration and adaptive triggers, the innovations in sound design and use of the controller’s speaker are what carry the immersive experience. Similar to VR, when combined the DualSense’s vibrations and generally smart sound design choices create the feeling of skating across ice or walking on a lilypad and as a result, I can’t wait to see what sound designers do with the PS5.
– Janet Garcia
While it’s definitely a solid console, there are always improvements that can be made.
Presentation / Size
It’s just so dang big. The PlayStation 5 towers over everything else in my entertainment center and is a constant distraction. On a list of potential problems for a new console to have, this definitely ranks pretty low, but it’s still something that I hope gets addressed in future versions.
– Mitchell Saltzman
The power button and disc eject button are still side by side and, despite being slightly different sizes, they’re still similar enough to mix up. This was also a problem on the PS4 and I’m sad to see it continue. Granted those who opted for the Discless version will be unaffected by this issue.
– Janet Garcia
PS5 Console First Look, Size Comparison
I’m not exactly sold on the PS5’s “card” system: the row of little activity boxes that show up when you press the PS button during a game. It can be a bit of information overload – and some of it feels redundant in that you can usually check much of the info just as fast in the game’s menu, like how many collectibles you’ve found. Other cards seem a bit frivolous: do I really need to know I’m 83% of the way through a given mission? If some cards allow me to teleport directly to a challenge or side quest, why can’t I do that in the actual game? It may just need some iterations, and has plenty of potential, but I feel like it would be nice to be able to customize what does and does not appear in the cards when playing different games.
– Brendan Graeber
I love a lot of the revamp to the PS5’s UI and way of getting from one game to the next. And while that process is quick and snappy, it is a bummer that there is no multiple-game quick resume function like the Xbox Series. The speeds so far haven’t made flipping between games a pain, but knowing I could be booting into several games at various save states is a functionality I’d like to see Sony adopt.
– Jonathon Dornbush
I would have liked more storage off the bat – PS5’s 667gb is frustratingly slight, particularly as I’d have liked to have transferred all of my PS4 games over, not just a chosen few. Although an update will eventually allow additional SSD expandable storage, it’s not going to be at launch, which is a shame considering the size of some of the PS5’s more immediate upcoming games.
– Lucy O’Brien
Where do you stand on the PS5? What’s awesome about it and what needs work? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out our in-depth reviews of both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (and S) and, of course, how they stack up against one another.