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PS5 review

The PS5 is a sensible evolution of Sony's achievements with its predecessor. It's a wonderfully accessible machine with a forward-thinking plan for the current generation, whether it's through its nuanced SSD technology or 4K-capable graphics performance.


Overall Rating


The hype surrounding Sony's next-gen system is so great that my impressions of the device will always be overshadowed. It's fortunate that Sony's best console to date is the PS5.

After several fake PS5 release dates, a delayed price reveal, alleged brand issues, unofficial pre-orders by opportunistic stores, a Twitter campaign by disgruntled fans, messages from Sony that tried to reassure but failed instead, followed by long periods of the silence and failed promises that pushed the PS5 release date from late 2020 to February 2, 2021, the wait is over. At least for those who were lucky enough to secure a pre-order (and not have it canceled by retailers who couldn’t close the sale).

Nonetheless, the PS5’s entry is a half-launch in some aspects, as Sony has yet to release the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. That version of the system has no release date, which is foreseeable and consistent with Sony’s approach. That has no bearing on this review (though it does bother me because I was looking forward to it), because, unlike Microsoft, the two Sony next-generation consoles are nearly identical, save for the 4K Blu-ray disc drive. There isn’t one in the PS5 Digital Edition. However, it is $120.87 less expensive. If you don’t invest in physical games, it’s worth the wait.

Because of the delayed launch, the PlayStation 5 has more to offer in India than it did abroad. Since November, many more studios have released next-generation updates for their titles. And, for all intents and purposes, one of Sony’s in-house launch titles, Destruction AllStars, which was postponed to February and became part of the PlayStation Plus lineup, is a PS5 launch title in India. While the PlayStation 5 has a plethora of titles to offer, the biggest experience of them all and quite possibly the true star of the show may be the new DualSense controller.

PS5 review: Design and Connectivity

With the exception of the original PlayStation, Sony has long used black as the primary color in its system designs. So much so that it has come to be associated with the brand itself. So when the PS5 was shown to be a massive tower of white plastic, many of us shook our heads in disbelief. While the design will surely divide opinion, I like the new PS5, even if it will be far too huge for most entertainment centers. If you choose the version with a 4K Blu-ray drive, the console measures 390mm x 260mm x 104mm. The digital edition is slightly slimmer, but not by much, so it will still take up the same amount of space.

The console itself has a simple assortment of buttons and inputs. A single USB-A 3.0 port and a USB-C port are located on the front. Moving downward, you’ll notice the power and eject buttons, which are no less distinguishable than they were on the PS4. These are embedded in a layer of plastic, which attracts fingerprints and, more likely, scratches if you try to plug items into the USB port without checking.

The power input, an Ethernet cable port, and two extra USB 3.0 ports are located on the back and will be ideal for accepting charging cables or attaching dongles from a Bluetooth headset or similar peripherals. Although three is perhaps the magic number, I did had to swap things out when transferring games onto the internal SSD through an external hard drive.

PS5 review: Controller

The PS5 DualSense controller may be the most cutting-edge feature of Sony’s new platform. The gamepad’s haptic feedback, adjustable triggers, and built-in speaker work perfectly together to create a level of physical immersion I’ve never felt when playing a game before.

The DualSense shines most brightly in Astro’s Playroom, a free, pre-installed title designed specifically to demonstrate what Sony’s new controller is capable of. To mention a few instances, in this colorful 3D platformer, you may feel and hear the tiny impact of grains of sand when strolling through a storm, or enjoy a smooth gliding sensation when skating over ice. Everything from pulling on a rope to gliding about in a jetpack produces a high amount of force feedback. It’s the kind of thing you have to feel in order to believe.

If you’re already debating the PS5 DualSense vs DualShock 4 duel, the new controller wins on pure creativity. The adaptive triggers are particularly impressive, as they can become more difficult to activate based on what’s going on in-game. When I was manipulating my character in a spring-loaded jumpsuit, for example, the triggers provided significantly more resistance, effectively imitating the experience of pushing down on a spring and releasing it. Games can also make use of the DualSense’s built-in microphone, as I discovered when I had to blow on the controller to move an ice platform in Astro’s Playroom.

PS5 review: Performance

In terms of specifications, the PS5 is a technically amazing piece of hardware. There’s the new proprietary RDNA 2 GPU, which can push 4K resolution at 120 frames per second, and the 3.5GHz octa-core AMD Zen 2-based CPU. With 16GB of GDDR6 memory and an 825GB NVMe SSD, this computer has some very remarkable features. The PS5 is also capable of displaying 8K resolution, but we’ll have to wait for a firmware upgrade from Sony before we can do so.

In fact, the only genuine complaint we have about the PlayStation 5’s specs is the lack of available storage. It only has an 825GB SSD instead of a 1TB or 2TB SSD. That decision was clearly made to reduce the cost of the console, but it means that you can rapidly run out of capacity if you’re not careful about which games you keep installed. The console has 667.2GB of useable storage, which we discovered held about 16 games: two PS5 titles, Astro’s Playroom and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, plus other PS4 games, such as God of War and Detroit: Beyond Human. The available space was actually larger than we expected, however your mileage may vary depending on the size of the games you have installed.

PS5 review: Battery life

The expense of this new feature is battery life. The DualSense has a rechargeable battery (as opposed to the Series X’s dependency on AA batteries), although the charge drains quickly. Charging the PS5 through its USB port rarely resulted in a full charge, whether in standby mode or while left on at full power. Sony included a separate charging stand that fully charged the controller. PS4 controllers will operate with the PS5, but only with PS4 games played via backward compatibility. Microsoft provides controller cross-compatibility, allowing previous Xbox One controllers to function with the new Xbox.

PS5 review: Price

At launch, the PS5 Standard Edition priced $499.99 / £449.99 while the Digital Edition cost $399.99 / £359.99, the latter being less expensive due to the lack of a 4K Blu-ray drive. If you don’t have a physical PS4 games collection to play, this about $100 / £100 is worth investing. It does, however, imply that you must rely on the PS Store for game and film purchases, which can be slightly more expensive.

Regular digital deals can bring costs down, and the PS Plus program provides fantastic value for money with free games on a regular basis. Sony just raised the price of the PlayStation 5. This was attributed to rising worldwide inflation. The Standard Edition’s pricing in the UK has risen to £479.99, although it remains the same in the US. Similarly, the Digital Edition has raised to £389.99 in the UK, but stays at $399.99 in the US.

Despite the price increase, the PS5 remains the most sought-after games console, owing to a slew of excellent exclusive home-grown games, including God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and the Horizon series, as well as some of the world’s best developers, including Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, and Sony London Studio.


The hype around Sony’s next-generation system is so intense that my impressions of the gadget will always be overshadowed. It’s fortunate, then, that Sony’s best console to date is the PS5. The PS5, which is effortlessly swift and unexpectedly innovative, is more than capable of bearing the weight of expectation placed on it by those who have preordered it in droves.

Sure, it’s let down by a few nagging issues that might sway even the most discerning gamers to go for the uber-powerful Xbox Series X instead. However, for the vast majority of console players, the PS5 will completely defy any assumptions or preconceptions. That’s how good it is.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams is a staff writer who focuses on stories about science and space. He gives short, helpful summaries of what's new in these fields, such as technological advances, new discoveries and explorations, and updates on major space missions. His reporting is mostly about breaking down complicated scientific ideas and explaining them in a way that anyone can understand. Bushman's work helps keep people up to date on the latest developments in science and space. It also helps people learn more about and appreciate these important fields.
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The hype surrounding Sony's next-gen system is so great that my impressions of the device will always be overshadowed. It's fortunate that Sony's best console to date is the PS5.PS5 review