The PS5 in the test: technology, UI, audio, controller - Sony's console in the check

The PS5 in the test: technology, UI, audio, controller - Sony's console in the check
The Playstation 5 will finally be released on November 19th. We received the new Sony console a long time before the official release and put it through its paces. At least as it was possible up to now, because of course not all features are available yet and a console must of course provide performance over a longer period than two weeks. Nonetheless, in our PS5 check we can tell you how the new hardware is doing, how much we like certain features, how the new controller is doing and, of course, whether the new fan is really quieter than the one in the constantly groaning PS4.


1 Technology, connections, advantages of the SSD 2 The fan 3 User interface 4 DualSense controller 5 3D audio 6 Downward compatibility 7 Conclusion

Technology, connections, advantages of the SSD

A new generation of consoles - what could be more interesting than a look at the new, sparkling technology? The basic data has already been presented in the past few months, so here's the short form: 8 processor cores with up to 3.5 GHz, a graphics card with up to 10.28 teraflops and hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 16 GB GDDR6 RAM and an SSD hard drive with 825 GB. And depending on whether you own the Digital Edition or the slightly more expensive "normal" PS5, there is of course a UHD Blu-ray drive on top of it.

Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (7) Source: Sony The connections are the same as usual, with one major exception: A TOSLINK connection - often also "optical digital connection" called - you look for the Playstation 5 v (buy now) in the result. So if you have accessories and peripherals and wanted to connect them via TOSLINK, you will have to reorient yourself. Otherwise, everything you need is there: a USB 2.0 and a USB-C port on the front, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.1. Port and a LAN port on the back. And of course the power connection.

Thanks to the new computing power, at least all games will now probably run in native 4K and can also be upscaled to 8K. First impression highlights are, on the one hand, the powerful fan, which means that the switched-on console can hardly be heard, and the SSD, which extremely minimizes the loading times of games and even completely eliminates them in some games, as in the case of the new Spider-Man.

The fan

When you start the PS5, you immediately notice how quiet the console is compared to the previous model. Together with our colleagues from PC Games Hardware, however, we took precise measurements in the psychoacoustic unit of measurement sone. Rough examples for orientation: the volume of a jackhammer one meter away is around 64 sone, a television set one meter away and set to room volume measures around 4 sone. A volume below a sone, on the other hand, is hardly or not at all noticeable.

The volume of the PS5 is 0.1 sone in the menu in both the horizontal and vertical position. However, there are differences in positions in a game in progress. With the new Spider-Man-Miles Morales the volume with the PS5 upright was 1.1 sone, but only 0.8 in the lying position.

Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (5) Source : Sony Even with backward compatible PS4 games there is this difference of 0.3 sone, depending on how the console is set up. Standing the volume in God of War is 0.9 sone, while lying down it is only 0.6. However, these data refer to digitally purchased games only. If the drive is used, the PS5 naturally gets louder. Standing in a game, the volume is also around one sone, but 1.3 when it is. In this case, that makes a difference of 0.5 sone to playing a completely downloaded game.

Of course, none of this is loud and shouldn't be noticed by very few gamers, since our test was about 50 cm away took place between measuring micro and console. Only when you try to install something from a disc does it get noticeably loud. During the installation we measured 3.6 sone - both in the standing and lying position of the console.

User interface

Waiting times are a thing of the past. The UI of the PS5 is tidy, super fast and intuitive. No matter how much you love your PS4, navigating through menus was not always comfortable and opening the Playstation Store was sometimes super annoying. That is now a thing of the past, because the UI of the new Playstation is simple, but also damn fast. The game library loads quickly and even with the Playstation Store there is no delay, as it has been integrated into the start menu. However, due to embargo guidelines, we are not allowed to show you any more than the media apps, which can now be found in the top left and you can easily switch between gaming and media.

Playstation 5: Our test on Sony's Next-gen console (18) Source: PC Games If you press the Playstation button in a game, you can now see the activities of the title. There you can get information about missed trophies, for example, and you can sometimes jump directly to these game points from the menu. In general, it loads really fast. There were even times when a game crashed, we restarted it, and the console dropped us right at the point where the title was smeared. With a cold start, the PS5 needs about 20 seconds to boot up, but just five seconds from stand-by mode.

If you press the Playstation button in the menu, you can also access familiar functions such as friends list and notifications or download management or simply switch off the console, restart it or put it into sleep mode. Overall, the UI of the PS5 is reminiscent of the appearance of the previous model, but after a short time you notice that you can now navigate through the menus and options much faster, more intuitively and more effectively.

DualSense- Controller

After a few hours with the new controller, we were clearly of the opinion that the DualSense would be one of the greatest achievements of the new Playstation generation. The gamepad initially impresses with its pleasant weight. The DualSense is a little heavier than the Dualshock 4 and therefore lies better in the hand. The handles are finely roughened with the pattern of the iconic Playstation buttons, which provides additional grip. The rubber of the analog sticks, which are also roughened, also feels more valuable than the PS4 pad. Of course, the sticks have to prove themselves over a long period of time, but we are in good spirits that the sticks will not suffer from such enormous abrasion as those on the PS4.

Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (16) Source: Sony Computer Entertainment But we come to the action buttons and the digi-cross. At first you don't feel that much of a difference to the Dualshock 4, but after you've gambled a bit, you don't want to be without the DualSense anymore. With minimal adjustments to the button placement, you can slide even more precisely onto the buttons. Even the digi-cross - for ages the weak point of Playstation pads - can now be moved more precisely. On the other hand, the now even narrower share and option buttons are less successful. Now that they are a tick higher, they are less likely to be accidentally actuated, but they feel pretty rigid. The touchpad has a more comfortable pressure point and can now be used more precisely with multiple fingers.

The highlight of the DualSense, however, is the haptic feedback, which, together with the now much more precise motion sensors and the adaptive triggers in the pre-installed game Astro's Playroom is brought closer. You feel every surface, every movement precisely in the pad. Games can also set their own pressure points for the triggers, for example to simulate how to pull the trigger on a revolver. The rumble effect is also quiet and never excessive. The haptic feedback of the DualSense is actually so precise that it provides additional immersion. The integrated microphone in the pad is not a miracle, however, but sufficient for short voice commands.

3D Audio

A lot is happening with the PS5 in terms of sound, but what exactly is this 3D audio because now exactly? Roughly speaking, Sony is now also cooking its own soup in terms of "virtual surround sound". The in-house version of Dolby Atmos is hidden behind 3D audio. However, 3D audio should also provide surround sound for stereo headphones and even normal TV speakers. The basis for this in-house development is the new Tempest Engine, which enables hundreds of sounds at the same time. For comparison: The limit for the PS4 was 50.

Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (15) Source: Sony Of course, there are still some restrictions with regard to 3D audio. The technology does not currently work via TV speakers, sound bars and similar output devices, but will be delivered later via patch. On the other hand, 3D audio already works with many headsets, but the engine is optimized above all for the Pulse 3D wireless headset, which is an official accessory for the PS5 - and unfortunately we did not have it yet.

With a third -Party headset, on the other hand, we were able to collect at least a few first impressions and are cautiously optimistic that 3D audio should work as well as Dolby Atmos. For a final verdict, we will wait until we can get our hands on the Pulse headset and the speaker support has been patched.

In addition, of course, not all games will use the Tempest Engine advantages are confirmed but so far all exclusive games as well as some third-party games such as Resident Evil Village.

Downward compatibility

Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (17) Source: You don't have to let PS4 games gather dust, because the PS5 is almost completely backwards compatible with the last generation. Only ten PS4 games are known to date that cannot be run on the new Playstation. The more than 4,000 supported PS4 titles benefit in part from the console's Game Boost on the PS5. That means shorter loading times or a smoother frame rate. The games included in the PS Plus Collection have also been spruced up. The colors in God of War are even brighter on the PS5 and the textures in a Days Gone are even crisper. Even PSVR is compatible with the new console, but you still have to use the PS4 controller and the old camera. You also need an adapter that you can order for free. The PS5 HD camera does not work here. For PS4 games you can still use Dualshock 4 controllers. That's all good, but we would have liked backward compatibility with other PS generations. Here the Xbox Series X has the edge.


Playstation 5: Our test of Sony's next-gen console (2) Source: Sony Of course, you have to wait and see whether the Playstation 5 really remains as quiet as it was at the start. The PS4 eventually became a jet jet later. And with features such as 3D audio and backward compatibility, you certainly have to wait and see. Will 3D audio really work smoothly with all reasonably new devices? Will all PS4 games really run smoothly on the new console? We can't answer that yet. However, what we have seen and assessed from the PS5 so far makes us extremely positive. Sony seems to have consistently improved the console in all areas and has responded to the feedback from the players. The box is damn fast, you navigate through the menus in a targeted manner, there are hardly any or no loading times and the DualSense controller actually ensures even more immersion. We have already taken the Playstation 5 to our hearts and look forward to being able to play and work with this great piece of hardware in the next few years.

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