PS5 one month after launch: what convinced us and what didn't

PS5 one month after launch: what convinced us and what didn't
About a month after the launch of Playstation 5 we want to reflect on what convinced us most of this new Sony console and which elements instead left us a bit of a bitter taste. We know, at launch a console hardly turns out to be perfect and often many improvements are added only after a few months (if not years) through software updates and the release of other thick exclusives. Our first opinion about the PS5 can be found published in the dedicated review, where we analyzed every aspect of the console. After the initial enthusiasm, today we want to go and review, with a cool head, what are its strengths and what should be improved in the future. In fact, there are really fantastic functions and video games, which have made us experience a real generational leap, but as good insatiable people, we want to see some welcome news, especially because we have seen excellent potential in this game machine.

What convinced us

Let's start with the positive things, because as already specified in the review, this Playstation 5 already convinced us at launch. The generational leap was felt mainly thanks to the new computing power of the console, the speed of the SSD and the excellent haptic feedback of the Dualsense.

Starting from the latter, the new Playstation 5 controller with its evolved vibration system and adaptive triggers manages to transmit excellent feedback to the gamer in numerous situations. The Astro's Playroom game has made us understand what are the actual potential of this haptic system, able to reproduce a different vibration to simulate rain, the surfaces on which we move, the interaction with the various objects in the game world and much yet. In Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, on the other hand, we have experienced how adaptive triggers are able to give different feedback based on the weapon we are holding. The trigger stroke for a sniper rifle is longer than that of a small submachine gun and the difference is quite noticeable. Of course, some players might bother, in fact it is possible to disable the function, but all in all we consider it a valid addition, which leads to a further degree of immersion in the video game. Even the new, more generous form of the Dualsense has convinced us, thanks to a more solid grip that is comfortable even in long gaming sessions.

The new Playstation 5 computing unit with 4K and Ray support Tracing has brought some fresh air to the technical sector of the video games present at the launch. Spider-Man: Miles Morales' New York played with these graphics settings active is a feast for the eyes. Simply seeing the dynamic reflections on the windows of skyscrapers, in puddles or on the windshield of taxis makes the setting much more realistic. Similarly in a game like Demon's Souls, even if you don't use Ray Tracing, the graphic impact turns out to be truly next-gen, thanks to high-resolution light effects and textures loaded instantly via the excellent speed of the SSD. The latter is the main responsible for two other welcome news on Playstation 5: the speed of navigation in the operating system and the quick start of video games. On Playstation 4 it has become almost frustrating to pause the video game to carry out some activity such as managing a party through the console operating system. The old mechanical hard drive combined with outdated hardware made the operation very slow and cumbersome. Now the operating system responds quickly to our commands, keeping the game perfectly active in the background and allowing us to perform numerous functions directly from the quick menu accessible by pressing the Playstation button on the Dualsense. Similarly, starting video games from the main screen is really quick as expected. In just a few seconds we are transported into the game world, without the long waits we were used to with older generation consoles. Speaking of so much power and performance we feel compelled to mention the quietness of this gaming machine. We are a long way from the days of the noisy Playstation 4 and after a month of intense gaming we have not encountered such problems on the new Sony flagship.

Finally, we could not overlook the key element of a new console: video games. Sony has managed to define a respectable launch lineup, offering players a fair amount of variety between exclusive and cross-platform titles. Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a sort of expansion of the excellent chapter released for Playstation 4, suitable for any type of gamer. After the success of Bloodborne, Sony has proposed a more "hardcore" game like Demon's Souls to meet the needs of a particular slice of gamers. Finally there was Sackboy: A Big Adventure, a classic 3D platformer, capable of conquering even the little ones to give hours of fun both in single and in local or online multiplayer. To complete the lineup decided by Sony there were even the classic cross-platform games such as Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, FIFA 21, NBA 2K21 and Watch Dogs: Legion, to which he joined with a little delay the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, albeit not in its maximum form. In fact, the CD Projekt RED masterpiece was proposed through an excellent backwards compatibility function implemented by Sony in this Playstation 5, another point in favor of this new generation console. The ability to replay virtually all Playstation 4 titles on the new Sony console has made the generational leap less drastic, allowing many gamers to save some money by selling their previous console. Connecting old accessories like headphones or the steering wheel to the console and finding that they work perfectly was also a pleasant surprise.

Backward compatible titles often enjoy visual and technical improvements, such as increased resolution and frames per second, as well as faster uploads. In this regard, Sony has decided to give Playstation Plus subscribers a remarkable collection of video games belonging to the last generation and playable through backwards compatibility. A truly excellent selection in which we find titles like God Of War, The Last Of Us: Remastered, Bloodborne, Days Gone, Monster Hunter: World and others. In short, we were really satisfied with the availability of video games at launch, both exclusive and multi-platform ones, without neglecting the old glories available through backwards compatibility. The complete package has kept us busy all this time and we will still have a lot to play while waiting for the next titles coming in 2021.

What didn't convince us

Let's move on to the painful notes, or rather, to what has not fully convinced us of this Playstation 5. As stated at the beginning of this article, these are criticisms based on the current state of the console, about a month after its launch on the market. This could change in the future, thanks to the software updates that Sony will undoubtedly bring to its new hardware.

First of all we want to talk to you once again about the Dualsense controller and perhaps also about the only feature that is unlikely to be improved in the coming months. If before we listed multiple points in favor of the new controller, now we have to unfortunately consider a rather disappointing factor: autonomy. We don't want to bring up the hours of gameplay spent without recharging the controller (they depend too much on the games themselves), we had to charge it much more often than we did with the old Dualshock 4. Sony could do something more from this point of view , adding a larger battery or optimizing consumption better. If you want to do prolonged gaming sessions it is advisable to find a method to recharge the controller while you are not playing, so that you always have it charged.

Sony has undoubtedly designed a remarkable game machine, capable of offering excellent performance even at higher resolutions. We also appreciated the inclusion of two game modes in different titles: the one dedicated to visual fidelity (4K and Ray Tracing) or the performance mode (dynamic 4K and 60 frames per second). Unfortunately, however, support for 1440p is missing, a resolution practically absent in TVs, but quite popular for gaming monitors. We likewise feel the lack of an additional game mode, which combines the two previously mentioned, offering 1080p-1440p resolution with Ray Tracing and 60 FPS. Or even an "ultra-performing" mode at 120 FPS and 1080p. In short, having more options from this point of view is always an advantage, as it has always been in the PC world. On console, customization should be simplified a lot, making it more "user-friendly" and giving the user pre-defined setups. Just recently Spider-Man: Miles Morales added Ray Tracing mode and 60 FPS using 1080p resolution. We hope this becomes the standard for other titles in order to give the user the freedom of choice on how to best enjoy the experience offered by the game depending on the monitor or TV in possession.

The internal memory, although really fast as lightning, is really reduced to a minimum. In a month of gaming, we often found ourselves having to delete installed video games to make room for others. It is really easy to fill the memory of the console, especially if you keep installed video games like Call Of Duty Warzone, always in constant growth in terms of space. Sony also had to do more in this case, because the purchase of an additional SSD is strongly recommended to everyone.

The Playstation 5 operating system undoubtedly brings a wave of fresh air compared to the old PS4 OS. However, the navigation inside it is still confusing and not very intuitive. Trivially, to turn off the console we used to press and hold the Playstation button on the controller to quickly find this option. Repeating the same procedure, we will now find ourselves inside the main screen where there is no key to turn off the console. It is necessary to open the "Quick Menu" by pressing the Playstation button quickly, scroll through all the icons to the right, select the shutdown button and finally decide whether to turn it off, put it in rest mode or start it. Nothing to worry about even in this case, you get used to it, but something more could be done. Similarly, managing friends and gaming parties on Playstation 5 is not exactly simple. Starting from the "Quick Menu" we are redirected to numerous apparently similar screens but with different functions, making the use of these features unintuitive. In short, even if in the Playstation 5 UI everything seems comfortably within reach, it is not so easy to reach and exploit properly. In a month of use everything is already much clearer, but a less experienced user may still encounter some difficulties.

As for the functions dedicated to games, we have not yet fully digested the absence of the "Quick Resume ", present on the Microsoft console. We are sure that Sony is already working to add the function in the next versions of the operating system, also because the console hardware has all the credentials to support it. Having the ability to pause games to pick them up exactly where we left them is definitely a very useful feature, which can change the way you use a console. Switching from one video game to another, perhaps to take a break from a demanding Demon's Souls with a few minutes of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, without having to reload the entire title and go through the main menu would undoubtedly be a pleasant addition.

In this regard Sony has decided to implement the Activity Cards, which allow you to transport us to a particular section of the game directly from the main screen of Playstation 5 (or while you are playing, through the "Quick Menu"). The potential of this function is enormous, but currently the developers have not yet managed to exploit them properly. We therefore did not have the opportunity to use them as we would have liked in this first month after the launch of the console, hoping that in the future all developers will consider them during the video game development process. Last but not least we were left with a bitter taste in the mouth regarding the rather generous dimensions of the Playstation 5. This is a subjective opinion, especially with regard to the design and lines of the console. But it remains the biggest gaming machine of the last 25 years, if not the biggest ever.

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