In 2013, it was set in stone what would be one of the most successful PlayStation consoles ever released. Despite being a troubled year for Sony with the news of the imminent bankruptcy all over the news, it was also the launch of the Playstation 4. 7 years later here we are again at the gasp of a new console generation, but this time around one thing we can know for sure there are no bottlenecks on the hardware sheet.
2020 hasn’t been an easy year thus far, with the COVID-19 pandemic it becomes hard for everyone to forget that we are currently in a pandemic. That’s where these new consoles come into play. We’ll start our review on design and hardware and then proceed to discuss what brings new to the table compared to the Playstation 4.
If you have skipped the previous Playstation 4 generation and are finally coming back to consoles, you will be surprised how close the experience is comparable to a current high end gaming PC
Whenever I look at the Playstation 5 from either angle, I can only think that the design team designed the console around the cooling solution there is simply no other way to approach this console design from my perspective.
The big cooling solution which even features liquid metal on the surface of the console System On Chip reminds us that these consoles definitely needed to grow in size to accommodate this new powerful hardware.
Sitting the Playstation 5 on the Horizontal allows me to fit the console is pretty much everywhere, at least the same places where the Playstation 3 did fit. However on the Vertical. That’s another conversation. I have to put it next to the TV somewhere on the ground because it doesn’t fit in terms of height anywhere else, I assume most consumers will have it horizontally due to this.
The console brings its own stand that you can use it to set it on the horizontal side, it’s interesting because the stand itself has its own place to safeguard the bolt that you set it up in case you aren’t currently using it.
Currently, you won’t be able to expand your internal SSD storage until Sony says so with a future system update. Hold on to your wallet before buying a PCIE 4.0 SSD until Sony does in fact reveal which SSDs are compatible
In terms of ports, we got everything you would need in 2020, starting with a USB-C and a USB-A on the front. On the back, we have two USB-A ports where you will in the future be able to get your SATA SSDs or previous-gen external HDDs and obviously an ethernet port for those of us who still use the old reliable for multiplayer gaming. Additionally, we have a power port and the famous HDMI 2.1 port.
Contrary to popular belief around the internet, the Playstation 5 does indeed come with an HDMI 2.1 cable which you’ll be able to connect to your high-end TV for that amazing 120hz!
With design out of the way let’s discuss what we Hardware Enthusiasts love to talk about which is Hardware.
The major difference between this generation is that there are no bottlenecks when it comes to the hardware sheet. Even before the Playstation 4 launch, we were already complaining about the old CPU architecture in those Jaguar cores, the lack of 5Ghz Wi-Fi, and don’t let me even start on the 5400RPM HDD they should have at least a 7200RPM HDD onto it… Said some enthusiasts.
One of the requests at the time by the game developers was the SSD. However, due to NAND’s price at the time it was impossible to fit one of these with enough storage for a reasonable price for either the consumer or Sony in fact.
Now for those who are worried about temperatures and noise coming out of the cooling solution, don’t worry about it! Even in full stress in Spider-Man Miles Morales, we did not hear the console at all during our playtime with it.
And with the Playstation 5, Sony finally delivers on the dream that game developers have been requesting for so many years and it is definitely “next generation. We have almost instant loads from the menu to put the player in the game in a matter of 3-4 seconds in the case of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. We have the example of Demon Souls that when we die during a Boss Fight, as soon as the player death animation ends takes literally a second to be at the fire borne again walking towards the inevitable death yet again.
You can resume a game from the dashboard as soon as you turn it on and can take about 10 seconds including waking it up from rest at least on the few games we have with us.
For the first time on a console generation, there is NOTHING holding back Playstation 5 in terms of hardware. We got the Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, the new Ryzen CPUs and a GPU architecture 100% designed for gaming
What does it mean in the end result? Let’s talk about games which is the end result of anyone buying a console.
Before we dive onto the next generation games, let me start by saying that Sony’s Backwards Compatibility to PS4 working perfectly. In games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice we can completely see the improvements in terms of frame rate and dynamic resolution, in Sekiro while playing on the PS5 you can expect a dynamic 1800p that usually sits at that resolution while at 60 frames per second. One of the things that we have to take into consideration is that many games haven’t gotten a PS5 patch yet so those that are resolution and frame rate locked won’t benefit as much as games like Sekiro which both have unlocked modes which allow the PS5 hardware to scale it up.
Backwards compatibility is working like a charm, however you will only notice big gains when doing so on games that have unlocked frame rate and dynamic resolution scaling like Sekiro : Shadows Die Twice
We didn’t find any issues with any of the games from the PS4 generation that could cause issues when installed on the internal storage we did see a performance increase on the loading times which is a huge benefit. However due to the storage being limited to 664GB we do not recommend you to install previous generation games on it.
Now onto what people are curious about. How do next-generation games run on the new console?
I’ll start with Spider-Man Miles Morales, you have two game modes Fidelity and Performance. In the Fidelity mode, we have a cap at 30fps with native 4k with Ray Tracing enabled by the ray accelerators at the hardware level and everything simply looks fantastic. Either looking at puddles, skyscraper windows, or even the car paint. One of the things we have to point out is that with RDNA2, developers are now able to do highly detailed subsurface scattering which allows the games to look even more realistic when it comes to skin, and Spider: Man Miles Morales is an example of that.
In Performance, we have a cap at 60FPS as expected, paired with a dynamic resolution which will go from 1540p up to 2160p. And does it look awesome, the combat fluidity at 60fps is just completely amazing, anyone coming from Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 should definitely give this game mode a try! In exchange for the frame rate, you lose the Ray Tracing and instead opts for a combination of space screen reflections and cube maps as the previous entry
Honestly while talking to developers here at Hyped Pixels we are expecting that this will be the way going forward, games having two modes a Fidelity and a Performance mode.
In this generation, we are expecting games to have two modes. A 30FPS Mode with 4K / Raytracing and a Performance Mode running the game at 60FPS paired with dynamic resolution
In Astro’s Playroom, we are playing at native 4k at 60 frames per second the game serves more as an introduction to the new dual sense controller and we did notice an overall improvement when we updated the console firmware to the last service (by updating the OS you will update the game) we include a couple of details from this game later down in the review when we talk about the new controller!
The 3D audio on the PS5 takes things to next level when compared to current audio solutions on the PS4, including Sony’s own 3D Audio on the Platinum Headset as we mentioned above. We can easily say that it’s an experience somewhat comparable to what we hear in IMAX but in the headphones sitting at home.
One part of the dreams was the SSD without a doubt but what about that 2nd part of the dream? That second part of the dream is 3D Audio, as many people know this is not the first time we talk about 3D Audio, it was previously featured on Sony’s own Platinum Headset for the Playstation 4. However, this time around the solution is implemented directly on the console instead of being on the headphones which means you can bring your pair of cans to test the thing out if you are interested in knowing our top 5 headphones for 3D audio check it out.
The Dualsense controller brings new haptics & feelings which completely evolves the player in the game and shows how big of a leap this generation is when paired with the SSD
Between the player and the machine lies what we use to interact with the console and that is indeed the Dualsense controller. Honestly, it is without a doubt a revolution instead of evolution from the previous Dualshock controller.
The controller fits just right in the hand despite the new bigger size. The weight is a mix between the old Xbox controller and the Dualshock so it’s just right in between both of them and for me, it feels perfect in the hand. The controller weights in just 282 grams which is a bit more than the 215 on the Dualshock 4, if you are a fan of the Xbox controller weight and feel you will love this mix Sony has created.
While playing Astro’s Playroom and grabbing a bow and arrow or gets ready to slingshot, you can just feel the tension growing in the trigger as you hold it down, it’s a complete sensory experience, unlike any controllers we have used before.
At the end of the day, the controller is what makes us interact with the content and this is a point that Playstation 5 has in favor against the Xbox Series X/S offer, when you pick up the controller it’s not the same as we had in the previous generation it’s a play and feels.
It’s time to wrap things up on the Playstation 5, we gave you an overview of the design, hardware, controller, and a few of its games, in general, we feel that this is the best candidate for our go-to Next Generation console recommendation from the games and the hardware perspective.
There are many more details about the Playstation 5 that we didn’t talk about due to being related to microarchitecture like the Kraken, more in-depth 3D audio, and much more which we will discuss in much more detail in future articles.