A week with the PS5 – reflecting on Sony’s latest console


(Pocket-lint) – After all the hoopla and the hype, and more than one stressful day doing the digital equivalent of camping outside a store (meaning wearing our F5 button down to nothing while websites failed to show stock), the PS5’s finally here.

While reviewers, including our own Rik Henderson, have had it for a little while, most of us are just coming to the end of our first week with the console – if we were lucky enough to get one. So, we thought we’d run you through some of the little pros and cons that have come up through actual use, as a way of reflecting on the console experience so far. 

Pro – It’s big, but that’s fine

Seeing the first measurements and size comparisons made the PS5 look so big it would be impossible to accommodate. While there’s no denying that this is a huge console, when it turned up we were actually let down – it’s not so massive! Large, yes, but nothing unacceptable. Frankly, now that it’s ensconced beneath our TV where it’ll stay for years, we couldn’t give a hoot about its size. 

Con – Front ports

It might seem nit-picky, but the PS5’s only got one USB-A and one USB-C port on the front. Given that its own controller cable uses that first port, and that almost every wireless headset will also want the same port, that’s a small but annoying hassle. Including a cable that’s USB-C on both ends would have been sensible, and it’s what we’re now using, to avoid having to fiddle around on the console’s rear whenever we need to use our headset and charge the controller at the same time. 

Pro – DualSense lives up to the hype

The haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on the new DualSense controller have been rightly hyped – load up Astro’s Playroom and you’ll soon feel how immersive they can be. We’ll need developers to embrace them, but it’s looking really good, and the changes to DualSense’s shape are just as important. We’re fairly comfortable saying that it’s a clear contender for the best first-party controller ever, even at this early stage. 

Con – Some obvious bugs

Review units are one thing, but launch units can also feel a little bit unfinished on the software side, and the PS5 has obliged on that front. We’ve already had our installed copy of Demon’s Souls completely disappear from our console once without explanation, and games in our library can also be bafflingly hard to locate when we want to play them. Still, things already seem to be smoothing out, so this shouldn’t last for too long. 

Pro – Manageable launch titles

Console launch day is a special time – the rush of setting up your profile and games can give quite a buzz. Something really rewarding about the first weekend with the PlayStation 5 was that polishing off some titles was easily achievable. Astro’s Playroom is a breezy couple of hours, while Spider-Man: Miles Morales was around 8 hours for a veteran of the first Insomniac game, and both gave a pleasing sense of having finished something next-gen. That’s a hard feeling to bottle, but it’ll last a good while. 

Con – Controller ecosystem needs opening up

While the picture has been rosy for headsets, every one of which we’ve tested has worked on PS5 just like it did on PS4, the situation for controllers is far murkier and less satisfying. For now, only the DualSense will work with PS5 games, with no exceptions. You might have a great pro controller from the likes of Razer or Nacon, but it’ll only work on PS4 games. Either that restriction should be removed or Sony should clarify when something’s set to change – right now, the limbo is simply frustrating. 

Pro – Quality of life improvements everywhere

While the graphical whizz-bangs might be nice, some of the most rewarding moments we’ve had have been crazily mundane. Things like inviting a new player to a party taking 0.5 seconds; bringing up the text field to rename a loadout on Warzone not crashing the game for 30 seconds; a friend sharing their screen with us while we wait for their Rocket League game to end; and, of course, loading screens shaved down to momentary distractions instead of lengthy waits. 

These have ensured that even our everyday social use of the console has been a marked improvement on how things were at the tail-end of the last generation, and that’s a real pleasure to report.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.

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