Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of getting a PlayStation 5 console this holiday, as SIA begins a look at the console wars.
There are reasons to own either or none of the upcoming next-generation consoles. Starting with the PlayStation 5, let’s examine the benefits of each one– or getting neither.
Ridiculous launch lineup of games
If you’re getting a next-generation console primarily to play next-generation games, the PlayStation 5 is the obvious choice. The system will launch with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the sequel/spinoff to the 2018 smash hit that, full disclosure, is my favorite game of all time. Though the game will also be available on PS4, there are of course distinct advantages through getting the PS5 version. The PS5 will also launch with a from-the-ground-up remake of Demon’s Souls, a beloved, tough-as-nails action RPG that looks hauntingly beautiful from what we’ve seen.
On top of that, the console launches with a new spinoff in the LittleBigPlanet series. I’m talking about Sackboy: A Big Adventure, a 3D platform game with multiplayer mayhem. Destruction All-Stars launches with the system and could be a sleeper hit with its mix of mechanics and art style that reminds me of past trendy games. Bugsnax is an indie title that doesn’t look super appealing, but it has captivated the internet’s obsession with its bizarre setup and humor. Finally, Godfall has been built from the ground up to showcase the PS5 and launch with the system. And those are just the titles available at launch.
Drowning in games
If you’re at all invested in most any of PlayStation’s long-running series, a PlayStation 5 is a no-brainer. I’ve already mentioned Spider-Man and LittleBigPlanet, but sequels to Ratchet and Clank (2016), Horizon: Zero Dawn, and God of War (2018) are all slated for 2021. Not only that, new additions to the Gran Turismo and Oddworld series are on the way, with Final Fantasy XVI not arriving on Xbox. Finally, promising titles like Kena: Bridge of Spirits look to be worthwhile additions to any PS5 collection.
We still don’t have word on Naughty Dog or Sucker Punch’s future projects. That said, since they both released games this year for PS4, that’s perfectly understandable. Naughty Dog is especially a mystery. Uncharted seems to still be taking a break, and The Last of Us Part III seems fairly unlikely due to the first two’s heavy storytelling focus. Still, Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch’s recent projects are playable on PS5, which brings me to…
While Xbox Series X and S are more impressive with their backwards compatibility, PlayStation 5 is almost as good. All but 10 PlayStation 4 games can be played on PS5. That said, those 10 include some of the worst-reviewed and obscure games of the generation. That said, the controversy on Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered should be mentioned. Essentially, free upgrades to PS5 versions of recent games are mostly happening, you have to buy Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ Ultimate Edition for $20 more than the game’s normal $50 price tag to get the remastered version, which includes optimization of the PS5’s next-gen hardware (which we’ll get to) along with the long-requested suit from the Amazing Spider-Man movies.
You can still play the normal PS4 disc on PS5, but the game will not be optimized for the system. The remastered version is also only available as a digital add-on for the Ultimate Edition, with no physical release planned. That is pretty much the singular blemish on the PS5’s compatibility record. But seeing as Spider-Man’s a hugely popular game, it has angered many in the gaming community.
The PS Plus Collection
But the biggest addition in terms of backwards compatibility is the new addition to PlayStation’s subscription service in PlayStation Plus. It’s what Sony’s calling the PS Plus collection, where a stable of essential PS4 games can all be played with a PS Plus subscription at launch. Games like Days Gone, Final Fantasy XV, God of War (2018), Ratchet and Clank (2016), Uncharted 4, Persona 5, and The Last of Us Remastered are among the biggest games in this collection.
The collection alone could make up the entirety of one’s PS4 collection. That means you probably don’t even need to purchase new games for the PS5 if you don’t want to– provided you’ve got PlayStation Plus. All PS4 games can also be played on PS5 with the PS4’s Dual shock 4 controller.
While the console itself isn’t quite as powerful as the Xbox Series X, it is still extremely impressive. The PS5 packs the visuals, load times, and overall enhancements one could expect from a generational leap. Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer for Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, where entirely new areas are loaded in ridiculously fast times while still packing an incredible punch visually and launching you right into gameplay.
Not only that, there’s a reason that the Dual Sense controller isn’t compatible with the PS4. Things like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are absolute game changers in how developers can design games. And of course Sony unveiled a boatload of accessories for the system like controller charging stations and a headset.
That being said, the PlayStation 5 is $500, which is a lot of money for anything. And of course, the PS5 has its drawbacks. Whether that’s through its backwards compatibility issues or slight technical disadvantages to Xbox, the console has its issues. That said, if you want the surest bet to play next-generation games, while still having a vast library of said games, the PS5 is the best bet. But if you’re still on the fence, don’t worry. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the Xbox Series X|S and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.