Greatness Awaits on PlayStation 5

The big day has come! Sony has unleashed its next-generation PlayStation 5 console on the world and it’s a gamer’s dream.

PS5 Specifications

Release: 12 November 2020
Premium Model Price: AU$749.95
Digital Model Price: AU$599.95
DualSense Controller Price: AU$109.95
Dimensions: 26cm (d) × 10.4cm (w) × 39cm (h)
CPU: 8-core AMD Zen 2, 3.5 GHz variable frequency
Power: 10.28 teraflops
GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU
Storage: NVMe M.2 825GB SSD at 5.5GB/s (RAW) to 9GB/s (compressed) read speed
Memory: 16GB GDDR6 256-bit with 448GB/s bandwidth
Features: 3D audio, ray-tracing, 8K ready, HDMI 2.1

It’s important for a new console to feel like an evolutionary leap as soon as you turn it on. Thankfully, Sony’s PlayStation 5 has that “wow” factor. It’s awesome, straight away.

After Sony blitzed the competition to claim a comfortable victory in the PS4-era, the company could have taken a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to the PS5 and off the same experience, just with more power. Instead the Japanese giant has taken a risk. It’s completely overhauled the user-interface, opted for a completely different controller and utilised heavily customised hardware.

The result is a gaming experience not just bigger and better, but quicker and deeper.

PlayStation Power

The PS5 is 5.5x more powerful than the PS4 and 2.5x more powerful than the PS4 Pro. That raw power can deliver visual eye candy like we’ve never seen before. While few games will push it to the limit in its first year, the PS5 can deliver 8K resolution or 4K resolution at up to 120 frames-per-second. It’s a huge step up.

Yet it’s not power but the internal SSD hard drive that is the star of the PS5 show. It’s incredible fast, allowing games to not only load in seconds, (which is such a joy!) but to pull data into a world quicker. This enables much more immersive and bigger game worlds. The downside isn’t much storage (just 667GB after the OS installation) and it’s expensive to add more.

We’d also be remiss not to mention the PS5’s innovative audio experience. It opts for a customised version of 3D Audio that utilises Sony’s own Tempest engine. This creates a real-world audio experience beyond surround sound. Sony is releasing a 3D Pulse headset tailored made to make the most of the new audio, too.

New User-Interface

As mentioned, Sony’s has rebuilt its user-interface from the ground up for PS5 and it’s a massive improvement. It’s better integrated for a start, with the store, details, community content, tips and more all accessible from a singular location dedicated to a game. When you press the PlayStation button in a game, the UI just pops up over the top, too. This allows you to talk to friends, share content and quick jump to other titles (or even locations or challenges in the current game) without going back to the dashboard.

We particularly like this overlay feature when looking to share experiences with friends online or get help when stuck in a game. With the latter, you can access spoiler-free help videos from the UI and overlay them over your game picture-in-picture style so you can follow along. Or you can tune into a friend’s live broadcast, watching them play one game while you play another. Very fresh!

Dynamic DualSense

After two decades of service, Sony has ditched the DualShock 4 controller for the DualSense, and the move pays off! It’s the best controller ever made. Not only is it lightning quick and responsive, it’s jammed with features. There’s an in-built mic that can pick up anything you say for voice control or party chat, while filtering out background noise. A speaker that delivers pinpoint sound from the game world. Motion controls and a touchpad, too.

But it’s the Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers that steal the show. The former is a new kind of force feedback (read: rumble) that is layered and textured across the entire device. It can give precise and multi-pressured feedback anywhere on your hands depending on gameplay and it works a treat. It’s so powerful! While Adaptive Triggers mean that when you pull either L1 or R1, the pressure required changes depending on what you are doing in the game. This is so immersive! Sony’s controller gives next-gen gaming a new sense of feel that changes the way you play.

Great Games Ahead

The PlayStation 5’s launch line-up is solid and blessed with a diverse selection of exclusives. Over 30 games will arrive in the first month, ranging from brand new experiences to older games given a next-gen update.

Talking to new release, leading the pack is sequel Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It sees us swing through New York City as a new Spidey armed with a tonne of killer moves and spectacular story sequences. There’s also fast-paced looter slasher Godfall, co-op 3D platformer Sackboy: A Big Adventure and indie exploration gem The Pathless. A remake of action-RPG Demon’s Souls will also be one of the launch window’s big releases.

These exclusives are supported by a host of big-name third-party games, too. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, FIFA 21, NBA 2K21, Watch Dogs: Legion, Dirt 5, Maneater and Immortals Fenyx Rising being top of the pile.

You’ll also be happy to know there are some freebies to grab at launch. Platformer Astro’s Playoom comes pre-installed on ever console and acts as a great way to experience the DualSense. While PlayStation Pus member get access to kid-friendly adventure title Bugsnax as a free download in November. In addition, PlayStation Plus subscribers get a collection of 18 excellent backwards compatible PS4 games to enjoy.

Should you buy a PS5?

The PlayStation 5 is a fantastic piece of kit. Not only does it have the power to rival any other machine out there, but it offers genuine evolutions to both the user and playing experience. It feels like a next-generation leap and gaming is better as a result.

If you don’t care about physical discs, you can save money with the PS5 Digital Edition, too. It has the same power as the PS5, but no disc drive. So, you can’t play Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs or old PS4 disc games, but if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a solid $150 saving! And it gets you what you need; one of these excellent PS5 consoles!

For the full article grab the December 2020 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

Sunshine Shen