Hardware Review: PlayStation 5 Console

  • Publish Date: November 6, 2020
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Updated 11/9 at 4:20pm PST

What is it?

Playstation 5
PlayStation 5
$499 (regular) / $399 (digital only)
Available November 12, 2020

Sony's first major new game console in seven years, the PlayStation 5 is the successor to the PS4 as well as the chief competitor to Microsoft's rival Xbox Series X, which launches the same week as the PS5 to kick off a new generation of gaming hardware.

Available both with and without an optical drive (without is cheaper but, obviously, cannot load games on physical media or play Blu-rays), Sony's new console boasts a striking (though somewhat divisive) new two-tone design and has specs very close to the Xbox Series X, similarly adding a solid-state drive to speed up load times and a new graphics card enabling ray-tracing and 4K graphics at 120fps (and support for 8K resolution). Internal storage is 825GB, a bit less than the new Xbox's 1TB standard. (The PS5 will not support memory expansion at launch, but should at some point in the future.)

While your old PS4 controllers will work with PS4 games (but not native PS5 titles) on the new console, the PS5 comes with a completely redesigned wireless controller named DualSense, which adds new haptic feedback, an integrated mic, and one-of-a-kind "adaptive triggers" that significantly adjust the tension levels of the triggers based on game actions.

Each PS5 console also comes with a free copy of the new game Astro's Playroom, a sequel to Astro Bot Rescue Mission. (The rival Series X does not come with free software.)

What are critics saying about the PlayStation 5?

Below are reviews of the PlayStation 5 console from a variety of professional sources. (Click on any publication name to read the full review.) Scores (converted to our 0-100 scale) are listed only if one has been assigned by the publication itself; otherwise, we have grouped the reviews into rough categories, from most to least positive.

Great Extremely positive reviews


Brendan Frye

The PlayStation 5 looks and delivers on a fluid gaming experience from the hardware to the software. ... Microsoft delivered a message of raw power with the Series X, and while that is a great step into ushering gamers into what gaming can be from a PC perspective, Sony is sending a message of refinement and the potential for innovation. ... The PS5 launch is one of the most exciting generational shifts I have seen in a long time. Time will tell if this promised gaming future can come into focus, but I am excited to see where this wild space box from the future will take me.


Paul Sullivan

PlayStation 5 is an outstanding piece of hardware. There are certainly areas Sony will want to build on where customization is concerned, but the bones are incredibly solid. It’s silent, runs cool, has a great user interface, and a strong launch lineup. If you’re interested in jumping into next gen this fall, the PlayStation 5 is a stellar option.


Owen Gough
Digital Spy

Sony has long-held the title as the most popular gaming system, and we really don't see that changing going into the next generation of consoles. The PlayStation 5 is a powerhouse console that will fit into any gamer's set-up. And despite the Xbox delivering an impressive console on their own, we just don't see anything that would make you want to throw away your PlayStation in Microsoft's favour.


Chris Morris
Digital Trends

With lightning-fast load speeds and innovative (and captivating) changes to the DualShock controller, the PS5 sets the bar for the next generation of gaming. That’s impressive in any year, but doubly so in 2020. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Sony has assembled a strong system that backs up its hardware with a strong lineup of launch titles.


Richard Leadbetter
Eurogamer / Digital Foundry

PlayStation 5 is a home run. ... Xbox Series X presents the notion of latent power yet to be unleashed, and is almost conservative in its presentation - both in terms of its cuboid form factor and its UI, which is to all intents and purposes a smoother, slicker, faster version of the Xbox One interface. PlayStation 5 is an altogether different experience - a Buck Rogers physical design with system software that's fast, immediate, beautifully presented, and almost excessively eager to herald the arrival of a new generation of gaming, to the point where you're even given a pack-in game.


Will Georgiadis
Expert Reviews

The PS5 is Sony’s best console to date. Effortlessly fast and unexpectedly innovative, the PS5 is more than capable of shouldering the burden of expectation it has been handed by those who have preordered it in their droves.


Matt Miller
Game Informer

The PlayStation 5 is an incredibly powerful and sophisticated piece of gaming hardware, sometimes virtually eliminating the tedium of loading screens that have plagued console gaming for decades. Games look amazing thanks to new lighting techniques, especially on 4K displays, and a proprietary sound engine ensures an equally arresting aural experience. While its outward aesthetic is attractive, it’s also overpowering, and the design won’t please everyone. A slick dashboard is easy to use and smartly designed, and values what’s important to you, most especially your leisure time.


Mike Minotti

The PlayStation 5 is a big investment, but early adopters won’t regret their decision. Even in an era of diminishing returns, the PlayStation 5 manages to excite you. ... If the PlayStation 5 has one big negative, it’s the SSD’s small storage space. It feels kind of silly that I can only keep a handful of games installed on the drive at any given time.


Sam Loveridge

The PS5 is already doing everything right. By gambling on a complete redesign of its hardware, controller, and key UI features, PlayStation has unlocked the next-generation of gaming. While the improved graphics and framerates are clearly a boon – and something we'll no doubt see evolve over the coming years – it's the improvements to gaming immersion that really define the generational leap. ... PlayStation's push for a more traditional console launch than Microsoft's approach has also paid off entirely. Having games that you can point at as clear launch titles is of huge benefit to showcasing what PS5 can do.


Ron Burke
Gaming Trend

The PlayStation 5 is a complete overhaul of Sony’s ecosystem, matching massive technological improvements with a stellar refresh of the user experience. AMD’s power CPU and GPU come together with the fastest possible storage solution to silently deliver games at 4K resolution and 60fps with power to spare. The new DualSense controller is a real differentiator for this generation, creating immersion unlike we’ve ever seen before. It’s no doubt Sony has built an amazing console, and I predict one that’ll be the must-have gift this holiday season -- if you can find one.


Adam Cook
God Is a Geek

As mad as it sounds to say it, the new games actually feel new, and the controller and its features make everything feel special. Seriously, people are raving about the DualSense and it’s for good reason. Sony are onto a huge winner here. The games are there already with more coming, the system is powerful and runs everything well and, honestly, I’m a little in love with the PS5 already. It’s a great time to be a fan of games, that’s for sure.


Ian Walker

It’s as good a video game console as there has ever been. The combination of ultra high-definition video, increased framerates, high-end graphics techniques like ray tracing, and the lightning-fast SSD make it feel like a real-deal, next-gen successor to the PlayStation 4.


Adam Rosenberg

The PlayStation 5 is a great machine. Whether or not your living room is fully ready to take advantage, it still represents a huge upgrade over the PS4's capabilities and performance. And you definitely don't need a high-end TV to appreciate the wondrous DualSense controller.


Chandler Wood
PlayStation Lifestyle

On the surface, the player-facing evolution to the PS5 may seem like a smaller generational leap than past console launches, but it’s all in the player experience. ... PlayStation 5 changes what it feels like to play games, from the physical feeling in your hands to blink-and-you’ll-miss-it loading times and subtle but stunning elements like ray tracing. The platform engages with the games at a fundamental level that feels less like a thing you play games on and more like a thing you play games with. Sony didn’t just say “how can we make games bigger, faster, and prettier,” but asked themselves “how can we meaningfully evolve the gaming experience?” The answer is the PlayStation 5.


John-Paul Jones
PlayStation Universe

Less than stellar backwards compatibility is not enough to detract from what Sony has fashioned here. A beautifully engineered unconventional console that boasts arguably the best controller ever made and the promise of industry leading and critically acclaimed exclusive titles for years to come, as it turns out Play Really Has No Limits.


Rik Henderson

It's an undeniably superb machine, taking Sony in directions it's never trodden before.


Nick Pino, Adam Vjestica

Sony has re-imagined the key parts of the experience – from a simpler setup and new well-thought-out user interface, to a revolutionary controller and added bonuses for PS Plus members – and the result is a console that we can't help but be impressed with. ... Sure, there are problems with how few first-party games there are at launch – and it would have been nice to see support for previous generations of PlayStation titles, not just PS4 games – but the PlayStation 5 feels like a solid investment nevertheless, and we're confident that the PS5 experience will improve with age.


Michael Andronico
Tom's Guide

The PS5 is a genuine leap forward for console gaming, offering gorgeous 4K performance, stunningly fast load times and a truly game-changing controller that makes playing games more immersive and tactile than ever.


Jade King
Trusted Reviews

The PS5 is a meaningful evolution of Sony’s achievements with its predecessor. It’s a gorgeously accessible machine with a forward-thinking plan for the coming generation, whether that’s through its nuanced SSD technology or growing library of worthwhile exclusives. Combine this with a compelling user interface, strong slate of launch experiences and a general ecosystem that embraces what came before it, and the PS5 is one of the best openers to a new generation we’ve had in some time. Once developers begin to truly test this new hardware, we’re all in for a treat.


Matt Kamen
Wired UK

PlayStation 5 isn't just a bigger, better box – it really feels new and futuristic. With the power of the hardware and the genuinely fun and impressive features of the DualSense controller, it actually promises new ways to play, while its revamped UI better draws players into those games.

Positive Positive reviews


Kyle Orland
Ars Technica

After a few weeks with the console, there's a lot to like about the PS5's new vision for the PlayStation line. Whether those improvements are worth $500 at the moment, though, is a harder question to answer. ... For now, we can say the PS5 is an intriguing evolution in the PlayStation line, with a lot of interesting and experimental features on top of the expected hardware improvements. Today, though, many if not most of the PS5's biggest titles are also available in largely similar, only slightly worse-looking forms on the PS4. Given that, it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend spending $500 for feature upgrades that are more pleasant than transformative.


William Hughes
A.V. Club

Certainly, we can appreciate the technical merits, the quality of life improvements, the refinement and beauty of the thing—all of which are meaningful, and all of which will delight anyone who has the disposable cash ... to pony up for a generational upgrade that’s more of a gentle leapfrog than a monumental leap. But none of that can free the console from the feeling that Sony has played things so safe here as to be positively somnambulistic.


Kevin Webb
Business Insider

Overall, the PlayStation 5 represents a welcome evolution in the PlayStation experience and a major upgrade in performance, but the lack of impressive new games reflects just how hard it is to show off innovation as the console industry advances.


Brandon Hardin
BuzzFeed News

If you're a Sony fan with $400 or $500 and want it, buy it. You won't be disappointed. If you have a PS4 and are happy with it, you don't need to rush to upgrade. Support for the PS4 isn't going anywhere, and it's still getting great games.


Dan Ackerman

Do you need a PlayStation 5 today? No. If you wanted one but weren't able to get a preorder in, you should feel no FOMO. ... At the same time, I'm extremely impressed with the entire PS5 package. ... If you can find one, save $100 and get the all-digital version.


Shannon Liao

If you already own a PS4 Pro, as opposed to an old 1080p PlayStation, then the PlayStation 5's benefits may be a little more elusive. Still, for $500, you get a sleek new user interface, and slightly better-looking games, but that's about it. ... As developers start making games just for PS5, the console could grow more appealing.


Jacob Krol
CNN underscored

The massive PlayStation 5 has a unique design, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. Over a week of testing, though, it’s proven itself to be a formidable console that can handle a lot that’s thrown at it.


Rollin Bishop

The actual experience of playing the PlayStation 5 is quite honestly a delight. ... [But at] this point, it’s hard to say whether I would have personally shelled out the $499 to buy a PlayStation 5 myself.


Joel S

I’ve been incredibly impressed with what the PlayStation 5 has to offer. The DualSense is a phenomenal controller with tech inside that has the potential to be a real game-changer. The new User Interface is clean, easy to use, and makes switching between games and tasks fast and easy. The new SSD drive allows for very quick load times, and quicker time between opening a game and getting straight into gameplay. Really the only issue I have with the Playstation 5 is the design, but like most art, it is left in the eye of the beholder.


Chris Carter

Sony is jumping into the next generation pool with both feet. The DualSense controller is markedly different from the DualShock 4. The PS5's general look and feel is a stark departure. Its UI is entering new territory as well with some interesting features. It has bonafide (good) exclusives and first-party games to peddle day one. But not all of it is perfectly executed. If you one day have the option to choose between the Xbox Series X and the PS5 and want to feel like "next-gen" is upon you, the PS5 will probably be a better fit as it has several real exclusives and the new DualSense tech.



While it can be notoriously difficult to judge how a console will evolve over its lifespan, the PlayStation 5 already looks like a system that will streamline the way we play games. It’s already clear Sony has underpinned its new console with a lot of great technology and clever design choices that will give it room to grow as developers become more comfortable with the system. ... That’s not to say we have no worries. Do we want to see some UX improvements allowing for deeper customization? Yes. (Give us back our folders.) Are we still unsure whether third-party developers will actually make full use of the most exciting aspects of the DualSense and system features like Activities? Yes. Could Sony be clearer on potential backward compatibility issues? You bet. But those are minor uncertainties eclipsed by a two-week testing period that was almost completely smooth and enjoyable.


Devindra Hardawar

With the PS5, Sony has managed to deliver a truly next-generation console, even if it went a bit overboard on the design. Its controller is genuinely innovative, and it actually has a bunch of new games you’ll want to play. But I won’t say that Sony has won the next-gen war just yet -- maybe just the launch battle.


Anthony Taormina
Game Rant

Its graphical capabilities are more than powerful enough to craft even immersive worlds that are bursting with detail on a variety of scales. The SSD is truly impressive and will be a game-changer when it comes to eliminating the loading screen. And surprisingly, the DualSense controller, for as much as it deviates from the DualShock, has a lot to offer with its adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.


Mike Minotti

The PlayStation 5 is a big investment, but early adopters won’t regret their decision. Even in an era of diminishing returns, the PlayStation 5 manages to excite you. ... If the PlayStation 5 has one big negative, it’s the SSD’s small storage space. It feels kind of silly that I can only keep a handful of games installed on the drive at any given time.


Jason Faulkner

The PlayStation 5 isn’t perfect, but it’s daring. It provides a firm foundation for Sony to build its next console generation on, and it’s an impressive piece of hardware. ... The PS5 feels next-gen. Its design, UI, and the DualSense all feel like an evolution from the PS4. Despite its flaws, it’s a machine that fills me with wonder for what might come next.


Mat Paget

At launch the PS5 is an excellent console that paves the way for a promising future where gaming experiences can evolve in interesting ways and the process of experiencing them is streamlined. ... Of course, the PS5 can't survive on its backwards-compatible games alone, and all consoles ultimately come down to the quality of their dedicated libraries. Beyond that, many of the console's best features, such as the adaptive triggers and Activities, require developers to opt-in and support them. Sony has laid strong foundations for its new generation of gaming, but it's now up to developers to use all the tools laid out for them to build upon it.


Sam White

Unlike the Xbox Series X, you can pick up a PlayStation 5 at launch and jump right into the next-generation of console gaming, and that’s entirely the point here. It’s by no means a raft of games, but it’s something. ... So, even though it’s by no means the most attractive console and lacks useful features such as the Xbox’s Quick Resume, there is still a vision and an ethos to the PlayStation 5 that’s compelling.


Keza MacDonald
The Guardian

Big, bold-looking and festooned with new bells and whistles, it makes you feel as if you’re buying into something futuristic and novel. With games at £70 a throw, though, you’re certainly paying for it.


Adam Beck
Hardcore Gamer

Obviously we’re only at the beginning of the PlayStation 5’s life, but even then, it’s a lacking launch in comparison to the past. The system has more of a next-gen feel than its competition, with an improved user interface, an evolutionary controller and actual exclusives – as few as they may be, but whether or not it’s a must-have item is solely dependent on your passion for the brand. The PlayStation 5 is the console with the most promise, with the few games that demonstrate the next-gen features truly getting us excited for 2021 and beyond.


Luke Reilly

With a launch line-up dominated by games that are also available on PS4, and on the back of a generation already punctuated with incrementally more powerful hardware revisions like the PS4 Pro, the PS5 doesn’t quite land as a knockout punch yet – but it’s definitely got the power and speed to be a real contender.


Andrew Griffin
The Independent

The PS5 delivers on its size and its unmissable looks, with an experience that is equally hulking in its ambition and performance. ... The PS5 is certainly a more exciting console than the Xbox Series X, in just about every way, most of which are good. But it’s a close race – and one that is likely to change in the months to come.


David Ehrlich

The PS5 seems to have been designed to accomplish three specific things above all others: To embrace the exclusive single-player experience that has always differentiated the PlayStation from the XBox, to peel back the ceiling of what seemed possible for it (while also creating an online infrastructure that’s fluid enough to compete with other consoles, complete with a higher bandwidth cap means that downloads of all kinds are roughly 5x faster than they were on PS4), and to restore our enthusiasm for the future of video games by making good on the holiest promises they’ve made to us in the past.


Metro GameCentral

The PlayStation 5 is an impressive console and while many of its features, such as fast loading and the ability to run games at native 4K or 60fps, are replicated by the Xbox Series X the superior games line-up and the new features of the DualSense stand above anything Microsoft is offering so far. ... The biggest issue with the PlayStation 5 at the moment is simply the cost of the games.


Dan Casey

So the big question here—the $499 question—is should you buy the PlayStation 5? The answer is yes, but with a few caveats. If you’re looking for a categorical upgrade to your console gaming experience, the PlayStation 5 is a no brainer. If you have an extensive PlayStation 4 library and you’re in the market to upgrade your console, you should definitely buy it. Every game you’re playing now will play smoother, look nicer, and run better on the PS5. ... It’s a truly next generation console that looks the part. It’s a machine bursting with potential and I cannot wait to see what developers are able to do with it.


Brian X. Chen and Mike Isaac
The New York Times

If I were to plunk down 500 bucks on a piece of hardware right now, it would be the PS5. ... There are different audiences for each console. Here’s what I think it boils down to: For game enthusiasts who choose only one console, the PlayStation 5 is a safer bet for now. The hardware and software are solid, and the system looks poised to get strong games in Year 1.


Garrett Martin

On its own terms the PlayStation 5 is a powerful and highly promising gaming device. It’s a more direct continuation of its predecessor than perhaps any console in history, but it is by no means simply a juiced-up PS4. The PS5 is a powerful, state-of-the-art console that absolutely holds its own against its main console competition and high-powered gaming PCs. From a user experience perspective, it picks up seamlessly from where the PS4 left off, making it a smart choice for any long-time PlayStation owners looking to upgrad


Wes Fenlon
PC Gamer

So why would you buy a PlayStation 5 as a PC gamer? After spending a week playing around with the new console, which Sony provided for review, I think that decision comes down to three key elements: the SSD, the new DualSense controller, and Sony's arsenal of exclusive games. ... If you can wait for Sony to get around to bringing more of its first party games to PC, try not to get shiny new toy envy—the PS5 will stay the same for years, while PC hardware's only going to keep getting better and better.


Will Greenwald

The PlayStation 5 is a massive game console, but its size holds incredible processing power and a blazing-fast solid-state drive. The system has impressive performance, and its new DualSense controller takes several clever leaps forward in terms of gamepad functionality. ... Its only disappointing aspects are the ridiculous chassis design and lack of backward compatibility for pre-PS4 PlayStation games.


Chelsea Stark

The PlayStation 5 isn’t taking any huge risks. ... But nearly every choice the company made amplifies that this is a platform for high-end gaming experiences. ... The PlayStation 5 isn’t going to be the alpha and the omega of your entertainment ecosystem, but it will make games faster, smoother, and more striking, and that’s all I really want from it.


Shannon Grixti
Press Start

There’s a lot of innovation and definitely still a few limitations. ... There’s still a decent way to go in improving on things such as cloud saves and storage options, which will hopefully be rectified as time goes on.


Sammy Barker
Push Square

In many ways, the PS5 is a refinement of the PS4 experience in all the right areas, but Sony’s sprinkled some next-gen innovations into the mix. ... Yet, while it continues to astound with new software, the PS5’s approach to backwards compatibility does feel like a no-frills solution, with very few titles leveraging the new hardware to the levels that we’d expected. The only other major downside, after hundreds of hours of play, is that the SSD simply doesn’t have enough space available. ... Nevertheless, we’re extremely enthusiastic about the future of this platform.


Brandt Ranj
Rolling Stone

Sony’s latest console shows an incredible amount of promise. They solved the PlayStation 4’s only major hardware issue (poor cooling), and continued their focus on making a gamer-first piece of hardware.


Gieson Cacho
San Jose Mercury News

The PS5’s vision of the next generation doubles down on and refines what made its past console so great while adding innovations that will undoubtedly be adopted by others.


Stefan L
The Sixth Axis

The PlayStation 5 makes a phenomenal first impression with the sheer immersion that's possible through the DualSense controller, the compelling Tempest 3D audio engine and the gorgeous new graphical potential of its games, all of which are more connected than ever. There's quirks and a rigidity to some parts of the system software, and it could be a challenge to fit the PS5 into your TV set up, but this is a generational leap that could really make games feel different to play.


Steve Wright

The PS5 absolutely shreds the Xbox Series set of consoles in some respects and falls short in others. The differences really fall to personal preference; you’ll do well with either (and even better with both). From its look and feel down to raw speed, the PS5 screams next-gen and speaks to the promise of what’s to come when developers really understand what they’re working with.


Tim Biggs
The Sydney Morning Herald

With a big increase in power, innovative new ways to interact with games and a clear roadmap for big titles that plan to make good use of it all, the PlayStation 5 is an extremely promising successor to one of the most popular consoles of all time. Yet while all of Sony's new tricks make for a fresh-feeling device that's a lot more exciting to explore than a machine that's merely more powerful, they also introduce a level of uncertainty as to which features will become truly game-changing and which will be gimmicks that most games ignore.


Dan Silver
The Telegraph

It was ever thus with new console launches, of course, but the particularly anaemic native software line-up this time round combined with the undeniably impressive hardware makes for a frustrating juxtaposition. The PS5 has the potential to change fundamentally the way we play blockbuster video games - but it could well be a year or more until we really find out how.


Andrew E. Freedman
Tom's Hardware

The PlayStation 5 may not be the prettiest or the quietest, but it's modernized, it's powerful, and it's fast as hell. It will need some time to meet its full potential, but with a mix of exciting first- and third-party games and tantalizing tech, the PS5 has an exciting future ahead of it.


Brett Molina and Mike Snider
USA Today

Players may find themselves waiting to find more experiences built specific to PS5. However, right out of the box, thanks to its innovative controller, PS5 provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of video games.


Mike Williams

The addition of features like ray tracing, the ultra-fast SSD, and the Adaptive Triggers of the DualSense could result in some fantastic PS5-exclusive games, but that's not entirely apparent right now. Instead, the real gains are purely in terms of performance, with 4K resolution and 60fps being the benchmarks for a number of launch games. Developers need time to really come to terms with what the system can do. ... I think the PS5 is a system that will prove its full worth in a year or so.


Andrew Webster
The Verge

Physically, the PS5 is a brash, intimidating piece of hardware, one that is clearly meant to signal a major shift. But underneath, its changes are much more subtle — at least right now. This isn’t the move from SD to HD, or watching Mario explore a 3D space for the very first time. Instead, it’s a series of smaller — though still important — shifts, like faster speeds and a more immersive controller, which all add up to a markedly better experience compared to the PS4 by every conceivable metric (aside from the space it takes up). I can’t tell you what the future holds, but right now, the PS5 is a great piece of hardware.


Tom Orry

Spending $499 on a new console is by no means a small outlay, and for that kind of money it’s important to feel excited. I’m looking forward to getting a Series X, but I’m excited about the PS5, its superb controller, slick new UI, and that glimpse into next-gen with Demon’s Souls. For me, if you’re after that new generation thrill, PS5 is currently the only choice.


Patrick Klepek

The best part of the PS5 is playing games on it, because the moment you decide to start futzing with the user interface, the headaches start.


A.J. Maciejewski
Video Chums

It does feel like a significant step up from PlayStation 4. The most notable difference by far is its performance which allows for consistent graphical fidelity with virtually no load times.


Elise Favis
The Washington Post

If the PS5 wasn’t so massive (you may have trouble finding room for it on your media cabinet), I’d consider it a near-perfect console. It’s quiet, powerful and quick. ... If you’re looking for a rich gaming experience, this system already offers plenty.


Kai Powell

Sony's entry into the next-generation console war is the one that feels like a proper next-gen system. Rather than simply expanding on the existing libraries, Sony has established themselves as the console that's going to bring gamers into a new era.


Shaan Joshi
We Got This Covered

Rather than simply slapping a fresh coat of paint over their tried-and-tested ecosystem, they’re hedging their bets on an entirely new user interface, a completely redesigned controller, and what’s arguably the largest console we’ve seen in quite some time. It’s by no means the safest route, but after spending a week with Sony’s new hardware, it’s safe to say the gamble has paid off… for the most part.


Daniel Howley

The PS5 is not cheap, and it’s not small, and its design certainly won’t be for everyone. But as someone who has owned every Sony console since the original PlayStation, I can safely say, you’re going to want to get the PS5. The graphics and quality of life improvements such as its high-speed hard drive, along with the new DualSense controller, make it worthwhile, and that’s before you take into account Sony’s enviable stable of first-party franchises that you can only play on its consoles.

Mixed Mixed/so-so reviews


Rob Keyes
Screen Rant

Sony's PlayStation 5 offers a significant leap in console power that further increases performance on the PS4's impressive library of games, 99% of which will work on the next-gen console. The PS5 doesn't offer much yet that's genuinely innovative outside of its speed however, and it suffers from some notable shortcomings. ... The PlayStation 5 unit is laughably large and oddly shaped. ... Its download speeds haven't improved over the last generation, and they're a far cry from what the Xbox Series X download speeds are and what's needed for modern gaming. Also worrisome on this front is the PS5's limited storage space.


Chris Jarrard

Nothing about my short time with the PS5 offered anything that felt next-gen, much like the Xbox Series X. Sony’s track record with exclusives helps to ease some of my concerns, but this package is still tough to recommend to casuals, at least during the initial launch window.


Devin Coldewey

The PS5 ... simply isn’t a console anyone should rush out and purchase for any reason. ... The power of the next generation is not much on display in any of the titles I have been able to play, and while a handful of upcoming games may show off its advantages, those games will likely play just as well on the other platforms they’re being released on. ... Nor are there any compelling new features that make the PS5 feel truly next gen, with the possible exception of the variable resistance triggers.

Poor Negative reviews


What about that new PS5 controller?

Critics loved the new Xbox Series X controller, but it was effectively an extremely slight variation on previous controllers from Microsoft. Sony's new DualSense controller, on the other hand, marks a more significant break from the past with its innovative new features. So what are reviewers saying about the DualSense controller?

Ars Technica feels, "There’s something magical about the combination of clear, synced audio cues from the controller’s crisp speakers; sensitive, directional rumbling that can send highly varied sensations to different parts of the controller; and triggers that offer physical resistance to your fingers when contextually appropriate" but cautions that those words only apply "if the game supports these unique features, though"—and, at the moment, not many do.

The Sixth Axis notes in a 90/100 review of the DualSense on its own that the controller "lifts a few ideas right out of Nintendo’s playbook" but also represents "a giant leap forward for haptic feedback and immersion" that is "far more than just a gimmick."

PlayStation Universe concludes, "The DualSense wireless controller is easily the best controller that Sony have ever made" thanks to being "[s]martly designed, infinitely comfortable to hold and bursting with exciting promise for the future."

IGN is likewise impressed, writing in a 90/100 review, "Both a careful evolution and a big, innovative leap, the DualSense sets a strong new standard for console controllers."

The San Jose Mercury News writes, "There is nothing subtle about the changes in the DualSense controller. It’s the first major redesign of Sony’s controller since the DualShock was introduced in 1997. The new DualSense builds on the innovation of the DualShock 4 with the built-in speaker, touchpad and share button, but it comes packed with game-changing technology that elevates the experience to the next level."

One word of caution from Tom's Guide: "The DualSense controller itself could be a little big for folks with smaller hands."

What are the PS5 launch games?

Unlike the Xbox Series X, Sony's new console does have a few exclusives at launch (a Demon's Souls remake and Astro's Playroom), plus a few PlayStation exclusives it will share with the PS4 (new Spider-Man and Sackboy games, Bugsnax) and PC (Godfall).

Here are all the games scheduled to be available for the Playstation 5 this month. (All games will be out November 12 unless otherwise indicated, and reviews for many of these games won't be available until closer to launch day.)

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Astro's Playroom (PS5 exclusive; included free with console purchase)
Borderlands 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (November 13)
Cuisine Royale
Demon's Souls (remake) (PS5 exclusive)
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
Dirt 5
Godfall (PS5 console exclusive, but also on PC via Epic Games Store)
Just Dance 2021 (November 24)
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Marvel's Spider-Man: Remastered (PS5 exclusive)(included with Miles Morales Ult. Ed.)
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (November 17)
NBA 2K21
No Man's Sky
Observer: System Redux
Overcooked! All You Can Eat (compilation)
The Pathless
Planet Coaster
Poker Club (November 19)
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
Watch Dogs Legion (digital November 12; physical November 24)
WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship

Full list of upcoming PlayStation 5 titles >

The PS5's backwards compatibility won't be quite as good as that of its Microsoft rival. Sony's new console will be able to play up to 99% of PS4 games (both on disc and digitally), though a few may have some incompatible elements. But games from earlier PlayStation consoles will not be playable on PS5 unless they were previously ported to the PS4. Many PS4 titles may perform better on the new hardware even without a software update, and a number of PS4 games will get free PS5 upgrades to boost performance even further.

What do you think?

Are you planning on grabbing Sony's new console? Give us your take in the comments section below, and then check out reviews of the competing Xbox Series X.


Comments (2)

  • Metareviewss  

    1.big,ugly, design
    2.uneven bottom surface needing base....
    3.which gets screwed via a screw.....
    4.and after a while the base gets loose,breaks,drifts,rumbles
    5.no games. g turismo 7 is service.servers go down.no way to play it after few years.
    6.500$ in usa. 550 EUROS in europe.and you are obligated to buy it with 3 games +1 extra pad at 820 euros.
    7.dualsense lasts only for 400 hours.after that you must buy new controller.scam sony policies
    8.new model has higher price in europe and smaller heating system.it gets overheated
    9.NO browser to justify their useless gimick of trofies
    10.anto consumer policies DICTATING behavioral patterns, banning accounts, stealing money from gamers who got banned and thus they cannot play their games they PAID FOR!
    11. pay to play online.what a joke
    12.80 euros per game in europe.70 in usa. 1 euro=1,1-1,06 usd.treating europeans with discriminations.price tags are high.UNACCEPTIBLE
    13.no FF7 intergrade in ps4, to promote ps5
    14.doesnt play cds after 5-7 years.sony...scamm policies
    15.boring 1st party titles

    1.25 euros now the demon souls remake
    2.the other game is ratchek and clank.short game

    ps5 has floped.none cares for it now.no reason to get a ps5.check my profile for other system reviews to see how objectively i write.no games,lame policies,overpriced.ITS NOT WORTHY.

    those who got a ps5, cry now with regret.

  • LatinCritic13  

    PlayStation 5's console design and system architecture is what a next gen console should be.

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