Why the PS5 Is My First Choice

What Xbox?

Key Takeaways

  • The PlayStation 5 is a super-powerful console with fast load times and a promising library.
  • It’s backward compatible with most PS4 titles.
  • Sony’s offering the best lineup of launch and “launch window” games.
The PlayStation 5 with DualSense controller next to it.

Four generations in, Sony has established that it knows how to make a game box. The PlayStation 4 was the first console I ever preordered, and I put my name in for its successor as soon as I could get the overwhelmed site I was trying to order it from to accept my information.

To be fair, I did the same with the Xbox Series X, and I’m also pretty pumped to bring that system home. But I’m looking more forward to unboxing the PS5, for a variety of reasons.

The Hardware

Generally, I care more about games than I do about processors, RAM, and cooling. As long as the system works and has plenty to play, I’m happy. But the PS5 boasts some impressive tech, both in and out, that has even a game-focused buyer like me interested.

Sony’s teardown provides an in-depth look at the guts inside that huge, plastic shell. Of particular interest are the fast solid-state drive that will drastically reduce loading times, even on older games; the surprisingly beautiful and steampunk-looking heatsink; and the liquid-metal thermal interface that is a relatively new and extra-effective way to move the heat the processors produce away from the system.

The other bit of hardware I can’t wait to get into my actual hands is the new DualSense controller. I’ve always preferred Sony’s controllers to Microsoft’s, and I’m assuming that will be the case this generation, too. The DualSense improves on its immediate predecessor, the DualShock 4, with several features. One simple, convenient change is that you can charge it without plugging it into the console. But it has more than that.

The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller in white

The DualSense also features “adaptive triggers” that Sony says will provide more or less resistance based on what you’re doing. The main example the company has used is drawing a bow; the trigger should be harder to pull back to simulate the resistance of the string. It may end up being a gimmick that few games end up actually using, but I’m looking forward to trying it out.

The Games

All that hardware is no good if there’s nothing to play, and luckily, the PlayStation 5 has a solid launch lineup to back it up. The day it comes out, it will have multi-platform titles like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, and Fortnite (all of which will also be available for the new Xbox consoles).

However, it’ll also have a handful of exclusive titles that give this console the edge over its competition. Superhero spinoff Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the long-awaited remake of Demon’s Souls, and the frankly bizarre zoology title Bugsnax will only be available for Sony’s consoles.

A screenshot from the PS5 game Bugsnax
Young Horses

The PS5 also has some upcoming exclusives that further help justify that $500 price point, including Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon: Forbidden West. These and other exclusives will make full use of both the PS5 hardware and controller, and considering Horizon is a series that is about 90% shooting arrows at robot dinosaurs, it’ll give those adaptive triggers a good workout.

While the Xbox Series X has Sony beat on backward compatibility by supporting games from the past three generations (original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One), the PlayStation 5 isn’t completely empty there. Sony says that almost every PlayStation 4 title will work with the new hardware, and they’ll take advantage of the faster load times and some graphical updates. Anyone who missed the current generation will have plenty of good stuff to catch up on, along with everything else coming.

Like Microsoft, Sony also has a games-on-demand service, PlayStation Now, which picks up some of the slack by including titles that go all the way back to the PlayStation 2. So while the PS5 won’t know what to do with the older discs in your collection, you may still be able to play them with the monthly subscription.

The Less Interesting Version

For $100 less, you can pick up a version of the PS5 with no disc drive that only plays digital versions of games. It’ll have the same impressive library, but for current PlayStation 4 owners, it may not be the best investment. Since they may have a library full of physical discs, the digital-only edition won’t let them take full advantage of the backward compatibility feature without buying digital versions of games they already have.

People new to Sony who don’t necessarily have half a grand to spend in an especially difficult year will still have plenty to play on the cheaper version. I’m all about the full-featured PlayStation 5 and its slot for actual discs, though, and I can’t wait to clear a lot of space for it next to my TV.

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