PlayStation 5 review - A giant leap forward in video game consoles
An absolute behemoth of a machine that is more than just a gaming console.
In a year as challenging as 2020, there has at least been solace for gaming fans in the hugely anticipated arrivals of new consoles from the two giants, PlayStation and Xbox, both of which go on release next month.
Your humble author was lucky enough to get his hands on the PS5 three weeks before its release and I have played it extensively over the past week or so.
I should probably clarify to start off that I am more of a PlayStation than an Xbox guy. I have always preferred the Sony consoles as I find them smoother, cleaner, and easier to manage overall.
And while I have yet to played the new Xbox Series X for purpose of comparison, the new PlayStation 5 has certainly made an impression and a very positive one at that.
To start off, as you probably know by now, it is absolutely HUGE. I knew it was going to be big, and was still shocked by the size of the thing.
It's massive. And it's heavy too. Unless you plan on regularly moving it and once you've found a comfortable home for it to start with, this is almost never going to be an issue.
As you can also see in the above picture, the controller is very slick.
It's much bigger than the average PlayStation controller, and actually more like an Xbox One, but it's cool regardless.
I was impressed from the moment I turned on the console and was greeted by a very friendly home screen. This is par for the course with a console of this magnitude, but it's a particularly aesthetically pleasing backdrop, and the super-fast load times are immediately noticeable.
And immediately, I noticed that all of the games I had downloaded on to my PS4 were all still there and playable on the PS5, an outstanding money-saving feature, at a time when customers frequently have every penny squeezed out of them.
Assuming you're using the same PSN account on PS5, you will have access to all of your PS4 purchases from the PlayStation Store. Class.
The console is backwards compatible, meaning that both physical and digital software will still work on the next-gen system.
Given the type of person that I am, the first game I played was FIFA 21. I had already played FIFA on the PS4, and quite liked it, and it was pretty similar on the PS5.
The graphics may have looked slightly clearer, but there was no noticeable difference, largely due to the fact that the upgraded version of the new game won't be available for the PS5 until December.
I could still play with and against my mates who all have PS4s, which is also a nice touch.
The game I have been playing most, and that has given me the best idea of what the PS5 is all about, is Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which is an expectedly excellent superhero game.
Anyone who has played the Spider-Man video game from 2018 should have high expectations about this game, and this is a more-than-worthy sequel to that hugely successful project.
Once again, the views of New York are breathtaking (eclipsing the 2018 game, which were already absolutely magnificent), the action is top notch, and the story is really well written.
Plus, when you're swinging through the Manhattan skyline and the graphics are as clear as they are on the PS5, you really can get lost in the Spider-Man world.
We won't spoil it for you, but if you're expecting it to be the Miles Morales storyline from Into the Spider-Verse, then you're in for quite a few surprises...
Clip via PlayStation
I also played a bit of Astro's Playroom, which is essentially like the most basic Mario game you'll ever play in your life, but still quite fun.
As always, you've got your streaming services available to download, making what is already a top tier gaming console even more of an asset.
With a lengthy list of next-gen games already on the market and more to come, the PS5 is a gamers' dream.
The cheapest console available will cost at least €399, so the PS5 is an expensive purchase (as are the accompanying games), but on first glance, to this author at least, you will definitely be getting your money's worth.
The PlayStation 5 launches in Ireland on 19 November, though it has been available to pre-order for a number of weeks.