Reviews have been coming in - and the verdicts have been overwhelmingly positive:
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 (although the jury’s out on the stamina of that tiny 667GB SSD). However, while the PS5’s well-considered UI and blisteringly-quick loading times for PS5 games make it a pleasure to use, it’s the DualSense controller that’s proven to be the surprise haymaker I never saw coming; it truly leaves other controllers feeling primitive in comparison.
IGN Dualsense Review: 9/10
IGN Pulse 3D Wireless Headset Review: 9/10
The wrap-up: PlayStation 5 is an exceptional console - and the games look terrific
This is in no way a complete technical lowdown on the PlayStation 5. There is still much more to test, from the suitability of various USB media, down to the 120Hz gaming implementation and of course, not forgetting the platform comparisons with Xbox Series X that many of our audience are waiting for (to reiterate: we've still not received any one game we can play on both systems). In the here and now, what I find remarkable is how two next generation consoles built from what are effectively the same AMD technologies (though Microsoft claims extra RDNA 2 features) can deliver such a drastically different first impression.
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. Yes, Astro's Playroom fully deserves its Eurogamer Essential award, and strategically, it's a Wii Sports-style play from Sony that showcases a brilliant new controller - and it works.
Meanwhile, it's business as usual on the first-party front: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales may well be a cross-generational title, but it still manages to be a stunning workout for the new hardware that wouldn't look out of place on a high-end PC. Meanwhile, the Demon's Souls remake is not too far away and further first-party goodies are announced and en route. And did we mention just how good the backwards compatibility turned out to be? And that select PS4 Pro games like Ghost of Tsushima and Days Gone are already running at 60 frames per second? Microsoft laid down the gauntlet and it's good to see Sony rising to the challenge. Sony may well be wedded to the notion of the console generation, but the PlayStation 4 library has not been left behind.
This is PlayStation 5 - and it's terrific.
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. Its custom SSD, unique DualSense controller, and powerful specs draw a distinct line between last generation and the next. Faster loading times and system features like the PS5's Activities make the SSD feel essential, while the DualSense's substantial feedback makes a strong case for moving on from the DualShock 4. Of course, the performance and visuals that the PS5 is capable of pushing offer excellent experiences no matter what graphics mode you prefer. And even though its backwards compatibility implementation isn't perfect, it's still exciting to know that I can play most of my PS4 library on this new console with few if any issues--I even tested Guitar Hero Live, which works very well.
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. With what we've seen so far from the console's hardware, and games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro's Playroom, this next generation has the potential to be great for PlayStation. And I'm excited to see it.
Tech Radar: 9/10
We were hoping for great things from the PS5, and Sony's next-gen console delivers.
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.
You may feel tempted to run out and buy a 4K/120Hz TV with HDMI 2.1 to take full advantage of the console's peak capabilities, but even without one you'll enjoy unbelievably fast load times and a gorgeous new UI.
The PS5 caters to both primed and ready next-gen gamers and tepid PS4 owners looking to dip their toes into the future of gaming - and for the latter it's a console that so seamlessly bridges the gap between the last generation and the next that you probably won't need to boot up your PS4 ever again.
From big upgrades like the super-fast NVMe SSD and powerful GPU that enable higher frame rates and ray tracing, to subtle touches like the built-in microphone on the controller that can serve as a quick stand-in for a headset, the PS5 feels like it was built for ease of use as well as pure power.
We've yet to get our hands on the PS5 Digital Edition, which we may feel differently about, and we've yet to try out some of the PS5's streaming apps and entertainment functionality, but if you're still on the fence about buying the PS5, we can wholeheartedly recommend the console as a welcome upgrade over the PS4, and an exciting portal to next-gen gameplay.
Games Radar: 9/10
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. Wave goodbye to loading screens, and say hello to having more insight into your games at the touch of a button. There are quality-of-life improvements aplenty here, all wrapped up in a console that looks and feels like the future - even if not everyone will love the console design itself.
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. This is just the beginning – and I'm already impressed.
The Verge: 8.5/10
ReviewingReviewing a video game console before it’s even out is always a tricky thing. There are just so many unknowns. Will developers really make use of the DualSense’s unique features? Will games like Ratchet and Clank utilize the PS5’s fast loading times to change the way game worlds are designed? And just how long will the UI remain uncluttered as more features and services are added? My experience playing the PS5 today will be very different compared to playing it in a year or two.
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.
It might not be clear what makes the PS5 interesting just from watching trailers or live streams. But once it’s in your hands, the next generation is a lot more obvious.
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. On the evidence of Astro’s Playroom alone, the new DualSense controller is a revelation, potentially adding a different dimension of feedback to gameplay – pending proper developer support, of course. Meanwhile, the system’s lightning fast SSD greatly improves the overall speed of games, while new user experience additions like the Activity cards improve the console’s general quality of life.
It’s abundantly clear that the Japanese giant spent a lot of time looking at the weaknesses of its previous platform, and shaped its next-gen vision around them. New technologies, like hardware-accelerated raytracing and 3D audio, serve as the icing on the cake – and while it may be a while before we see the system worked to its full potential, early examples like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales already provide a mind-melting glimpse of what’s possible.
Sony’s proven throughout previous generations that its software pipeline is impressive, but with a first year software lineup slated to include Ratchet & Clank, Returnal, Gran Turismo 7, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West, there’s an argument that the organisation is at its best right now. 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, with under 700GB on offer at launch. The company’s made installing an external HDD for PS4 software extremely straightforward, and its decision to support non-proprietary NVMe SSD drives will work to its favour in the future, but in the here and now, you’re definitely going to have to play Tetris with any software you’ve got installed, and that flies in the face of the overall convenience of the console elsewhere.
Nevertheless, we’re extremely enthusiastic about the future of this platform. The way we all play games is changing, with subscriptions gaining importance and titles retaining players longer than ever before. Yet with the PS5, Sony has created a console that feels very much prepared for the future, without forgetting what players love about PlayStation to begin with. This is the fastest, most convenient console the company’s ever created; a cunningly designed upgrade that takes the best of the PS4 and improves upon it. But it’s also got more than enough innovations beneath its popped collar to feel like something truly fresh as well.
Asking the $500 question: Should you buy a PS5?
New consoles are expensive, especially considering they start to age from the moment the first shipment goes out, and current premium gaming PC hardware will quickly surpass the PS5 and XBX, although I'd certainly hope so for a $2,000-and-up gaming laptop or a $700 PC graphics card. But just the fact that the old PS4 is still able to push amazing experiences like after so many years shows there's also a tremendous flexibility to these machines, and they continue to evolve over time with patches, updates and new features.
Considering that, the fact that Sony or Microsoft only asks for $500 or so every seven years feels like a much better deal than certain tech companies hoping you'll drop $1,000 or more every 12-24 months on a barely different new phone.
Do you need a PlayStation 5 today? No. If you wanted one but weren't able to get a preorder in, . The launch game lineup is small, and the biggest names on it are a remake (Demon's Souls) and a standalone add-on to a 2018 game (Spider-Man: Miles Morales) -- and the latter will also be available for the PS4.
On top of that, the big holiday season games, such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Cyberpunk 2077, are really all made for PS4 and Xbox One hardware. The new consoles may allow for better frame rates and some extra visual flair, but it typically takes a year or so for games to really show off the power of a new-generation console.
At the same time, I'm extremely impressed with the entire PS5 package. The design is bold. The new controller is a big step forward, both in ergonomics and features, and the addition of the new built-in controller mic (and sold-separately new HD webcam) will no doubt send many new streamers to Twitch and other platforms to show off.
If you're a PlayStation fan, or especially like the kinds of exclusive games (such as Spider-Man, Final Fantasy VII and Horizon Forbidden West) the platform offers, you're going to get one eventually, whether now or when it's easier to buy in stores.
My final suggestion: If you can find one, save $100 and get the all-digital version. Classic game disc collectors, used game shoppers and Blu-ray hoarders will disagree, but it both costs less and gets rid of one of the most trouble-prone mechanical parts in any game console. A win-win, if you ask me.
Should I Get One?
Many aspects of the PlayStation 5 weren’t ready to evaluate at press time, including any entertainment applications, the PlayStation Now streaming service, and the act of purchasing games from the PlayStation Store. And much of evaluating a console relies on evaluating its games. I wasn’t able to spend time with all the games coming out for PS5 this holiday season; publishers haven’t made most of them available to press yet. The PlayStation 5 is a worthy upgrade to the PS4, but it might not be essential to grab this holiday season. Launch lineups are often weak, and there’s no obvious blockbuster PS5 game at this point. Demon’s Souls is not exactly a welcoming experience. Miles Morales takes about 10 hours to beat. Everything else is also coming to my PlayStation 4 (or Windows PC, which PC gamers will remind you can already do 4K at 60 fps if you’ve spent a bunch of money upgrading your rig).
While some of the PlayStation 5 interface changes are frustrating, they’re issues that Sony can fix on a small supercomputer that might live next to your TV for the next six to eight years. I also hope Sony releases a smaller controller variant, or allows me to use my DualShock 4 with PS5 games. While it’s up to Sony to make the most of the console by continuing its legacy of strong first-party games, it’s hard to predict if some of the more ambitious features — Activity Cards and robust haptics — will see widespread adoption. But every console has its experiments, and these are relatively inert. 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.
You’ll be happy
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.
But this isn’t keeping my from loving my PlayStation 5. I do mean it; I already have a strong affection for Sony’s new console. With its bold design, innovative controller, and strong launch games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro’s Playroom, this may be the best start any Sony console has ever enjoyed.
Tom's Hardware: 8/10
The PlayStation 5 isn't just an evolution over last gen. It's an outright statement that with more power and better technology, the strategy that worked for the last few years will be even better now.
Many of the games that will define the early months of the PlayStation 5, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and even Horizon: Forbidden West (the latter of which is set to be released in 2021) will also come to the PlayStation 4. Meaning you can still enjoy upcoming PlayStation Studios titles on your current console system. But the exclusives also are part of a strong launch library for those who want the latest and greatest.
If it's not the SSD and new GPU that make games feel like next-gen, it's the DualSense controller, which literally feels next gen. I can't wait to see where developers take the technology, but I'm also a bit worried that not many will use it.
On paper, the Xbox Series X is the stronger system, with faster, more powerful specs. It will take time to see if the PlayStation 5 falters, but first impressions suggest that it is plenty powerful in its own right.
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.
The verdict: The must-have console for the 2021 holidays
No, that isn’t a typo. The PS5 (and I am joined in this opinion by our review of its rival, the Xbox Series X) simply isn’t a console anyone should rush out and purchase for any reason. Not least of which because it will be near-impossible to get one in the next month or so, making the possibility of unwrapping a PS5 a remote one for eager youths.
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 (the Series X has multi-game suspension at least, and I’d jealous if there were any games to switch between). For the next 6-8 months, the PS5 will merely be the best way to play the same games everyone else is playing, or has been playing for years, but in 4K. That’s it!
The rush by Sony and Microsoft to get these consoles out by the holidays this year simply didn’t have the support of the publishers and developers that make the games that make consoles worth having. That will change late next year as the actual next-gen titles and meaningful exclusives start to appear. And a year from now the PS5 and Series X will truly be must-haves, because there will be things that are only available for them.
I’m not saying buy your kid a PS4 Pro for Christmas. And I’m not saying the PS5 isn’t a great way to play games. I’m just saying that outside some slight differences that many gamers don’t even have the setup to notice, there’s no reason to run out and buy a PS5 right now. Relax and enjoy the latest, greatest games on your old PS4 in confidence, knowing that you’ll save $50 when a Cyberpunk 2077 bundle goes on sale in the summer.
So don’t feel bad if you can’t lay your hands on a PS5 to keep you entertained this winter — a PS4 will do you just fine for the present while the next generation makes its lazy way towards the consoles it will eventually grace.
The PlayStation 5 feels fresh. The DualSense adds something so unique to games that it should be a factor in what platform you play games on. It’s a controller that looks sleek but packs so much unique technology in there that helps it elevate games.
Games load quickly and look great. Having specific parts possible to jump to thanks to menus helps save time for players and also get past things they may be stuck on.
There’s a strong launch lineup there and the PS+ Collection helps add some real heavyweights there. Especially for those that skipped PlayStation 4 last generation.
I was slightly disappointed that it ran with an audible noise. Not so much that it was distracting but there is a low hum you can hear during quieter moments in games. Considering the size of the fan in the PS5, you’d hope it would be able to keep the console cool and quiet.
One thing is for certain though. If developers continue to make the most of what makes the PlayStation 5 unique then it’s going to be an exciting few years for gaming.
Sony and Microsoft are doing things differently going into the next generation, and I think that’s a great thing for consumers. If you want a traditional console experience, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to scratch that itch and check all your boxes. Sporting a pleasant new UI, snappy menus that are easy to navigate and a wealth of accessibility options. After spending over a week transitioning from the PlayStation 4 Pro, it’s hard to believe how different the experiences are at a system level.
And as for performance? The custom NVMe SSD powering the console is technical wizardry and I’m eager to see what developers can deliver to us over the next several years. Paired with the revolutionary DualSense controller, Sony achieves a new level of immersion thanks to the Adaptive Triggers and Haptic Motors tucked into the controller.
Sony is the best at delivering console-selling games and single-player, story-driven titles. Those games are going to continue to push PlayStation 5 into homes. Even though the console looks like a space station from the future, it’s a complete departure from the familiar black box Sony’s pushed for two generations, I’ve grown to like the console aesthetic. That said, the new games that Sony does offer at launch can also be found on PlayStation 4, except for Astro’s Playroom and Demon’s Souls.
Digital Spy - 5/5
PlayStation 5 Review: Verdict
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.
For us, the chief reason the PlayStation 5 is a must-have games console is from it's potential, both when it comes to the DualSense controller, and what devs can do with ray-tracing.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a huge, adventurous game that delivers on next-gen performance, story, and gameplay mechanics, and now sits as one of our favourite games ever, and it can only be played on a Sony device, which is pretty damning for Xbox fans.
But with the roster of games still to hit the console in the first six months of release, we really don't begrudge the developers job in having to integrate all of this new-fangled tech into their games.
With the considerable might of CD Projekt Red struggling to deliver a Cyberpunk release date before the year 2077, we imagine this new system will cause a lot of headaches in many development rooms.
True gamers won't think twice about picking up the PlayStation 5, as it offers so much to tickle the fancy of even the most hardcore players.
And for families or casual players who still want to enjoy some outrageously good-looking games in the second lockdown, the PS5 welcomes you with it's intimidatingly big, open arms.
The next generation of gaming starts with the Xbox Series X first on November 10, but we have a feeling most gamers will choose to hold on a few days for the gaming goliath of the PlayStation 5.
Game Informer - 91/100
THE VERDICT: A-
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.
Gaming Trend: 90/100
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. Good luck!
And that’s the PS5 all over, really. It feels next-gen, classy, expensive, and ridiculously fast. During my countless hours playing all manner of games, there wasn’t a single moment that didn’t feel great. There’s a little bit of work to make the UI better, as it’s slightly awkward, despite being responsive and fast, and I’d like to see 1440p resolution added as an option, as it’s currently not supported as dashboard level.
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.
Last edited by Zombie9ers - on 06 November 2020