CRank: 7Score: 35570

State of Play...Station 5

The PlayStation 5 has been out in the wild for a full year now, those of us lucky enough to grab a hold of one have been experiencing the joys of next-gen power and the frustration of Sony’s baffling decisions. Those that haven’t managed to snag one are left wondering whether the elusive beast even exists. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the PS5 after a year with it.

Quality of Life

The PS5 hardware is truly amazing, it’s quiet, fast and really quite powerful. The PS5 software on the other hand is truly disappointing. This isn’t a criticism of PS5 games but rather the system software, which is worse than what is already available on the PS4. I previously stated in my review of the PS5 (I apologise for the shameless plug) that the PS5 OS should’ve been the same as the PS4’s, only faster.

Microsoft made the right decision to stick with the Xbox One OS for the Xbox Series because it meant that the console had many key features that wouldn’t otherwise be there at launch. When you think about it, it makes no sense to throw over 5 years of hard work down the drain to sell the gimmick of next-gen, especially when it comes at the expense of the consumer experience.

Instead of building on the excellent PS4 foundation Sony have opted to start fresh so that they could better sell the idea next-gen, as a result, we’re now almost a year into the PS5’s life cycle and the system is still missing basic features. Folders, themes, custom backgrounds, controlling the amount of content you see on your home screen…you can’t do any of this on PS5.

Even something as simple as the library is annoying, the design of it is fine, it’s similar to what we have on the PS4 just rearranged slightly. For some reason whenever you back out of the library it resets to default, so if you want your content arranged alphabetically you’ll have to manually do that each time you open the library. This might not seem like a big deal but without folders and the limit of content that can be displayed on the PS5 Home Screen, you’ll find yourself accessing the library a lot more often.

DualSense Nonsense

The DualShock 4 controller is one of the best selling video game accessories of all time and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the best selling controller of all time. There’s a large number of DualShock controllers out there and a lot of them are being sold each month too, and yet Sony Interactive Entertainment doesn’t seem to want you to use it on the PS5.

You can use it to play PS4 games on PS5, it won’t work with any native PS5 games though, even cross-gen titles. Sony Interactive Entertainment claims that this is because the DualShock 4 doesn’t support any of the new DualSense features, which would be fair reason but there are two issues with this claim. The first is that you can disable all the new DualSense features from the System Settings and the second is that all native PS5 games can be played with a DualShock 4 controller when on Remote Play.

This tells us that the PS5 does have the ability to support the DualShock 4 natively, Sony just doesn’t want you to use it because they’d prefer for you to go buy the DualSense controller. Now you might be thinking “why would anyone want to use a PS4 controller on the PS5 when the DualSense is better?”

The thing is, whilst the DualSense controller is great it’s not really ideal for a lot of gamers for various reasons. I personally find the analogues to have far more resistance than the DualShock 4, which isn’t an issue most of the time. It’s only really noticeable on competitive and fast-paced first-person shooters like Apex Legends and DOOM Eternal.

Then there are all the Pro controllers for PS4 like the Razer Raiju and the Scuff range, all of which will essentially be obsolete on PS5, and finally, there’s the actual size of the DualSense. The DualSense is significantly bigger than the DualShock 4, which isn’t ideal for long sessions for those of us with smaller hands. Again, not a major issue but this wouldn’t even be an issue at all if Sony weren’t greedy.

Lacklustre First-Party Offerings

A lot of PlayStation fan(boys) are not going to be too happy when they read this but there really hasn’t been many great first-party tiles on PS5. I’ve played all of the first-party titles out so far except Sackboy: A Big Adventure and the majority of them have been disappointing. Part of the disappointment stems from the price, slapping a $70 price tag on a game will result in an increase in expectations and so far it’s hard to justify the price hike.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales are both really good games but both were also pretty short. In the case of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales this was understandable because it wasn’t a full-price game, at least in the USA. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, however, was a $70 game that could be completed in around 11 hours, this isn’t too far off previous games in the series but the $70 price tag did increase expectations and they simply weren’t met.

The Ratchet & Clank reboot for the PlayStation 4 was one of the best-received games of the PS4 era, it was slightly longer than Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart but it cost nearly half as much. Almost doubling the price of a sequel is certainly going to increase what you expect from it. The game itself isn’t bad but it’s not enough of a jump up in any area from the prequel.

Then there’s the remasters, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut and Death Stranding Director’s Cut. These are three of the biggest releases on the PS5 to date and I can’t really justify any of them existing. “Director’s Cut” is just this gens pretentious way of saying remaster and given that none of those games is even five years old yet it’s pretty shameful.

Both the Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding Director’s Cut releases add some pretty significant content, which is available via upgrade paths or via an expansion, the PS5 version of the Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut expansion does however cost $10 more. For this, you get the standard improved performance and Japanese lip-sync, a feature which isn’t even implemented properly, as an exclusive feature because apparently, the PS4 version isn’t powerful enough to have it.

In the case of Death Stranding the Director’s Cut content isn’t available on PS4 at all and there’s nothing new that can’t be run on a PS4. It’s the same case with the Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, which is essentially a bonus chapter and yet for some reason, it’s not available on the PS4. The two standout titles from PlayStation Studios are the Demon’s Souls remake and Returnal.

Demon’s Souls, which was the Brotaku game of the year for 2020, has sold over 1.4 million copies after almost a year on the market which isn’t really that great. By comparison, Bloodborne sold over 2 million copies on the PS4 within just 6 months. Returnal on the other hand has yet to sell a million copies, the last sales update had it 560,000 sold as of July 2021. Both of Demon’s Souls and Returnal are great games and both should have sold a lot more, they haven’t because of the price.

As much as I love those games, I can say without hesitation that neither of them is worth $70. It’s easy to say things like “it’s only $10 more” but for those of us that don’t live in the USA the $10 increase for next-gen games means that we’re paying between $90-110 for the base version of a PS5 game and there’s no game that will ever be worth that asking price.

Games like Deathloop, Demon’s Souls and Returnal are becoming less accessible due to the price, these aren’t titles that most gamers are going to jump on without hesitation, increasing the price of PS5 games means that gamers now have to pick and choose the titles they want to play, which isn’t a great thing given that the competition hasn’t increased prices and has their titles available on a subscription service.

The price increase, remasters of games less than 5 years old, gatekeeping of content for PS5 that can run on PS4 and charging extra for the PS5 version of games when other major publishers are including both the PS4 and PS5 versions of games in the standard editions of AAA games are a bad sign for the future of PlayStation.


Going into the PS5 era it’s clear that Sony Interactive Entertainment wants to distance itself as much as possible from the PS4, everything from the colour change to the new PlayStation Store on browsers makes that intention clear. Whether this was to sell the idea of next-gen or to take a fresh approach, it’s not the smartest decision from PlayStation.

It’s created unnecessary problems for PlayStation, this obsession with selling the idea of next-gen has led to what feels like a barebones UI on PS5, a PlayStation Store experience on browsers that’s three to five steps behind what already existed and several anti-consumer moves like not being able to use a DualShock 4 natively for PS5 games.

In time I’m fairly confident that these features will be fixed, we’re already seeing minor improvements like the PS Store on PS5 having a new games section and improvements to backwards compatibility that doesn’t require you to have a native PS5 version to take advantage of the PS5 hardware.

The thing is, most of these are problems that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Hardware-wise Mark Cerny has built something truly great, everything else however has been somewhat lacklustre.

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z2g26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

My take after owning one for a while:

-Good launch games that show off hardware
-DualSense is a significant upgrade over the DualShock
-Great performance
-Back Compat w/ most ps4 games
-usb-c port on the front is great
-3D audio is cool
-load times are fast
-good games coming in the near future

-Physically and comically huge - even compared to my Series X
-Often lower resolution than Series X on multiplat games (a bit less gpu power)
-Stock SSD is an annoying size.
-Complete lack of dashboard customization - no organization or even wallpaper capabilities. Not super intuitive either.
-media capture share options are extremely limited
-cloud saves/capture saves, game versioning/upgrades etc are straight up brutal compared to Series X
-DualSense battery could be bigger

jznrpg25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Games generally have better frame rates on PS5 or at least equal to Xbox and native resolution is a waste of resources on any system , PC , whatever it is most gamers know this by now . What’s Xbox excuse for lower frame rates? Less power ?


What’s Playstation’s excuse for having less games that support 120fps compared to the Series X?

What’s Playstation’s excuse for not having an FPS Boost feature for BC titles?

Less power?

ApocalypseShadow25d ago

Logic, what's Xboxes excuse for not displaying a 12 teraflops difference? What happened to all that hype similar to the cloud when multiplatform games are virtually identical or play better sometimes on PS5?

What's their excuse for copying a share button from Sony from last gen but do nothing else to innovate their controller? No one in the industry talks about the Xbox controller AT ALL. Like...AT ALL.

Tacoboto25d ago

@LOGIC some of the 120fps titles perform more stable on PS5 compared to XSX. Certain areas in COD titles are slightly improved, then games like Ghostrunner are significantly more optimized for PS5.

Halo Infinite MP feels like a lock to 120fps for me but Campaign has some hits to smoothness. We're still in the early years where developers are spending significant effort optimizing for base X1 & PS4. Both platforms are equally capable of 120fps and logic dictates that you can't use backwards compatibility as a frame of reference for these machines. BC titles are BC titles not built for the machines of today.

@Apocalypse Don't feed a bad comment with an equally bad comment. The Elite Series 2 kicks ass and Sony finally gave us freaking back-paddles in the last six months of the PS4's life only to make that $25 never-in-stock accessory useless for every PS5 player. You'll be recharging that DualSense 4-5x before replacing the Series controller batteries even once too.

@jznrpg Except for obvious cases of poor optimization, frame rates are typically within 1% of each other. At launch, Xbox publicly reached out to partners about issues. After that, you'll have cases like Avengers where Framerate edged better on PS5, but Avengers rendered at full-res on Xbox. The PS5 version ran with checkboard resolution (half-res). Muddier but slightly smoother. Or much crisper but slightly less smooth circumstantially unless you have VRR. That's not a fault of the platform in cases like that when developers obviously make different decisions on different platforms

ApocalypseShadow25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Taco, notice how you had to deflect and talk about ANOTHER controller that's not even packed in or is the MAIN controller in the box? That costs twice as much but is still talked about less than the Dual Sense for features?

You should be embarrassed.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 25d ago
RaidenBlack25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

I've also noticed this weird loop hole in the initial PS5 PR: "DualSense is mandatory to play PS5 games"
Astro's Playroom can played on PS4 via Remote Play using DS4.
Hence I pointed it out in early 2021 in N4G comment section, & added ... DS4 and DSense should be forward and backward compatible respectively. And as usual ... got downvoted.

Tres2126d ago

Ok ill bite mostly cause I'm bored. I know this seems cliche and specially on n4g but I want to say 1st that I'm more of an xbox player than ps5 that being said I was able to get a ps5 1st and it has been awesome alot of the things in ur opinion in mine have been great.
S9.breaking it down
Quality of life: honestly I never liked the ps4 ui so I'm good on this new 1 certain simple things take a sec to get used 2 but overall very satisfied plus alot of the old features I never used so no biggie 4 me I do missed the web browser but that's a me issue tho and more so to do with psvr on why I used it. The library I did notice that minor issue the yesterdayday when I was scrolling thru my library thought it was odd but I hadn't noticed it since march.
I will point out the speed upgrade for loads on games is fantastic (genshin impact) I hopped on the pro for my daughter and fast travel was not as fast as I'm use 2 now.

Dualshock: I admit I knew nothing of remote play that u can use the controller on any game that's interesting but helpful to know while I haven't used remote play in the future that info will come in handy I have a 5year old and the smaller controllers work better for his hands while the sense feels great in mine plus I Don't lik Mr. Sticky fingers on my red controller.

1st party: I disagree the games have been amazing there hasn't been an over abundance which is cool for me cause my gaming time is limited now but there has been been fair amount put out thru last year and the price truth be told I did not know I buy my games second hand or on sale I have those kids and it's a must when u hav to buy 2 to 3 copies of every game heck the returnal I got a week after release at the pawn shop for 30bucks which thinking about it I did know they were 70 cause I looked it up then and seen 70 to see if it was worth it and wondered why that store was charging more but figured they was trying to get over. But the price doesn't hurt the quality and I'd argue it's worth it but again I'm not paying full

Uncertainty: while I look at it wish it was a different color no biggie overall the system has far passed my expectations and then some so much so that I haven't opened up my X yet since I got it in July so the ps5 since the day it was sitting on the Meijer shelf in March has Certainly been a bright spot for me and I can't wait to see what else comes out.

JustTheFax26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

I pretty much agree with all of this, which is why I sold my PS5 in November for $900. I kept a dualsense for use on my PC though. I may get another PS5 when the midgen refreshes come out, and there are more exclusives that I want to play. I played the ones I was interested in, so I felt I got my money's worth.

TheDoomedGuy25d ago

That is one dumb move on your part. I hope there arent any games youre interested in this year cause you may have a hard time being able to play them considering ps5's are still hard to come by and if the covid shit continues I expect more production delays.

On a side note does the dual sense actually have the haptic function on PC?

Shiken25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

The games coming in 2022 are cross gen, and he can play them on a PS4 if he had to.

Having said that, I have both the Series X and the PS5 and I would NEVER sell. For one, I will not resort to scumbag scalping. And for two, even if there is not something out now that is a must play...they are coming on both consoles. I would rather future proof my setup than rush around trying to get a new console (which may or may not be easy to get) when Starfield of Final Fantasy XVI drops.

JustTheFax25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Like I said, I played all the exclusives that I was interested in that were coming out. I was mainly looking forward to Ratchet and Clank. I'm not a God of War fan and still haven't played the last one, and I will be able to play Horizon sequel on PC with my RTX 3080. And yes, the haptic function as well as adaptive triggers work on PC perfectly. Yeah it was a real dumb move to be able to play the games I wanted to play and make a profit instead of watching the ps5 continue to collect dust.

Also to Shiken, yes you are right. I have been looking for broken PS4s to repair and mod so I can do the new jailbreak. I gave my dust collecting Xbox series X to my gf because she is a diehard xbox fangirl for some weird reason. I can play 99% of the games I want to play on PC including Switch so I think I made the right choice for my situation. Now with Playstation exclusives also coming to PC, and xbox exclusives day one with PC game pass, I am set. I don't need to rush around for a new console because my PC is better than both new consoles. I will get Starfield day one, and I don't really care for Final Fantasy so that's not on my radar at all.

TheDoomedGuy25d ago

@shiken @justhefax

Yes I'm aware. Why purchase it in the first place for one game. And to top it off he then turns and rips someone else off.

Shiken25d ago (Edited 25d ago )


He claims he can play everything on PC including Switch. Confirmed pirate on top of ripping people off with scalping, considering no 1st party Switch game has ever gone to PC.

I ended up with two PS5s, sold one to a guy from work that was also looking for one at retail. I try to look out for others, and refuse to further fuel that cesspool of scalpers. And given what he has said about his PC, I don't know why he even bothered with a Series X or PS5.

JustTheFax24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

I also played Astros Playroom, Sackboy, Returnal, & Spiderman Remastered but the ps exclusives are so dry right now, there wasn't anything else to play in the next year or two that I was interested in. I sold the ps5 with 8 games (including the $70 games), and yeah I made a little profit. Who cares? The dude that bought it from me was stoked and excited to play. He didn't feel ripped off. Also I got my money's worth! I didn't force anyone to buy it from me!

Also, emulation isn't illegal Shiken so you can stop with the insults. You can own switch games and still play them emulated on pc legally. I can play them at 4k because nintendo refuses to release a powerful system. Not my fault they are a generation or two behind!

As for why I got them in the first place, I got caught up in the launch hype and wanted to see what they were about, and with the PS5, experience the dualsense. But now that I can do that on pc, the PS5 itself isn't really needed. And with the xbox, it has no exclusives to play so there was no need to keep it for myself. I definitely liked the xbox more is a way more attractive system than the ugly ps5.

Shiken24d ago (Edited 24d ago )


Emulators are not illegal, but downloading the pirated software is. Are you honestly suggesting that you take the time to buy that games legally, then rip them onto your PC yourself without any downloading of ROMs/iso/etc?

Because that is the only legal way to emulate games...where the devs actually get paid for the product they provide. 99% of people who emulate do not follow the legal process, so I see no reason to assume you do. As for the scalping, people are forced to have to resort to it due to scumbag scalpers using bots and buying up the stock. You can still be excited for something while getting ripped off.

These are just the facts afterall.

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ghostliving26d ago

To be honest this article is a complete rubbish. A friendly suggest to readers, don't waste your time to read this.

TheDoomedGuy25d ago

Too late. Gave a long response though. It was pretty lame excuses and he contradicts himself throughout a bit.
Complains they titles are lackluster. But says he loves the games....yeah that doesnt make sense. He chalks it up to the $70 tag but you dont have to buy them at that the price makes them lakcluster according to this guy because theyre not long he'd prefer longer dragged out games simply because.

Complains about dualshock not being usable with the lackluster games...that use the dual sense features. But he should already have 1 dual sense to play those games.....

Messy thoughts.

instantstupor26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

Some of this is fair, some of this is general issues ($70 is same on XB & Square is trying it on PC), and some seems more like "This just in: being an early adopter isn't the best experience".

And let's not forget, Xbox changed their user interface drastically so many times on both the 360 & XBO I kind of lost count. They would have been insane to try something new after literally just settling on one. I hated trying to navigate that thing; with as little as I used it, I felt like something always moved, or was in a nonsensical place. I do think Sony throwing out the entire UI design may have been a bad call, but I also think changing things can be good - some of the features, like putting trophy info front-and-center when hitting the home button, seem useful. Maybe they could have bolted that onto the current PS4 interface, but I can't say for sure sticking with the old would be the best call either.

I haven't bought a PS5 yet because I will use it mostly as an exclusives machine, and a few games aren't worth that price yet. By the time there are enough, the early games will be cheap (helping to fix the expensive game issue). And Sony is showing a willingness to bring titles to PC, so I am trying to figure out how hard they're going to lean into that.

I already was primarily a PC gamer, but I bought an XBO when Spencer said XB is important, it'll have exclusive games because that is important to the identity and to its gamers...and then a couple months later, he did a complete 180 and my purchase became worthless. I don't want that to happen again. So that's kind of a con, I guess, though I still can't run out to the store and buy a PS5, so that matters quite a bit less lol.

TheDoomedGuy25d ago

Good on you. I myself pruchase a laptop for gaming purposes. I have the ps5/laptop setup. I make sure to play 1st person much as possibe...on the laptop. On the ps5 I play exclusives and everything else. Oh also play RTS games on laptop.

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