PS5 review: The future of console gaming is here

The PS5 is a genuine generational leap, with incredibly fast loading times, as well as an innovative new controller that is able to alter how games feel.


  • Incredibly speedy SSD
  • Ingenious and wild DualSense controller
  • Amazing 4K images in stunning HD
  • Clean, snappy interface
  • Incredible backward compatibility


  • Massive, unwieldy design
  • The controller may feel too big for some
  • A few must-haves (for the moment)
  • PS5 specifications
  • Price: $499 (standard), $399 (Digital Edition)
  • CPU:3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2
  • GPU10.3 Teraflop RDNA 2 GPU
  • RAM: 16GB GDDR6
  • Storage: Custom 825GB SSD
  • Expander: NVMe M.2 SSD slot
  • Drive for discs:4K Blu-ray player
  • Dimensions:15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds

The PS5 is available (if you’re able to buy it) and it really is a leap forward in console gaming. With its impressive graphics technology and the wildly inventive DualSense controllers, Sony’s latest console offers the kind of immersion that was not possible previously on consoles. 

The console’s lightning-fast SSD is a real game-changer, with games loaded in a matter of seconds and, in certain cases providing new ways of interacting with these games.

As we saw when we conducted the PS5 test, Sony’s blazing-fast next-gen console does have its own drawbacks. The massive chassis is unappealing and could be a problem for those who have little space. Its new PS5 interface is gorgeous and quick, but it’s not exactly a slick experience at the moment. 

Additionally, with a lot of PS5’s top games also accessible on PS4 the jury isn’t yet made about whether it’s necessary to upgrade your system immediately.

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But, due to its strong backward compatibility feature and snappy interface, stunning game performance, and amazing loading times the PS5 already seems like the future of gaming consoles. It’s also difficult to turn back.

PS5 review Review: Price and Where to purchase

The PS5 was launched on the 12th of November in the U.S. and came to the U.K. and most other regions of the world on the 19th of November. The basic PS5 that comes with the 4K Blu-ray drive, is priced at $499. While the PS5 Digital Edition goes for just $399 in case you’re willing to go disc-free.

It’s important to note that the PS5 is extremely difficult to acquire. Stock at retail has been flowing quickly in and out Be sure to keep a note of our PS5 Restock Guide and browse the retailers’ links below.

PS5 review Design

It’s been talked about for years however the PS5 is an absolutely massive piece of technology. PlayStation’s 15.4 inches by 10.2 and 4.1-inch console is larger than every gaming console that has launched in the last decade such as PS4 Slim and the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro. 

It’s also a lot bigger than the next-gen competitor that’s the Xbox Series X and makes the Xbox Series S look like the look of a toy for kids.

This massive chassis lets the PS5 unleash an impressive performance while remaining generally cool and quiet (which we’ll discuss in the future) however, the huge dimension of the latest PlayStation might pose a problem for people with smaller space for entertainment.

If you’re not planning to place the PS5 on the ground then you’ll probably need the table to be a separate one for standing it vertically. I was able to place the PS5 within my entertainment center in a horizontal direction however, it was only barely. Therefore, it is important to assess the size of your space before setting up a PS5 at home.

In terms of orientation, The PS5 has a stand detachable that lets you place the massive console either vertically or horizontally. The stand is screwed into the console’s bottom when it is in vertical position (the PS5 includes a screw however, there is no tool to screw it into) and then clamps to the port on the back of the PS5 space in horizontal mode.

Version 1.0 (8/21): Sony has launched a slightly revised PS5 model that is now available in select markets, featuring a hand-screw for the stand as well as the weight reduction of 300g. 

The weight reduction of the PS5 mass is attributable to the smaller heat sink that according to one test participant is resulting in higher temperatures for operation.

It would be great if PS5 came with tools for increasing the base, however, I had a good enough experience using a coin to connect it and then remove it. The unit is sturdy when in a vertical position with the base on however I discovered the base to be much more difficult to work with when it was in horizontal mode. It took me several attempts before I was able to make it lay flat against the bottom. 

I eventually managed to get the PS5 to rest in my entertainment center however, the fact that it fell off the base quickly if it wasn’t placed precisely gives me tension.

However, I’ll probably keep this PS5 in horizontal mode during my time using it due to the fear of being prone to tipping over the tall chassis while it’s on my dining room table (especially when my nephews are hyperactive have come over).

The PlayStation 5’s striking futuristic design has been the topic of much debate since the console was first revealed and I have mixed views about the design. It is a snazzy big cable modem sitting vertically due to its white, pointed side panels as well as the asymmetrical bulk imposed by Blu-ray drive.

However, I’ve become a bit happy with the way it looks standing horizontally underneath my TV because its edges and curves seem to be more prominent (even when it’s the miniature Barclays Center). I also love the appealing LED status lights on every part of the internal.

This is both more polished and prominent than the status light in the PS4. Also, the small obscured PlayStation controller icons on the interior panels are a nice extra feature. Be it you like it or not It’s a great console. PS5 is a console that’s packed with attention-to-detail and has a unique design, unlike any console that we’ve ever seen.

PS5 review Review: Ports and expansion

The PS5 comes with a typical set of ports, including some modern-day conveniences. There’s a high-speed USB Type-A port in front, along with a USB SuperSpeed port for Type-C. 

It’s great to see a console come with USB-C connectivity right from the beginning particularly for connecting modern gadgets or storage drives.

At the rear of the TV, there are 2 SuperSpeed USB-A ports as well as an Ethernet connector the HDMI 2.1 port, and the AC adapter. (See the top gaming TVs to find recommendations for TVs that have HDMI 2.1.) 

The PS5 has been able to eliminate the optical audio port on the PS4 and this may be a problem for those using high-end audio devices that have optical connections. But, some companies already offer optical-to HDMI splitters, like Astro and its

If you’re looking to expand on the built-in 825GB SSD storage, the PCle 4.0 M.2 expansion slot is accessible when you open the console. Be aware that there are some limitations to this slot.

If you want to use it, not all SSDs are compatible. You will require one that meets Sony’s very rigorous specifications for support, like Samsung 980 Pro, Western Digital SN850, Samsung 980 Pro, or the soon-to-be-released Sony Nextorage M.2 NVMe SSD.

In the beginning, it was locked to expand slots. However, the most recent PS5 Software update opened it, allowing users to upgrade their SSD to store more data. We tried the feature for ourselves, as the feature was in beta, and got many excellent results.

This console’s SSD expansion slot offers the PS5 another arrow to its arsenal against Xbox Series X. The addition of additional internal storage to the console will require the purchase of a high-priced exclusive SSD card, while Sony’s SSD expansion card allows users to choose between a variety of third-party models that vary in cost. 

The PS5 can also be used with traditional external hard drives but only for transferring all of your online PS4 games or saving your saved data.

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PS5 Review: Interface

Its PS5 interface is an elegant, sleek, and fast version of PS4’s interface. PS4 software. The ability to switch between games or navigate menus is quick and easy until the point where the PS4 menus are now lagging and unorganized in contrast. 

There are, however, some things I’d like to see implemented into this PS5 user interface, the PS5 does introduce several new and exciting ways to access what you’re playing faster.

The home screen is like the one you’ve seen on PS4 owners, featuring the horizontal grid that displays your most recent games. If you choose to highlight a game, the game’s artwork will be displayed on the entire home screen as the music plays in the background. It is an attractive aesthetic feature. 

There’s an excellent Explore tab that displays the latest news and updates and a Game Library tab that allowed me to download immediately my library of PS4 games. Much like PS4 and PS5, the PS5 lets you record video or screenshots, and stream them to YouTube or Twitch by a single press on the create button.

I like the way the PS5 software is clean and tidy overall, but I wish there was a method to arrange the games you play into groups as it is with PS4. While it’s nice to see the background change to match whatever game you’ve highlighted I’m a bit disappointed that there’s not a possibility of setting the wallpapers you want to use instead.

For long-time PS4 players will need to shake off some muscles, since pressing the PlayStation button now opens a control center that lets you switch between applications and view your friends’ profiles as well as check your notifications, keep track of the life of your controller’s battery and much more at the lower right corner the screen.

You can also personalize the control center to be able to quickly access options like the settings for your network, accessibility options, and broadcast control. It’s an improvement over the PS4’s menu that was quick, which took up a larger portion of the screen, and was not as responsive or user-friendly.

Clean and snappy software is excellent however, the PS5 interface comes to life when you begin playing games. Clicking the PlayStation button when playing the PS5 game will open the Activities menu.

It displays information like the status of your game as well as a collection of trophies that you can pursue as well as an inventory of games that you can dive straight into.

As an example I was able to play through a set of challenges and side missions right within the Activities menu of Spider-Man: Miles Morales without needing to locate them in the game, saving me time that I would otherwise spend navigating around Manhattan. 

It’s also possible to use the menu for activities in Your Game Library before you even begin playing which means I could jump straight into a particular level within Astro’s Playroom without having to work with menus.

For someone who may not always have plenty of spare time the possibility of jumping to a specific portion of a game on a system level isn’t only valued, it’s revolutionary. Although it might seem like an insignificant concession to certain players, the menu for activities could transform the ways we play games and I’m eager to see how game developers take advantage of it over the next years.

The biggest issue I have regarding the PS5 at a software level is that unlike Xbox Series X and S the PlayStation 5 doesn’t seem to be able to hold several games at once.

Microsoft’s Quick Resume feature lets you effortlessly switch between a dozen games and pick up right where you started in each but the PS5 will require you to start up each game completely from scratch.

The most frustrating thing is the fact that the console does not inform users when their current game will end and replace it with a fresh one and could result in the loss of any saved progress. Although the PS5’s load speeds are so quick that the absence of Quick Resume isn’t a huge issue, it’s still a bit disappointing that Sony’s console lacks the answer to one of the most useful features.

PS5 Review: DualSense controller

The PS5 DualSense controller might be the most innovative feature of Sony’s latest console. Its tactile feedback feature, dynamic triggers, and built-in speakers are a perfect combination, resulting in an experience that is tactile I’ve never experienced playing games before.

The DualSense particularly shines in Astro’s Playroom It’s a free game that was designed to showcase the capabilities of Sony’s brand new controller can accomplish. In this vibrant 3D platformer, you’ll experience the soft impact of sand grains while traversing through a storm, or feel a smooth glide sensation while skating on the ice, to name some examples. 

Anything from pulling on the rope to floating through the air in a jetpack creates an incredible amount of force feedback. It’s something that you have to experience to be convinced.

If you’re considering the PS5 DualSense against DualShock 4 battle, the new controller is with the best design and design.

The triggers that are adaptive are particularly remarkable because they are more difficult to trigger depending on the game’s currency. For instance, they gave more resistance when controlling my character’s character in the spring-loaded jumpsuit.

They were able to accurately imitate the sensation of pressing into spring before letting it go. The games can also take advantage of the built-in microphone, for instance, when I needed to blow air on it to control a piece of frozen ice inside Astro’s Playroom.

Sackboy The Big Adventure also makes impressive use of the controller Sony makes, since I felt an immediate sense of tension while walking through tall grass, thanks to constant rhythmic patterns. I could feel the vibrations moving through particular elements on the controller in cutscenes and was enthralled by the soft taps which accompanied Sackboy running around as he floated in the air. 

In the sword-based battle of Godfall, I felt the triggers tighten up to increase the weight of the experience of slicing opponents with heavy strikes.

While playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I experienced subtle, yet highly nuanced, vibrations in scenes as the controller was able to perfectly match the glasses’ clinking or the distant stomps that Rhino’s feet make that gave tactile feedback. 

I also enjoyed the slight sense of resistance while using the triggers to fly through Manhattan as well as the slight electric buzz that echoed from the speaker each time I charged Miles’ Venom attacks.

Sony’s new controller has an inbuilt microphone that lets you chat with your friends even if you do not have a headset for gaming convenience. And it’s perfect when you need it. I was able to have a full audio chat with my friend Marshall whom I also had playing his DualSense device, and we were able to talk to each other perfectly using the controller’s built-in speakers. 

There’s no doubt that you’ll want to wear a headset to listen to the game’s audio and chat in a fierce Call of Duty match, however, the ability to chat with your friends on PS5 without the need for headsets is a nice feature.

The DualSense already has some amazing potential However, it’s only as effective as games that utilize it. Although games such as Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man, Godfall, and Sackboy are doing some interesting things with the gamepad from Sony I’m eager to see if more developers take advantage of the unique DualSense features when more PS5 games come out.

Beyond its advanced haptics, the DualSense performs pretty well as a regular controller. It’s considerably larger than its predecessor the DualShock 4 gamepad, with an impressive feel as well as a style that is said to be a copy of Xbox Wireless Controller in terms of ergonomics. 

Although the DualSense’s more robust grip feels comfortable to hold, I’d prefer it were a little smaller, and I noticed my hands cramping when playing violent action games such as Godfall as well as Devil May Cry 5.

The best part is that buttons, as well as triggers, feel fantastic during regular gaming. I had no trouble doing my typical Mortal Kombat 11 combos thanks to the controller’s smooth D-pad as well as fast face buttons. 

The triggers and thumbsticks were precise and responsive as I fought Rebels within Battlefront II. The touchpad is bigger this time and I appreciate the fact that the integrated lightbar wraps around the center instead of being hidden in the top as it was on DualShock 4.

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PS5 review Review of performance and load times

It has a strong eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor, 10.3 teraflops of graphics performance, and a blazingly quick custom SSD that the PS5 promises to deliver some of the most impressive performance ever to be obtainable from a gaming console. 

While I’ve played only a handful of games that were made to take advantage of the PS5’s capabilities and capabilities, I’m already amazed by the performance that Sony’s console has to deliver in terms of framerate, fidelity, and, perhaps most important, load speed.

It shouldn’t be an unwelcome surprise, but games look amazing when running on Sony’s brand new console. Spider-Man: Miles Morales looked like a top-end PC game rather than an actual PlayStation title as I stared at the beautiful purples and reds that surrounded Spider-Man and his foes popping out of their screens in stunning 4K. With the console’s ray-tracing feature, Manhattan’s towers were reflected back at one another in a realistic way and also a set of realistic puddles in the bustling Times Square.

This PS5 edition of Miles Morales comes with a unique Performance mode that shuts off effects like Ray Tracing and makes use of the upscaled 4K format to achieve the higher frame rate. 

In this setting, I zoomed across the metropolis at 60 frames-per-second, and still enjoying gorgeous visuals I felt as if I was playing something that could not be achieved on consoles of previous generations. It was incredibly difficult to switch back to the PS4 version of Miles Morales, which often barely clocked in at thirty frames per second.

However, while ray-traced graphics and 60 frames per second performance modes are fantastic, however, it’s the PS5’s lightning speed SSD that makes the console feel like a new generation. 

When you boot up a game such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, there’s virtually no downtime between selecting the game from your home screen and going out in the streets, fighting off enemies. The same process took me about 20 seconds before I was able to begin to play in the PS4 version.

Astro’s Playroom is as fast as I was able to jump between the main hub to its many exciting levels without even a loading screen visible. The PS5’s massive SSD also allows players to skip certain parts of the game using the Activities menu.

In the future, with games such as dimension-hopping Rift & Clank: Rift Apart appearance will allow for amazing things using it. We’ll be watching to see how other games make use of the SSD and its capabilities, but it’s already a sign of one of the biggest leaps in technology on console gaming in quite some time.

PS5 vs PS4 load times
PS5 PS4 (2013 model)
Boot time 22 seconds 30 seconds
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (startup) 12 seconds 12 seconds
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (menu to gameplay) 2 seconds 20 seconds
The Last of Us 2 (startup) 15 seconds 33 seconds
The Last of Us 2 (menu to gameplay) 1 minute 1 minute, 28 seconds
Mortal Kombat 11 (startup) 8 seconds 11 seconds
Mortal Kombat 11 (menu to gameplay) 10 seconds 18 seconds
Star Wars Battlefront II (startup) 33 seconds 1 minute, 5 seconds
Star Wars Battlefront II (menu to gameplay) 12 seconds 22 seconds

When it comes to loading times on the PS4 games, I witnessed the biggest improvements when playing The Last of Us Part II. Naughty Dog’s highly acclaimed action-adventure game launched nearly twice as fast when playing on PS5 over PS4 and took almost 30 seconds less time to turn into playable mode by using The main menu. I also saw important improvements with Star Wars Battlefront II, which took just 33 seconds to launch on PS5 in comparison to nearly one minute on PS4.

The difference in load times was not as apparent when testing games such as God of War and Mortal Kombat 11 however, each game I tested was the fastest to load on PS5.

PS5 review: Backwards-compatible

The PS5 can be used with virtually all PS4 games and is a major leap from the absence of backward compatible games last generation. I played over twelve PS4 games on my PS5 which included The Last of Us Part II, God of War, Mortal Kombat 11, Tetris Effect, and Resident Evil 2 The majority of them ran faster and performed better than on my original PS4. Both disc- and digital-based PS4 games played without issue on my PS5 and my physical films performed flawlessly on the PlayStation 5’s four-channel Blu-ray player.

The PS5 lets you make use of every PS4 Pro enhancement a game provides, meaning games with greater resolution or frame rate modes will benefit most from the new console. For those who have an earlier PS4, I was pleasantly surprised to finally experience God of War’s high frame rate mode, as well as experience Tetris Effect in 4K, felt nearly worth the cost of admission by itself (the loading time improvements mentioned above definitely help, too.).

The PS5 is specifically designed to work with a wide range of official licensed and first-party PS4 accessories. I had no problems taking my old equipment over. Connecting the DualShock 4 to the PS5 was as easy as connecting it via a USB cable. Both of my previous headsets worked perfectly with DualSense’s 3.5-millimeter audio jack.

Third-party wired controllers, like my Hori Fightpad or Victrix Pro FS Fight Stick, are also working perfectly when I used them to smash buttons with Mortal Kombat. Keep in mind this: the DualShock 4 only works with backward-compatible PS4 games, meaning it won’t allow you to play PS5 only games.

PS5 review: Game lineup

The PS5’s launch line-up gets off to a good beginning. The biggest marquee release game will be Spider-Man: Miles Morales, an amazing and enjoyable follow to Marvel’s Spider-Man that comes with Ray-traced graphics as well as an optional 60-fps speed mode.

Sackboy Big Adventure Big Adventure is a simple but enjoyable 3D platformer with plenty of customizable characters. However, Astro’s Playroom is the free, pack-in game that showcases its DualSense controller, maybe better. Since 2007’s Nintendo Wii has a console launched with a game of note available right from the start and Sony’s newest platformer is filled with fun Easter eggs and collectibles for serious PlayStation players.

If you prefer a more mature style, Godfall is a fun and gorgeous action RPG that plays like a marriage between the thrilling battle in God of War 2018 and the rich loot system of Destiny. Do you want something more fashionable? Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is an upgraded version of the fantastic 2019 slash-em up that comes with Ray-tracing and 120 FPS performance modes.

One of the PS5’s most important real launches exclusives Demon’s Souls, a visually amazing remake of the adored 2009 action/RPG with the identical name. We’ve just started playing Bluepoint’s fresh version of the popular game So stay tuned for further impressions.

The issue is, you don’t even need a PS5 to play a lot of the games. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy The Big Adventure are also available on PS4 and PS4 as are a lot of the major third-party titles which launched at the time of launch.

They are Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, The Pathless, Dirt 5, and NBA 2K21. These games are available on PS4 however, you’ll require a PS5 to experience features like 4K gaming in real-time and 60 frames per second frame rate options. It’s important to note that Fortnite was optimized for PS5 at the time of launch and games like Madden NFL 21 and Watch Dogs Legion will provide free PS5 upgrade options for those who own PS4 versions.

If you look ahead we can anticipate significant PS5 exclusives like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West (the latter of which will be available in a PS4 version) to launch in 2021 or later.

Although you don’t need a PS5 to enjoy the most popular new games released by Sony and third-party developers you can expect to play superior versions of these games on the latest system. Don’t forget that the majority of your PS4 library will be with you, complete with massive improvements in performance and visuals for certain games.

PS5 review Review: Apps

The PS5 can access pretty almost every entertainment app that you’ll ever need, such as Disney Plus, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus, which is new for this new addition to the PlayStation platform, Apple TV Plus. All of these apps functioned identically as their PS4 counterparts when I tested them which isn’t something to be worried about.

Each app I tried worked quickly and was streamed consistently no matter if I was watching Chappelle’s Show on Netflix or keeping up with WWE news and updates on YouTube. More importantly, streaming apps for the PS5 are much easier to access as opposed to before thanks to a simple Media tab that’s only one click away on the main screen. This is a welcome change from the PS4 which had all its streaming applications in a slow-loading TV and Video menu.

PS5 review Review: Noise and heat

With its huge internal fan as well as the massive vents that run along the sides of the chassis and the outside of the chassis, the PS5 kept cool and silent throughout my time using it. I didn’t hear any sound coming from this console even when I spent hours playing in Astro’s Playroom or playing the crooks of Spider-Man. There were a few moments of audible noise while playing Star Wars Battlefront II, and I could hear discs spinning quite incessantly the first time I put Blu-rays into the console. However, compared to the jet engine-like sounds that emanate from my PS4 when downloading games and the PS5 is completely silent.

PS5 review: 3D audio

PlayStation 5’s Tempest Engine enables it to provide 3D audio to games that are supported, allowing players to hear the sounds of your games with more directionality than normal stereo headphones can provide. The 3D audio on the PS5 is specifically designed to work with the majority of existing headsets and headphones but Sony’s brand new Pulse 3D Wireless Headset has been specifically designed for this technology. We’ve so far tested 3D audio with the Astro A20 headset. While the effects are rather subtle, they have shown plenty of potentials.

The PS5’s audio features were the most evident in Astro’s Playroom because I could clearly hear the rain emanating from my vantage point, and I could hear the sounds of a tornado that whipped between my right and left ears as it sent my character up. It was also simple to discern the direction that planes, cars, and even enemies were coming from as I swung through the air during Spider-Man: Miles Morales, however, I couldn’t tell the difference between the time that the effect was turned on or off.

As with many PS5 features, it’ll be up to the developers to maximize the PS5’s 3D sound technology. We’re looking forward to trying other games that have 3D audio, and also getting our hands on the Pulse 3D headset to enjoy the complete experience.

PS5 review: Verdict

The PS5 is a significant leap forward in console gaming. It comes with stunning 4K resolution, incredibly fast loading times, and an innovative controller which makes gaming more tactile and immersive than ever before. It supports the majority of PS4 games and, in many instances, they can play and load faster than they have ever been before.

But, there are a couple of reasons to hold off making that purchase if you’re able to locate the new console from Sony it is. The launch line-up of the PS5 includes a few essential exclusives considering that PS4 owners can still play important releases like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The size of the console could be a hindrance for those who have limited space as well as the DualSense controller could be too larger for people with smaller hands.

As with all console releases as with all console launches, the PS5 is sure to improve over time, with exclusive games and new features that will allow those who prefer to put off their purchase. Also, Microsoft’s price of $499 for the Xbox Series X with some extra power and is compatible with four versions of Xbox games. However, if you decide to purchase the PS5 to buy now, you can be assured that you’ll get an experience that’s truly next-gen with the latest haptics, stunning graphics, and virtually no interaction with the games you’d like to play.

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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was previously the Managing Editor of Tom’s Guide. If he’s not at work you’ll usually find Mike gaming Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams, and trying to persuade people Hawkeye is the most effective Avenger.

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