The PlayStation 5 a Year Later

Happy one year!

So I was scrolling through YouTube and I came upon a video from Gameranx (they make good content by the way):

And it hit me…

It’s been one year since the PlayStation 5 launched.

Well the official the launch was November 12th, 2020, and obviously this post is late because I didn’t even realize it’s been a year until the day of.

Today’s post is going to be a look back at the launch and some of the highlights past and future. Couple of things to keep in mind:

  • This article is going to be my own, but it might reference a few things from the above Gameranx video and some of other sources. It’s been a long year I can’t remember anything! If you want an audio form, I highly recommend the video.
  • I was extremely lucky and managed to get mine day one. There are plenty of people who still don’t have a PS5, and while the outcome is still grim, I do write this with the knowledge that they don’t have one and I hope they get them soon!
  • That last statement probably read really political but I really hope they do get their hands on one.

End of list. Let’s go a year in review of the PS5!

Preamble

The announcement of the PS5 created some of the best memes I’ve ever seen. 2020 was a year for the ages of the world dealt with a COVID-19 pandemic that locked everybody in their houses for a good amount of time. COVID aside, gaming boomed from the pandemic and when Sony officially announced the PS5, I declared it a national holiday.

It’s always hard going to the next generation of consoles because it doesn’t happen every year. My snapchat memory on November 11th is me listening to “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth as I look at my PS4 and pan the camera to the PS5. I got over it, but it hurt. As soon as I booted it up and started playing Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales, I got over the pain and realized that next generation was here for real.

Hardware

Okay just to preface, I am no expert when it comes to specs and tech talk. I can only talk about what I see and have a mild understanding about. That being said, the PS5 does what a console should do and pretty darn well (no console wars over here).

This time around, gamers had the choice of two consoles: a digital only PS5 or a standard console for $100 more. Not going to lie, I spent the extra $100 because of deals and gifts for physical games. Just my two cents though!

I think the first time you notice the upgrade is when you boot up the console itself. Maybe it’s just me, but after six years of booting up 2 different PS4’s and a PS4 Pro, the PS5 zooms. If you don’t notice it then, you’ll definitely notice it when you launch a game. Some games load up in 20 seconds or less leaving behind the days of scrolling through your social media platforms while waiting to boot up your game. It’s making me actually enjoy playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (notoriously long load times at least in my opinion), which it was also the 10 year anniversary last week.

My biggest gripe about the PS5 is storage was a major issue as it comes with 875 GB of storage but you’re left with 667 GB after system software to store games. Unfortunately, games in today’s times take up like 40 GB, and if you’re a digital game buyer than it’s rough. So for the first couple of months it was install and delete until they added expansion capability with external hard drive support back in May, and then finally internal storage expansion in September. If you can, I’d say upgrade both because the external can only hold PS4 versions of games.

The controller is massive: touting a USC-C charging port, adaptive triggers and a microphone. The C type charging port is a nice change as it charges the controller faster, but the controller dies faster (sadge). The triggers are actually pretty cool as they can mirror certain sensations such as the weight of pulling a trigger of a gun or the pushback of web swinging (Spider-Man). I’m excited to see how future titles will implement gameplay features to immerse the gamer. The mic is solid as it plays some game sounds through the speaker, or you can talk to people in it. It reminds me of the Modern Warfare 2 days!

All around nice upgrades to the console.

User Interface

They made quite a few changes to the UI which was weird at first, but if you experiment enough, you get used to it. If you’re me, you still don’t know how to use it a year later.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of wallpapers (pour one out). On the PS4, you could customize your background to either static or dynamic wallpapers with the dynamic offering sound and animation. In its place, which I’m cool with, is when you hover over a game, it takes over the screen and plays music almost functioning as a dynamic background.

Some of the bigger and more notable changes were the Activity system, a way to break down games and track in game progress, the reworked command center, which I still don’t know how to operate to this day, and an improved Share feature (which I love way more than the PS4’s).

A lot of the features are cool if you sit there and explore how they function. I don’t personally use the Activity system/cards, but maybe other people do.

Games

The PS5 launched at the same time as all the holiday season titles so a lot of the games you could play were upgraded versions of last generation’s holiday slate. We did get a few exclusive standouts, most notably, Miles Morales’ first outing (at least I think it’s his first) on PS5, and boy did I love it.

Here’s a few of the other notable launch titles.

  • We also got treated to a remaster of a 2009 classic Demon’s Souls and for what it’s worth, the game looked and played phenomenally, I just suck at those games!
  • Sackboy made his glorious return in his own standalone adventure that I have yet to play, which reminds me to keep an eye out for Black Friday deals.
  • Call of Duty released its newest iteration at the time, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which was decent.
  • I almost forgot, but Watch Dogs: Legion came out, and while I enjoyed my experience, I hope they don’t follow the same formula moving forward.
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla dropped two days before launch, but…. I didn’t like it. I hope they scrap the formula for the next title, but supposedly its multiplayer?

Again, like I mentioned, a lot of the other games were updated versions for the next generation consoles.

As the months passed, PS5 owners did get some treats in the form of PlayStation exclusives getting updated with higher frame rates and resolutions to be played on the new console. I loved Ghost of Tsushima, and I thought it looked great on PS4. I dare you to play it on PS5 at 60 FPS. It’ll melt your eyes.

Ghost of Tsushima wasn’t the only title though as God of War 2018, Days Gone, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us Part 2 and more saw significant upgrades to their frame rates which is ludicrous (in a good way). Moving past upgrades, Ratchet & Clank made their triumphant return, Housemarque released Groundhog Day the video game Returnal, and Arkane Studios made another banger called Deathloop.

2021 was okay for gaming, at least the top of my head. Looking forward to 2022, there’s going to be Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarök, which are two highly anticipated sequels, along with the interesting Forspoken and Sifu.

Conclusion

The PS5 is cool.

The end, see ya on the next post…

Just kidding. Listen, we expected the next generation to be good, and I’m happy with it. Games load quicker than my mom picks up a phone call and they look as good as a sunny vacation day. Obviously the worst part is the scalpers and the bots who managed to secure thousands of consoles from fans and gamers worldwide, and it sucks. I hope it gets sorted out especially with the holiday season zooming towards us because it is wicked nice.

If you happen to get your hands on one, did it meet your expectations?

In the meantime, here’s to another 5 or so years of next generation gaming!


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