After having to take in the PlayStation 5 experience through online chatter and pre-release posts from editor Sammy Barker, the entire Push Square editorial team finally has its hands on Sony's latest console. And following a full weekend of play, we feel compelled to share all of our experiences so far. Some of us have been revisiting upgraded PlayStation 4 titles while others have dived into experiences made possible by PS5. But what of the system itself? We've got some thoughts and feelings to share on that front too. So, here's what we think of the PS5 and the games we've played after one weekend of play.
Sammy Barker, Editor
One of the things I wanted to say in my PS5 review but regrettably failed is that Sony’s next-gen console feels like an evolution of the PS4 in all the right areas. It’s not revelatory in any way really, but it takes an established entertainment experience and elevates it. Playing on the next-gen console is faster, more fluid, and outright better than the company’s previous console.
That’s important because, unlike the PS3, the PS4 didn’t really feel all that out-of-date – especially if you invested in the PS4 Pro. But once you’ve spent a weekend with the PS5, you can’t go back. Old games run better, new games look better, and while it still has some quirks to be ironed out, I think features like the Activity Cards are going to fundamentally change the way we play.
And then there’s that seismic shift in the way games feel with the DualSense, too: I’m not sure I could play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on a last-gen console anymore; once you’ve experienced the weight and rattle of a light machine gun, why would you ever want to go back? All of this is to say that I think Sony knocked it out of the park with this console: it’s both fresh and familiar, and it takes a huge step forward without forgetting what made PS4 such a sensation in the first place.
Robert Ramsey, Deputy Editor
Despite being on the market for almost seven years, the PS4 never felt that old to me. Sure its user interface was starting to lag and a lot of its games transformed the machine into a working jet engine, but I wasn't that bothered about getting a PS5. Truth be told, I was quite content with my PS4.
Then my PS5 actually arrived, and now the thought of going back to last-gen seems absurd. I don't think the PS5 is a revolution, but it's just so... Smooth. The way everything loads instantly, the way that you don't get snagged on stuttering menus. Even after just one weekend with Sony's new system, I can't imagine going back to PS4.
PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom really helped sell the new system to me. It's a joyous little platformer that stirred some serious nostalgia. I've also been delving deep into Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition — with both running at a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second and looking better than ever. They're not necessarily 'next-gen' games, but I've been having an absolute blast regardless.
I think my biggest PS5 takeaway is that this console is built to respect your time. We've grown so used to long load screens and sluggish system performance, and now everything's just so instantaneous. I've even found myself hopping between games and keeping things fresh, purely because it only takes a few seconds to boot something completely different.
Stephen Tailby, Associate Editor
Say what you like about the PS5's design, but every time I walk into my living room, it's the first thing I notice. It's tucked nicely into my TV stand, but it's a dominating bit of kit that really grabs your attention. Combined with the premium-feeling DualSense controller, it makes a striking first impression.
I was a little worried about all the reports of bugs and general issues, but I'm pleased to say it's mostly been plain sailing for me so far. I say "mostly" because, for some reason, my DualSense doesn't seem to hold a charge very well. I've heard that the front USB port fails to power your pad in some cases, so I'll see if the back ports make a difference. Otherwise, my experience with PS5 so far has been pretty smooth. I love the slick UI; while there are some refinements to be made, the speed and responsiveness of the system software is refreshing coming off of PS4.
As for the games, I'm sure my colleagues will back me up in saying Astro's Playroom is a treasure. It's the definition of short but sweet. A truly wonderful platformer that shows off the PS5 and DualSense in the best way. And wow, the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are fantastic! Astro uses them so effectively, and it's a constant joy. One of the most mind-blowing moments came when it started raining in one of the stages — it's seriously good. Other games like DIRT 5, Bugsnax, and WRC 9 utilise these features to varying degrees of success, but I'm optimistic that devs will get the best out of the DualSense in the months and years to come. There's plenty I still need to check out, but overall, PS5 is a very promising console indeed.
Liam Croft, Senior Staff Writer
The Liam Croft of one week ago would be pretty chuffed to read this: yes, the PS5 does fit in your TV stand. Perhaps surprisingly, I don't think the console is quite as big as it has been made out to be. It's still seriously large, but I have managed to find a decent place for it in my setup that appears to be providing airflow. With the system in place and firmware updates downloaded, I quickly dived into learning the UI, checking out my PS4 playtimes (some of them aren't as big as I thought they would be), and getting some PS5 titles ready for play.
Then it was time to sample Astro's Playroom — a game that has very quickly found itself in my top five PlayStation games for 2020 so far. What an utter delight it is! The outstanding DualSense controller showcase is a tribute to Sony consoles and IPs of the past with adorable references and excellent gameplay to match. What unlocks after completing the four levels is supremely special for PlayStation fans. "Ken's memory card" — I love it.
In amongst pumping PS5 reviews out for Watch Dogs Legion, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Godfall, I've also managed to commit a handful of hours to playing Demon's Souls and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Now that my review slate is clean for a little bit, I'll be diving into both titles a lot, lot more. Each of which appears to be suitably outstanding and I can't wait to play more.
How was your first weekend with PS5? What do you think of the system overall and which next-gen games did you play first? Share all of your thoughts in the comments below.