Sony Flawlessly Transitions to Next-Gen with New PS5

Noah Range, A&E Editor

Sony’s latest, next-gen console, the aptly named PlayStation 5 (PS5), aesthetically differs from its predecessors substantially. Rather than a sleek black design, the PS5 opts for a bolder, blue-white-black aesthetic. Perhaps this change is to signal a shift in Sony’s approach to making consoles: more vivid, innovative and potent.

And that’s exactly what the PS5 is.

The most notable difference is the console’s exterior design, which is its biggest flaw. The PS5 features a thick black interior with huge white faceplates flanking both sides; the console is massive. Its unwieldy size means finding a place to put it becomes a chore, and the color scheme makes it stick out like a sore thumb in most setups.

Besides the awkward design, the PS5 does not disappoint.

PlayStation controllers have been nearly identical since the PlayStation 1’s release, but the PS5 doesn’t follow this trend. The PS5’s DualSense wireless controller has a similar button layout to the PlayStation 4 controller, but it adorns a white base with clear buttons, black sticks and triggers and a blue light surrounding the central pad, giving off a futuristic, spacey vibe.

The biggest change is not the exterior, but Sony’s new, innovative haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback gives the controller special rumble that deeply mimics the feelings of in-game environments, and the adaptive triggers respond to player actions by increasing the force required to pull the trigger back.

When walking through a jungle, you can feel the leaves brushing against the bottom of the controller; when your character pulls a bowstring, you feel the tension in the triggers. This allows for an entirely new level of immersion for players.

User Interfaces (UI) have never been the forte of the PlayStation brand. The PlayStation 3 UI is a cluttered, unintuitive mess and the PS4 UI is nothing more than an uninspired blue background littered with icons. Unlike its predecessors, the PS5’s UI is intuitive and gorgeous.

When starting the console, you are greeted to a grey background shimmering with light. After selecting a profile, the main menu is opened, which includes all owned software, the PlayStation Store and many other PlayStation services.

Once an icon is selected, a graphic floods the screen and a menu opens up that allows users to interact with a game’s community, purchase games or manage their game library, among other things. It isn’t complicated, but it’s nonetheless striking and satisfying to navigate.

Being a next-gen console, naturally the PS5 should be more powerful than any console before it, and it has power in spades. Although I own very few exclusive PS5 games, the PS4 games that I own run significantly better on the PS5.

For example, “The Last of Us Part 2,” one of the last generation’s most graphically impressive games, runs on the PS5 flawlessly at a high frame rate, whereas the PS4 is barely powerful enough to run it and is considerably loud while doing so.

Exclusive games are yet another muscle the PS5 has to flex. The PS5 launched with many games that can only be played on the Sony systems, such as “Spiderman: Miles Morales,” “Demons Souls,” “Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition” and “Godfall.” These games are widely praised by critics as some of the best games on the market.

The PS5 has its own games, but a majority of its current library comes from backwards compatibility with the PS4, meaning almost every PS4 game is playable on the PS5. This makes all PS4 exclusives playable on the PS5, many of which are widely regarded as the best games of the last generation.

The PS5 is still very young, so there are still many exclusive games in development, including some of gaming’s most anticipated titles. “Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,” “God of War: Ragnarok” and “Horizon 2: Forbidden West” are all upcoming sequels to their legendary counterparts.

Nearly everything you could ever want in a console, ground-breaking games, stunning UI, strong processing power and a satisfying controller, has a home in the PS5. The hardware design may be clunky, but underneath those hulking faceplates is a nearly flawless experience.