A Few Months in with the PS5

Thu 25 Mar 2021, 21:29

Can you believe the PS5 has already been out for a couple months? Like 5 months or so I'm counting.

I've had mine since early December and it still feels like I never got it.

Wait... what does that mean?

Well, I have the PS5 and use it often, but it has still to blow me away. I feel like I'm still waiting for the "killer app" for it. Whatever Naughty Dog puts out next I'm sure will blow me away, like Uncharted 4 did on PS4... (but they should probably release a PS5 upgrade for TLOU2 first.)

But for what we have right now, nothing has really blown me away. Don't get me wrong, Astro's Playroom is an absolutely fantastic fun game, but it's more about demonstrating the controller.

The remake of Demon's Souls is nice for demonstrating load times and some graphical stuff.

Black Ops Cold War is good for demonstrating some graphical capabilities and load times, but ultimately it's an early 3rd party launch title so it's not really that great for anything.

Now, admittedly, I haven't played Miles Morales yet. I hear that looks real nice and especially the new Ray Traced Performance Mode should be a nice treat... but I haven't gotten that game yet. I'm waiting for a deal.

But even that I'm not sure will blow me away since it also runs on PS4. What I want is the ultimate PS5 title that'll do everything: incredible visuals, instant load times and very sensational controllers and haptics. I have yet to have that, and as of right now I'm not sure what will. Maybe the new Ratchet and Clank? We'll see.

The game I've been playing the most on my PS5 is Cyberpunk 2077, and that is a PS4 game. Admittedly, it runs a heck of a lot better on PS5 than it does on an actual PS4. It's actually very respectable how good it runs, really solid 60 FPS and all... but it doesn't look any special and it has a lot of load times. I have high hopes for the native PS5 upgrade that should arrive later in the year... (if the game is even around then, I feel like it has been going downhill very fast for CDPR... let's hope they can recover.)

So what I mean when I say that I feel like I never got the PS5 is that I feel like I still haven't experienced the next generation of gaming.

Could it be that the upgrade from PS4 to PS5 visuals aren't that mindblowing (like SD to HD was with the PS3/360 generation)? Could it be that I'm already spoiled from high-end PC gaming? Who knows, but I'm sure that in due time it will be solved and I will have my Uncharted 4 moment again.

System Software Stagnation

Sony also needs to start working on the software again. I feel like the software team pushed the system software enough to have a good enough 1.0 of it to start producing consoles, and then just went on vacation and are just waiting for Sony to call them and to get back to work. Now, to be fair, I want the software team to have a little vacation, because I'm sure putting the final touches on the console wasn't easy because of the pandemic, but it's been several months by now and nothing has happened with the system software, apart from a little non-descript "system stability" update here and there, and I grow more frustrated with it.

It still looks and sounds really nice, but navigating it is still a real mess. Everytime I fire up my PS4 to play some unpatched Cyberpunk on it, I am delighted by how good the PS4 OS is. It's really nice and organized to navigate.

And we still can't copy PS5 games to external drives to save on the internal SSD storage. I am aware we can't run PS5 games from USB drives because of their (alleged) insane bandwidth requirements, but let us store them on there as "cold storage".

Speaking of external drives, swapping them is a colossal mess. I did that once and my PS5 was almost useless, because it listed games I had previously had installed to the old drive as installed and I couldn't reinstall them to the new drive. I ended up having to plug the old drive back in, uninstall the games, and then unplug it. Then I could put the new drive in and start re-downloading games to it.

Speaking of uninstalling games, some games you uninstall show up as ghosts to the very left of the home screen and I have no idea how to remove them from there apart from re-installing them.

Sony also needs to work on a smoother save migration system. Like with Marvel's Avengers, it almost became a meme how complex it was to move save data from the PS4 version to the PS5 version... meanwhile on Xbox I believe it just does it automatically.

Speaking of game upgrades, accidentally downloading multiple versions of games is a problem. And the even worse part is that it usually defaults to the PS4 versions for some reason. There are lots of unknowing people who has accidentally been playing the PS4 version of Black Ops Cold War on their PS5. And even I almost did that when I downloaded Control for PS+ and it downloaded both versions. It's a real mess, and I don't really know why Sony programmed it the way they did.

So we just need updates and improvements, Sony, anything. I know you're probably doing the best you can to produce more consoles to get them out to customers, but there are some of us who's had it for months and are already going crazy with the OS.

I believe I read that the planned M.2 expansion was gonna come this summer. Let's hope so.

Other Thoughts

While I have you here, let me list some other thoughts I've been thinking about the PS5:

Now that the honeymoon is over and I can start looking at the console with less excitement, I can be more critical of it. There are a lot of flaws, and in due time I'm sure Sony will fix them, but they need to start making moves. Microsoft has been doing a lot of things and Sony has done barely anything. I feel like I hear more about the Xbox in media than I hear about the PS5...

On the other hand, every store I've checked has had the PS5 as the most popular product for several months now and Xbox has yet to top them. On top of that, I've seen Xboxes in stock (the Series S is always in stock), but have yet to see PS5's in stock, so Sony probably isn't feeling much pressure... and that could hurt them.

So, Sony... thanks for releasing the PS5 and I appreciate I was fortunate to get one in 2020, but you have yet to really impress me.