As you would expect from a console you’ve probably been waiting for a few years, the PlayStation 5 has a few improvements needed. Not necessarily in terms of design, which has already generated two camps: those who hate it and those who appreciate it. The middle way doesn’t seem to be.
Personally, after using the console for a while , the design didn’t matter so much. Although initially I was in the first camp, because white never seems to me an inspired decision, but also because the disc version looks, somehow, disproportionate. But don’t buy a console for design, but for performance. And in this note I want to remind you that it is very quiet, compared to a PS4 Slim.
When I say that the PS5, in itself, makes games better, it’s not true. PlayStation 5 offers both high-performance hardware and an excellent controller. Now it’s up to the game developers to really take advantage of the console.
Apparently, a classic controller from Sony. In essence, DualSense is completely different
What I have to say for the overall design of the PlayStation 5 is the choice of color shades. The more elegant the combination of white and black looks, the more strange it is on gadgets that you use constantly. But we also need a mention. Both the PS5 and the controller are not really white. It’s a shade of gray. In some images it can be seen, in others not even.
Any PlayStation 5 model comes with two things: a DualSense controller and Astro’s Playroom. The latter is there to show you and the developers what the former can do.
DualSense makes sense to get more involved. The way the vibrations are reproduced has been improved and now they are somehow spatial, that you could feel something to the right or left or in front of the controller, depending on how it is integrated in the game.
In Astro’s Playroom, for example, you tilt the controller and climb a wall (perceive movement through an accelerometer and gyroscope). Or you feel the vibration to the right of the controller, that there is a problem or there is something you have to interact with. With a simple logic you can think of racing games that use both vibrations (to feel where the impact was with another car) and the accelerometer to drive the car.
Triggers L2 and R2 have also been improved. They are elongated, with a longer stroke and you press on them, then you feel a certain tension. The controller can simulate, through these, that your character from the games goes harder, that you “stepped” on the accelerator pedal or that you set your target. There are many opportunities to use this type of tension translated into how the player feels.
I would find it useful, for example, in FIFA. You can, at least for free kicks, shoot with such a trigger and choose how much force you put in the shot. It’s just as useful in racing games. Or when you pull something, you push something and you need to understand how difficult the task is.
DualSense has both a speaker and a microphone, it charges via USB-C and, in some respects, looks like a DualShock 4 arranged to look more modern. And this helps the ergonomics, because it fits a little better in the hand, and the sticks are a bit more adherent.
What displeases me is that the buttons on the right, so familiar to any PlayStation user, are now only transparent and with the classic shapes: triangle, square, circle and x. They add a splash of color to the previous controller. There are only forms here. This, although, obviously, the colors did not disappear in the games. It doesn’t necessarily confuse anyone with the presence or lack of colors, but that’s why I don’t see the reason why they were removed.
The Share button is now Create, that’s what you do: create a screenshot, a video. Nothing complicated here, just something good: a slightly more efficient and fast menu to take a screenshot or start recording the game.
PlayStation 5 now depends on game makers
In 2020, people have resorted to video games more than ever. Every developer who took himself seriously relied more on the multiplayer component, and PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S are coming at the best of times.
Both come, at the same time, at a time when technology has evolved enormously. The big TVs of seven years ago are, at most, medium now. The panels are better, with nanocell or QLED or OLED or whatever name the manufacturers use. The sound is also taken more seriously than ever, once Dolby began to accustom the world to Atmos and other manufacturers to follow suit.
The need for a new console was clear. PlayStation 5 also came with a new controller that makes you “feel” a little more when you play something. As much as I love what DualSense has to offer now, and what I’ve experienced in the pre-installed game and in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I’m so confused by one thing: the developers will use what Sony has put in gadget?
If Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Epic and others take the step that complicates their workflow too much, DualSense will have been only half useful. The verdict can be given in about two years. 2021 will be the year in which new games will be released for the first time on PlayStation 5, and the old ones will have finally been updated accordingly.
What’s exciting about DualSense for now is that it carries the idea of immersion. Between PS4 and PlayStation 5 it was augmented and virtual reality that proposed completely new approaches to the mix between real and digital. AR delights me the most, but it’s not for all games. DualSense takes a few tricks from mobile gaming (interaction with accelerometer and gyroscope and develops slightly better vibration feedback).
It can also be the first in a more generous collection of console accessories. For now, games compatible with it are expected. Until then, it remains the most ergonomic controller so far.