The PS5 is a superb console that offers a compelling next-gen gaming experience – and one that will likely only get better as more titles are added to the lineup. The PS5 proves itself to be both powerful and well-designed.
A few small issues hold it back from being a five-star product at launch, but otherwise, it’s a welcome upgrade on the PS4 and an exciting portal to next-gen gameplay.
We were hoping for great things from the PS5, and Sony’s next-gen console delivers.
Sony has re-imagined the key parts of the experience – from a simpler setup and new well-thought-out user interface to a revolutionary controller and added bonuses for PS Plus members – and the result is a console that we can’t help but be impressed with.
It’s finally out – you can buy PS5 in stores across the US, and now also buy PS5 UK consoles too. We’re also tracking Black Friday PS5 stock for more updates and all the future PS5 deals and bundles we can expect.
- PS5 size comparison: is the PlayStation 5 too big?
- PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition: which next-gen Sony console is for you?
Sure, there are problems with how few first-party games there are at launch – and it would have been nice to see support for previous generations of PlayStation titles, not just PS4 games – but the PlayStation 5 feels like a solid investment nevertheless, and we’re confident that the PS5 experience will improve with age.
You may feel tempted to run out and buy a 4K/120Hz TV with HDMI 2.1 to take full advantage of the console’s peak capabilities, but even without one, you’ll enjoy unbelievably fast load times and a gorgeous new UI.
The PS5 caters to both primed and ready next-gen gamers and tepid PS4 owners looking to dip their toes into the future of gaming – and for the latter, it’s a console that so seamlessly bridges the gap between the last generation and the next that you probably won’t need to boot up your PS4 ever again.
From big upgrades like the super-fast NVMe SSD and powerful GPU that enable higher frame rates and ray tracing to subtle touches like the built-in microphone on the controller that can serve as a quick stand-in for a headset, the PS5 feels like it was built for ease of use as well as pure power.
We’ve yet to get our hands on the PS5 Digital Edition, which we may feel differently about, and we’ve yet to try out some of the PS5’s streaming apps and entertainment functionality, but if you’re still on the fence about buying the PS5, we can wholeheartedly recommend the console as a welcome upgrade over the PS4, and an exciting portal to next-gen gameplay.
- PS5 vs Xbox Series X: which console should you pick?
Watch our PS5 video review below:
PS5 PRICE ANALYSIS AND RELEASE DATE
- PS5 release date: November 12 or November 19 depending on the region
- PS5 price: €422.75 / €502.61 / AU€634.09
- PS5 Digital Edition price: €338.20 / €402.09 / AU€507.26
The PS5 release date in North America, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand is November 12, 2020, which is just two days after the release of its next-gen rivals, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. For the rest of the world, the console became available one week later on November 19.
In terms of the PS5 price, you’re looking at €422.75 / €502.61 / AU€634.09 for the standard version of the console with a 4K Blu-ray disc drive. However, if that’s more than you want to spend, there’s also the PS5 Digital Edition, which doesn’t have a disc drive, and which is available for €338.20 / €402.09 / AU€507.26.
That’s more than the launch price of the PS4 and PS4 Pro, which both came in at €338.20, but they arrived seven and four years ago respectively now, and you’re getting a generational leap in hardware here for only a few hundred more. It’s still expensive, don’t get us wrong, but the jump in price does feel warranted for what you’re getting here.
Sony isn’t the only console maker with new hardware on the block – you also have to consider the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S that are available at almost exactly the same time.
Priced at €421.91 and €252.81 respectively, they each have their own separate reviews so we won’t spend much time talking about them here, but be sure to check out our PS5 vs Xbox Series X breakdown for more details about how the consoles stack up.
- Huge for a modern gaming console
- Space-age aesthetic is polarizing
- But the size means more space for air ventilation and a bigger fan
If gaming consoles had weight classes, the PS5 would be in the heavyweight division. We measured it at around 38.8 x 8 x 26cm (H x W x D) – though the curved surfaces make getting an exact measurement difficult. And it weighs in at 4.5kg, giving it a noticeable heft when you pick it up.
With those measurements in mind, it’s easy to see how the PlayStation 5 is the largest console Sony has ever made, and it teeters on the brink of being simply too big for a device that’s supposed to sit under your TV.
Many will have to rethink their current setup or upgrade their entertainment centers entirely to accommodate Sony’s new machine, and that’s a problem that no one should have to worry about when picking up a new console.
As for the colors and shape of the console, well, they can be kind of polarizing, too. Some of us on the team absolutely love the PS5 design, while some of us hate it. There’s no denying, however, that its gargantuan size and two-tone color scheme demands attention in any home.
One element that’s a delightful touch, and universally liked by the TechRadar team, is the system’s subtle lighting effect, which creates a soothing hue when the console is in operation or rest mode.
It adds to the PS5’s space-age look and feel, and represents a nice touch of continuity from the PS4. Much like the PS4, when the console is in rest mode the light turns orange, and when the PS5 is turned on it changes from blue to white.
We’re a bit bemused by Sony’s choice to put glossy plastic down the center spine of the console, though, particularly as that’s where the front USB ports are located. We can’t say for sure, but there’s a possibility that the plastic will become scratched over time unless you take extra care when plugging in devices – and if that’s the case, it seems like a rather big oversight on Sony’s part. It’s also a big dust and fingerprint magnet.
Due to its curves and tall stature, it’s not just a case of placing the console down and playing once you pull it out of the box either – you’ll need to wrap your head around the PS5’s stand first.
The console can’t be placed horizontally without it, and you risk impeding airflow if you don’t use it when the PS5 is standing vertically. It’s an extra step that, while necessary, will hopefully be omitted when the console’s inevitable ‘slim’ version arrives in a couple of years.
The stand, while functional, feels slightly cheap in the hand. It has a small compartment to hold one lone screw (don’t lose this, as you’ll need it when placing the console vertically) and at first glance, it doesn’t look like the setup will actually work when laying the console flat.
To its credit, though, it does the job in a no-thrills fashion – however, we found the stand slipped off the small lip that it clamps onto multiple times when we shifted our unit into position.
In terms of ports, the front of the PS5 has a USB-A and USB-C port, while the back sports two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.1, an Ethernet port and a power port. There are no proprietary ports on the console, which is always a bonus if you need to replace the odd cable.
- Capable of 4K/120fps gameplay as well as support for 8K/60
- Faster loading times thanks to new SSD
- Tempest 3D audio tech is like Atmos-lite
- System runs cool and quiet nearly all the time
In terms of specs, the PS5 is a technically impressive piece of hardware. There’s the new custom RDNA 2 GPU that can push 4K resolution at 120 frames per second, and the octa-core AMD Zen 2-based CPU with a 3.5GHz clock speed.
Add on 16GB of GDDR6 memory and the NVMe SSD and this is a machine with some seriously good-looking specs.