I haven’t had a current-gen Playstation since the Playstation 2. I never got into the PS3, or the PS4. I ended up becoming a huge fan of the PS Vita near the end of its lifecycle, and in more recent months, the PSP, even farther past its prime.
I don’t follow hype for any consoles other than Nintendo, not just because I like Nintendo games, but because I simply don’t have all that much time for another console. Keeping up with one current generation console is hard enough with life going on, of course. And yet, the past few weeks I have become increasingly interested in buying a Playstation 5. No, not because of the hype – none of the news outlets I follow cover Playstation anything – but because I have started to realize that the Switch, while an incredible machine, is showing its age.
I first realized that I sort of wanted a beefier console when I got MX vs. ATV All Out. I had a blast with the game and have logged around 30 hours in it so far, but the gameplay videos for the PC, PS4 and Xbox versions look like an entirely different game. Sure, I knew this would be the case – greatly reduced graphical quality is a part of life with most Nintendo systems, and that’s the trade-off . As Nintendo fans, we expect that games will not look as good and perform nearly as well as their equivalents on Sony and Microsoft’s platforms. This is just a fact of life for Switch owners at this current time.
But recently I’ve come to the conclusion that the Switch is going to see a steep decline of third-party releases once developers are targeting the newer consoles.
We’ve seen a few games get announced using cloud streaming. I expect this to be a trend in the future on the Nintendo Switch because they’re simply isn’t enough power to put modern games on the Switch. I reject the idea of cloud streaming and not owning my games, but it’s also the idea that some games are more fun with shorter load times and smoother framerates. I don’t care about particle effects and other such niceties on Nintendo games – but where they are nice is on any game that is intended to look realistic. Racing games really stand out here from the enhanced resolution and framerates, specifically. Any games where you are controlling and playing amongst actual human beings benefits from this as well. Games that are online multiplayer – well, let’s not fool ourselves, Nintendo doesn’t really get online play, aside from Mario Kart and maybe Smash.
The Switch is one of my favorites, but I need something else to fill the gap in situations where a) it would greatly benefit to get the better looking game, and b) I don’t require portability.
So with alllll those considerations in mind, I decided very suddenly to buy a PS5. Again, I don’t follow any news about the new consoles, so my knowledge of it is fairly low. But let’s take a look at some of the cool things.
The Look and Power
This is definitely stating the obvious, but holy cow, this system is gorgeous. It looks like freaken stormtrooper, you guys! I have a strange obsession with white hardware, and the style of this thing and the new DualShock controller is nothing short of design perfection. From what I understand, it’s not form over function either – it runs quiet and doesn’t generate tons of heat and noise, like its predecessor. It’ll look great next to my white PS2 but will certainly be the center of attention. Who wouldn’t want to decorate their living quarters or office with that?
The controller is also a fair departure from Sony’s previous 20 year trend of slightly tweaking the current look or adding another button. The haptic feedback promises to be really neat, and some early reviews echo this sentiment. Not unlike the vibration feature of the Joycon, precisely like it in fact, it’s all dependent on how the developers implement it. We don’t want to see another “rear touchscreen” that essentially becomes nothing more than an extra button.
Now as far as the innards go, there’s a lot of custom stuff going on inside the PS5, and while this isn’t a tech blog and I don’t care to go into specifics, this thing is fast. Shorter load times (especially on the PS4 backwards compatibility) are my jam, and the custom SSD they have inside is a huge help to make that happen.
If you are interested in hearing/seeing more about the innards of the Playstation 5, definitely check out this video, put out by Sony themselves.
The PS4 Backlog Is Open for Business
I don’t follow PS4 releases closely, never really have – but I’ll tell you that there are certainly some titles that I would have picked up had I a PS4 at the time. I loved the footage I saw from Days Gone, and it seemed like just my type of game, despite some lackluster reviews over the months. Then there is the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is absolutely something I will need to pick up, as that game represents my childhood entry into JRPGs and story-telling.
I also caught wind of the fact that games will be getting “upgrades” on the PS5, which can boost framerates, load times, and resolution. And best yet, they are (in most cases) free of charge. What can be cooler than being able to play a last-gen game, then playing it boosted up to modern standards?
Funny thing about me: I have a history of buying new consoles specifically to use the backwards compatibility, and play last-gen games on the cheap, and with a better experience. I did it with the GameBoy Advance (to play GBC games more comfortably), the Nintendo DS (to play GBA games with better lighting), and then the New Nintendo 3DS XL (to play DS games on a bigger screen). And of course, the Wii made a most excellent GameCube simulator, albeit I purchased a Wii to play Twilight Princess and— oh wait, I ended up playing the GameCube version… on my Wii…
Anyway, this is another case where the backwards compatibility will prove very useful. I can’t wait to check out some PS4 games of which I, for the most part, ignored – although the PS4 has an enormous backlog and I have no intention of “going back in time” and playing them unless the Switch and PS5 reservoir dries up completely. Maybe in 2025…
So what am I looking forward to?
Sackboy: I haven’t played a LittleBigPlanet game since the Vita several years ago, but one thing I missed out on was online co-op, since the game was past its prime and didn’t have any players anymore. Online co-op won’t exist on launch, apparently, so I’ll hold off on this one for a bit (or until I can actually secure a PS5). This looks more like a 2D platformer as well, which is totally my jam. I love these types of games.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Final Fantasy VII is one of my favorite games of all time, that literally took me 15 years and countless attempts across multiple consoles and computers to finish. It has a weird spot where it makes me nostalgic for my childhood, my teenage years, college, and my 20s. Pretty wild if you think about it!
But I’ve wanted to play the remake ever since I saw the first video, because I really don’t like turn-based combat (at least this old school where random encounters are frequent and take forever). I dig the new style and I think it does the franchise justice, but I hope it can replicate the feeling of huge environments that the original did. There is something about the pre-rendered backgrounds of FF7 that somehow stood the test of time, despite the 3D models looking like hot garbage.
Oddworld: Soulstorm: This is actually the first gameplay footage I saw from the PS5, when I decided that I needed a PS5. It just looks incredible – Oddworld is this perfect franchise to me and it benefits so much from the insane graphical quality and high framerate. The universe of Oddworld is gritty and filthy and brutal, and seeing that in 4K is going to be just ridiculous.
Aside from those three, there’s nothing much that’s intriguing me. But at the rate I can play games as it is, this is perfectly acceptable. I’m still in the midst of a few Switch games that’ll easily get me through the holidays.
Whether or not I’m just caught up in the hype that I discovered 5 days ago is something I’ve been wondering myself, but new and truly exciting tech is a rare thing these days. A fast console that lets me play my racing games and occasional hi-res adventure is worth my $500.
Are you planning on getting a PS5? What games are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments, and post any suggestions of games you recommend!