We are less than a week away from the launch of the PS5. Sony's next-gen console arrives in some major markets, including North America and Japan, on November 12, with more regions getting access a week later on November 19. With the review embargo now lifted on the device, critics have begun to weigh in on the merits of the PS5. Here's a roundup of some high-profile reviews for the system.
Andrew Webster for The Verge
Physically, the PS5 is a brash, intimidating piece of hardware, one that is clearly meant to signal a major shift. But underneath, its changes are much more subtle — at least right now. This isn’t the move from SD to HD, or watching Mario explore a 3D space for the very first time. Instead, it’s a series of smaller — though still important — shifts, like faster speeds and a more immersive controller, which all add up to a markedly better experience compared to the PS4 by every conceivable metric (aside from the space it takes up). I can’t tell you what the future holds, but right now, the PS5 is a great piece of hardware.
It might not be clear what makes the PS5 interesting just from watching trailers or live streams. But once it’s in your hands, the next generation is a lot more obvious.
Sam Loveridge for GamesRadar
The PS5 is already doing everything right. By gambling on a complete redesign of its hardware, controller, and key UI features, PlayStation has unlocked the next-generation of gaming. While the improved graphics and framerates are clearly a boon – and something we'll no doubt see evolve over the coming years – it's the improvements to gaming immersion that really define the generational leap. Wave goodbye to loading screens, and say hello to having more insight into your games at the touch of a button. There are quality-of-life improvements aplenty here, all wrapped up in a console that looks and feels like the future - even if not everyone will love the console design itself.
PlayStation's push for a more traditional console launch than Microsoft's approach has also paid off entirely. Having games that you can point at as clear launch titles is of huge benefit to showcasing what PS5 can do. This is just the beginning – and I'm already impressed.
Luke Reilly for IGN
With a launch line-up dominated by games that are also available on PS4, and on the back of a generation already punctuated with incrementally more powerful hardware revisions like the PS4 Pro, the PS5 doesn’t quite land as a knockout punch yet – but it’s definitely got the power and speed to be a real contender (although the jury’s out on the stamina of that tiny 667GB SSD). However, while the PS5’s well-considered UI and blisteringly-quick loading times for PS5 games make it a pleasure to use, it’s the DualSense controller that’s proven to be the surprise haymaker I never saw coming; it truly leaves other controllers feeling primitive in comparison.
Mat Paget for GameSpot
Of course, the PS5 can't survive on its backwards-compatible games alone, and all consoles ultimately come down to the quality of their dedicated libraries. Beyond that, many of the console's best features, such as the adaptive triggers and Activities, require developers to opt-in and support them. Sony has laid strong foundations for its new generation of gaming, but it's now up to developers to use all the tools laid out for them to build upon it. With what we've seen so far from the console's hardware, and games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro's Playroom, this next generation has the potential to be great for PlayStation. And I'm excited to see it.
Chelsea Stark for Polygon
While some of the PlayStation 5 interface changes are frustrating, they’re issues that Sony can fix on a small supercomputer that might live next to your TV for the next six to eight years. I also hope Sony releases a smaller controller variant, or allows me to use my DualShock 4 with PS5 games. While it’s up to Sony to make the most of the console by continuing its legacy of strong first-party games, it’s hard to predict if some of the more ambitious features — Activity Cards and robust haptics — will see widespread adoption. But every console has its experiments, and these are relatively inert. The PlayStation 5 isn’t going to be the alpha and the omega of your entertainment ecosystem, but it will make games faster, smoother, and more striking, and that’s all I really want from it.
Elise Favis for The Washington Post
Witnessing the full potential of the PS5 will take time, as developers tinker with the new tools, crafting novelties or pushing the boundaries of the console′s remarkable tech. But even just this glimpse into the future feels promising[...]The PS5 is a beast in both its tech and its size. The former is its greatest strength, the latter is its weakness. The machine takes up too much room. But considering most won’t spend their time lugging it around, this shouldn’t be too detrimental.
Matt Miller for Game Informer
The PlayStation 5 is an incredibly powerful and sophisticated piece of gaming hardware, sometimes virtually eliminating the tedium of loading screens that have plagued console gaming for decades. Games look amazing thanks to new lighting techniques, especially on 4K displays, and a proprietary sound engine ensures an equally arresting aural experience. While its outward aesthetic is attractive, it’s also overpowering, and the design won’t please everyone. A slick dashboard is easy to use and smartly designed, and values what’s important to you, most especially your leisure time.
Dan Ackerman for CNET
Do you need a PlayStation 5 today? No. If you wanted one but weren't able to get a preorder in, you should feel no FOMO. The launch game lineup is small, and the biggest names on it are a remake (Demon's Souls) and a standalone add-on to a 2018 game (Spider-Man: Miles Morales) -- and the latter will also be available for the PS4.
On top of that, the big holiday season games, such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Cyberpunk 2077, are really all made for PS4 and Xbox One hardware. The new consoles may allow for better frame rates and some extra visual flair, but it typically takes a year or so for games to really show off the power of a new-generation console.
At the same time, I'm extremely impressed with the entire PS5 package. The design is bold. The new controller is a big step forward, both in ergonomics and features, and the addition of the new built-in controller mic (and sold-separately new HD webcam) will no doubt send many new streamers to Twitch and other platforms to show off.
If you're a PlayStation fan, or especially like the kinds of exclusive games (such as Spider-Man, Final Fantasy VII and Horizon Forbidden West) the platform offers, you're going to get one eventually, whether now or when it's easier to buy in stores.
The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition launch in stores on November 12, though Sony has already stated all PS5 launch day sales will be online. Brick-and-mortar stores will not have them in stock.