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SYFY WIRE PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 reviews love 'blisteringly-quick' speeds and game-changing controller

By Jacob Oller
PlayStation 5

Hot on the heel of the reviews of the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S, Microsoft's rival in the console wars, Sony, has recently lifted the review embargo for their next-gen competitor: the PlayStation 5.

The console that boasts increased backwards-compatability with the PS4 and a fancy new controller that will provide all sorts of new DualSense feedback to gamers has earned itself similar praise from critics ahead of its launch (that will be all handled through online orders, in order to remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic). Like the Xbox, it offers two variations: the main PS5 and the smaller Digital Edition that jettisons the disk drive.

But let's allow the critics to hype up the new console in their own words:

Here's the rundown:

Game Informer gave the PS5 an A-, calling the console "an incredibly powerful and sophisticated piece of gaming hardware" that's main drawback is a bold physical design that might not be for all gamers' living rooms. But back to the good stuff: the controller is hailed as a "surprise success" that ends up being the reviewer's "favorite first-party controller ever made" thanks to the new sensations available from its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Games are going to be a lot more immersive now.

The review from IGN is a bit less gushy, but positive nonetheless. With "the power and speed to be a real contender," the PS5 is held back by its smaller 667GB SSD (reduced from the box promise of 825GB) and its launch library that's games also appear on the PS4. But that controller? The reviewer writes that "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." Now that's some truly next-gen tech.

Polygon's review notes the console's actual size, describing the PS5 as a "honking beefcake" that looms large over any other previous-generation game console. And that's not just a design thing, but a representation of its technical ability: "it will make games faster, smoother, and more striking, and that’s all I really want from it." But their reviewers were split on the controller. One critic felt it was a bit too big and unwieldy, while another calls it "a literal game changer." Looks like gamers' mileage may vary.

At The AV Club is where gamers will find the closest thing to a dissenting opinion on the PS5. They weren't even impressed by the controller. The reviewer writes that while "we can appreciate the technical merits, the quality of life improvements, the refinement and beauty of the thing," it's more of a "gentle leapfrog than a monumental leap" in terms of quality from the last generation. That may be the way the console wars are heading, but it does raise the question of how much it's worth to pay for a "comfortable upgrade."

The PlayStation 5 drops in the U.S. on Nov. 12, with the main version costing $499 and the Digital Edition costing $399.