Now that everyone’s had a bit of time to live with their next-gen Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles — or everyone who was lucky enough to get their pre orders through in September — it’s time to ask: how have you found the consoles?
It’s been almost a month for me with both the consoles, and I’m fortunate enough to have had a lot less issues than others. On the PS5 front, I haven’t run into the crashing problems that our US partners have had, although I did have a bizarre day where the Dualsense controller just … disconnected from my console.
It actually took me half an hour to reset it and get it paired to the PS5. To be fair, a good chunk of that was wandering around the house looking for a pin small enough to stick into the hole at the back of the Dualsense. (If you run into the same issue here, just refer back to this support page, which has helpfully been updated with an image of an actual DualSense controller and not the DualShock 4.)
It’d be nice if the PS5 wasn’t overlooking some obvious quality of life features, though. Why is there no button on the main UI to shut down the console (only in their new control centre?). Why can’t you move PS5 games to an external drive, even if you can’t play them off the drive? It’d certainly solve a lot of problems with the PS5’s piddly hard drive space, an issue that I haven’t had with the Xbox Series X or — surprisingly — the S.
That said, I think both consoles have had the best launch we’ve seen in a long time. Games like Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls are genuinely top draw titles, and excellent benchmarks for what we can expect from the next-gen. It’s nice to have Tetris Effect: Connected — that’s still a superb title that everyone should play — but the game I’ve actually had the most fun with is Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
yakuza is great because it's literally never ashamed of being a video game lol pic.twitter.com/vxitMLi415
— ✨ Storm Yorha ✨ (@StormYorha) November 20, 2020
Yakuza is the kind of game that is always having fun. It’s frequently ridiculous, constantly charming and filled with some really clever bits of localisation. It’s seriously, seriously underrated, and if you’ve got some time to kill over the holidays post-Cyberpunk 2077, you should seriously pick Yakuza up. (It only runs at 30 FPS on the PS5, so it’s much nicer on the Xbox, but the loading times are super quick which makes a lot of the mini-games, like doing the Shogi challenges, a lot easier.)
I still haven’t changed my mind on the UI: it’s terrible on both consoles, especially when it comes to their individual storefronts. The new Xbox controller works much better on PC, although Steam has recently patched in support for the DualShock 5. The Xbox controller has better battery life from what I’ve experienced, but the DualSense’s advanced haptics — not the adaptive triggers, which I’m not the biggest fan of — can’t be beat.
And, as some multi-plat games are starting to show, the difference in power between the consoles isn’t what people thought it would be. I imagine a large amount of the difference is down to a lack of maturity with the consoles and their various APIs. They’re not that dissimilar from the PS4 and Xbox One eras, of course, but as devs get more hands on time with both (particularly DirectX 12 Ultimate and ray tracing) some of the initial issues around tearing will get ironed out.
All in all, the only real pain in the arse has been the lack of supply. But that’s something we’ve seen coming all year. Don’t expect much respite until the COVID-induced nightmare of 2020 starts to fade, and manufacturing can rebound to the point where scalpers/bots lose their advantage. (Sadly, we could be waiting until the end of 2021 for that.)
For those who did grab their PS5 and Xbox Series X — now that you’ve lived with the console for a while, how have you found it? What would you recommend to people who are just grabbing their consoles later this month or before Christmas, and what’s surprised or disappointed you the most about the consoles?