Community Review: PS5, Xbox Series X

Community Review: PS5, Xbox Series X
Image: Kotaku
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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 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?


  • As expected the quick resume and fast load times are the winner for the series X. i have kids and these features are actually allowing me to game so much more than I thought, dropping in and out of different games is breeze. Overall the consoles feels super quick and snappy and 60fps is a game changer on consoles. Looking forward to the future to see what games can do while extremely excited about taking my time with assassins creed, cyberpunk and immortals rising. I dont think ill need another game for maybe 6 months between those 3

  • Quick load times is more than just not looking at your phone in boredom. It’s changing how I play games. I’m no longer mentally plotting out ways to optimize my play so that I avoid doing things that might result in a load screen, and that’s a game-changer for me. I can just do what I fucking want. It’s amazing.

  • Secured an XB SX so can only speak to that as my time with the Ps5 was limited to a friend visit. As will be echoed no doubt, load times (especially the UI load times) are fantastic right now.. I had heard so much hot air about this and tested it multiple times by doing a full shutdown, unplugging and connecting again and the main menu is back in under 20 seconds, with rest mode booting up in under 4 seconds..

    Also, quick resume is amazing. I hope Sony does implement something similar, even if it is only 2 games. I’ve jumped from Gears 5, Ori and Burnout Paradise multiple times and it blows me away each time. Even worked after the aforementioned hard reset/unplug which is astounding.

    • Sorry I forgot to add though, this, more than ANY other console generation definitely feels like it’s just an Xbox One X/PS Pro version 2 release. Those consoles brought 4K gaming, while this ‘new generation’ feels to have only refined it with quality of life improvements.

      The Dual Sense seems to be a new thing, but I also had mixed feelings about the triggers and haptics again were done previously on other consoles, so it’s more an evolution than revolution. Still damn fun though..

  • PS5, absolutely loving it.

    Load speeds are insane (atm), it’s literally start the console, the game, load save and your away in moments instead of minutes.
    Plugging away on Valhalla right now and that should tide me over till Christmas and beyond and then I’ve got quite a backlog of PS+ games to dig in to.

  • Have a SX. It’s great. Load times are great, auto HDR is awesome and quick resume is very nice. Had 0 problems so far. And everything (that’s been upgraded) looks better now that it’s 4k60

  • The only real issue I have with the X is it feels a bit dated, its definitely the superior designed console unit, but the controller feels a bit dated compared to the dualsense, the UI, whilst without the frustration in usability that the PS5 sometimes has, is pretty dated, and just yeah, expected a bit more pizazz I guess.

    That being said, the Xbox does a lot of things right, a full 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 port means VRR, Dolby Vision HDR, full 4:4:4 chroma at 12 bit, and all the smaller things that I wish Sony had figured out from a tech side. And as for the act of playing games, well it does that exceedingly well on any first party games (120hz 4k Gears 5 is pretty great, hell, at 4k 60 it still looks and runs better than Spiderman IMO), but it is a little concerning with games like DmC having odd stutter in some performance configurations.

    Overall, I prefer it to the PS, but I keep looking at Xbox in areas like the controller, the UI, VR and a few other areas going ‘when are you going to execute?’.

  • PS5 here.
    Love the controller when games actually use the adaptive trigger feature. And the load times are a delight.
    But I’m so far disappointed with the graphics – nowhere near as much of a leap over previous gen as I’d hoped. It just feels slightly shinier and a little smoother. I’m sure that’ll change as the devs learn how to truly use the power.

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