Community Review: How’s Your PS5 / Xbox Series X Going?

Community Review: How’s Your PS5 / Xbox Series X Going?
Image: Kotaku

Now that some of you have had a chance to fire up your respective PS5 / Xbox Series X consoles, I’m keen to know: what’s your experience been like?

When you live with a console for a little while, you discover little bits and pieces that you love or really aren’t to taste. On the PS5, for instance, I’m really missing the ability to shutdown the console from the main menu. I know there’s the Control Centre. But having spent over a decade navigating to the power icon from the main menu strip, I miss the button now that it’s not there.

Another thing I’ve really enjoyed on the PS5 is how quickly it boots back into a game. The console doesn’t have the Xbox equivalent of a “Quick Resume” feature. But if you’re just playing one game at a time, or you’re turning the console on again after it drifted into rest mode, it feels like Quick Resume is there. Often I’ll be waiting for my TV to wake up and the console will already be sitting in a pause menu, waiting for me to play.

That’s pretty neat. I wish my PC was that brisk.

The Xbox Series S, which I reviewed locally, can do some of this as well. It doesn’t get the nicer backwards compat features of the PC tower-like Xbox Series X though, which kind of takes away some of the console’s interest for me. In a lot of ways, both Xboxes feel a lot like a PC upgrade: nicer hardware that you use to get benefits in existing games, knowing that you’ll be better placed when fresher games drop in 3, 6, 12, 18 months time.

I’d definitely rather be playing Cyberpunk 2077 on an Xbox Series S than an Xbox One X or an OG Xbox One, I’ll tell you that. Sure — the Xbox One X is a more powerful console.

But that SSD? And an OS and games that are designed around that NVMe drive? PC games don’t even load that quickly: it’s why a lot of tests on PC have shown that there’s little difference between a regular SSD and the super fast NVMe drive — and in some cases, the older SSD loads just as quickly as an M.2 NVMe drive.

But that’ll change once more and more devs start designed around those super quick drives. It’ll be fun to see how PC games respond in particular, because the speeds of M.2 drives there are a fair chunk slower than what’s in the next-gen consoles right now.

As for the console experience, download speeds still seem pretty good on the PlayStation Network. Xbox has been excellent: it always was, so no change there.

I’d still like to see either console incorporate more user or friends-based recommendations more, something that at least highlights the non-AAA parts of their library a lot better. There’s a bigger gripe to be had with how both console stores’ advertise indie games and their handling of recommendations in general, but I’ll leave that for a separate article.

Gracefully, I haven’t run into any major crashes or bugs with either console. I’m seeing some reports of crashing with Miles Morales — the ultimate/remastered version that comes with the original Spider-Man — and our US colleagues have spotted some graphical quirks when playing PS4 games on the PS5.

The worst report has been from a user in the Kotaku Australia Discord, who’s had to get their console replaced because their games were being just utterly ruined by some terrible artifacing, which you can see below.

Xbox, so far, has been pretty trouble free minus the whole vaping thing.

So all in all, it’s been a good launch! I think both consoles have had a much better launch than the Xbox One or PS4 did. The backward compat support, Xbox Game Pass and just the way that they can definitively improve the experience of those older games is a big deal.

Maybe not enough for many to buy the consoles immediately, but Demon’s Souls is pretty bloody good and absolutely a top-tier game. Miles Morales is a blast as well, but you can play that on the PS4 anyway, although it’s much, much nicer at 60 FPS. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is much better in first-person with the smoother frame rate too, although that’s far less transformative to the experience than something like, say, Spider-Man.

But how have you found the consoles? Tell us in the comments!


  • Got the Xbox and it is great.
    Playing Vallhalla, I am sometimes just stunned by the beauty of some areas – the sun streaming through the trees and the richness of the fields and forests. But truthfully, my biggest love is the quality of life improvement that is the new load times.
    I look forward to eventually getting the PS5 as well, even if it is just for Demon’s Souls.

    • Yeah I got the series X as well with AC. vallhalla is so bloody good and look incredible. As a console only gamer these days I haven’t really experienced 60fps for many years, what a MASSIVE difference! Im hoping they push more games to 4k 60fps going forward because it looks so beautiful and moves so smoothly. Ray tracing is beautiful and looks cool and all but id rather a 4k 60fps with no ray tracing than 4k 30fps with ray tracing. I struggle to go back to 1080 (unless its obviously a back compat game)
      after experiencing 4k, not on my 65inch tv anyway.

      Overall the system absolutely feels like a way more powerful and is ready to take on the next 5 years of gaming. Unlike the xbox one that came out and felt like it was already slow and outdated.

  • Pre-ordered a PS5 on Amazon on Sept 17th using Prime Expedited shipping. Current ETA is 1st Dec (to Melb Metro), so that’s 20 days after release date. I guess I’ll let you know how I like it in a few weeks.

    • Pretty much with you on this one.

      And not that I want you to get your hopes up, or my own for that matter, but Amazon seem to have been tacking on like two weeks on delivery estimates just to be safe due to everything happening with restrictions, etc.

      I just know I’ve ordered a couple of other things recently from Amazon that have arrived well before their estimated date… But you know, this is probably where the universe makes this the exception and I’ll be waiting until December.

      • And literally right after I posted this I got an SMS notification that the copy of Demon’s Souls I ordered from Amazon, which was estimated to arrive the 25th, is being delivered today.

        • Yeah would be nice. It’s AUS post tracking providing this estimate though. Currently sitting in WA, maybe they don’t have a truck scheduled to come across until the end of Nov, who knows… I also know people who ordered a ps5 on release day who according to ETAs will be getting it before I do. Other people are reporting their Sept 17 pre-orders haven’t even shipped so it sounds like Amazon allocated their stock to people who purchased on release day.

          • In the off chance you check back here… My PS5 was just delivered, so yeah well before the estimate of Dec 2nd I had.

            And for reference my Amazon order also came from WA and I’m in Victoria as well, about 3-4 hours from Melbourne.

  • I’ve got both.

    The X Box Series X I added to my phone plan with Telstra as I was paying for the Game Pass regardless so it was a bit of a no brainer to just bundle it in. I have yet to purchase a game for it as there are no exclusives that I can really say are must own yet on it. Also as I have a 5900X/3090 Gaming PC, most of the titles that I can run on the Xbox, I would prefer to run on my PC anyways. I will say using the Game Pass on it though has been easy and a pleasure. For certain types of people (those with no gaming PC / those on a budget) I would probably recommend the Xbox to them as the Game pass is just insane value. Have had no tech issues with it yet + the fact all my old X Box controllers work with it is super neat as well. Nothing much to say about the controllers as they’re just the same old same old.

    The PS5 – Wow what a chunky big boy it is. I must say that I got a bigger feeling of “oooh new console” from the PS5 when I first booted it up and jumped into Astro’s Playroom. I didn’t expect to enjoy Astro’s so much, but it really is a love letter to the history of the Playstation (as well as a decent platformer to boot). The Dual Sense controllers are kind of neat but its a bit annoying the buttons are black and white and don’t have the colour (when I was playing something, the colour was still coming up on the screen to push the corresponding button). I purchased Demon Souls, Sackboy and Spider Man Miles Morales as my launch titles. I have been cranking some Demon Soul’s (killed about 10 or so of the boss demons) and it’s been a blast to play the one “souls” FROM Software game I missed when it first came around. That being said, I’ve ran into a few bugs while playing. Either from the system or the game itself. Random lag spikes (one was really bad and i had to restart the game), the game launching but not actually launching, and some random graphical glitches. Spider man was fun for the quick bash I’ve had but I need to play through the original remastered version first as I never finished the original one, and Sackboy seems fun as well.

    All in all….. both capable gaming systems, but apart from Demon Souls (in my opinion anyways) there isn’t a really big “must own / play” now title so if you missed out, you’re not missing too much anyways.

  • I’m playing the PS5 more, but thats more of a function of there’s a few late gen games like Ghost of Tshumima I’ve been avoiding as I wanted a framerate boost.

    The more interesting thing is the PS5 feels really nice on first use, but becomes very annoying very quickly. Sorting the game library for example won’t remember last preference, so mine (sort A-Z) I have to redo everytime I go to the Game Library. Or that you can’t set it to default to Installed (as lets be honest, I’m 99% of the time going for a game thats installed). Other things grate as well, HDR being always on in the main menu rather than the option for HDR to be off on the main menu, and on in game is something as an OLED owner that grates me.

    The Xbox on the other hand is excellent on this front, but its UI feels messy. I think MS needs to follow Sony’s approach of Games & Media tabs, as is I always find myself clicking into the My Games & Apps tab to do anything – that needs to be brought forward into the main UI (in a more automated fashion than manual ‘pins’.

  • I got PS5 launch day with Demon’s Souls, Valhalla and Miles Morales.
    I had a 2 TB SSD external hard drive I’ve popped in the back for dedicated PS4 storage – I like that PS4 games default save/install onto that by default.
    I have installed Ghosts of Tsushima and played some legends – was great.
    I also installe GTAV to see what the difference in load times were and it does seem much faster.
    I really like the UI though I do miss the power control on the homescreen as well – overall though it’s been a long weekend without much sleep playing some delish 4k 60fps games.
    I did have a crash after defeating the Phallanx Demon and returning to the Nexus on Demon’s Souls – I cleared the level to that point without dying and then fell off the stairs and died going up to speak to the monumental lol

  • I got a PS5 last week and I’m loving it so far.
    The setup and install were fast and easy and it was great being able to jump right in to playing while everything downloaded and transferred.
    The UI feels great and I want to say that it feels a lot simpler in many ways and unnecessarily difficult in others but I’ve yet to really test it out and fiddle with all the settings and shortcuts available.

    Games wise I haven’t grabbed or tested much.
    Astro’s Playroom is an impressive little way of showing of the Dualsense controllers and consoles capabilities, I transferred over Warframe which runs like a dream and I can’t wait for the next gen upgrade and I grabbed Valhalla which has been fine at best.

    Overall I haven’t exactly been absolutely blown away by the next gen prowess of the PS5 but I wasn’t expecting to be so early on and the console still gives you the impression that it’s definitely next gen and shows off the kind of potential that makes me excited about the near future.

  • Still waiting for my Xbox Series X, got the PS5 though.

    Loving the visuals, the much smoother UI and those adaptive triggers are a thing of witchcraft. I spent more time that I’d like to admit playing Astro’s Playroom, it’s like they contracted somebody from Nintendo to show them how to do nostalgia right.

    One major hiccup though…..

    I encountered the Spider-Man Remastered rest mode glitch, I was in the middle of a fight and the screen froze for a second, then the console completely shut down. Waiting for a few moments I booted it back up and in the lowest possible resolution (which is really jarring on a 4K 65” LED) it was ‘rebuilding the database’. I wasn’t worried at first because this happened to my PS4 all the time, if there was a power surge and it was jarred out of rest mode, so I let it do it’s thing and eventually I was met with just a black screen. I waited and nothing happened, so I rebooted the console a second time and booted into the dashboard, a sigh if relief, followed by a gasp of terror as the console suddenly shut down again, requiring another database rebuild . Now I was genuinely worried, as the system did it’s thing (again) I googled the issue, thinking it was an overheating issue, nope it was much worse.

    So apparently if you have your console set to rest mode, Spider-Man Remastered running when in said rest mode and use an external storage, there is a risk of the console BRICKING! After the rebuild and subsequent black screen reboot the console looked to be working fine again, I ran Spider-Man, it was running properly, so before shutting down, I ran a different game and turned off rest mode, I’m not going anywhere near Spider-Man until a patch goes though, right now it’s at V1.000.007, till that number changes, I’ll just play Miles Morales instead.

    TL:DR, don’t play Spider-Man Remastered yet, wait for the patch

  • Bloody brilliant! That’s my first impression. Had to get my sister to pick up my PS5 for me as I was away for the week (being able to travel around Victoria was just as exciting as getting my PS5, just sucks is all happened in the same week lol)

    We returned on Saturday afternoon so I was able to drop in and pick it up. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the PS5 unboxings and Dualsense first impressions, but nothing compares to being able to do it all yourself. Experiencing Astrobot and all the awesome Dualsense additions was one of the best launch experiences I’ve had with a console since…possible playing Super Mario World on the SNES, or Mario 64 on the N64.

    Another bonus, the PS5 fits my entertainment unit perfectly. With the dark wood of the cabinet and white accessories such as lamps and picture frames, I think Sony designed it with me in mind 😀 (My wife thinks it look great, too!)

    My biggest issue so far, I can’t get Borderlands 3 to work properly. After installing everything twice (PS4 and PS5 versions) the useless Gearbox save transfer is buggy as hell. I can only transfer one character at a time, and when transferring a second character, it overwrites the first. Not just that, but I have missing weapons and no Golden Keys. No Man’s Sky worked perfectly (apart from some missing trophies).

    I didn’t buy any additional games, I’m getting the most out of the free PS4-PS5 updates and Bugsnax from PS+ (Which I am, surprisingly, really enjoying!) After that, and finishing with Astrobot, I’ll sift through the PlayStation collection starting with Days Gone and probably RE7.

    Apart from the save transfer (Gearbox’s issue) I can’t fault it. It’s blazingly fast, I love the UI, it’s quiet and that Dualsense controller…that’s the business!

    • Thanks for the Borderlands warning, I managed to get the PS5 version with a bit of trouble and transfered my main character. I figured I would do the others later today. So thanks for saving me the grief.

  • XBox SeX arrived day one, so far the only X/S enhanced game I’ve played is Tetris Effect. Playing through AC:Odd before I pick up Valhalla and can say the load times are much faster against the XBone.

    Waiting for my BigW PS5 order, last delivery update was 12/11 and I’m refreshing the delivery details constantly as the ‘next gen’ games I’m interested in (Spooderman & Dark Souls: The Prequel) are exclusive

  • Got both. Have been mostly just playing Yakuza on Series X though which is freaking amazing. The PS5 UI seems like a backwards step currently, but the controller is amazing.

  • I wouldn’t know the kids haven’t let me play it yet well the series X anyway. The PS 5 they have left alone cause “there aren’t any games” so I got to try Astrobot and colour me impressed the new controller is an amazing piece of next gen tech. From what I have seen with the series X it just appears as about more of the same

  • Speed speed speed speed speed gottagofast!

    As predicted, PS5 is doing exactly what I wanted it to do. Play the already-great games prettier and faster, and it came with some nice UI improvements to boot. I’ve settled in and got used to the ‘five button press’ shutdown compared to the PS4’s three button presses.

    The main thing about the speed of the machine that has surprised me is how surprisingly revelatory it is. Saving a few seconds on loading times is much, much more than just ‘saving a few seconds’. It changes how I play.

    Just comparing Valhalla to Odyssey: I’ve now realized that there are so many habits and behaviours I learned and adopted in playing the game that were driven entirely by a desire to avoid any kind of action that might result in a loading screen. That was a constant state of logistics calculation, optimizing efficiency in exploration and questing, because the alternative was going to be sitting back and doing nothing for noticeable periods of time.

    Now? Loading is over in a couple seconds at most. It’s a non-issue. I have complete freedom now to do whatever I want without that annoyance or delay.

    I don’t factor load times into any of my decisions. It’s a weight off my mind that I didn’t know was there. The efficiency-calculating monkey on my back has been told to fuck right off and I couldn’t be happier.

    • Totally agree. Playing Origins, I was making sure I never sent the bird too far away, or cop the 5 seconds of load getting back to Bayek. That’s just gone now in Valhalla.
      I don’t know the mechanics of utilising the I/O, but I’m hoping some of the later PS4 games will get patches that take advantage of it.

  • PS5 has been great. Easy as to get up and running, and the first thing I did was get Astro up and running.
    Wow, the controller is awesome! The kids and I spent a good half hour just going through the intro, passing it around to see how it felt.
    I got AC:Valhalla same day and to be honest, I think it’s a beauty but the combat is jank. Just hitting a box has undefined results. If you’re not locked on, it’s not comfortable. And it doesn’t seem to do anything at all with the new controller features.
    So I ended up getting Spiderman and it’s fantastic. The load in, the traversal, the appropriate resistance and buzz from the controller, it’s really nice. Very hard to put down.
    Still finding the console UI a mix of pain and pleasure – sometimes things are just right there, others I have to dig through some un-intuitive menu. Looks good though. Uploading vids is pretty easy now too.
    One crash in the menu, one rest mode issue which required a reboot, and “lost” saves have been my only real issues so far.

  • PS5 is awesome. Astro is simply the most smile inducing bundle of fun I have played in years. And it was ‘free’. So far I havent played anything that takes advtage of the controller beyond that (awesome) and the terrible implementation on Cold War. I have been playing Destiny 2 which is brilliant even without the next gen patch and Valhalla, which is just an AC game, it just does its thing. Tried Borderlands 3, hot damn it was simply splendid.

    No tech problems yet. I like the UI, though the whole PS5 vs PS4 choice thing is ridiculous and maddening. EG I have Valhalla PS5 installed, then every few things I go back to main menu from something else, instead of saying play it says ‘download’ as in it has defaulted back to the PS4 version, so have to go to the menu, choose PS5, and suddenly there in the word play again. That said if I launch from the card, not the icon, I can be straight into the games from col in like 30 secs tops. No menus, no splash scenes. We may not have quick resume but who needs it with that type of fast load.

  • My PS5 arrived from Amazon last Friday, and have only really had the time to set it up and fit in a few hours of Demon’s Souls and a bit of Astro’s Playroom.

    Honestly, all I wanted from this generation was stable 60fps, improved loading times, and a quiet console – effectively to solve my main issues with the PS4: regular game performance issues, slow loading times, and fan noise. I still have Miles Morales and AC Valhalla waiting to be sampled, along with Watch Dogs when its PS5 version launches next week, but from what I’ve seen so far, it hits all three points perfectly.

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