You Still Don’t Need A PlayStation 5

You Still Don’t Need A PlayStation 5
Image: Sony

It’s been six months since the PlayStation 5 came out, and yet the Seto Kaiba action figure that can also run high-end video games remains comically hard to come by. For a while, this irked me. I wanted to be part of the new console generation — the zeitgeist. So I obsessively watched a Twitch channel dedicated to restock updates and even considered buying from a reseller. Then I got to thinking about what I’d actually do if I had a PS5 to call my own. Not much, it turns out.

The PS5 has some dope features like highly tactile controller triggers and the ability to jump into different parts of a game at the push of a button, but banal as it might be to say this, I can’t think of a single game currently out or soon to be released that makes me want to shell out $US500 ($641) (or significantly more if I go the resale route).

Like, what are we really looking at right now? Astro’s Playroom is a tech demo. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also on PS4. Demon’s Souls is a solid remaster, but hardly earthshaking. Returnal seems neat, but it’s the kind of game I could play now or years from now; I’m not stressed about it. The games I’m most interested in are around the corner, but even they’re not urgent must-plays in my book. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart looks very good, but it’s part of a series whose heyday was three console generations ago. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade means more Final Fantasy VII Remake — which I am, admittedly, desperate for — but it’s still ultimately DLC for a game I already finished on the PS4.

For now, those are the big ones. Horizon Forbidden West seems like it might come out this year, but it’s also going to be on PS4. God of War Ragnarok looks to be the PS5’s first truly heavy hitter, but for now it’s only got a vague 2021 release date — and that’s not guaranteed to hold firm, given that covid has turned the video game release date calendar into a giant slip ‘n’ slide. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge smaller intrigues, like Kena: Bridge of Spirits, but again that one and others are also coming to PS4.

I’m not complaining; I’m actually pretty into this state of affairs. Especially while a new console is scarce and expensive, I’m happy to not need one (in the colloquial sense, because nobody actually needs any video game consoles). Part of this is by design, given how many games Sony is intentionally releasing on PS4 and PS5. I appreciate that approach. The rest comes down to the simple fact that neither next-gen console has a great game lineup right now, and while the PS5’s is undeniably stronger, it’s still lacking depth. That’s maybe not the easiest pill for current owners to swallow, but it works out well for those of us who can’t get our hands on one.

Yesterday, as part of an investor presentation, Sony called this its “best ever post-launch lineup,” which is…debatable. And yet, despite the relative lack of games that necessitate the pricey upgrade, people are still searching feverishly for PS5s — even entering raffles (some of them sketchy) or buying at inflated prices. If that sounds like you, let me offer some reassurance: You still don’t need a PS5! You’re honestly not missing out on much. Use the money on something else. Spend it on a cheap vacation, your student loans, or a dog — any dog; it doesn’t even have to be your dog. That’s my advice to you, would-be PS5 owner: Give a dog $749. Someday, you’ll thank me.


  • Come mid next year it might be more interesting to get a new gen console. The REAL games for next-gen have all been delayed well into 2022.

  • Returnal is one of the best experiences I’ve had with a game in years, and the Demon’s Souls Remake was excellent. I also didn’t play all the PS4 exclusives, so playing a few of those at a locked 60fps/4K (I came from a base PS4) has been amazing.

    I get the point of this article, but if people think they’ll get the value from the console they should get excited and buy one (at retail prices, not from scalpers). I’d argue that _some_ people are missing out on a lot, just depends what they want out of the experience.

  • Oh come on. I mean… I urgently and desperately needed a Playstation 5 a couple years ago when games started pushing my PS4 into becoming a leaf-blower.

    It still amazes me that there’s anyone who thinks ‘new exclusives’ are the only use-case for a more powerful machine.

  • If you manage to get a hold of one, then you will never go back to your PS4. Never ever ever (ever). I simply adore my disc edition:

    * Super quiet compare to my old PS4 PRO. This alone makes the purchase all the worth while.
    * Backwards compatible with all my PS4 games. Bonus: Ubisoft games (AC:V and Watch Dogs Legion) give another shot at the platty due to separate trophy lists.
    * Love the controller. Love it.
    * So many bonus games via PS Plus (which lets face it, you must have it you are PS4/5 owner).

    Only minor negative is the UI, am still getting used to it. Am looking forward to the internal storage upgrade that is coming… but when?

    • Yep agree with all this. And on the UI too! I had to look up a goddamn internet article to find the screenshot gallery for the first time. My PS4 has retired to greener pastures (streaming services for my bedroom TV).

  • I don’t think NEED is the appropriate word. But as others have stated, once you get one of the new consoles (it doesn’t matter if it’s PS5 or Xbox Series S/X) the speed and quality of life improvements ARE next gen and going back to the old consoles (which I do in my house as they’ve been moved to the kids rumpus room) does feel jarring.

  • This has been one of the best post launch line ups for me.
    Between a solid PS+ run, cross gen titles, upgraded versions, a couple of exclusives and a sprinkle of backward compatibility, I’ve been spoiled for choice and still have a number of on and post release titles to look at.

  • I love kotaku, but this articles title sure is interesting considering every other week there is also an article titled “Why you should get a PS5 as soon as you can”

    • Has Nathan written any of the other articles about the PS5 being essential? I don’t remember seeing his name on those articles. I do agree with his take in this article though, people can safely hold out for a while longer then pick them up discounted.

  • But hot damn it IS brilliant to have one. The new gen games we do have all show it’s brilliance and possible enhancements to come, while it runs so many old gen even better EG GoT, Ratchet and Clank, Destiny. All are clear and remarkable differences in game play, even if the formers are even native PS5 supported.

  • I don’t agree with Grayson much, but on this I do.

    Had a PS5 since launch (an XSX too), haven’t turned on my PS5 in months. Played all the ‘exclusives’ last gen (and not many have gotten next gen patches on PS5, as compared to Microsoft patching everything that moves to run better), and whats released since can be summarised as tech demos, dlc and ports of games I’ve already played.

  • Replacing my launch PS4 was a big reason to upgrade.

    But not needing a ps5, well it could be argued the same for just about every console that’s existed. All of your arguments are broad and are just as easily applied over the last few generations.

    “At launch XX console doesn’t have many games” great article.

  • If I already had a PS4 there is no way I would upgrade yet. But I skipped the last generation, so yeah I kinda did need one to play the best exclusives I missed out on plus the ones which are coming, covering two generations with one console. But I am a PC gamer so it just makes sense for me.

  • The only console I ever bought at launch was the N64. Worth every cent, despite three(??) games at launch. Nowadays I’m patient gamer….I want one now now now.

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