I’ve had the PS5 for a year and it still doesn’t feel like a next-gen system to me

I've had the PS5 for a year and it still doesn't feel like a next-gen system to me

Points Highlighted:

  • I’ve owned a PS5 since launch and am generally pleased with it. Being able to play all of my PS4 games is convenient and having almost all current-gen titles run at 60 frames per second has made it difficult to return to 30fps gaming. The blazing-fast load times are also a plus. Performance-wise, the PS5 crushes the PS4.

  • The PS5 has a large catalogue of first- and third-party games, especially when backward compatibility with PS4 games is taken into account. The DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5 is one of the coolest controllers ever created. Objectively, the PS5 is a great gaming platform, and it’s clear to see why PS5 restocks are so difficult to come by.

Though I’m satisfied with Sony’s newest console, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s more of an upgrade to the PlayStation 4 Pro than a true “next-gen” system. Yes, the console is a technological marvel and is selling well but it doesn’t feel like a true successor to the PS4. Even now, a year after the PS5’s release, I don’t believe that it’s a must-own system.

Next-gen feels a lot like last-gen

Before I move on, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to disparage the PS5. Nor am I seeking to fuel the perpetual console war we often see on social media. Most of my complaints with PS5 can also be lobbied at the Xbox Series X. However, I’m focusing on the PS5 because it is my primary gaming console. And right now, it doesn’t quite meet my expectations for a “next-generation” system.

I bought a PS4 Pro when it launched in November 2016. Switching over from the base PS4 was a relatively smooth transition thanks to PlayStation Plus’ online storage feature. I signed into my account, downloaded my previous games and saves and was ready to go. I also had the option of transferring data between my PS4 and PS4 Pro with a LAN cable or via my Wi-Fi network. I opted for the cloud storage option since it was easier for me.

Why am I bringing up my experience setting up the PS4 Pro? Because I went through the exact same process when making the jump from the PS4 Pro to PS5. This wasn’t a problem in and of itself, but it left me feeling like I had simply upgraded my PS4 Pro, not that I bought a brand-new next-gen system. Friends who also own PS5s often joke that the console is a PS4 Pro Plus. I can’t disagree with that sentiment.

Cross-gen titles (games released on both last-gen and current-gen systems) are another reason why I don’t feel I’ve truly stepped into the next generation. Cross-gen releases ensure that everyone, regardless of system, has access to the same titles. This is a mantra Xbox has wholeheartedly embraced. It releases its first-party titles across consoles, PCs, mobile devices and streaming platforms. From a business perspective, it would be unwise for game companies to only release titles on systems with relatively small install bases — especially when many can’t get a PS5 or Xbox Series X due to the ongoing global chip shortage.



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