The PS5 might just be the best PlayStation since Sony’s very first PlayStation. It’s also perhaps one of the hardest to buy, though the PS2 was also hard to find – in the UK, at least – when it launched. Although it was very difficult to acquire one, the PS5 sold quite well. And I am not surprised.
I think the PS5 is the best PS since the first one and is superior to the PS4, PS3 and PS2. There are a number of reasons for this, but deep down it has everything to do with Sony’s roots and the unique imprint the Japanese giant has left on technology and design.
The PlayStation was launched on December 3, 1994 in Japan and arrived in North America and Europe nine months later. It had a 32-bit processor, 2MB of RAM, and 1MB of VRAM. Ridiculous numbers, in retrospect, but it literally changed the game for the mid-1990s.
It marked a significant change, leaving behind the 16-bit era of Mario and Sonic, and embarking on a new graphics standard. The Sega Saturn, unfortunately, was a clumsy turtle between the ages. Famously, the PlayStation comes with a demo disc that showed off its prowess in 3D, letting you see a walking dinosaur and move the camera around to see it in all its polygonal glory – a dinosaur returning to the PS5 via a cameo. in the already -installed Astro games room.
Later, games such as Tekken 3, Gran Turismo, and Final Fantasy 8 would impress 90s gamers with their realism and depth, while Lara Croft would captivate a whole generation. But we’re not here, actually, to talk about games. If we were to rank PlayStations on their software, I would probably have to give the PS2 number one spot, given the unparalleled mix of quality and quantity in its library.
Instead, we’re here to talk about hardware. And I’m telling you that the PS5 is the most innovative hardware Sony has released since the first PlayStation. Exhibit A? The control. It should not be taken for granted. It is, after all, the only object you actually feel – the only tactile connection you have with the visuals you see on screen.
The PS2 had a rumble controller, but the technology was perfected on the PS1. The PS3 added SIXAXIS and was wireless (big whoop). The PS4 was better, but it still represented an incremental DNA upgrade that launched on the 1997 DualShock, which featured a rumble and two analog sticks.
The DualSense, the PS5 evolution of the DualShock, represents a real innovation. The detail and variety of feedback from the DualSense is remarkable. I already wish I had played Gran Turismo Sport mainly on PS5. It is so much better. Now I can feel the weight of the cars, the balance distribution and the texture of the different road surfaces through my hands.
I had a blast browsing PS4 games with the DualSense and it is happy that many have incorporated the unique features of the PS5 controller. But not only does the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers now allow me to feel the tension of an arc in, say, Horizon Zero Dawn, the DualSense completely immerses the player in a three-dimensional way.
Astro’s Playroom, a pack-in game on PS5, demonstrates this wonderfully. It’s the outstanding demonstration of the DualSense’s capabilities, letting you feel the raindrops on Astro’s head, the sound of his feet in mud, or the slipping of steel as he rolls on a surface. But I realized the controller was playing a trick on you. A brilliant psychological trick. When Astrobot jumped from a smooth surface to a steel surface, I could feel the coldness of the teeth. But it wasn’t all about the tapping of the vibration, it was also in the sound emitted by the controller. It had tricked my brain into making it “feel” the steel.
Sound is another major innovation. It’s easy to forget now, but the PlayStation stood out for its sound quality with composers, especially in the Final Fantasy series, making the most of the sound engine. The PS1 even served as an almost audiophile-grade CD player. Audio enhancements are also a big part of the appeal of the PS5. Whether through TV speakers or headphones, the audio is superior to its PS4 predecessor, not only with greater dynamic range and a more immersive sound mix, but with new ideas – such as 3D audio. . And it should have been the case earlier, really. This is the company that made the Walkman, after all, and still produces award-winning audio systems and headphones today.
The original PlayStation helped propel Sony to its heyday. There was a time in the 1990s and early 2000s when Sony seemed like the coolest brand in the world. Of his Trinitron televisions, which were so flat screen, drool-worthy G-Shock CD players, and innovations like the MiniDisc and the utterly futuristic Aibo robot dog, Sony was known for its cool but playful approach to design and technological innovation.
The PlayStation embodied that. Sony was not afraid to experiment.
Photo credit to Evan Amos.
The PS2, meanwhile, was a lot more powerful than its predecessor, but it seemed to come of age a little too fiercely, with a black color scheme and a blocky and less playful design. The PS3 was a big chunk with a frustrating processor to design to lead to muddy, choppy games. The PS4 was competent, but felt more like a fix from the PS3 than a big leap forward. Gaming aside, has it ever really excited like the PS5 did?
Jumping into games with the limitless SSD, immersive audio, and the revolutionary DualSense controller makes the PS5 the most transformative PlayStation in a long time. Since the PS1 changed the makeup of living rooms, expanding the reach of consoles to a more mainstream space, Sony has bet on its consoles, which have generated huge profits for the company.
But he seemed to forget about the fun for a while and began to focus on multimedia entertainment (PS2) and pure power (PS3). The PS4 was a simpler approach for Sony, which made the console easier to develop, but it put aside that flow of inventiveness that is an indelible part of the business. But now it looks like he’s rekindled that original and innovative spirit first seen in the PS1. I mean, even the white of the last console is reminiscent of the lighter shades of the past.
Sony has always been interested in media beyond video games. The PS1 played CDs, PS2 DVDs, and PS3 Blu-rays. But the PS5 gives the impression that Sony has reconnected to the idea that it is a station primarily for gaming. A machine designed for fun and games that does more than ever to send new signals to gamers, immersing them in hardware innovations.
It’s still pretty huge.
Next: I Was Not Convinced With 3D Audio On PS5 Until I Used Official Sony Headphones
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