by Mohammad Samra / Chicago Editor
I had never been happier to see $18 in my bank account.
Staring in astonishment at the order confirmation screen that occupied my phone for what felt like hours, on the brink of tears. I had tried for 10 days to successfully order the PlayStation 5, and came heartbreakingly close. This time, the dreaded “out of stock” message just missed my screen, and I became one of the few to secure the PS5.
As the emotional high wore off, I asked myself how Sony’s newest console could push me to willingly drain my bank account of nearly $1,000 in PlayStation electronics for the sake of leisure. Was I buying into the hype? There was only one way to find out.
I joked around with friends about seeing the PS5 “in the flesh,” but it genuinely has a presence that cannot be understood through photographs. The white and black curved design gives it an aesthetic look, and the system’s massive size almost makes it feel like a trophy.
As I prepared to play for the first time, I was nervous that the experience wouldn’t live up to the unreasonable hype. I loaded up a pre-installed game titled “Astro’s Playroom” — a game created to show off the capabilities of Sony’s new DualSense controllers. I was instantly blown away. The different vibrations of the controller, paired with Sony’s new Pulse 3D audio headset, created an immersive experience I’ve never witnessed before.
One section of the game requires the player to fly through space in a portable suit equipped with rockets for easier mobility. As you fly, the adaptive triggers tighten while the control vibrates according to your player’s movement. It feels like flying a rocket powered ship at the tip of your fingers.
Switching games has never been easier. In a span of five seconds, I went from “Astro’s Playroom” to “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.” The graphics were an expected improvement, but it was the 3D audio and adaptive triggers that stood out to me the most. When you reload a rifle in an indoor setting, you can hear the echo of the ammo magazine clicking into your weapon. The controller adapts to the weight of the weapon you’re wielding. Heavier weapons make it harder to push down on the back triggers to aim and shoot, while lighter ones take pressure off of the triggers to allow for easier weapon handling — almost as if you were truly using the gun you selected. While this doesn’t give players a competitive edge, it creates a brand new experience within the Call of Duty franchise that can be utilized for years to come.
Despite a lack of new PS5 titles, many PS4 games run noticeably better on the next-generation system. Rocket League, an arcade-like car soccer game, runs much faster and smoother on the PS5 compared to the PS4. I’m able to flow seamlessly from offense to defense much better than I did on my PS4. While PS5 releases will eventually take over the gaming world within the next year or two, gamers can revisit some of their favorite titles from the PS4 and have an enjoyable experience.
The PS5 was worth every emotional and financial sacrifice I made to obtain the console. The rational voice in my head attempted to prevent me from getting too worked up over it, but the thrill of the chase was too much for me to resist. While limited production makes one extremely difficult to secure, I strongly recommend attempting to buy one as Sony continues to work with retailers to provide stock — and remember, don’t buy from scalpers.
10 out of 10 Torches