NOTNovember 2020 looks like a lot of things, but the start of a new generation of consoles is not one of them. And yet it must have been, for over a week, for over a week that I have been watching the huge incomparable body of Sony’s PlayStation 5, playing new and old games to see what ‘Next Gen Means for the future of interactive home entertainment.
Now is the perfect time to release a game. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led huge swathes of the world’s population to spend much more time at home than they would like, and with the rapid increase in infection rate, especially in the US and Europe, that won’t change anytime soon. People are hungry for content. Netflix has gotten less interesting and more expensive, while the launch of all new streaming services over the past 12 months – including the already failed Quibi – has further fractured and confused the experience of consuming content.
The video game industry provided when it could; titles like Final Fantasy VII remake and The Last of Us Part II drove the talk of the game for weeks and months, while Animal crossing and Among us grew large enough that both were used in the final weeks of the U.S. election cycle to secure the vote – the first with Joe Biden’s campaign island for players to visit, and the second with the Twitch stream of the representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who became one. of the biggest in the history of the platform.
Even for those tightening their belts in economically difficult times, the occasional video game to help relieve stress seems like an appropriate purchase. But a new console? Especially the one that will have a base price of $ 70 for its games (ending the $ 60 standard with the Xbox 360 in 2005)? Read the play.
At least the prices aren’t as bad as rumors suggest. At launch, the PlayStation 5 costs $ 400 for the “Digital Edition” and $ 500 for the “Standard” model. Where Microsoft has created two similar but different boxes in its $ 300 S-series and $ 500 X-series consoles, Sony’s two systems are internally identical with one difference: a disk drive. The standard PS5 has a UHD Blu-ray drive from which it can play physical movies and games, while the digital edition requires everything to exist entirely on its blazing-fast internal storage or a compatible external drive.
It is both a massive change and not at all. There was talk before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were unveiled that companies could release versions of their systems without a disc drive. Back then, it was largely centered on an industry-wide backlash against the idea of second-hand games, but now it’s a reflection of consumer behavior. In another trend accelerated by the pandemic, 2020 marked the first time that more games have been purchased digitally than physically – and it’s hard to imagine turning back the clock if and when it’s all over.
Looking at the console, I imagine Sony prefers digital editing. Not just because they’re financially incentivized into making you buy a system that requires all purchases to be made through their store, which gives them the cut of every purchase that Amazon, GameStop, et al. take on physical media, but because this version just looks better. When placed side-by-side, the extra disc bump feels almost nailed down, and that makes an already garish design downright ugly. Regardless of the version, the curvy white-black design of the PS5 is an active repudiation of the sleek all-black box Sony is pushing from the PlayStation 2. It’s also unapologetic in its vastness. It’s been the biggest video game console in decades, and some will find it difficult to fit under their TVs. It barely fits under mine, and I’m a little worried about the tight space impacting airflow and causing the system to overheat. (So far, so good.)
But while I might not like how it looks in my entertainment center – and I really not – what matters is when the magic happens, when I put that controller back in my hands and turn it on. Sony has made some unique choices with its new “DualSense” controller which sometimes seems a bit magical. The general language of game controllers has become pretty standardized over the last few generations, and they’re all pretty good. I’ve always preferred the asymmetric analog stick placement used by Microsoft and Nintendo over Sony’s, but all modern controllers feel great, and it’s no different.
The color scheme matches the console: mostly white, with black accents. The button layout and placement echoes its predecessor, the DualShock 4, with speaker, lighting, and clickable touch bar included, but there’s one addition: a dedicated microphone on / off button to accompany the new one. microphone integrated into the controller. I can see this is a good addition for those who want to play online but don’t want a full headset, but it is also a gadget used for the more nifty part of the PS5 pack-in game, Astro Games Room. Astro Games Room is a 3D platform game that is, at its core, a way to show off the new controller wrapped up in a lot of PlayStation fan services. It’s a fun little thing that has some cool ideas and also an onscreen prompt telling me to blow into the microphone to make some wind. I thought we were done after Nintendo did it in 2015, but here we are.
Much more intriguing are the changes you can’t see: a pair of tech that completely changes the way games feel. The first is haptic feedback, which is basically a super fancy rumble. Where the traditional rumble just rumbles, well, a whole section of the controller, haptic feedback is targeted. So, for example, when someone types on a keyboard in the PS5 version of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you will feel small taps, as if you were pressing a key and it was pressing back. Above all, it’s a way to make your connection to the digital world a bit more tactile, but the precision of it might allow you to feel individual ticks during a mini-game of lockpicking. It’s just a little more immersion… although it doesn’t change the actual playing experience like so-called “adaptive triggers” do.
While I had read that the “trigger” buttons on the DualSense – the backmost buttons on each shoulder – could change their resistance, I didn’t really understand what that meant until I did. feel. It’s weird. Astro Games Room is actually a perfect showcase for this: I was just doing my regular running and jumps when all of a sudden I locked myself in a costume attached to a giant spring. And now I need to work my way into the next section. A prompt tells me to pull the trigger, so I do… but it hasn’t budged. He suddenly retaliated. I pushed harder, and it came down, just like Astro. Apparently by magic, the controller had changed its physical properties: I really felt like I was pushing a spring to go up, so much so that I got tired and had to switch to my middle finger to complete the section.
The combination of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers resulted in a truly new experience, and it didn’t end there. Another area made me pull a lever to get something from a toy capsule vending machine. The onset of the pull requires increased pressure, but once it reaches the point where the game’s mechanical slot machine is over, the real world resistance gives way and the last little move occurs easily. It’s an extremely visceral feeling, and I can only imagine how this technology is going to be used in games down the line.
Which, unfortunately, brings us to the big caveat in all of this: The reason I have to imagine how the technology could be used is that there aren’t many games to show me. It’s one of the thinnest launch lineups in recent memory, with the only thinnest being possibly the Xbox Series X / S after Infinite halo has been postponed until next year. That’s not to say that there aren’t some solid games available for potential buyers: there are some (more on that next week!), But many of these Day One titles will also be available on the PlayStation 4, including that Miles Morales Spider-Man spin off. All intergenerational games will look and play better on PS5, but the one big exclusivity when launching a new system is a remake. New Souls of the demon looks very good. Is it worth more than $ 400?
“All cross-generational games will look and play better on PS5, but the one big exclusivity when launching a new system is a remake. The new “Demon’s Souls” looks very good. Is it worth more than $ 400?“
There is no doubt that the PlayStation 5 is a very powerful machine with a lot of technology under the oversized hood that will make games load faster, play better and look amazing. Heck, it already does those first two things to many existing PlayStation 4 titles. Over 99% of the PS4 versions are playable on the new machine, and some games have already received updates to specifically take advantage of the extra power, with more to come. Even those who don’t receive a specific update, however, get a little boost: Long load times are drastically reduced by switching from a spinning hard drive to a blazing fast SSD, and occasional visual problems are reduced. This is all awesome! However, at launch, the PS5 looks more like a PS4 Pro-Pro than a true PlayStation successor.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. Any new technology sells less for what it offers at the moment than for its potential. It has rarely been truer than with the PlayStation 5. It has been a strange and frightening year for all industries, and video games are no exception. I have no doubt that Sony had a brilliant strategy to slowly feed the news and get the masses excited – and to better complement this launch lineup. But when everyone was sent home as the realities of the coronavirus became evident, it was thrown out the window. Sony hadn’t even announced pricing for the system two months ago, and they’re clearly struggling to build systems given their pre-order fiasco. This launch feels less like a celebration than an obligation: They promised it would be released this year, and it has to be. So it’s.
Still, I can’t wait to see what the future holds – or what Sony thought 2020 was happening. The material is there. Now we need everything else to catch up.
#PlayStation #giving #bang #buck