Tech

Is it worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021?

Is it worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021?

As we approach the first anniversary of the PlayStation 5 release, I feel like it’s a good time to go over some important questions for those of you who are still deciding if buying one is a smart move or not.

New launches, stock shortages, and a controller revamp are only a few of the key topics I’ll go over to help you determine if it’s worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021. Let’s begin!

PlayStation 5 Console and a DualSense controller in front of a pink and purple background.
Photo by Martin Katler on Unsplash

PlayStation 5 Games

Sony has always been delivered some of the market’s best exclusives and they didn’t disappoint with the exclusive releases for PlayStation 5.

We’re almost a year into the release and, so far, there are thirteen exclusive PS5 games. All of them are impressive in their way and do a great job of taking advantage of the whole new console system. Here’s a list of them:

  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Destruction AllStars
  • Returnal
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
  • Deathloop
  • Season
  • Godfall
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Miles Morales and Sackboy are available to play on PS4; Returnal is a challenging, atmospheric, no-save game that’ll frustrate and reward you all the same; and Astro’s Playroom is a small tech demo that shows off the Dualsense controller’s features.

A big host of PlayStation 4 games got PS5 upgrades for both FPS and resolution. Some of them even have Dualsense support. The upgrades made the games way smoother, taking great advantage of higher resolution TVs and monitors.

The games are expensive (as it is expected for any new console release) but they all have merit and are highly rated, so far. If a combination of a good game with a great visual experience is what you’re looking for, then maybe what the PS5 is offering might be enough for it to be worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021.

PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 Compatibility

When the PlayStation 5 was announced, a big concern was whether it would support backward compatibility. The last time a PlayStation console had full backward compatibility was with the PS2, so it’s been a while. Plus, in comparison, the Xbox consoles always had some sort of backward compatibility, even it was for select games, like in the case of Xbox One.

However, most PlayStation 4 games can be played on the PlayStation 5 console. Some got free upgrades while others got paid ones. Whether you own physical copies or digital versions of PS4 games, both formats will run on your PS5, so if you’re thinking about buying one, you might also consider checking out how much you can sell you’re PS4 for. If you’re not a collector, then it’ll end up just laying around, collecting dust.

Another cool feature of this compatibility is the fact that your PS4 games will probably run even better on a PS5 console. For example, titles that aim for 60fps on PS4, but instead run at fluctuating frame rates, will routinely see that ironed out completely.

PlayStation 5 Software

The graphics are great, there’s no way to deny it. But that’s to be expected with any new console release. One of the features that took the spotlight for the PlayStation 5 release was the incorporation of a solid-state drive (SSD). If you’re a PC user you surely understand what a difference it makes going from an HDD to an SSD, but now console players will get a taste of it too.

There will be no more waiting for games to load, as games only take a few seconds to go from the menu to in-game.

User Interface

From a UI standpoint (depending on your taste, of course), the PlayStation 5 took a step back from the PlayStation 4. Not only you won’t be able to use any themes you bought for the PS4, but there also won’t be an activity feed to see what your friends are up to. Plus, there are a lot of menus to navigate through just to access your trophies.

Some of these issues will likely be addressed, but most of them are not going to change.

PlayStation 5 Hardware

The PlayStation 5 is a lot faster and has better processors than the PlayStation 4 Pro, and it supports ray-tracing. Ray tracing is a method of graphics rendering that simulates the physical behavior of light, producing more realistic effects.

The PS5 hard drive is smaller than the PS4 Pro’s. On a PS5 you get 825 GB of storage while on the PS4 Pro you get 1TB. 175GB can make a lot of a difference, especially now that games are getting bigger and bigger.

Hardware Issues

Hardware issues are to be expected in the first release of any product, and the PlayStation 5 is no exception.

There have been some reports of PS5 consoles overheating, controllers not charging or communicating properly, digital games being uninstalled for no reason, and some random glitches that cause the system to crash.

Again, these types of problems are likely to occur with all new devices, but Sony will surely work them out and fix everything for subsequent releases.

Dualsense

The Dualsense is the brand-new PlayStation controller. Controllers haven’t seen great updates over the years, so it was refreshing to see such a leap. It is slightly larger than the DualShock controller and it comes with immersive haptic feedback, dynamic adaptive triggers, and a built-in microphone.

Haptic feedback will allow you to feel simulated raindrops as they “fall” on the controller while playing a game like Returnal, for example. Adaptive triggers offer resistance that can be used to imitate things like gun jamming (Deathloop), or having different firing modes depending on the pressure you apply (Rift Apart).

The features on the controller alone might be enough to make it worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021.

PlayStation 5 Availability

It’s been almost a year, and still, it’s hard to get your hands on a PlayStation 5. This console is constantly sold out all over, so people are forced to keep tabs on all different retailers to be able to get one. It takes a bit away from the experience of standing in a line to get your precious console, as you probably did with previous versions of the PlayStation.

Plus, due to how rare it is to get a PS5, stores that buy and sell second-hand equipment are paying a lot for the consoles. When you try to sell your older consoles or games at these stores, depending on the products, you’re lucky if you get half the price you paid. But if you try to sell a PS5 you’ll get a profit, because they’re paying more than what it’s worth on the market.

In the same line of thought, they’re selling it for a lot more than what it costs, completely new, in a retail store. When it came out, the PS5 was selling for about $400, but in these stores, they sell for over $850. The objective is to get people to sell, but some people are actually willing to pay the price just to get their hands on a PS5.

I know this because I work in one of those stores. Sometimes, it’s painful to watch.

There are many pros and some cons when it comes to the PlayStation 5. The graphics are amazing, you get to play pretty much all of your PS4 games in it (and they’ll run even better), and you’re getting a completely new experience with the DualSense controller. But there are also some issues like less capacity, availability issues, and all the problems that come with the first versions of consoles.

Is it worth buying a PlayStation 5 in 2021? Personally, the pros don’t cover the cons and most casual gamers, like me, will probably want to wait for a second version of the console. But if you’re an avid gamer and don’t mind all the hassle of trying to find a place that sells a PS5 without ripping you off, then maybe it is worth it for you! Let me know if you’re considering buying a PlayStation 5 soon and, if you already have one, let me know which is your favorite PS5 game!

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