As for games, the PlayStation 5 is compatible out of the box with nearly all PlayStation 4 titles with a few un-noteworthy exceptions. Of the last-generation games I played I noticed improved frame rates and loading times, thanks to the improved performance and SSD storage on the PS5. Where the system really shines is its new games. The ones I tried were the aforementioned Astro’s Playroom and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered.
Astro’s Playroom is the game which best shows off the PS5’s capabilities both graphically and of the DualSense controller. While it’s a basic platforming game at heart, the visuals are top notch and brimming with character. It’s a walk down memory lane as you complete levels and find Sony memorabilia and adorable robots re-enacting some of the biggest franchises to grace PlayStation consoles over the decades. One of the most enjoyable activities for me while playing was trying to identify as much as I could, as even parts of the levels are made of classic Sony hardware. The game uses the DualSense controller to the fullest, with the sounds of traffic whizzing next to you being piped through the controller’s speaker and the aforementioned adaptive triggers let you feel your bowstring stretch as you draw it.
Spider-Man Remastered is a visual upgrade to the original PS4 game, and the game remains largely the same. You’re able to swing around an abbreviated version of Manhattan and beat criminals up in 4K resolution and with either an improved frame rate or additional visual eye candy such as ray tracing—an extremely realistic way of simulating lighting, shadows, and reflections. Being able to see traffic and pedestrians below reflected so accurately while climbing buildings adds quite a bit to the overall presentation in a way I was not anticipating. The game itself was critically acclaimed upon its release and so far the remastered version is shaping up to be a better version of the game in all aspects.
Setup issues aside, so far the PlayStation 5 has proven to be a more than capable console for next-generation gaming. While I could not recommend going to a scalper in good conscience, if you find yourself at a retail store with a few hundred dollars ($399.99 for the Digital Edition and $499.99 for the disk drive configuration) to spend it could make for a wonderful way to spend the next few months in winter quarantine or an excellent gift for a gamer in your life.