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The Most Disappointing Things About PS5

The PlayStation in 1995. The PlayStation 2 in 2000. The PlayStation 3 in 2006. Sony fans typically receive a next-gen PlayStation every five or six years. However, the PlayStation 4 was released in 2013, so the gaming world is a little overdue for a new console. When Sony finally hosted the reveal of its PlayStation 5 on June 11, 2020 in an event it called The Future of Gaming Show, gamers were more than ready to hear all about the long-awaited next-gen PlayStation.


The event was mainly a showcase of the new games coming to the PS5 (like Horizon: Forbidden West), although gamers were finally rewarded at the end of the show with the new console's reveal. And though there is a lot to look forward to with the launch of Sony's fifth PlayStation, it's not all rainbows and unicorns when it comes to what the machine includes, both in terms of its features and its design.

Here are some of the most disappointing things about PS5.

Skin deep

Let's address the elephant in the room — the PlayStation 5 is a far cry from the black, rather utilitarian hardware boxes Sony typically releases. The flared, black-and-white asymmetrical look of the PS5 has been turning heads all over the internet — some in admiration, but many more in mockery. Engadget called the PS5 "unattractive." Writers and editors from Tom's Guide went even harder at the PS5, using terms and phrases like "bizarre," "hideous," and "the ugliest console I've ever seen."


Naturally a console that looks as unusual as this will mean a field day for meme makers, and they've been comparing the PS5 to everything from a router to EVE from WALL-E to the Pope's hat. As PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told CNET, the company "wanted to do something that was bold and daring almost," and "wanted something forward facing and future facing, something for the 2020s." Perhaps the Eye of Sauron is what he had in mind.

The DualSense makes no sense

The DualSense has several amazing features, such as haptic feedback, which lets you "feel the effect and impact of your in-game actions through dynamic sensory feedback," per the PlayStation website. This will supposedly allow gamers a new level of immersion by, for example, changing its vibration to mimic the feel of the terrain the player character is sprinting over. Adaptive triggers will also offer increased sensory variability, so that shooting an in-game bow string will feel different than pulling a trigger. Long story short, there is a lot of impressive tech packed into the DualSense.


But much like the PlayStation 5 itself, the look of the DualSense has been a big miss for many. Some fans do admittedly like the design, while others — like the folks at TechRadar – are calling it the "ugliest first-party controller ever designed." Naturally, the meme makers took their turns with the DualSense, as well, comparing it to a stormtrooper, Mario's overalls, and a weird mash-up of the current PlayStation and Xbox controllers. So yes, while it's tough to knock the controller's capabilities, not everyone is a fan of its aesthetics.

Let the past die

Back when the PlayStation 5 was still a twinkle in Sony's eye, people were speculating that the new console might return us to the days of full backwards compatibility. Rumors swirled in online spheres that the PS5 would be backwards compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and even the original PlayStation. This was especially exciting for Sony fans, considering that PlayStation's lack of backwards compatibility is a sore spot in the modern console wars. Microsoft emphasizes full backwards compatibility with Xbox consoles and even offers the service for free.


Sadly, the rumors were just that — rumors. The PS5 will only be backwards compatible with the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games. It's better than nothing, and it's certainly more than the PS4 offered in this regard, but it's disappointing nevertheless. For those that care about the games of past generations, it's a solid win in the Xbox Series X column, and another reason to feel a little let down by the PS5.

Numbers don't lie

If you're on the fence about which of the next-gen consoles to buy, you can always crunch the numbers to see which comes out on top. Comparing the hardware specs of the PlayStation 5 with the Xbox Series X reveals some interesting points. The Series X appears to be the winner in several key categories, such as CPU (3.8GHz vs. 3.5GHz), GPU (12 TFLOPS vs. 10.28 TFLOPS), and storage (1TB SSD vs. 825GB SSD). 


Those figures aren't the end of the story, however. The PS5's GPU will run at 2.23GHz compared to the Series X's 1.825GHz, which likely makes them pretty comparable. Additionally, Sony has opted for a proprietary SSD in the PS5 (hence the unusual 825GB size), and it's said to run twice as fast as the SSD in the Series X. As Microsoft's Jason Ronald told GamesRadar, Series X is still promising "the virtual elimination" of load times, as well as more storage space.

In the end, there really isn't a clear cut winner in the specs department, meaning that if you want a compelling reason to pick the PS5 over the Series X, you'd better look elsewhere.

No Smart Delivery

As if offering "four generations of gaming" in one console isn't enough, Microsoft seems to have found another way to stick it to Sony. New with the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has announced Smart Delivery, a cross-generational service. Gamers who purchase a Smart Delivery-supported title for the Xbox One will automatically get the game for the Series X at no additional charge. Even better, your progress will be saved across consoles, so you can start playing on the One and then pick up on the Series X exactly where you left off.


Sony is offering nothing of the sort for the PlayStation 5 — at least not at the time of this article's publication. This leaves gamers trying to decide whether to get highly-anticipated new releases, such as Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, on the PS4 at launch or to wait for the PS5's unknown release. Incidentally, both of those titles are listed as Smart Delivery-supported, which removes the decision-making and leaves only the gaming. This is yet another category Sony appears to be ceding to Microsoft.


If you watched The Future of Gaming Show hoping to hear a release date for the PlayStation 5, you walked away sorely disappointed. Holiday 2020 seems to be as specific as Sony is willing to get at this point, so you can either be patient and wait for further announcements, or indulge in a little speculation. Here's some speculation.


History shows that Sony typically releases its consoles in the autumn (September, October, and November). According to Forbes, a recent leak from Amazon France showed a November 20, 2020 release, which seems to confirm this line of thinking. However, the Amazon France PS5 page has since been taken down, and a spokesperson from the company stated, "The screenshot showing a PS5 product page on amazon.fr with a price of 499€ and a release date on November 20 is a fake and is not coming from our website."

Is it the end of the world if gamers must wait a little longer for a release date? Certainly not. But considering Bloomberg's reporting that the release date is not being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it begs the question of why Sony will not announce what it surely already knows.


Show me the money

Along with the release date, another key piece of information was noticeably absent from Sony's The Future of Gaming Event — the PlayStation 5's price. Sony's consoles have historically released anywhere from the original PlayStation's $299 to the much-maligned PlayStation 3's $599. That's a wide range of possibilities, and the only thing we know for certain is that Playstation CEO Jim Ryan has already admitted to GamesIndustry.biz that the PS5 won't "necessarily" be the gen's lowest priced console.


Along with the now-debunked Amazon France listing for 499€, other price leaks have sprung up as speculation increases. A since-deleted listing at Amazon UK priced the console at £599.99, while ScreenRant reported that Play-Asia listed the price at $699 USD. Until Sony actually confirms a price, one would be wise to take these leaks with a grain of salt.

In an interview with BBCRyan said the PS5 will "emphasize value as opposed to price." What does that mean in terms of dollars and cents? You'll simply have to wait and see. For now, the lack of news around the cost of the PS5 may be one of the most disappointing things about the console.