Gaming

The PS5 is a big, bold statement on next-gen gaming

From the massive and striking console design, to the innovative DualSense controller with next-level haptics, to more exclusive games, Sony's PlayStation 5 may have the edge over the Xbox Series X.

After seven years, Sony's successor to the PlayStation 4 — the PlayStation 5 — is here. From the moment it was unveiled, we knew that the PS5 would be different. Not only has Sony gone with a literally huge design that's divided gamers, but the company is betting big on a new feature in the DualSense controller to set the platform apart from the Xbox Series S/X.

It's massive

The PS5 is indeed a ginormous console. It's larger than the original PS3 "phat", which was one of the all-time largest consoles ever made and makes the Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, and original PS4, look compact in comparison.

Just look at how big the PS5 is next to a PS4, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One X.

The PS4 looks tiny in comparison.

The Xbox Series X has a cooling system that pushes air out through the top. The PS5 sucks air through a fan from the top vents and pushes it out through the back.

On the front of the PS5 are two ports: a USB-A and USB-C port. USB-C! Yes! (You also get a USB-C-to-USB-A cable included in the box to pair and charge the controller). Xbox has no USB-C ports.

Around back, you get two more USB ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI in, and power port.

When the PS5 is powered on, it glows blue.

There are two versions of the PS5: the $499 with an optical drive and a $399 "all digital" version without it. Beyond this difference, the two models are identical. Same 825GB SSD storage, same 10 teraflops of performance, and same 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.

Now about the DualSense controller. It's larger than the PS4's DualShock 4 gamepad. Overall, it's a more comfortable controller that doesn't cramp your hands as much.

Can you spot the differences?

The DualSense controller is now about the same size as the Xbox Series X controller.

Triggers with haptics

The triggers on the DualSense are special. They don't just vibrate when you press them. They feel different depending on how light or hard your press them. In a game like the PS5's included Astro's Playroom, different surfaces have different haptics. Wood and metal feel different.

The triggers have different levels of sensitivity and you can feel it when you pull on them with different amounts of pressure. It's hard to describe, but the haptics make it so that you can feel the games in new ways. Of course, it'll be up to developers to add as much or little of these extra haptics to their games.

Hidden detail

Take a magnifying glass or a macro camera (if your phone has one) to the inside of the PS5's plastic panels or the texture on the backside of the DualSense grips and you'll find thousands of circle, X, square, and triangle patterned on it. It's such a cool little detail. But one has to wonder if Sony could have shaved some cost not going this extra mile.

The backside of the controller has this hidden pattern too!

The PS5 and Xbox Series S are similar under the hood — both tout ray tracing and up to 8K resolution — but Sony might have the edge. With a striking design, a unique DualSense controller with next-level haptics, and more exclusives like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the PS5 has just a little more going for it at launch. We'll have more on the PS5 as we play through more games, but damn it, the PS5 is a bold statement. It's pricey, but it feels more next-gen than an Xbox.

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