Review: the PlayStation 5 is a baking beast with a brilliant controller

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Sony’s latest game console is gigantic, but therefore also very quiet. The biggest innovations are in the included controller.

Graphically a step forward

The PlayStation 5 is the largest game console Sony has ever made, with a height of no less than 40 centimeters. The device requires a large TV cabinet to be able to place it properly.

This format has a reason: a large part of the machine consists of cooling, so it makes little noise when playing large games. A big step forward compared to the PlayStation 4, which generates a lot of noise with many recent games.

That does not alter the fact that the design of the game console is controversial. He is bulky and with crazy designed curves, with a small foot at the bottom on which everything balances somewhat shakily. It is not worth a beauty prize.

The PlayStation 5 is loud when a disc is put in, but that sound is often temporary. A disc spins in the drive only when a game is installed, after which it will only make intermittent noise. When playing a blu-ray, it makes continuous noise. It means that the cheaper PS5 without a disc drive is also quieter.

Although it is mostly quieter, the PlayStation 5 has made a leap in graphics. The difference isn’t as clear as with previous console generations, but games on the new machine often run at a 4K resolution at sixty frames per second. As a result, games are razor-sharp and smoothly animated.

The PlayStation 5 also supports ray tracing. Thanks to this technique, light is reflected in a natural way so that reflections are also displayed realistically.

It ensures that, for example Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks stunning. The game is set in New York during the Christmas season, where sleet, mood lighting and skyscraper windows create special lighting situations and reflections.

Thanks to ray tracing in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, light effects that are visible in the game in the dark winter months in New York are extra displayed. (Photo: Marvel)

You cannot make that graphic leap without sacrifices. Bee Spider-Man ray tracing is only possible if you opt for a speed of thirty frames per second. If you want to game with sixty images, you must turn off the visual option. The same is true in Devil May Cry 5, where you can choose between 120 frames per second or ray tracing. Some gamers swear by a higher frame rate, because games are more smoothly animated. However, that difference is not equally noticeable for everyone.

This forced choice is unfortunate but understandable. Developers must make a distinction if they want to get the most out of the game console. But as a result, players are faced with all kinds of technical choices that feel like hassle.

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