It has been two years since the PlayStation 5 launched. During that time, we’ve seen a lot of new games, accessories, and software updates that have improved the user experience. But now that the hype has died down a bit and the stock is nearly available in shops, what have the last two years actually been like?
Let me start with the elephant in the room: the stock issues. For some of you, you’ve been fortunate enough to have been using the PS5 since launch, so two whole years of worry-free gaming. But for many others, the lack of stock has meant that getting a PS5 has been difficult, and even expensive if you turned to scalper prices. It’s really only been within the last month or so that stock has been readily available in shops, meaning you can walk into a local store and buy one.
That’s what I did back in December when I picked up a second PS5 as I was constantly moving mine between two rooms. However, I think the lack of stock and of course, these scalper prices, will leave a lasting memory for many of us.
Hopefully, moving forward, this will no longer be an issue. Thanks to Sony’s recent press release, they announced that 30 million units of the PlayStation 5 have been sold, which is huge. But I do wonder how many they would have sold if it wasn’t for the stock issues.
if you’re in the UK, the console prices did increase last year by 30 pounds. This was only applied to a handful of countries and regions, so not everyone has been affected. But for us, it is now 480 pounds for the disk version. Let me know if you already have a PlayStation 5 or who’s still trying to get one today.
Over the last two years, we have seen some awesome new games released on the PlayStation 5. Games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits have been released. We’ve had Horizon: Forbidden West, which was a worthy sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, and this game looks absolutely stunning.
I did complete the story, but I’m yet to go back and get the Platinum. Then we had Gran Turismo 7, which I enjoyed a lot, and Stray, which was a brilliant game. We even got a remake of The Last of Us Part One. I wasn’t sure we needed this at the time, but it didn’t stop me from replaying it again and getting the Platinum. Plus, this looks incredible, a huge step up from the PlayStation 4 version.
Towards the end of 2022, we, of course, got God of War: Ragnarok, which is without doubt, my favorite release in the last two years. The story is incredible, and visually, it’s stunning. When you factor in the hardware integration, such as the haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers, it is a very immersive game.
In fact, any of the new games that do adopt the controller’s features completely transform the gameplay, and it feels weird playing games that don’t support these features. But with that said, we’ve not seen many PS5 exclusives, and by that, I mean they are also available on the PlayStation 4.
For most people, that’s a good thing, especially with these stock issues, but as games are still being developed for both consoles in mind, there’s a chance that these games will be held back ever so slightly. Of course, their PS5 versions will look and play smoother, with an increased frame rate and resolution, but it will be great to see more games developed exclusively for the PlayStation 5.
So you finally got your PlayStation 5 and you’re thinking, “I could do with some accessories.” Well, there have been loads of third-party ones over the last couple of years, but it’s great to see that Sony has released some official ones.
When the console first launched, we had the white console controller charging dock, headset, as well as the remote control and camera, which I don’t think anyone actually bought, did they? Since then, we’ve had seven different controllers released, including the Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, and two of my favorites, the Gray Camouflage, and the God of War: Ragnarok.
This is their first limited-edition controller, but hopefully, the first of many. It’ll be awesome to see new controllers released alongside upcoming games, you know, games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Wolverine. We never saw a Pro Controller on the PS4, at least not an official one from Sony, but they have of course announced the Edge controller, which launches later this month.
This will give us loads of extra features that the standard controller cannot do, such as adjustable triggers, mappable back buttons, and swappable thumbsticks. How this will compare to other Pro controllers we’ve seen from places like Scuff? Only time will tell, but it’s great to see Sony offering us something like this. Then we have the swappable console covers, which can completely transform the way your PS5 or your setup looks.
In the first year, loads of you, including myself, were using third-party plates, but Sony very quickly brought out plates of their own, and we now have a total of seven different colors to choose from. Removing them is a case of simply sliding the existing plates off and pushing the new ones on, and voila, you’ve just got yourself a whole new look.
Although there are loads of colors to choose from, there aren’t yet any game-focused designs like we saw for the Ragnarok controller. Sony also released the Pulse 3D headset in a few different colors, as well as an end zone headset that many of you picked up instead.
This was aimed more so at PC gaming, but it is still compatible with the PlayStation 5. Of course, then we have PSVR 2, which launches on February 23, and this is something I’m really hoping for. I actually pre-ordered this back in November, alongside the Horizon: Call of the Mountain bundle, but I am looking forward to seeing what other games we’re going to see throughout this year.
As I recently picked up the Meta Quest 2, I’m also interested to see how it compares to that. But one thing to note though, which is a little disappointing, is there’s no backward compatibility, so all of those PlayStation 4 VR games won’t work on the new version. Sony did announce at CES 2023 that a new controller is on the horizon, it’s called the Project A Leonardo controller, which is a highly customizable accessibility controller kit. This will be quite literally a game-changer for many.
Now, there are of course two versions of the PS5 to choose from: we have the disk version and the digital-only. I opted for the disk version for both of my consoles, even though I buy 99% of my games from the store, and that’s just because I do buy the odd collector’s edition. Although the funny thing is, the God of War: Ragnarok Yachtner Edition came with a steelbook but no disc inside.
Performance-wise, while the PS5 has not let me down yet, it does an awesome job of displaying 4K content as well as up to 120Hz. So, games like Spider-Man, you can opt to either prioritize resolution or the frame rate, or even combine the two with the Performance RT mode. With the addition of VRR, which we got in the first year, it has allowed games to run far smoother with the support of a variable rather than a fixed frame rate.
Then one of the biggest requested features that we saw only added in the last year was 1440p support. This gives gamers the option to run their console at 1080p, 4K, and now 1440p, and this is ideal for a lot of monitor users. The only issue is you cannot run 1440p and VRR at the same time, it’s either one or the other, unless of course, you’ve got a monitor that accepts a 4K resolution, and then you can downscale it to 1440p.
Storage-wise, it still comes with an 825 gigabyte internal SSD, of which only 667 gigabytes are usable. Fortunately, you can either plug in an external SSD via USB, or, with thanks to the update that we saw in the first year, you can install an internal SSD.
This will work alongside the 825 gigabyte drive, essentially doubling or even quadrupling your storage. I initially installed a two terabyte drive, but then I increased that to four terabytes on my main console, and even that has taken a hit from the games I’m playing. I think for most users, the standard internal storage is fine for about seven to eight games.
Now, although the PS5 hasn’t undergone any changes to its appearance, Sony has made two iterations already, giving it some slight tweaks internally. Comparing the latest version to the launch model, these include a 600-gram weight reduction, a smaller heatsink, and changes to the internal layer of some of the elements. On the face of it, though, other than the model number change on the box, you would never know.
But now that I’ve had both the original and the newer version consoles, the only difference I’ve noticed is the new one is definitely quieter when running. Though, this could be down to the fact that the fans on my older model need cleaning, so I do need to check this out. But like with any of these games or consoles, you do need a TV or monitor that supports it. If you’re using an old TV or monitor that’s 720 or even 1080p, you’re not really going to get the most out of the PS5. However, comparing the load times and the noise levels of the PS5 to the PS4, you will still see a noticeable difference.
UI and Dash
Anyway, on the whole, the UI and home screen is very similar to launch, but we have had some tweaks and improvements along the way. Small edits to the UI, so you know if you’re playing a PS4 or a PS5 game. The editable navigation bar across the bottom and the party chat improvements. Even the trophy lister has an update. As if you remember at launch, the cards were horizontal, and although they looked nice, they were a real pain to navigate. But then that was updated within the first six months or so, to a vertical list instead.
A big one is the introduction of game lists. It’s similar to the folders that we had on the PlayStation 4, but not quite as good. But even so, it allows you to organize your games into lists, you can find them a lot easier than you could before. So whether that’s into categories or the games you’re currently playing. We’ve also seen PlayStation Plus has been updated over the last six months, and essentially, it’s combined PS Plus and PS Now.
Now, into a three-tier offering, there’s the Essential plan, which is basically the old PS Plus, that’s with your downloadable monthly games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage, and multiplayer access. The Extra plan gives us the same as Essential, as well as a catalog of 400 PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games. I think for most, this plan will be the sweet spot, as the games you’re getting at the price are really impressive. Then the most expensive plan is Premium, which also unlocks their PlayStation 3 game streaming, time-limited game trials, and a catalog of PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PSP games. I am on the Premium plan, as I had a few years of PS Now and PS Plus already stacked, so when this new offering came in, it automatically upgraded me. But if I had to choose again, I would go for the Extra plan.
As for upcoming games for PlayStation, we’ve got a huge list of games that are worth getting excited about. Now, not all of these are exclusive to the PlayStation 5 or even PlayStation, but we’ve got games like Forspoken, Dead Space, Hogwarts Legacy, and Horizon: Forbidden West, as well as Dead Island 2, Peppa Pig, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Wolverine.
If you already have a PS5, 2023 is going to be a great year for gaming, and if you’re still looking to buy one, well, you’ve got all those games to look forward to as well as a massive library of games to catch up on. Oh, and don’t forget, you’ll get to play all of the previous games like Days Gone, God of War, and The Last of Us through the PS Plus Collection bundle. This is awesome for any PS5 owner, as you’ve got a huge library of games to play.
PS5 Pro And Slim
Now, we are only two years in, but the questions and rumors keep popping up, which is when will we see a Pro or a Slim version of the PlayStation 5? Well, I think for most, the PS5 is doing just fine, and we don’t really need a new console. So, maybe late 2024 for the Pro, and the Slim probably late 2023 to early 2024, but that’s just going by recent rumors and following the life cycle of the PlayStation 4.
Now, having used the PS5 for the last two years, what are my overall thoughts? Well, for me, it’s been a very reliable, fast, and enjoyable console to own. I mean, the fact that I bought a second one shows how much I like it. We’ve had some great games to play so far, with loads more on the horizon for 2023. Paired with the PlayStation VR2, the new DualSense Edge controller, and loads of colorful accessories, it feels like a good time to own a PS5. So, congratulations to Sony for two years, and here’s to the next of many more. And if there’s a game or an accessory that you’re looking forward to in 2023, just let me know below. Now, drop a PlayStation 5 in the comments.