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5 Ways the PS5 Improves on the PS4 (And 5 Ways It Doesn’t)

on Oct 21, 2020
5 Ways the PS5 Improves on the PS4 (And 5 Ways It Doesn’t)

The PS5 has the unenviable tall task of trying to out-do its predecessor, the PS4 while being met with arguably the best competition that any PlayStation has ever faced in any generation.

The Xbox Series X is powerful. It’s set to be the most powerful console to-date once it arrives. To top it all off, Microsoft seems like they don’t intend to make the same mistakes as they did in the past. Case in point, the Xbox Series X already has more exclusives than the Xbox One did at launch. More importantly, with their recent acquisition of ZeniMax Media (including Bethesda Softworks), the Xbox Series X could have the most exclusives than any Xbox has ever had.

With that said, the PS5 is no slouch either. It’s a marked improvement over the PS4 and the PS4 Pro, with enough console-selling exclusives already lined up for next year and beyond.

But, saying that the PS5 is an improvement isn’t enough to sell it, isn’t it?

So, below, we’ve rounded up some of the ways that the PS5 improves over the PS4 and the PS4 Pro, and, to balance things out, we threw in a couple of ways that the PlayStation 5 stepped back a bit.

Very Excited – The PS5’s Quieter Thermals

PS5

The PlayStation 4 was a great machine. Unfortunately, it has started to show its age in recent years. Although the PS4 Pro does a fair job of giving gamers who want better performance a choice, the fact remains that both the PS4 and PS4 Pro suffers from having obnoxiously loud fans.

Games like God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Red Dead Redemption 2 can cause the PS4 fans to go at full speed, which can be irritating, to say the least.

Thankfully, Sony was aware of this problem and fixed it for the PlayStation 5.

Because of Sony’s latest internal hardware reveal, we now know that the PlayStation 5 will have a much improved cooling system with a bigger fan and better airflow. But, perhaps, more importantly, Sony plans on making optimizing fan performance via future firmware updates, changing the fan curve.

What this basically means is that the fans can go slow or fast relative to the temperature.

This paves the way to the possibility of the PS5 having customized fan curves for different games and even different resolutions instead of having a blanket setting for all games.

Now, we won’t really know for sure until we get a chance to play some demanding titles, but this sure seems like a huge win.

Not Sold – Sony’s Stance on Cross-Play

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Sony has done the PlayStation brand right over the years. So much that it sometimes feels like they always make the right decision. However, Sony is far from perfect, and one of their most divisive stances in all of gaming is how they view cross-play.

Fortnite is noted as one of the very few games on the PS4 that you can play with your friends on other platforms.

Unfortunately, the list of games is not expected to grow soon due to Sony seemingly not interested in this feature.

If it’s any consolation, cross-play between the PS4 and the PS5 is almost a sure thing at this point. The only problem is that we can’t be sure if Sony is sold on fully supporting cross-play between the PlayStation 5 and other platforms.

Very Excited – Faster-Loading PS5 Games and Expandable Storage

PS5

The PlayStation 5 doesn’t just have a faster and more powerful graphics card and processor compared to the PS4 and PS4 Pro. It’s also got a much better storage solution.

Fans who like to tinker a bit already know the benefits of putting in an SSD on the PS4 and PS4 Pro. However, Sony took things up a notch by having a proprietary SSD. This means that the SSD of the PlayStation 5 was specifically built for the console. As a result, the performance jump is so much more than what you’d get from slotting in an even performance-oriented aftermarket SSD.

Case in point, the extended gameplay demo for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

Even better, the PlayStation 5 comes with a dedicated expansion SSD slot for faster storage.

The best part is that this extra slot can accommodate non-proprietary storage solutions. The only catch is that the NVMe drive will have to have Sony validation to work.

Not Sold – Less Base Storage

PS5

Many fans complained about the PS4’s lack of storage. 500GB just wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily, the PS4 Pro came with 1TB and some editions came with as much as 2TB of storage. Unfortunately, as speedy as the PlayStation 5 SSD is, it literally doesn’t have as much room for games with only 825GB worth of space.

Considering that the usable space will be fewer than 825GB and that today’s gamers are so much larger than they were before, this is definitely not good news.

Having an expansion slot is great, as well as support for external hard drives and the ability to customize game installations, but the lack of space is still very much an issue.

Very Excited – 4K Blu-Ray and 8K Video Support

PS5

The PS4 might have come with a Blu-ray optical disk drive, but it did not support 4K or UHD Blu-rays. Even the PS4 Pro can’t play 4K Blu-ray discs. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 5 can.

Sony also made the PlayStation 5 futureproof as it can support 8K resolution as well.

For now, 8K resolution TVs are out of most people’s price range. Eventually, this will change. The same thing is happening on 4K TVs right now.

Not Sold – Size

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Yes. Yes. The PS5 benefits from its size. The slimmer and smaller Xbox Series X is currently already being rumored to have temperature issues. Even if it’s not true, it might happen. The chassis is constrained for space. On the other hand, the PlayStation 5 is HUGE.

Now, this might be great for the temperature, but it doesn’t sit too well for those who prefer something smaller.

With a PlayStation 5 Slim likely years away, the PlayStation 5’s colossal size might turn off a lot of potential buyers.

Very Excited – Backwards-Compatibility

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If Sony’s goal was to make gamers want to buy every PlayStation generation, then they definitely succeeded.

This isn’t to say everyone who owns a PS4 owns a PS3, PS2, and PS1. However, we’re probably correct to assume that a lot of them do, and it’s not just because they grew up with it. In fact, plenty of first-time console owners who went with the PS4 later went on to buy a PS3 to play some of the exclusives available only on the PS3.

It’s great that the PS3 has tons of must-play exclusives. What’s not so great is that Sony could have done something about this.

They finally did do something about it for the PlayStation 5. This is because the PlayStation 5 will still be able to read and play PlayStation 4 discs. Not to mention, Sony threw in 18 free PS4 games for PlayStation Plus subscribers known as the “PlayStation Plus Collection“.

With titles like The Last of Us Remastered and God of War available free on PlayStation Plus for the PlayStation 5, owners will have a bevy of games to choose from.

Not Sold – More Expensive PS5 Games

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Of course, not everyone console owner is keen on playing older games, especially if they’ve already played them.

Those who plan on buying newer titles for the PlayStation 5 will find themselves met with a higher price tag.

After revealing the price of the PlayStation 5, Sony spoiled the fun by saying that upcoming titles will see a price hike. Demon’s Souls, for example, would’ve cost just $59.99 at launch. Instead, it will now sell for $10, which has, naturally, ruffled a lot of feathers.

The more expensive games, along with the $100 price hike  — the PlayStation 5 will launch at $399 and $499 respectively, compared to the $299 launch price of the PlayStation 4 — could make the PlayStation 5 too expensive for some gamers come launch.

Very Excited – PlayStation Plus

PS5

The PlayStation Plus Collection is a nice touch. So is likely going to be 2 free games on the PS5 a month. Although, it’s highly likely that subscribers will get a PS5-compatible PS4 title instead.

Either way, big things are probably coming to the PlayStation Plus for the PlayStation 5.

We’ve already had our first glimpse with Sony showcasing the User Experience on the PlayStation 5.

The video showed how developers can opt to make guides including screenshots and videos on how to complete in-game objectives for subscribers.

With Sony facing tighter competition this time around, we’re likely going to see more features that are just as good in the future.

Not Sold – DualSense

PS5

Great news, the PlayStation 5 will support DualShock 4 controllers. The bad news is that it’ll only work with PlayStation 4 games.

Naturally, this applies to third-party PS4 controllers, which isn’t an ideal scenario. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing we can do about it.

The DualSense is marketed as an improvement, but still. You have to remember, the DualShock design is basically part of the PlayStation DNA. The design has remained basically the same for 4 PlayStation generations for a reason.

But, maybe, just maybe, change is good? After all, the DualShock 4 wasn’t as positively received when it first released, and look at it now.

Besides, the DualSense really does seem like a genuine improvement. It’s got a USB-charging port, supposedly better battery life, a built-in microphone, and adaptive triggers.

Just whether or not this will translate into a better gaming experience is something that only time will tell.

For now, we’re not really just sold on it quite yet.

Conclusion

We definitely won’t blame you if you pre-ordered a PlayStation 5 right now or if you already did.

Unfortunately, at its price point, which is $399 and $499 for the Digital Edition and the Standard Edition, respectively, it’s out of reach for a lot of people.

Because of this, people who already have a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro at home might opt to skip it for the next year or two instead. However, if it’s your first time buying a PlayStation console, or you’re choosing between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, then we definitely recommend the latter.

The combination of backward compatibility, the promising list of launch titles, and the Playstation Plus Collection make the new console a lot of value for the money.

With that said, the PlayStation 5 is definitely a much better console than the PlayStation 4.

It’s more powerful and arguably better-looking. The initial jump in graphics and performance isn’t as big as in previous generations, but it’s not because of its hardware. Developers will need a bit of time to try and catch-up. They’ll have to tinker around first before they can bring out the full capabilities of the PlayStation 5.

What do you think of the PS5? Do you think Sony made enough improvements over the previous generation? What do you think Sony could have done better? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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