We probably all know that Sony recently released the new PlayStation: PlayStation 5. People stood in line all day long, and multiple sites crashed when it launched. But is the new PlayStation really that good? And where did the PlayStation actually even come from?
A little history
In 1994, Sony Computer Entertainment released the first PlayStation. A video game console of a new generation of 32-bit consoles, that launched Sony’s entrée into the world of video games. It was the first console that used CD’s instead of cartridges, changing the video game industry.
In collaboration with Nintendo, Sony first released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System-CD, but this had no success. After the fail, Sony marketed their own console: the PlayStation 1. It was released in Japan, in December 1994, and aired in America in September 1995, being immensely successful. “Titles such as Twisted Metal and Ridge Racer were very popular. By 2005 the PlayStation had become the first console ever to ship 100 million units. PlayStation’s premier games included fan favourites such as Final Fantasy 7, Crash Bandicoot, and Tekken, all of which spawned numerous sequels.” – (Ray, n.d.)
PlayStation 5 release
The PlayStation 5 released on November 12 2020 in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. The rest of the world was able to purchase the PlayStation 5 from November 19.
Since the release of the new PlayStation, Sony has struggled with supplying the console all over the world. They have a lot of trouble keeping up with the popular demand, but there are also a lot of scalpers who buy the new gaming console in bulk, and sell it for a price up to double the original market price.
“A couple of weeks after the PlayStation 5’s mid-November release, Sony announced the new hardware counted as its “biggest console launch ever.” It didn’t take too long for folks to start connecting the dots. Since PlayStation 4 had become the biggest console launch in history, PS5’s eclipsing said success must mean it now takes that particular crown. Unfortunately, news from the hardware manufacturer about PS5’s early successes lacked concrete details concerning specific sales numbers.” – (Reeves, 2020)
PlayStation 4 vs. PlayStation 5
But is the new PlayStation really that special? Can’t you just stick to your ‘old’ PlayStation 4? Regardless of the fact that the operating system eventually won’t be able to update anymore, and you won’t be able to download new games because of that, here are a few big changes that put some things into perspective:
The graphics of the PlayStation 5 are way better than the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 4. Both PlayStations are based on AMD Radeon chips, which is a utility software package for Advanced Micro Devices graphics cards. Although they both have AMD Radeon chips, the chips of the PlayStation 5 have a lot more to show for. However, the real difference lies within the very important TFLOP’s.
“’Teraflops’ is a hot term for console developers, and for good reason. Although TFLOPS aren’t holistically indicative of performance, it’s a solid number to refer to when making comparisons. The PS4, with its 18 CUs running at 800MHz, clocks in at 1.84 TFLOPS, meaning it can handle 1.84 trillion floating-point operations per second. By contrast, the PS5’s GPU is rated for 10.3 TFLOPs.
Referring to that single number, the PS5’s GPU is roughly eight times more powerful than the PS4 and two and a half times more powerful than the PS4 Pro.” – (Roach & Yaden, 2020)
Sound and loading time
The new PlayStation 5 comes with a 3D-audio feature, supported by Sony’s Tempest Engine. By making use of the Tempest Engine, every small sound in the game will be stimulated and enhanced. This gives the user the feeling that they are experiencing being in the game, rather than playing it.
To load a new world screen in a game, a PlayStation 4 needs up to eight seconds. The new PlayStation 5 can do the same in 0.8 seconds.
Of course, with all those improvements, there is also a change in price. At its launch, the PlayStation 4 costed €400,-. The PlayStation 5 will cost you €499,99; a little higher up the ladder. However, the digital version of the PlayStation 5 will ‘only’ cost you €399,99.
In conclusion, the PlayStation 5 really is better than the PlayStation 4. Sony isn’t just hyping up their console by saying so, there are a lot of technical specs to prove it. Whether the price is right for the console is up to you, that depends on whether you think it’s worth it. I think it is: see it as a small investment which gives you hours and hours of joy.