Get set for the PlayStation 5: Sony’s next-generation consoles (yes, two of them!) have arrived. The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition are in stores now and there’s a lot to be excited about, from exclusive new games to incredible graphics to ultra-fast loading speeds.
With two consoles to choose from, there’s also a lot to consider. Should you get the regular PS5 or the PS5 Digital Edition? Should you consider subscribing to PlayStation Plus? And of course, what games should you buy for your shiny new console?
To help make your decisions easier, we’ve broken down everything you need to know (including an unboxing video!), whether you’re buying a PS5 for yourself or as a special treat for a loved one.
Questions to ask when buying a PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition
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1What are the new features of the PS5 consoles?
- DualSense controller: Sony is putting just as much effort into revolutionizing the PS5 controller as it is the PS5 console. For over 20 years, the PlayStation controller was known as the “DualShock,” but it’s now being changed to “DualSense” for PS5. This name change reflects the new features designed to immerse you in the PlayStation gaming experience, including haptic feedback (think realistic controller rumble) and dynamic adaptive triggers that simulate real activities like the tension of drawing a bowstring or the feel of tires grinding across the pavement.
- 4K gaming and ray-tracing: The PS5 is delivers the most realistic graphics ever seen on a PlayStation console, including native 4K resolution and up to a whopping 8K for select games. You also get HDR (or high-dynamic range, a fancy term for vibrant and lifelike colours) and up to 120 frames per second for super-smooth gaming. Finally, the PS5 has ray-tracing capabilities, an advanced new process for creating true-to-life lighting, reflections and shadows.
- Backwards compatibility: The PS5 is able to run a back catalogue of over 4,000 PS4 and PlayStation VR games and many of them will even feature a “game boost” that upscales the graphics and increases the frame rates. That means even more immersive game worlds and smoother gameplay.
- Upgrade PS4 games to digital PS5 games: For select titles, you’ll be able to upgrade your PS4 disc and digital games to digital PS5 games. Unfortunately, it’s up to each individual game publisher to decide if and how to upgrade their games, so your best bet is to visit their websites for more information.
- Tempest 3D AudioTech: The PS5 introduces new 3D audio technology that will put you at the centre of 360-degree sound, as if it’s coming from every direction. To fully take advantage of the 3D audio, you’ll need a pair of surround-sound headphones or a home theatre system.
- Ultra-high speed solid-state drive (SSD): While the PlayStation 4 uses a slow, mechanical hard drive, the PS5 introduces a lightning-fast solid-state drive that virtually eliminates load times. Games are expected to load in mere seconds and levels in-game will also start extremely fast.
2What are the differences between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition?
There are several key distinctions between the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition to consider:
|Features||PS5||PS5 Digital Edition|
|Dimensions||39 cm x 10.4 cm x 26 cm||39 cm x 9.2 cm x 26 cm|
|Weight||9.9 pounds (4.5 kilograms)||8.6 pounds (3.9 kilograms)|
|Disc vs. Digital||4K Ultra Blu-ray disc drive for games and movies, plus a solid-state hard drive to download digital content||Digital-only console and cannot play retail disc games or Blu-ray movies|
|Bottom Line||For gaming enthusiasts that prefer buying disc games or movies||For gamers that prefer digitally downloading their content or those looking for an affordable entry point into PS5 gaming|
No matter which PS5 edition you or your family winds up buying, you’ll have the same library of games to choose from. Sony typically supports its new consoles for up to 10 years (or longer) so your PS5 is a purchase your family can enjoy for a long time to come.
3When is the PS5’s release date?
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4What comes inside the PS5 box?
Check out our full unboxing video of the PS5, including the console, the DualSense wireless controller, the cables and the accessories (sold separately):
5What is PlayStation Plus and do I need it?
PlayStation Plus (a.k.a. PS+) is a paid service that gives you access to many benefits. The biggest is the ability to play games online with friends and family through the PlayStation Network (PSN). You also get a select group of free monthly games with PS+, 100 gigabytes of online storage to save your games and frequent PlayStation Store discounts.
To sweeten the pot for PS5 users, Sony has announced the PlayStation Plus Collection. Anyone who buys a PS5 and subscribes to PS+ will be able to download a curated library of the best PS4 games (that will run on PS5) at no additional cost. At launch, PlayStation Plus Collection includes the following 18 games:
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battlefield 1
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV
- God of War
- Infamous Second Son
- Monster Hunter World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Ratchet and Clank
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Until Dawn
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6What are the best PS5 games?
Thousands of games are playable across two generations of PlayStation consoles: the PS4 and PS5. That means you can choose from PS4 hits like Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2 or new PS5 games including Demon’s Souls and Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
There are also many cross-gen games (meaning ones releasing on PS4 that will get enhanced PS5 versions) available such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and NBA 2K21. The choice of games to get for your PS5 will come down to your family’s personal preferences, but to help you pick, we’ve compiled a list of the best PS5 games coming this year and beyond.
More PlayStation 5 Essentials
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