A reader discusses his thoughts on finally getting a hold of a PS5 and why he wishes he’d bought an Xbox Series X instead.
By now everyone knows how difficult it is to get a PlayStation 5. It’s been out of stock since it was first released, over a year ago now, and when it does appear for sale it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.
Unless you want to pay £200+ extra on eBay. Since it was getting near Christmas – when I knew they’d become even harder to get – and I still hadn’t got one that’s what I decided to do. And I really wish I hadn’t.
My history with consoles has been PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and then PlayStation 4, which I think is pretty typical for most people.
Lots of gamers pretend to be loyal when a generation is going on (no one likes to admit they backed the wrong horse) but I think when it comes to a new generation people are pretty sensible and pragmatic, and will happily switch allegiances to get the console with the best prospects.
For the last year – or let’s say the last 10 months or so – that’s pretty obviously been the PlayStation 5. The Xbox Series X was like a ghost when it launched, with no first party games (not a single one!), no exclusives, and the same style of marketing that was, as usual, aimed solely at America and acts as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist.
It was very off-putting and last year there was no question in my mind that the PlayStation 5 was the one to get.
Of course I couldn’t get it, but that only made it feel more desirable, especially when the well-reviewed games started coming out in the new year, like Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
I tried a number of times to buy it again around that time, with no luck, and then during the summer my focus was elsewhere and the craving stopped.
It started again though when the big Christmas games came out, even though they all turned out to be duds (that’s another story but really Rockstar, what a disaster).
But now I’ve got a PlayStation 5 and while I don’t especially resent the extra money (you’re paying for a service and that service is getting a new console sometime this decade) I really haven’t been impressed by the machine or its games.
The console itself is the ugliest lump of plastic I’ve ever seen. Stupidly big and so unsteady on its little perch, when you lay it down horizontally, that I thought mine was defective until I looked online and found that was just how they are.
The plan is to get more games at Christmas, but I have not been impressed at all by Ratchet & Clank. The gameplay and level design is very ordinary and while the graphics are good you quickly get used to them and they stop feeling special.
The worst thing though is that the portals are barely in the game and not used for anything clever that I’ve seen yet.
There’s that one boss where you go to another location to continue the fight but why aren’t you jump back in and out constantly? Wasn’t that the whole point?
And then I’ve realised that all the ‘good’ exclusives for the console came out in its first six months and there’s nothing more out this year.
Plus, the only one with a release date is Horizon Forbidden West in February (don’t care about Gran Turismo).
Beyond that, there’s God Of War at some point and that’s all we know about.
Obvious there’ll be more at some point but given how much Sony usually likes announcing games ahead of time it’s pretty noticeable they’re not right now.
This coincides with Microsoft finally getting into gear with the Xbox Series X and while I’m not interested in Forza Horizon 5 you do get ‘free’ access to it via Game Press.
So I’m much more likely to give it a go that way than I ever would to pay £70 for Gran Turismo. Especially as Horizon is an arcade racer, not a boring simulator.
Halo Infinite looks like it’s going to review well, and be the better out of Call Of Duty and Battlefield, while Microsoft also seems to have bought up half the games industry over the last few year, with a lot of that due to start bearing fruit starting from next year.
To be honest, I’m just wishing I had got an Xbox Series X from the start.
Game Pass is just too good value and it looks like Microsoft is very quickly going to have first party exclusive to rival Sony.
Yes, they’re ‘cheating’ by just buying everyone up without establishing anything of their own but you know, so what? I’m not a charity, here to support Sony. I just want to go where the games are best.
I did think that was Sony, and it was last year, but I should’ve realised that things have changed and it’s Xbox which is now in the driving seat.
Hopefully Sony can come back at full power next year but a lot has changed in the last 12 months and that includes Xbox now having the most desirable console. I only wish I’d realised that a little bit earlier