Amidst all the hype and excitement, there have been a few blotches.
The PS5 is now officially out globally, and though supply constraints and stock shortages around the world mean that there are many who haven’t been able to get their hands on the console, there are quite a few who’ve been lucky enough to get orders or pre-orders in. And while the PS5 has gotten off to a great start with its impressive hardware, next-gen features, and a solid launch lineup, like all new console launches, it has had some issues to contend with as well. In this feature, we’re going to be talking about a few such issues, from big to small, that we’re hoping will eventually be addressed by Sony in the coming weeks and months.
The PS5 has a few rather basic features and functionalities missing at launch, and though logic would dictate that it’s only a matter of time before they’re added in, during the console’s launch period, these issues have been problematic for some. More specifically, the PS5 is fairly limited in how it lets you backup your save data- in that right now, you can only do it via cloud storage, which, in turn, you can only do if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Unlike the PS4, there’s no option to backup save data to external USB drives right now, which seems like a rather glaring omission.
For the more casual crowd that plays only a handful of games per year, this might not end up making much of a difference, but scores of enthusiasts have pointed out that the PS5 is faced with some pretty serious storage constraints. Of course, it’s far, far better than, say, the Xbox Series S’ 364 GB of internal storage, but the PS5’s 664 GB of usable internal storage is still a pretty small pool- especially given how 9th gen games seem to be intent on releasing with ridiculous file sizes. What makes things even worse is that external SSD expansions aren’t supported right now. Sony does, of course, plan on bringing support for that soon enough, so hopefully it won’t be too long before that happens.
NO 1440P SUPPORT
This one is a bit of a bummer, especially for what I imagine is a pretty sizable crowd of players who play games on 1440p monitors. The PS5 at launch only supports 1080p and 4K output- there’s no middle ground support for 1440p. Sony has said that that is something they could consider adding in if there’s enough demand for it down the road, so let’s hope that Sony deems the demand right now to be enough- because this seems like a pretty basic feature that a new console releasing in 2020 should obviously have, especially one as technically impressive as the PS5.
HOW BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY FUNCTIONS
It’s great that the PS5 has backward compatibility for PS4 games, and that it even boost certain games with enhancements in various ways- but the way the console handles backward compatibility is also a bit limiting, as it turns out. There have been a few high profile cases of developers who’ve been able to apply enhancements to their games’ Xbox versions, but haven’t been able to do the same with their PlayStation counterparts, simply because having to do so would require them to natively port the entire game to the PS5 rather than simply applying a patch to the PS4 version. The like of Rocket League, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Star Wars: Squadrons have all suffered as a result on PS5, and though all three of these games support 120 FPS on Xbox Series X and Series S, they do not on the PS5.
LACK OF SMART DELIVERY-STYLE SYSTEM-WIDE FEATURE
The PS5 does, of course, support cross-gen free upgrades, same as the new Xbox consoles- depending on whether or not publishers are offering that, of course. What we’re talking about here is a system-wide feature specifically tailor-made for that purpose. On the Xbox Series X/S, Smart Delivery is an excellent system-level feature that makes it so that all you have to do to access the best version of a game is just… boot up that game. On the PS5, the lack of a similar system-wide feature can lead to some confusion. In fact, it already has. We’ve seen recent reports of various players accidentally playing the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on the PS5, since the PS5 version has to be manually selected in certain cases, and the game otherwise defaults to the inferior version. A feature like Smart Delivery that takes care of that stuff on a system level would have avoided any such silliness.
Mileage may vary on this front in particular, but honestly, the PS5’s size is something we’ve been hearing complaints about since the moment Sony first revealed it. Those complaints have gotten louder in the lead-up to the PS5’s launch, and following the console’s release, they’ve become nearly deafening. And you know what? They’re not without merit. The PS5 is a massive console, regardless of whether you’re placing it vertically or horizontally, to the extent that many might even struggle to find a place for it in their entertainment units. Now, the aesthetics of a console are generally pretty superficial, both as pros and as cons, but in the case of the PS5, they do seem to be a bit more problematic than you’d expect.
Something else that the console makes a little more complicated than it needs to is its base. If you place it horizontally, it’s actually rather simple- it just functions as a clip-on. But placed vertically, it involves having to screw it on, removing its cap, securing that cap in the base itself- and sure, it’s not exactly rocket science. Really, one look at the manual or an instructional video should be enough to tell you everything you need to know about the process. But it’s still a bit more complicated than it needed to be. Not the end of the world by any means, though, so it’s more minor issue than some of the others we’ve talked about here.
The PS5 is a very silent console- surprisingly so. And coming off the back of the rocket-propelled engines that were known as the PS4 and PS4 Pro, that silence is much, much appreciated. It’s not completely silent though. For instance, the disc drive occasionally makes noise, as disc drives always do. More notably, some users have been reporting hearing humming noises from the console, which are most likely coil whine. This, too, isn’t particularly loud, and should be more or less completely ignorable if they do even happen in your console- but it’s an issue that some have reported, so hopefully Sony is already thinking of solutions for the same.
REST MODE ERROR
Of all the issues that we’ve spoke about in this feature, this one is probably the most dire. It’s not too widespread, thankfully, but enough users have reported it that it’s something of a concern. Essentially, putting your console in Rest Mode can trigger a major issue that crashed your console’s entire database, basically bricking it, at which point no one but Sony can help you with next steps. There’s no specific reason that we’ve been able to decipher for why this happens or when it happens- but given the fact that this is such a major issue, we’re willing to bet that Sony are already at work on a firmware update that fixes it. We hope they are, at any rate.
The PS5 does support PSVR, which is a great thing, because there’s a lot of potential in PSVR and we’re hoping to see Sony continue to make investments on that front. But much like backward compatibility, VR support on PS5 seems to be limited. Basically, no native PS5 game supports VR, and PSVR can only be played on the PS5 through backward compatibility. So if you want to play No Man’s Sky or Hitman 3 in VR, you’re going to be paying the PS4 versions of the game, which is a real shame. We’re hoping Sony is saving native PS5 support for a new generation PSVR headset, but it’s hard to be sure about that just yet.
This one is a bit of a bummer. Being able to download multiple things at the same time was a rather nifty feature in PS4- but it’s also a pretty basic thing, and it feels weird to be praising something so fundamental. We’re praising it, of course, because the Xbox One lacks that feature, and so, too, do the Xbox Series X and Series S. Unfortunately, the PS5 has joined that list as well. You can only download one game at a time now, and everything else joins a queue. Simultaneous downloads have become a thing of the past, which seems like an odd regression for this otherwise extremely impressive next-gen console.