The state of the Sony PS5: is it worth getting a PlayStation 5 right now?
Is the PlayStation 5 currently worth it? Coming from a strong PlayStation Showcase where they showed off some huge upcoming Triple-A titles like God of War Ragnarok, the Knights of the Old Republic remake, and Marvel’s Wolverine, it’s getting more and more tempting to grab a PlayStation 5. But let’s look at the console’s current state before making a decision.
Sony’s absence at E3 this year felt even more palpable than its absence in 2019, even factoring in the effects of the global pandemic – here at the cusp of a burgeoning next-gen race between the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, as more and more people (finally) get their hands on either console, we get to see the beginnings of payoff from each platform’s efforts:
Microsoft’s long-term play of buying studios to support its catalog of exclusives is yet to bear enough fruit to rival Sony’s stable – acquiring Bethesda and them producing Starfield is a start, and the ripple effect of seeing the next Elder Scrolls absent from Playstation will surely make big waves, but as of today those are still only promises for the future. Their current efforts with Xbox Game Pass seems like a much more enticing offer, especially when there’s just so many games being offered for just $14.99 a month. (Though, an Xbox will be much harder to sell to Windows PC users who already have access to the Xbox exclusives anyway.) However, die-hard fans of exclusive franchises like Halo and Fable have every right to not be dissuaded from the Xbox.
Right now, there’s just a confidence and assurance that Sony exudes with each outing – Horizon Forbidden West’s showing at the May 28 State of Play shows it off it as a game that surpasses its already stellar predecessor in almost every way, and the God of War sequel, despite the delay, is set to move units based on the first game’s pedigree alone. And that’s not even factoring in third-party console exclusives like Forspoken, and Project Eve.
For gamers that skipped out the PlayStation 4 generation, there’s such a vast last-gen library you can already play on PS5 from the get-go – definitely the most worth it subset of players with the most to gain pay0ff wise. Some of these games, like Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding, have come out with Director’s Cut versions that bring the games into the current-gen, taking advantage of the DualShock 5’s haptics and the PlayStation 5’s stronger hardware.
However, one cannot discount the effect of all the delays that have affected Sony’s stable of exclusives – both Horizon Zero: Dawn and God of War: Ragnarok aren’t even coming out this year, so if you’re looking to play those two big-hitters, you’ll have quite a long wait ahead of you.
There’s also, of course, the problem with actually acquiring a PlayStation 5. It’s been nearly a year since the PS5’s November 2020 launch – we’re only a couple of months away from the console celebrating its first anniversary, and it’s still a challenge to even get your hands on a console without having to resort to paying exorbitant prices from scalpers. Several retailers in other regions don’t even offer the console as a standalone and are only selling it in more expensive bundles that might include games you’re not even interested in.
Is it worth getting a PlayStation 5?
Despite all the factors listed above, however, the real deciding factor is how much you’re sold on the exclusive games. It’s the games that make or break a console anyway, and if you’re into what Sony’s offering it should be an easy enough decision – especially for people who skipped out last-gen because they won’t even have to wait for the new games to come out to have some truly great experiences.
Sony ran away with the previous generation so handily, and Nintendo seems happy to remove itself from the competition by creating and thriving in a niche that’s all its own, with some truly genre-defining games and experiences with that unmistakable Nintendo magic that still hasn’t been replicated by similar titles.
Xbox, meanwhile, seems to be trying a two-pronged approach to catch up, snapping up some high-profile studios while doubling down on their existing exclusives. Right now, comparing the two, Sony is currently still ahead of Microsoft – but thankfully, it’s a lead that’s shrinking. Better competition will encourage the best to come out of developers and publishers on both sides, pushing each other to create even better experiences for all of us, and not allowing either side to rest on their laurels.
It finally feels like there’s some real competition in the console space again, and I, for one, am excited to see what innovations and bold moves a renewed rivalry will bring.