The new Dual Sense controller on the PlayStation 5 is a game changer when it comes to your virtual experience.

The PlayStation 5 console and controller
Atom Review Monday, March 01, 2021 - 15:44

This might be the closest I get to New York City, one of my favourite cities in the world, in 2021. I’m ‘parkouring’ with ease, jumping skyscrapers and drowning in the unmistakable sounds of the city. Of course, this is a virtual experience but one that feels eerily immersive thanks to the new Dual Sense controller bundled with Sony’s new PlayStation 5. If there’s one reason I’d recommend waiting in that never-ending line for this console, it’s this brilliant new controller. But there’s more than one reason you should snag this, especially if you’re a gaming junkie. 

First, let’s get the design out of the way. That’s actually the tough part. In terms of consoles, this one’s humongous; at 4.5 kg, it’s no lightweight. Ever since the last PlayStation console debuted last decade, our TVs have become slimmer and learnt to blend in more effectively into our shrinking urban living spaces. This is the type of gadget that’s tough to ignore in a living room and it’s not just the large footprint. The design is clearly love or loathe. It’s a contrast from the more industrial-style design that we liked about the new Xbox, while checking it out for The News Minute. I have to say that I’m in the ‘Love’ camp; although it’s quite tall in its vertical form, it can fit into TV cabinets or shelves when you switch it to horizontal mode. The PS5 has a more futuristic vibe, almost something that you might find in a Star Wars set.

At a time when we swap smartphones almost every year or two years (that puts you in the conservative bracket in next-gen India), without significant improvements it’s refreshing to upgrade to a next-gen console. Both Microsoft’s flagship Xbox X and the PS5 have completely reimagined the hardware. You get an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5GHz, and an AMD RDDA 2 GPU clocked at 2.23GHz – this GPU delivers 10.28 teraflops of power. The SSD Storage ensures insanely fast game speeds. I tested this 3-4 times with the new Spiderman Miles Morales that loaded in just 15 seconds flat every single time. This stellar hardware combines with incredible graphics; I hooked up the PS5 with an eight-year-old Samsung LED TV and it was still incredibly immersive. If there’s one major gripe it’s the storage space – 825GB with a little over 667GB of usable storage.

 

I found a choice of visual quality settings on the test game – Spiderman Miles Morales. There’s the Fidelity Mode that I preferred for this game that restricts the frame rate to 30 frames per second but activates ray-tracing that lends a great shine to virtual New York. You might choose Performance Mode with a 60K frame rate and smoother animation for a different game. The User Interface has also been given a facelift, although for a generation that spends hours every day with iOS or Android, it’s still not as intuitive. 

This year the Xbox and PS5 launched within a couple of days of each other. While both have their loyal legion of fans, there are a couple of things that we enjoyed – like the Quick Resume or the selection of titles with Microsoft’s Netflix-style Game Pass, on the Xbox that are missing here. But I think the Dual Sense controller on the PS5 has my vote in the clash of the controllers. The adaptive triggers and the haptic feedback give it an edge. Both these features open up options for developers and I can’t wait to see them unleash this in future titles. 

So, should you get the PS5? Right now the tougher part is how do you get a PS5, supply shortages fuelled a Twitter troll storm in India. While we tried the standard edition, we’d recommend the Digital edition (that’s Rs 10,000 cheaper and without the disc drive) that might involve an even longer wait time. The heavy duty hardware, improved user interface, terrific new controller and immersive gameplay make the Sony PlayStation 5 a solid investment. And if you’re already sold on it and waiting for your turn, ‘May the Force be with You’.

The Sony PlayStation 5 costs Rs 49,990 while the PS5 Digital Edition costs Rs 39,990.

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