It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Ever since PlayStation 5 lead architect Mark Cerny held his “The Road to PS5” virtual developer talk in March, I’ve been waiting to tear open that bulky box on launch day, primally scream to my video game gods, and, well, game with the sort of half-drunk, everything-is-GREAT glee that’s only befitting of console launches and wedding receptions.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, my PS5 arrived on time via UPS just around 6:30 p.m. PT on launch day Nov. 12 and I … decided to finish watching a Twitch stream before I even bothered to open it. That’s how far down my hype for this new console generation has plummeted.
Blame it on the pandemic and the drawn-out periods of radio silence from Sony occasionally punctuated by heavily produced video presentations that said little about the ins and outs of the new system and instead relied on trailers with just a smattering of actual in-engine gameplay. I didn’t care for most of the games Sony showed — the ones we’d be able to play immediately at launch. Others, like Pragmata, were just too high concept and told us nothing about what to expect. A pretty pretty version of Demon’s Souls? OK, but I’ve already played that… and Dark Souls 1, 2, and 3, AND Bloodborne. This is not a swipe at the wizards working at Bluepoint Games, the Sony studio responsible for the Demon’s Souls remake; they have my respect. It’s very nice to look at, plays smoothly, and loads quickly.
But is this next-gen?
Meh. It’s just a demo for the solid state drive.
I’m aware that it usually takes a good three to four months post-launch to see titles that truly take advantage of the hardware. So all of that could be forgiven. It just doesn’t take away from my severe contempt for the PS5.
Hear me out:
The Abominable Snowman
I always nickname my new devices — it’s how I bond. My PC goes by the name of Brodie (a nod to one of my fave films, Mallrats), my PS4 Pro is called Titania, and my orange Pixel 4XL is known as Kumquat. And so it goes that I would bestow a name upon the hulking, unwelcome behemoth that is the white eyesore eating up space on my media console that is the PS5. She got saddled with the derisive moniker, Yeti, for obvious reasons.
I toyed with variations of Shiro Oni (“white devil” in Japanese) but I really wanted to hammer home how outsized and unnecessary the PS5’s design is in my living room. I don’t want it there. I don’t want to see it. I can’t NOT see it. It demands you see it. Imagine if this thing actually made helicopter-fan cooling noise like the PS4/PS4 Pro?!
I want to banish it or at least hide it from sight, but I have nowhere to put it. Ugh, Sony. Ugh.
Microsoft wins this round. That Xbox Series X looks slick and it blends. If only MS would hurry up and put some in-house games on it.
PS5 means 4K gaming.
I don’t own a 4K TV set and I don’t intend to rush out and buy one anytime soon. My 1080p Samsung set is still fine; it still works. I can’t just chuck it and upgrade — it feels irresponsible to do that, especially in this precarious economic climate. Besides, I’m not a TV-in-the-bedroom person either, so I don’t even know what I’d do with it if I did upgrade to an HDR-, HDMI 2.1-, VRR-compatible 4K or greater set. (Oh yes, that’s what you need for true next-gen.)
Also, I kinda don’t care about pretty pretty visuals — they’re pretty enough as is. Give me a hi-res screen in VR where it matters — something like the HP Reverb G2. In the flat, 2D world, I top out at 1440p in the appreciable graphics differences department, and PS5 can’t do that right now (because it’s not a heavily requested feature, according to Sony Japan execs)!
So I’m left with 1080p60 performance, which is neat. I dig it. I’m a fan of fluidity in gaming. But did I really have to spend $500+ for it? I should’ve been content with my perfectly serviceable PS4 Pro for a little while longer, considering it can play most of these new, cross-gen games. Alas, she’s now packed away in the boxed console graveyard that is the back of my bedroom closet.
A PSVR 2 box in tower fan clothing
Right now, the PS5 is nothing more than a prettier, pain-free way to enjoy previous generation gaming. Its much lauded SSD gets you in and out of menus, games, and apps speedily. It’s a nice-to-have, for sure. But does it put a smile on my face? Is it a “fun” feature? Gawd, no. You’ll hardly think about it after a few minutes because it’s doing what it’s meant to do: Make you forget about loading times!
As SIE Worldwide Studios External Development creative director Gavin Moore recently said to Digital Foundry, the PS5’s SSD has removed the “difficulty” from the Demon’s Souls remake via its snappy post-death loading. It is now a frustration-free gaming experience. And that really is the entire ethos of PS5: frictionless gaming.
Again, neat. I’ll take it. But is this really all there is to next-gen? Wow, I guess?
Okay, now for my biggest gripe: the DualSense controller.
How, Sony… how did you take the comfort of the DualShock 4 which I have happily lived with for seven years and replace it with a controller that physically hurts my hand?!
This may come as a surprise to many of you, but the bottom grips of the DualSense are flat-edged right about where your pinky fingers would rest. Those grips also have a bit of white plastic jutting out ever so slightly from the reverse-Oreo color scheme, similar to the console’s jutting, white removable faceplates. I had to stop playing Astro’s Playroom after 15 minutes because I had a visible indentation on my sore right pinky finger.
Do I have to put up with this for seven years?! I don’t think so, Sony. An “elite” DualSense redesign for comfort might be more than necessary. No matter how I fiddled with gripping the controller, I just couldn’t get it to not hurt.
This is next-gen? Yikes.
About those haptics: It’s a nice-to-have feature for sure. But honestly, I found it more annoying than immersive. It kept jolting my attention away from my Astro’s Playroom and Demon’s Souls gameplay, and to the controller. Maybe that’ll reduce in time as I get used to its implementation in various games, but I don’t like the sense of my controller fighting back against me. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game on a flat 2D screen and thought, “Man, I wish I could feel the wind making it harder for me to progress forward, or feel the resistive force from pulling a lever.”
That’s just not a great fit for a gaming world you can’t virtually be present in the way you can in VR.
The same goes for 3D audio via the PS5’s Tempest Engine. Did it help that I could hear the gurgled growls of undead baddies in those dark and claustrophobic castle hallways of Demon’s Souls coming from behind me? Without a doubt. In fact, it almost felt like cheating. But, again, the immersion falls apart because you can’t turn your physical head to look in the direction of the sound; instead you just fiddle with the analog stick and your player character moves in accordance.
Yes, I know this is how gaming’s worked for decades. I don’t have a problem with it — it’s clearly why I’m such a gaming nerd. But but but, you can’t stack my new PlayStation console with immersive technologies and then leave ME — the last crucial bit needed for presence — out of the gameplay.
I blame Boneworks. For those of you with PCVR rigs, you know what I’m talking about. If I hadn’t just spent 17 blissful, nerve-wracked, delirious hours in that Inception-y, shoot-y, melee-y, physics-driven simulation game packed with compelling lore and combat, then maybe I wouldn’t have minded the PS5’s currently half-hearted immersion. But I now know what it means to hear baddies coming from all directions while you grip a glock and navigate a dark sewer tunnel littered with jump scares of wireframe AI zombies and mechanical head crabs. 3D audio is clutch in gaming environments like this: You’re there and you’re terrified, and you respond as you would in real life. And the same is true for haptics here, although no VR controller currently sports the advanced feedback Sony’s offering with the DualSense … yet.
All of which is to say, the PS5, to me, is just a PSVR 2 box in waiting.
Yes, I’ve read Sony SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan’s terribly confusing remarks about the state of VR within Sony — spoiler alert: He says it’s a few years out — and the ensuing panic it caused across the industry and community. But I know Sony. I know PSVR 2 is coming soon and that it’s a major focus for the company, although it may be called PSXR by the time it launches. I know Sony’s just waiting until it can guarantee a cost-effective wireless, hi-res, high refresh rate, eye-tracked (maybe?) hardware experience with new, VR-appropriate controllers.
I’m just mad at myself for not waiting out that wait.
So is this next-gen? Not yet. Not for me.
In the meantime, I might sell my PS5. Gasp. I know. But I’d much prefer to use those reclaimed funds to purchase recently released powerhouse graphics cards like the RTX 3090 or potentially a 6900 XT to really propel my PC MasterRace gaming experience — both flat 2D and virtual — into the next generation.
That’s if I can find them before the bots do.
ที่มา : Mashable