Unboxing the PS5

Note: I gave in to lust and ordered a PS5 off StockX, so yes, I am exactly what’s wrong with the aftermarket.

It’s a beautiful piece of engineering, with nice curves. It’s a little bigger than I was expecting, with a size and heft equivalent to the old battleaxe, the PS3. Setup was very easy; instead of pulling the mess of cables out from behind my TV, I was able to use the current HDMI and power cable from the PS4.

The only snag in the setup was to pair and charge the controller you need a USB C cable, which, of course, is not included, so I had to root around for 5 minutes to find one. Once I had it, pairing with the console took just a minute. 

Software setup was easy. I could have chosen to copy over games and settings from my PS4, but I wanted to get the fresh install experience. One tip make sure before you unhook your PS4, you same all games game data to the cloud to download onto the PS5. I forgot to do that and had to pop my PS4 on again to do that! 

My dongle-based accessories, a mouse and headset, paired easily, with no input from me necessary, and I was able to pair my Logitech Bluetooth keyboard in less than a minute.

The PS5 comes with a new controller, called the DualSense 5. It’s got the traditional D-pad on the left, the controller buttons on the right. Same L1/2/3 and R1/2/3s, as well as the touch bad in the center, there’s a PS button, and they’ve added a button to make the built-in mic hot. The light was removed from the front of the controller and is now a highlight strip wrapped around the touchpad. The buttons are arranged in the same places as the DualShock 4, so there was none of that re-learning the buttons like you had to do when you transitioned from the DS 3 to DS4.

It’s got a really good feel and balance, fits right in the handle like it was made for my hands. You don’t need to hold it hard to use it, you can hold it loosely and still be able to hit all the buttons. Battery life was great, I was able to play on and off for a couple of hours and still not take the battery from 3 bars to 2. It charged quickly, although I continue to recommend that you have two paired controllers, so you always have one that’s charged up.

The new UI is simple and very intuitive, the colors focus on a nice matte gold for transitions, and silver-grey for menus. One of the best changes so far is that the current and recent games are now moved into a switcher menu. The old settings menu is there, nicely slimmed down, and easier to move between options. The contextual menus for the various modes are shown along the bottom of the screen, easily scrolling through them with L1 or R2. All in all, a good start to a long relationship! 

Adding an additional user was very orderly and didn’t take more than 10 minutes. We were able to create a new user, create a PlayStation account, provision a PlayStation Plus subscription without having to leave the add user wizard. The only thing that took me out of that was adding my primary PlayStation account as her friend, and then confirming the friend request on my account. 

I was happy to see that Sony now allows all users to play games and use apps that are installed on any account of the PlayStation. Devyn was able to start Destiny 2, and create a new toon on her PlayStation ID. She only made it through the first mission before getting motion sick and giving it up…c’est la vie!

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