Recently, Sony announced a release date and at least tried to efficiently handle pre-orders for the upcoming PlayStation 5. On November 12th, the era of the PlayStation 4 will come to an end, and the fifth variation of the console franchise’s dynasty will be born.
Ultimately, was the PS4 a success or a flop? And what should the PS5 do to build on its successes? Let’s evaluate the pros and cons below, starting with the pros of the PS4:
1. The exclusives gave this console plenty of character
In all, the PS4 experienced a whopping eighty titles that were entirely exclusive to itself. If you wanted to get your hands on a playable copy of hit titles such as “God of War”, “The Last of Us”, “Marvel’s Spider-Man” or the award winning “Bloodborne”, you’d have to also own a PS4 in order to do so. Plenty of these games were smash hits. Considering the XBox’s exclusive games are collectively much less impressive, the PS4 definitely obtained the upper hand in this regard since it released in 2013.
2. In all, it was a major improvement upon an already amazing console
If the PS5 ends up being leaps and bounds better than the PS4, similarly to how the PS4 built off the foundation of the PS3, then the future console will end up being something impeccably special. The PS4 console was in better physical condition than the PS3, overheating far less frequently, being able to hold more data within its drive and, of course, being able to boast far superior graphics to its predecessor.
Thus, there is merit behind being extremely excited for the PS5.
3. It had great longevity
Having a look at another gaming titan in Nintendo; those who invested in Wii Us were likely quite upset when the Wii U was mostly neglected and lasted merely five years, the last of which were essentially limping in wait for the vastly superior Nintendo Switch. The PS4 hit the ground running in 2013, and when its time is up on Nov. 12, it will have lasted nearly eight whole years. If the PS5 can replicate or even exceed that, it will be well worth the predictably steep price tag it’s going for on pre-orders.
While any individual game is hard-pressed to be perfect, it stands to reason that the standards for a console being perfect would be grotesque. Unfortunately, while the PS4 was amazing, it did suffer from a couple of fixable issues. Let’s analyze them below:
1. Issues with security
In 2017, a group of people claiming to represent Our Mine Security hacked PlayStation’s social media and caused the servers to the PS4 console to get promptly shutdown. Player data was leaked and potentially compromised, posing a serious threat to those who stored their payment information on their Sony accounts.
While it didn’t end up being quite as serious as the PS3’s security breakdown of 2011, this was still the second generation in a row where Sony became vulnerable to third-party hackers, exposing their consumer base. In contrast, XBox has not experienced anywhere near these level of issues. This will be something to keep an eye out for during the PS5 era.
2. A lack of backwards compatibility took away a promising option from the PS4
The PS4 majorly lacked backwards compatibility. Though, this is something that the PS5 has already promised to address to some extent. Backwards compatibility grants gamers more options and makes the console itself more appealing. While it is true that nobody is buying these consoles to play old-gen games, nostalgia is definitely a thing and having more games you can play on launch day is never a bad thing.
PS5: What It Should Do
What can the PS5 do to one-up its predecessor? Can it live up to the hype? What are some red flags or grey-areas that the console currently shows, or could at some point encounter?
Unfortunately, Sony, as stated above, has had large issues with trotting out the PS5 for pre-ordering. The company has issued a statement on this link, so the following suggestions and speculations about the PS5 will omit mentioning the pre-order process completely.
1. The PS5 should focus more on entirely original content, with only the occasional remaster/remake
The end of the PS4 era rose quite a few remakes/remasters onto the market. The very first “Dark Souls” game received a remaster. Notably, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III” and 4 were ripe full of remade maps. Flashing forward, “Demon’s Souls Remastered” will be released on the PS5 on the day the console launches. Additionally, we may yet be seeing the iconic PS4 masterpiece Bloodborne receive a remastering for the PS5. While the Demon’s Souls game looks very impressive and the aforementioned PS4 goodies were certainly good in their own right, the PS5 is going to otherwise want to keep the old content down low for a little while and splash the market with more original, new content first. Simply put, there is a reason Sony fans should be expected to shell out $500 or more for a whole new console, and that isn’t all the flashy new components the PS5 will offer for their old PS4 games. Let’s see the new and improved mechanism come to life on games that were specifically designed to take full advantage of it.
2. Sony should continue to advance PlayStation Now
PlayStation Now was a feature introduced during the PS4 era. Essentially, for $59.99 annually, the player will have a massive library full of select PlayStation titles that they can freely download and play so long as their subscription to PS Now remains active. This feature is convenient and can allow the player to have massive libraries full of games accessible at the click of a button. While this would further push GameStop into oblivion, it would make gaming in general more mainstream. It also would help Sony’s bottom line quite a lot, enabling them to harvest money out of old games more than they would have otherwise, while being able to hook many people onto another lucrative yearly subscription. Finally, doing this would help indie developers greatly. Clearly, the main attraction to PS Now is going to stem from within the more ‘hit’ games that lure players to it, but smaller developers can also have their games appear on the service. PS Now is mutually beneficial for both gamer and Sony alike, and should be pushed even further on the PS5.
All in all, the PlayStation 5 is rightfully a cause for major hype as its release date looms. The PS4 was a wonderful console whose impact on gaming history will never be forgotten. Hopefully, the PS5 is able to competently carry the torch on Nov. 12.