PlayStation 5 officially launched worldwide in November last year and six months later, the console has become more available. Sony has also upgraded the firmware and the software for a smoother performance on the machine.
Let’s look back at the different hurdles the console has overcome and milestones it has achieved so far.
Coronavirus and Scalpers
Initially, when the console came out it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was a hot mess. Sony was faced with trouble on multiple fronts. The biggest was the global pandemic that made the shipping of the consoles world wide a huge obstacle. Delivering the consoles to the customers within US itself proved to be a difficult task.
The next obstacle was the issue of scalpers purchasing all of the available consoles using bots. These bots would automatically purchase the limited amount of consoles that were available on websites like Amazon and Target. This way, the consumers did not have any means of obtaining the PlayStation 5 except buying from scalpers at highly inflated prices.
Here in Maldives, retailers were selling the gaming console for MVR 25000 (roughly $1600) more than twice the actual price of the console. Since then, the price has gone down to MVR 15000 ($972).
According to the local retailers the price is high because of the unavailability of dollars due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bugs, Bricks and Drifts
It is not unusual for newly released consoles to have some amount of bugs but the situation with the PlayStation 5 was a bit more complicated.
Since a lot of the consumers ended up buying the consoles from scalpers at twice the retail price, Sony was faced with a lot of unhappy customers. Especially, when some of the consoles started shutting down or becoming completely unresponsive after going to Rest mode.
There was another interesting bug that was reportedly bricking the PS5 consoles when users were playing Call of Duty: Cold War. However, this was an extremely uncommon issue and Sony reportedly offered replacements for the affected units.
Another more concerning matter was the prominent controller drift on the latest Dual Sense which Sony advertised as a “gaming icon in your hands”. However much like the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons it wasn’t long before Dual Sense controllers started having the analogue drift issue.
Currently, Sony does not acknowledge this as a serious problem and the best option left for the consumers is to talk to the retailers and get a replacement controller depending on the severity of the issue. Nevertheless, this issue has landed Sony in hot water and a class action lawsuit from a US law firm.
A Glorious Update
Sony released it’s very first system update to the PS5 console on April 14th and with it came new features the players have been asking for a long time.
These include the ability transfer downloaded games to a removable storage device and Share Play where the PlayStation 5 users could allow their friends to remotely play PS5 games on their console.
With this update Sony also ironed out a lot of bugs in the console including a fix for an issue that prevented users from playing 4K HDR images in 120Hz on any of Samsung’s 2020 TVs.
Exclusives That Delivered
When the PlayStation 5 launched the line up consisted of games like Demon’s Souls, Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales, Call of Duty Cold War, Astro’s Playroom and Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition.
Devil May Cry 5, Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales and Call of Duty Cold War are games that were already available on the PS4 as well.
The real true exclusive was the remastered Demon’s Souls from the PS3 era. Demon’s Souls did very well and most of the people who played the game seemed to really like it, but this type of punishing gameplay style is not for everyone, and most of the people who already played the game on their PS3 would be hesitant to buy a PS5 on launch after paying twice the retail price. Sony has not disclosed the sales figure for Demon’s Souls remake.
With the launch of the second PS5 exclusive Returnal, players have more reason to invest in the console. Not only is the game a good sci-fi horror game but it manages to make full use of the console’s hardware to create a truly unique gaming experience. So far, it looks like the early previews of Returnal is exceeding everyone’s expectations and has solidified itself as a true PlayStation 5 exclusive that makes the console stand out from the competition.
Silver Lining (for Sony)
Despite all the hurdles PlayStation 5 has become the fastest selling console in U.S history over the past six months.
The availability of the PS5 is also becoming more and more frequent with Amazon and Walmart restocking the consoles more often. It has also become much easier to purchase the consoles from the local Maldivian market, even though there is still a bit of a markup on the pricing.
When it comes to PlayStation 5 exclusives Jim Ryan had this to say “We have been quietly but steadily investing in high-quality games for PlayStation, and we will make sure that the PS5 generation will have more dedicated software than ever before,”
To sum it all up, after quite a rocky launch, the PlayStation 5 has found its footing as a true next generation gaming console.
Now, we wait and see what Nintendo Pro is capable of, however there is no official news on this end yet.