What I Want From the PlayStation 5

What I Want From the PlayStation 5

In a move that will most likely surprise NONE of us who keep an eye on the video game industry, Sony has announced that the next Playstation will be called (drumroll please…) The Playstation 5! Yes we all called this, we all figured this would happen, it’s happening and that’s pretty exciting.  The PS5 will launch sometime during the Holiday Season of 2020 and while I will probably wait somewhere between 6 months to a year before buying one, I’m pretty excited to see what this new console has to offer. A new console generation is always very exciting for gamers, but as a recent PC convert, I’m not AS excited as I would normally be.  Most of the heavy hitters of the next generation will have releases on PC and while I love Sony Exclusives like Spider-Man, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, and Persona, I doubt these will be available at launch. Though…Sony…if you’re reading this, if you launch the PS5 with a Spider-Man “2” I’ll be much more likely to buy one on day one. I have some demands though, because there’s more to video games than just graphical jumps and power upgrades…

 

A Strong Launch Lineup

I’ve been a Playstation fan since day one. To me, the PSX felt like a true successor to the SNES (my favorite console of all time), than the N64. The PS1 had lengthy, moody experiences that have continued to speak to me over the past two decades. The Sony Playstation had great RPGs, Action Games, Fighting Games, and filled all the gaps that the N64 lacked in its smattering of 3D platformers and party games. Sony and I only had a momentary fight when they threatened to not let Spider-Man play in the MCU any more…but luckily I don’t have to burn my PS4…

What hurts many systems out of the gate are their launch libraries. Launch lineups are generally fairly weak, and even an amazing console like Switch only had one killer app on day one, Breath of the Wild. I’ve bought two Sony consoles at launch (PS2 and PS4) and both left me wanting something more. PS2 didn’t see it’s lineup strengthen until the following year with Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2, Devil May Cry, and Grand Theft Auto III. PS4 had Knack…so yeah…weak. Those of us who like to pay the nerd tax of getting a console at launch are often met with weak lineups and a whole lot of buyer’s remorse. The first wave of new consoles is also always plagued with technical issues and almost every launch console I’ve purchased since the PS2 has needed to be replaced. So yeah, buying a launch console is a bad plan. That being said, I think the PS5 needs a strong launch lineup.

The PS5 needs a first-party killer app at launch that will separate the console from the PC master race. It’s not going to to be Cyberpunk or a cleaned up port of Spider-Man. The PS5 needs something to attract people to buy it, to NEED this new console and I’d love to see Insomniac’s follow up to Spider-Man hit the PS5 on launch day.  Another massive hit could be the 2nd part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake riding the FF7 fandom wave all the way to the bank. I’ll also take Final Fantasy XVI as a launch title on PS5! Every launch should have a strong fighting game as well, so something like Street Fighter, Tekken, or something wackier would be very much appreciated.

If the launch lineup isn’t strong, then it doesn’t make it worth it to purchase. So here’s to hoping that the PS5 has a strong lineup that includes some seriously strong launch games that may make me go against my plans of waiting a year. I still have too many games to play…and I bet the PS5 will launch at $500 bucks….

 

The PS5 Is Reasonably Priced

I’m not trying to sound like total cheapskate here, but I don’t want to shell out $500 bucks for the PS5 at launch, especially if the release titles are weak.  A high installation costs could drive people away and make it hard for new adopters. The best price point for the consumer should be about $400, but that may be financially impossible for Sony, and Sony can’t have confusing price points as they had with PS3. I’m not sure where Sony will go with this, but I can see them releasing the PS5 at $500 with a bunch of up-res ports of popular PS4 games. It’ll get early adopters and those who didn’t get a PS4 Pro, which is another concern. The new console half jumps are hard to keep up with. Will there be a PS5 Pro in 2023? Is that ok? I don’t like the model and as someone who decided to go PC instead of PS4 Pro, I can’t see myself wanting to jump at the PS5. Do I wait until the ultimate PS5 Pro to release? Or do I get the PS5 now and expect myself NOT to make the mini-jump later. My biggest hope is that Sony doesn’t mess around and come out of the gate with different pricing models that confuse everyone.

I’d love a bundle system that comes with PSVR. I know many gamers think that VR is a fad and will ultimately be dead in the water, but I don’t see it going away. I haven’t yet embraced PSVR, but a PS5 at $500 with PSVR bundled in could be a great way to start and would make me excited to experience it, especially is PS+ starts including more PSVR games. I’d also be more willing to accept a higher PS5 price point if PSNow lowers its price (which it has), and includes more games. Being able to pay $5/month to play new PS5 games would be pretty great and an incentive to getting a PS5. In the next phase of consoles, the birth of streaming, and the progression into the future, Sony needs to sweeten their price point by including ease of access to their games. A $500 price point with $60-70 games could potentially alienate fans, especially those like me.  With the Nintendo Switch with $200 models and hundreds of games, it’ll be more difficult to compete at a  price point that’s too high. This will be even more true if there’s a weak launch library. 

 

Backwards Compatibility Across the Board

Backwards compatibility has become a fairly common topic these days. Xbox has led the charge with BC on the Xbox One and the ability to play dozens of original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. I love being able to play better looking versions of games like Knights of the Old Republic on my Xbox One. I love playing video games on original hardware when I can, but having to keep decades of old discs around and bins of consoles is slowly becoming a hassle. Sony has talked about the importance of backwards compatibility over the past year and I expect the PS5 to lean a little into this. It would be great if PSNow was able to stream older games from the entire history of the Playstation brand. Though I’d also be happy to be able to play the old discs in my PS5 as well.

In 2000 when I bought my PS2 and Dynasty Warriors 2, after about a day of playing I was kinda over the new console. Luckily, the PS2 was compatible with PS1 games and I was able to play all of Final Fantasy IX on the new machine. The games looked a little better on PS2 and played better due to the ability to play with a Dual Shock II. Since the PS2’s launch games were a little lacking, Sony came in strong with the entire history of the PS1 library. If you were new to Playstation with the PS2, you immediately gained access to hundreds of games. It made up for the lack of a weak first offering. The PS2 was also one of the least expensive DVD players on the market in 2000, and while Sony doesn’t have that advantage now, they could spark people’s attention with Backwards Compatibility. Being that this is the fifth in the line of Sony Consoles, there are THOUSANDS of games that players could experience with total BC. As someone who no longer owns their PS3, it would be cool to have access to all those games again with a new console. I know that HD remasters, upgrades, and remakes are all the rage today, but true BC can work nicely hand-in-hand with this new trend. Though, ultimately, it’s more likely that we will see PS5 rereleases of the biggest games of this generation. Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, Skyrim (it’s getting ported and you know it), Spider-Man, The Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding, among others will most likely get PS5 versions within the first year of the newest console’s life. It would be perfect if there was only a marginal upgrade fee, but I can see publishers charging full price for these updated versions. It would be amazing to play a $10 upgrade fee or something similar, though I doubt that will happen. 

 

A True Step Forward

I want the PS5 to change things. I want it to change how we think about gaming and I while I love traditional style, I’m also enamored by technological progress. Virtual Reality, motion control, streaming, you name it and I want to give it a shot. The future of gaming should be about ease and immersion, being able to disconnect and venture to other worlds is one of my main attractions to gaming as a whole. Graphics are amazing, physics are realistic, and storylines are getting better, but I want to see the progress in hardware. The half-jump consoles like PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have tempered my expectations a little bit as I don’t believe the jump to the next consoles can be much further beyond the mid-gen upgrades, but I may be wrong! I want gaming to move further into the future, and to do that there should be some form of massive technical or distribution upgrade. 

Many gamers are concerned about streaming and that it won’t work properly. I’m bound to agree that there will be some serious, technical hurdles to get past, but that’s expected with any new tech. Streaming feels like the next true advancement in terms of access. From Sony’s push with PSNow I can see that service being a very important pillar to the Playstation 5’s launch and progression, though at that point I’m not sure if having an all-powerful console is necessary. We’ve seen that Sony has pushed this a little and dropped the service’s price, which is an attempt to get more people attracted to this new style of distribution. One of these companies is going to get it right, eventually!

We’ve not seen anything in terms of tech demos for PS5 currently, but I’d like a real step forward with graphical fidelity and frame rate. We can expect that the PS5 will run at 60 fps and 4k resolution, but how can they improve further? Honestly, I don’t have those answers, but I want to see something that feels like the NEXT generation. 

While I love my Playstation devices, outside of console exclusive games, they’re not much different than the Xbox. Some of the games are different and the controllers are different, but ultimately they feel like semi-powerful PCs playing most of the same games. As many predict that this may be the last true console generation, I’d like to see something different from Sony with PS5. I love Nintendo because they take risks and release very interesting hardware, for better or worse. Sony has the power and ability to do things like this too and I want to see what their idea for the future is.

We should get more and more information about the PS5 as 2019 ends and 2020 gets up and roaring. I expect Sony to have a massive press conference around E3 time to show off the next generation hardware and wow people with flashy visuals. I expect the console to launch in October or November 2020 at a $500 price point, with one massive killer app and a bunch of upgraded versions of PS4 games. Keep and eye on all the media to see what to expect moving forward. What do you want out of the PS5?

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