In case you missed it (and to be fair, I almost did), yesterday had a grand event for the gaming industry. As part of the Summer of Gaming 2020 event, IGN hosted a live PS5 event that showcased a lot of what we can expect in the next few months.
After more than two hours of showcasing upcoming games, and getting our hopes up for some incredible gameplay graphics, the moment millions of angry YouTube commenters were waiting for arrived: We got to see what the PS5 will look like.
And to be honest, I really like how it looks—possibly more than any other console I’ve ever owned.
Now, for the sake of setting expectations, it’s not uncommon for a reveal like this to show a concept that then changes before release for whatever reason. That said, though, I’m optimistic that it’s the actual design because the controller concept we got a while ago looks exactly the same as it did.
With that said, let’s take a look at what we can expect with the PS5.
Design-wise, it goes in a whole new direction.
Though PlayStation does have a history of showing their consoles standing up (which is how we got that skyscraper meme a few years back), it’s pretty rare for the consoles to actually stand up in everyday use.
Although I have seen photos now to suggest that it will be able to, just judging by the way the PS5 curves and by how thin the shell is near the top of the console, I don’t think the PS5 is really going to be able to lie flat—at least, not very effectively.
To me, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
As a passionate gamer, I love the idea because it essentially turns the console into a trophy in its own right: A showpiece to put on a pedestal (and well, it comes with one) for everyone to see. And it is a beautiful design, worthy of being shown off; very sleek, modern, and I’d venture to say more stylistic in general than PlayStation has gone before.
It’s also good from a functionality perspective because by designing it to stand up, Sony’s removed a lot of the air circulation and overheating problems we ran into with the PS4. So it’s entirely possible that the PS5 won’t sound like a jet taking off every time you want to play a more demanding game.
As a practical adult with a traditional DVD-player-era TV stand, though, I’m not totally loving the idea because I can’t immediately envision where this trophy of a console will go in my setup.
But hey—we’ll figure that out when the time comes.
The true test will be whether its games look as good as it does.
For more than two hours yesterday, the PS5 reveal showcased upcoming games for the next-gen console, stretching into 2022 for release dates and featuring titles like Resident Evil, Horizon Zero Dawn (yes, a sequel is coming), GTA, Gran Turismo, and so many more.
And the gameplay they showed? I don’t know if “stunning” is a strong enough word.
I distinctly remember at one point they showed footage from the upcoming NBA 2K21 game, and you could see the sweat beading up on the player’s face, it was that detailed.
I’m not totally surprised it was that detailed, because for months we’ve been getting teasers about the graphics quality coming with the PS5 and Series X, from the insane cards they’re built around to talks of using real-time ray-tracing—a lighting technique that was cutting-edge in architectural rendering only five years ago, and has only been possible in PC gaming for less than two years.
I am, however, trying to contain my excitement, and I think how the games end up looking will be the true test for the next generation of gaming. History suggests that actual gameplay won’t look as good as the showcase—that’s been the case for every console ever.
But after Shadowbringers, the FFXIV expansion that required PC players to go through a benchmark test first and which was playable on PS4, it’s clear to me that the possibility for gameplay like we saw is entirely real.
Fingers crossed that possibility prevails over history.