We were finally able to get our hands on the PlayStation 5! Here are my impressions of the Astro’s Playroom console and game after a few hours.
Thanks to Sony Interactive Entertainment Canada for the PlayStation 5 and accessories
The DualSense: immersion tool
One of the great novelties of the PlayStation 5 is the DualSense controller. Since the creation of the first DualShock, there has been little new to PlayStation controllers other than the touchpad on the DualShock 4. The DualSense offers a more massive design, but also more comfortable. The handling is excellent.
Apart from its design, what it offers that is really different is the haptic feedback; in short, more precise vibrations which greatly participate in the immersion.
Unlike Nintendo who had sold 1-2 Switch separately, and at full price, Sony made the logical choice to offer their technical demo of the DualSense for free and pre-installed on the console. Indeed, you will find the icon of Astro’s Playroom, ready to play, in your console menu as soon as you turn it on.
In terms of battery life, despite the almost overuse of haptic feedback in Astro’s Playroom, the PS5 still showed that my controller was full battery after three hours of play. therefore does not seem a problem.
I played for several hours with the official PS5 wireless headset which offers excellent 3D sound and comfort. I rarely play with headphones, so I have little comparison benchmark to tell you more about it and tell you if it’s worth the price, but my experience was positive.
Astro’s Playroom: more than a technical demo
Yes, Astro’s Playroom is a showcase for the capabilities of DualSense and it is very successful. We are indeed elsewhere in terms of details of the effects. For example, when we skate on ice, we feel a resistance that really gives us the feeling of the friction of the skate on an ice rink. At another time, it rains, and we can feel the individual tastes falling. I was particularly impressed with the feedback in the triggers during a shooting streak with Astro. I can’t wait to see how this aspect will be used in shooting and racing games.
It’s very impressive, without necessarily being revolutionary. It remains to be seen how much effort the developers put into it. 1-2 Switch made Joy-Con do some really awesome things like making us feel like we’re holding a glass of water with ice cubes… and then no one, not even Nintendo, really repeated the feat.
That being said, I fell in love with the little Astro robot. Astro’s Playroom is much more than a technical demo, it’s several hours of pure fun. It offers four levels of 3D platforms (which you can do in any order you want) of a good length where the level design and the game mechanics are so constantly changing that you don’t have to. time to get bored. If you are a fan of 3D platform games, Astro’s Playroom will be in your top of the year. In addition, it offers interesting replayability, as the levels are full of secrets and items to collect.
In particular, we collect consoles and other accessories from the history of PlayStation, from the PS1 to the PS4, including the PSP and more specialized accessories such as the mouse for the PS2, the multitap for the PS1, the Eye Toy. Camera, and so on. It’s a true celebration of the PlayStation brand. Also, you find a ton of references in the levels to games that have marked the consoles of Sony, from Final Fantasy VII to Uncharted through Infamous and even Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
While you’ll want to quickly play an AAA game on your PS5 to test its visual abilities, you’ll be wrong not to take the time to check out Astro’s Playroom.
Also, for PS Plus members, you can take advantage of the PS Plus Collection to play or replay a beautiful library of games that marked the PS4.
The interface: always more refined
The menu interface is simplified compared to the PS4. In particular, the media applications (Netflix, Disney + and company) are in a separate page which can be accessed with R1 / L1. Our trophy progress for each game is displayed more clearly. The PS button on the controller, instead of taking us directly to the menu, opens a sub-menu at the bottom of the screen where we must choose the Home function to return to the home screen. Otherwise, you can leave the button pressed to directly access the menu.
I was disappointed that the PS5 did not automatically search the cloud for my game saves. We can transfer everything directly from the PS4 to the PS5, plugged in or by wi-fi, otherwise for PS Plus members, you can simply force the download of all your saves which are in the cloud. That said, I appreciated that by logging into my PlayStation account, my whole PS4 library appeared and it’s super easy to go to our game library and install my old ones.
So I installed Marvel’s Spider-Man : Miles Morales and I quickly noticed the speed of the loads!
The machine itself
What about the machine itself? First, I personally find the design of the PS5 rather ordinary now that I have seen it in person. We can say that it is pretty standing, in a certain angle, but in my case I have no choice to insert it lying in my cabinet. Next to a PS4 with its design sleek, we wonder what is this a little misshapen thing in our living room. It must also be said that it is rather massive and takes a lot of space. On the other hand, I do appreciate the fact that it’s ultra quiet, it’s a huge change from the PS4 which made as much noise as an old 90s PC out of breath.
The multimedia controller
I was also able to test the multimedia controller of the PS5. Its Disney +, Netflix, YouTube and Spotify buttons are particularly handy for jumping directly to these applications. Depending on your brand of TV, you can configure it directly in your PS5 so that it also works for TV, especially volume.
All in all, my first impressions with the PS5 are positive, especially thanks to the DualSense and the very fun and enjoyable gaming experience of Astro’s Playroom!