Disclaimer: this is not an objective comparison, it’s my personal, extremely subjective choice.
Here is why I’m not buying PS5, despite having PS3 since 2010 and PS4 since 2014.
And no, it’s not because it too hard to get now :-)
The main reason is simple: For me, PS5 brings no excitement. Now let me explain why.
PS3 to PS4 transition was already kinda boring. I was quite ok with graphics level PS3 provided, and the main improvement that PS4 borough for me was normal digital store (where you don’t have to download patches after you just downloaded full game), and a slightly better controller (albeit with worse battery life).
Everything else was pretty close, and I picked PS4 mostly because Microsoft completely screwed things up with Xbox One launch, with Kinect and all that sport/TV stuff.
Now PS5 looks like a better PS4 - more powerful, with new better controller. It’s all good stuff, just nothing for me to be excited about.
On the other hand, this time MS did a pretty good job with Series X/S launch (except for traditionally ridiculous naming of course), which means this generation it’s games that matter most.
And speaking of exclusive games for both PS3 and PS4 - I can’t say that I enjoyed a lot of them very much, at least not enough to justify sticking with Sony for the next generation.
Here is a brief summary of the PS3-PS4 exclusives I played:
- Killzone 2 and 3 were nice shooters, but nothing special
- Uncharted 1-3 were very good, especially 2
- Uncharted 4 I didn’t like at all, very disappointed
- Resistance 3 was really great, especially for split screen coach coop campaign, finished it twice with my wife. Sadly the series seem to be dead now…
- Dragons Dogma was perfect, and now it’s available on all platforms
- Horizon Zero Dawn was so boring that I dropped it after 10 hours
- Spider-Man was okay, but any game in Batman: Arkham series was so much better
- Ratchet and Clank for PS4 was also just okay
- Infamous was fun, the third one on PS4 was just slightly better than PS3 games, but again not amazing
- Gran Turismo 5 was good, but I’m not a huge fan of racing games
- Valkyria Chronicles was terrific, loved it. And now the series is on Switch as well, VC4 plays great there.
- ModNation Racers was fantastic for couch co-op, played hundreds of hours with my wife. Best karting game ever (I still think so after playing 300+ hours in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe), sadly it never got a sequel
- God of War 1-3 (I played all of them on PS3) games were bloody great, if too juvenile
- God of War reboot was just perfect, best game of the PS4 generation for me
- finally, original Demon Souls was the reason I bought PS3 in the first place, but I no longer have the capacity to play such type of games, and in all fairness why would I buy the game I finished 10 years ago again on PS5?!
As you can see, out of all the Sony exclusives I played over the last 10 years few were a hit for me, and in most of the cases those series are either dead or no longer exclusive now. The only one that is still alive and exclusive is the God of War reboot. The first one was absolutely perfect, I’ll give you that, so let’s see how the sequel goes.
Overall I have to say that I enjoyed multi-platform games a more than exclusives. In fact, out of 8 games that I ranked 10/10 on PS3 and PS4, only God of War is still Sony exclusive.
Future Sony and MS exclusives
Now let’s see what both PS5 and new Xbox has to offer in terms of exclusives (very subjective list, only titles I care about):
- God of War sequel (also coming to PS4, so not a valid reason to buy PS5 for me)
Hmm, funny enough that’s all, I don’t care about other exclusives announced so far!
I’d be happy to play new ModNation Racers or Resistance, but sadly those series are dead.
On the other hand, over the last few years Microsoft bought Bethesda, Obsidian and inXile - that’s essentially all of the top existing RPG-making studios, because BioWare sadly seem to lost its way, and Piranha Bytes are unfortunately not in the same league (although I absolutely love their games).
With this in mind, Xbox Series S/X will have:
- New Bethesda games (TES VI, Starfield, Fallout 5)
- New Obsidian games (The Outer Worlds 2)
- New games by inXile (I loved Wasteland 2)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (not keeping my hopes high for this one, but still)
Not to mention that Xbox has fantastic backward compatibility, meaning that I can play current titles and all of the back catalogue (I’m listing only exclusives here):
- Gears of War series (I played few hours of the first one on PC back in the days, I recall it was fun but my PC wasn’t powerful enough)
- Halo series (Never played, but obviously heard a lot about the series)
- Gears Tactics (Looks fantastic and I love tactical turn-based combat)
- Fallout New Vegas (Fallout 3 on PS3 worked so bad, so I skipped New Vegas)
- Fable series (played the first one on PC, was fun back then)
By the way, lack of backward compatibility between PS2, PS3 and PS4 always bothered me, especially after I sold my PS3. Good luck playing original God of War 1/2 or Resistance 3 on PS4 or PS5… Sure you can buy some games that were ported to new systems, but the selection is very limited.
I’m very curious to try GamePass subscription service, for two reasons:
- First, it will give me access to the full Microsoft back-catalogue, so I could try and play all the older titles without buying anything.
- Second, it will allow me to try games or new genres that I don’t normally pick. Maybe I’ll discover some great games, or at least will be able to play some of the new games everyone is talking about without paying full price for them.
And what about the hardware? I don’t care that much! With my bad eyesight I don’t care about 1080p vs 4K, this generation already had absolutely stunningly looking games (God of War, Hellblade come to mind).
In fact, my main wish is low noise level (my original PS4 from 2014 is louder than a vacuum cleaner, despite being regularly cleaned) and maybe also games load speed (all next gen consoles have SSDs, so that should be fine, and Xbox also has something called Quick Resume).
Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers with new DualShock sounds like good improvement over DualShock 4 (with it’s big useless light and shitty battery life), but not really game changing.
Back in PS3 days, it was all unique and interesting - PS3 Cell architecture vs X360 custom PowerPC CPU, mere 256Mb of RAM in PS3 vs 512Mb in X360. The difference was real! Now it’s already a second generation for both Sony and MS with x86_64 CPUs and custom AMD graphics, of course they are different but not as different as console architectures used to be.
So what about the excitement?
As you can pretty much see from all of the above, there is not much to be excited about PS5 for me.
Partially it’s because Sony buried (or lost exclusivity) most of the good game series, and new ones don’t interest me.
And partially because Microsoft did their homework and bought almost all of the studios making RPGs, and that’s my favourite genre.
And finally, because current hardware is so powerful and so similar, that it makes very little difference.
So again it all boils down to games, and here I’m definitely excited to try MS exclusives (both old and new).
I initially started to write this post to organize and summarize my own thoughts and feelings about the new console generation, and it definitely helped me to make the decision to go for Xbox Series S. It would be fun to re-read all of this in a few years to see how my expectations did hold up.