Every time a console generation comes along I ask the same question:
Should I buy the new console now, or should I wait and buy it in a year or so?
When the PS5 arrived I asked myself the same question again:
Should I buy a PS5 now or wait?
Then I realized that lots of people, like you, must be wondering the same thing.
After all, there are loads of reasons why you might want to hold off on buying a used console. For example, you may have a massive backlog of games to play, or your budget may not allow for a new $500 machine in your life. Regardless there are many reasons.
So, should I buy a PS5 now or wait? There are many reasons why you should buy a PS5 now. Conversely, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t. I’ve explored all those reasons in full below.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Let’s start by taking a look at why you should wait to buy a PS5.
Why you should wait to buy a PS5
PS4s and Xbox Ones are cheap to buy
When compared to the Playstation 5 the PS4, PS4 Pro, and the Xbox One are vastly cheaper.
If you’re a gamer on a budget – and let’s be honest, aren’t we all to some degree – buying a PS4 Pro or Xbox One is a great way to experience the last generation’s classics at budget-friendly prices.
Check out bundles on Amazon and in other stores near Christmas and Balck Friday events. You’re bound to pick up a cracking gaming bargain.
Also, don’t be afraid to buy used games on places like eBay. There are bargains to be had.
The PS5 is expensive
The PS5, considering all the tech inside, is actually not that expensive when compared to a smartphone or laptop. But, $500 is still a lot of money, however which way you look at it.
PS5 games expensive
First party games from Sony are set for a price hike.
Demon’s Souls, the super-hard, super-hardcore RPG from From Software has been remade for the PS5’s launch.
And it’s next-gen facelift is demanding a next-gen price. Instead of the normal $50 we’ve become accustomed to begrudgingly handing over, Demon’s Souls comes asking for $70.
That’s a 40% increase in price.
I for one will be waiting for the price drop’s next-gen games will invariably receive. Or I’ll buy them used on eBay.
There are not many exclusives releasing in the PS5’s launch window
Other than Demon’s Souls, there are not that many true exclusives being released for the PlayStation 5 at launch.
Instead, we have to wait until 2021 and beyond for exclusives such as God of War, Gran Turismo 7, Ratchet and Clank, and Horizon: Forbidden West.
If Sony’s happy to wait to release these mouthwatering games, then, likewise, you should be happy to hold back on handing over your cash for the console.
There are lots of amazing games still to be played on PS4
There are loads, and I mean loads of stunning titles scrambling for your attention on the PS4 and Xbox One.
In fact, my bulbous backlog consists of:
- Assassins Creed: Odyssey
- Hitman 1 and 2
- The Tomb Raider Games
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Days Gone
- CyberPunk 2077
- Gears of War 4
- Gears of War 5
- Halo 5
- The Mafia Trilogy
And that’s just the ones I can remember.
Before you slap a wad of cash down on the counter for a PS5, check out the PS4 Pro
I upgraded from a normal PS4 to a PS4 Pro on the same day the PS4 Pro was released, and it was one of the best decisions I have made.
The PS4 Pro offers a big leap forward in graphical power and sets the stage for many PS4 games to dance away in 4K. Plus, you get improved graphics and enhanced frame rates.
If you are still gaming on a normal PS4, a PS4 Pro may be a better investment for now.
Buy a Nintendo Switch
If you love gaming, and graphics are secondary to your enjoyment, then buy a Nintendo Switch if you haven’t already.
There are some truly wonderful titles available on the system including Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing, and the jam-jar of fun that is Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
And that’s not to mention my personal favorite game of all time: Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Switch is now brimming with fantastic games, and at around $300, the system is far cheaper than the PlayStation 5 and, for my money, offers far better value. For now, anyway.
Early adopter usually pay a lot more
Early adopters of new games consoles always pay more.
- The consoles are more expensive at launch
- There are no bundles where you actually save significant money
- There are no discounts in sales such as Black Friday
- Accessories are more expensive
- PSN store prices are high
- Games cost more and can’t be bought used
The early adopter always pays more. Hold off, don’t fall into the early adopter trap. Your wallet will thank you for it.
There might be PlayStation 5 Slim/Pro models by Christmas 2023
If you really are the patient type, and good on you if you are as your kind are now few and far between, you could wait until 2023 for the Slim/Pro version of the PS5.
Sony usually waits 3 years after an initial console launch to make a Slim/Pro version of a console. Just look at the history of the PS4 and you’ll see the console was released late in 2016, 3 years after the console’s initial debut.
Why wait for the Slim model?
It will be cheaper than the initial PS5 and, hopefully, a lot smaller too. Just like other PlayStation slim models.
And why wait for the PS5 Pro?
The PS5 Pro model, though it will likely cost a little more, will be far more powerful than the base PS5. Just as the PS4 Pro was far more powerful than the base PS4.
A new PSVR will likely be released in 2021 or 2022
If VR is your thing, and I’m a big fan of PS VR, then it might be worth you holding off on buying a PS5 until Sony announces their next generation of PSVR.
Plus, the PlayStation 4 PSVR needs the old Sony camera to work, which needs a proprietary adaptor that you can only get through Sony to connect to the PS5.
You can request your own adaptor here. Fortunately, Sony will send it to you for free. How nice of them.
The SSD storage expansion slot doesn’t work at launch
It’s worth keeping in mind that the PS5’s SSD expansion slot doesn’t actually work at launch. Sony has promised to enable the slot in a later update to the PS5’s operating system.
But I have no idea when that will be.
So in the meantime, you are stuck with the SSD built into the PS5 which gives you just 667.2GB of space to make use of.
Some apps your used to on PS4 won’t be on PS5 yet
The PS5 will come with many apps built-in for your media viewing pleasure such as Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+.
But some apps that you are used to cuddling up on the sofa with on the PS4 will be missing at launch.
No 3rd Party accessories widely available
Due to the newness of the console, there will be a lack of 3rd party accessories at launch.
This lack of competition between manufacturers means that prices will be high.
But most importantly, there will be no 3rd party controllers from companies such as Scuf gaming and AimController at launch. You’ll have to wait for modded DualSense controllers to appear later.
Though the PS4 Scuf controllers will be compatible with the PS5 when playing PS4 games, it will not work when playing PS5 games.
You escape any dreaded Bugs
Usually when the first iteration of a new console launches, it inevitably has software and hardware bugs.
Remember the red ring of death on the Xbox 360?
Well, hardware and software launch bugs have started to drag themselves out of the PS5.
For example, when the PS5 is put into sleep mode, the front USB is incapable of charging the controller. This isn’t by design. This is apparently a bug.
Also, The Spider-Man game, Miles Morales, is apparently causing some PS5s to stop working.
If you hold back on buying a PS5, even for a few months, all the early hardware and software bugs will be squished.
Why you shouldn’t wait to buy a PS5
Stunning next-gen raytraced Graphics
Let’s be honest with each. We both love eye-popping graphics.
I for one am a sucker for real-time lighting and reflections of all types. I love the play of light off different surfaces. From the scattered reflections in brushed steel, mirrored skylines on dead-of-winter lakes, and light shafts thrusting through canopies of leaves. Lighting, to me, makes modern gaming.
And, for the first time, the humble console will reproduce the zenith of digital light, reflection, and refraction: RayTracing.
This super computationally intensive graphical technique, a simulation of how actually photons work in the real world, is now viable on a $500 gaming box.
We’ll see games use lighting techniques that were, as little as a few years ago, confined to Holywood Blockbusters.
So yes, I’m excited for next-gen graphics. Can’t you tell?
Yes, you could argue that gameplay rules over graphics, and yes that is true. But if graphics really didn’t matter, why aren’t we all still playing Mario on the NES?
You know why we aren’t?
Because graphics do matter, regardless of what we like to tell ourselves.
And the PS5, along with the Xbox Series X and next-gen PC graphics cards, will do graphics better than ever.
Tempest: The next generation of simulated 3d surround sound
The PS5’s new-fangled Tempest engine has been designed by Sony to be the last word in 3d surround sound.
Forget about 13 speaker Dolby Atmos setups.
Sony wants to deliver cutting edge spatial audio, without the $1500 price.
The Japanese electronics giant wants to do something radical, something that few audio businesses have tried, and all have previously failed at doing.
Sony wants to reproduce true 3D spatial audio using a single pair of headphones.
Sounds impossible right?
There’s a lot of sciency-science that makes stereo 3d sound possible. And it all happens deep inside the PS5, hidden away in the crisscrossing transistor valleys in the Tempest engine.
The Tempest can produce thousands of different sounds at the same time. So every raindrop, every voice in a crowd is its own sound. Each sound is refracting, reflecting, reverberating throughout its environment.
But that’s not enough for 3d audio. Oh no. You need a little bit of magic to make a true 3D sound.
The PS5’s sound engine uses smart algorithms and AI – 10 of me stapled together couldn’t understand this wizardry – that maps the contours of your skull and ears so it can, in real-time no less, modify the sound waves. This fools your brain into thinking the sound sources are all around you, not just from the stereo headphones.
If that doesn’t have year ears twitching in anticipation of the PS5, nothing will.
The PS5 comes equipped with a next-generation PCIe gen-4 M.2 SSD that is expected to deliver a data throughput of nearly 10GB per second.
But what does this tech-talk gobbledygook mean for you?
Well, it means games loading in 1-2 seconds, instead of the 30-40 seconds we are used to.
I’m going to miss those level loading tips. I really am… There’s no easy way to indicate sarcasm in writing, is there?
The DualShock 4 is a great controller. But the shape of it hasn’t really changed since, well, since the PS1 introduction of the DualShock 1 way back in what may as well be the Stone Age.
It was time for a change. And, WOW, did we get one.
Sony has completely redesigned the controller from the ground up. No longer is it called the DualShock.
In walks the DualSence. And it’s a looker!
The new controller is an ergonomic marvel of curves ready to caress the hands of gamers across the world.
The aging rumble effects of the Dualshock have been tossed to the garbage monster. In its place steps a fresh, fit, and ready to rumble (Sorry I couldn’t resist) haptic engine that’ll offer near-infinite combinations of tactile feedback to thrill the senses.
Plus, the triggers get a much-needed makeover with full actuated and motorized force feedback effects. Feel the energy as spring coils up, and the judder as wheels lose grip on gravel.
Put simply, the DualSense is set to revolutionise game controllers.
One amazing exclusive
There’s not exactly a lot of exclusives coming to the PS5 at launch.
That’s ok. I can forgive them for that. And you should too.
Because the one games, the only exclusive that matters is a biggy: Demon’s Souls
The Demon’s Souls Remaster on PS5 is, quite simply, a marvel to behold. Hailed by many as one of the greatest graphical achievements of all time, along with its plethora of gameplay accolades, the PS5 Demon’s Souls remake is one game you shouldn’t miss.
Cross gen games run much better
Games such as Assassins Creed: Valhalla and Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be available on both current-gen PS4 and on next-gen PS5. However, these games, along with others, will be a treat to play on the PS5.
Instead of running at dynamic 4k at 30 fps like on PS4, the PS5 version will unleash the beast and run at a locked 60 fps at 4K.
So you’ll get the very best experience on next gen consoles.
Backwards compatibility means you can play old games at high frame rates and resolutions
As noted above, the current PS4 generation still has a lot of gaming love to give.
And in a stroke of genius, Sony has ensured that 99.9% of all PS4 games work on the PS5.
Not only that, but many of them will run at faster or more stable frame rates and higher resolutions.
PSVR works on PS5
Yes, you’ll need the free Sony PSVR adaptor, but nearly every single game released for PSVR will be compatible with PS5.
Plus, all the games will run at their maximum resolution and improved frame rates.
New User interface (UI) experience
The PS5’s user experience has been built from the ground up to coax the most out of the new hardware. Specifically, the new SSD.
For starters, you’ll be able to jump from game to game in the blink of an eye. The SSD takes 1-3 seconds to load a game, so there are no more level loading screens, no more boring splash screens, just gameplay, instantly, every time.
And there are loads of other cool new features to play around with.
You’ll get teal time, in UI, game hint videos. So you’ll have no excuse to get stuck on Demon’s Souls again.
Also, the UI will let you jump into any part of a game nearly instantaneously.
Just been invited into a multiplayer match in CoD? You no longer have to boot the game and click through multiple menus to get into the game. Instead, the UI’s home menu will generate a card for you to click on that’ll boot you straight into the multiplayer arena, no waiting, just playing.
Better PS Store experience
The PS4 has been graced by some stunning gaming exclusives. The Last of Us: Part two, God of War, Gran Tourism, Knack… Ok maybe not that one.
But let’s be honest, the portal through which you can buy these games digitally, The PSN Store, is a totally shocking mess.
I don’t think a day goes by where the PSN Store doesn’t crash, slow down, fail to load images, or generally annoy me.
Thankfully the experience has, finally, been streamlined on PS5. The Store has been directly integrated into the main menu.
Friction-free is the phrase of the day for Sony, and the PSN Store embraces is it fully.
The PS Plus Collection of games
As a thank you to every PS Plus subscriber, for, you know, handing over their cash every month, Sony is giving away some of the biggest PS4 classics for free.
That’s right. By continuing to pay your monthly PS Plus subscription you get a load of games for “free” as an added bonus. (I don’t think corporations quite get the word “free”, but that’s a different article, maybe even a book.)
Anyway, these games include:
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battlefield 1
- Call of Duty Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV
- God of War
- inFAMOUS: Second Son
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Monster Hunter: World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Ratchet & Clank
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Until Dawn
Not a bad list of awesome games. I’m finally looking forward to stripping off (I hope you never have to see that!) and diving into the world of Days Gone.
Extremely popular free to play games such as Fortnight will be available at lunch on the PS5.
And that’s not all. Other free to play games will be following soon after launch:
- Destiny 2
- Call of Duty
Sadly my personal favorite, Star Trek Online, will not. But I’m sure it will be eventually.
These free to play games will also transfer over all of your progress over to the next-gen systems. So you won’t have to worry about your precious progress being lost in the next-gen transition.
Plus, you’ll get a load of graphical enhancements and loading times will be cut from the equation.
So, when would be the best time to buy?
If you’re looking for my opinion on when is the best time to buy a PlayStation 5, I’d say there are 3 categories of people. And you’ll probably fall into one of these.
Super early adopters
If you’re, like me, the type of person who is checking every day for local PS5 stock levels, and you’re an avid reader of gaming news websites, then I’d say the best time for you to buy is ASAP.
Happy to wait… A little
I would say the vast majority of people should look to buy the PS5 no earlier than Christmas 2021.
Why in a year’s time?
Well, there’ll be more exclusives available for one thing.
Plus, there will be more bundles that’ll bring the price of entry to “PS5 Paradise” that much lower.
Happy to keep on playing the backlog
If you are the patient type, and if you are I salute you, or if you have a big back catalog of PS4 games to play through, it might be worth you holding off on buying the PS5 for a few years.
In fact, it might be worth you holding off until around Christmas 2023.
It will be 3 years since the PS5’s launch and it’ll be around then when we have the first PS5 slim and/or a PS5 Pro.
In the meantime, you can continue to play loads of PS4 gen games and loads of cross-gen games at extremely low prices.
It’s the smart person’s choice. But I’m not that smart… so I’ve gone and got myself a PS5 at launch.
So should you buy a PS5 now?
Well, it all depends.
There are lots of reasons to buy a PS5 now, such as nex-gen ray-traced graphics and exclusives like Demon’s Souls.
However, there are also a lot of great reasons to not buy a PS5 yet. For example, the PS4 has a fantastic back catalog of games, and the PS5 is very expensive.
It comes down to this: Can you afford/want to pay the early adopter premium for higher-priced games, accessories, and the console?
If you can afford to pay or are willing to pay the early adopter tax, then by all means buy now and enjoy it.
That’s what I did.
But if you’re a little more frugal, which we could all do with being, then it will be worth you waiting for the games, accessories, and the console to drop in price.
Can I lay the PS5 on its side? Yes, you can lay the PS5 on its side. Check out my in-depth article here on how to lay your PlayStation 5, hulking brute that it is, on its side safely and securely.
Odd question, but how long is the PS5’s Power cable? A good question: it’s 1.5 meters long. If that’s not quite long enough for you, don’t fret. I’ve put together an article here explaining what longer HDMI you’ll need to get to replace the packed-in HDMI that comes in the PS5 box.