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PlayStation 5 Guide: Best games, accessories, specs, price, features and news

Sony's next-generation PlayStation 5 is coming to Australia. Learn the price and release date of this sophisticated machine.

PlayStation 5 pros and cons

The PS5 defines itself as truly next-gen thanks to its DualSense controller, progressive user interface and fast SSD storage solution that allows for bigger, more detailed worlds. The original PS5 Premium and PS5 Digital consoles landed on 12 November 2020, however, they were replaced in November 2023 by PS5 Premium Slim and PS5 Digital Slim variants. These are significantly smaller, and have slightly larger internal SSD drives, but are otherwise the same.

Pros

  • Actually feels like a next-gen experience when you boot it up
  • Unique, customised hardware offers stability and speed
  • The DualSense is an amazing advance in controller technology
  • Virtual reality support via PS VR2
  • New Spider-Man, Horizon, Gran Turismo, God of War and Ratchet & Clank games
  • Complete overhaul of the dashboard and user interface
  • 4K Blu-ray support in premium model
  • 8K ready, and 4K at 120fps capable
  • Backwards compatible with most popular PS4 games
  • Bold new customisable design
  • PlayStation has market share over Xbox

Cons

  • No entry-level option that is similar to the Xbox Series S or its price point
  • Lack of All Access pay-as-you-play model
  • Bespoke hardware has created problems in the past with multiformat games
  • Restricted availability of PlayStation Now
  • Not as connected to PC and mobile ecosystems as Xbox
  • Dramatic new design is very big
  • Only 664GB of available internal HD
  • No native backwards compatibility for PSOne, PS2 or PS3 games
  • Your old PS4 DualShock controllers aren't compatible with PS5 games
  • The new DualSense is expensive at $109.95
  • New HD camera does not work with PSVR headset


Gamers with a long memory may remember the 1970s and the first generation of video game consoles. The Magnavox Odyssey may not be as fondly remembered as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive or Atari 2600, but it kicked off a tradition that still occurs today.

Ever since, consoles have cycled in generations. Each is expected to bring with it a huge leap in technology and gaming experiences. And that brings no end in excitement.

In November 2020, the eighth generation of consoles closed and the ninth generation began. The two consoles leading the pursuit for gaming greatness were the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. There is some debate among gamers as to whether the Nintendo Switch was an early entry into the ninth generation or the company's second eighth-generation console, but regardless, it's not trying to compete at the tip of the technical spear like its peers.

For many, it's a case of PS5 vs XSX. In this article we go deep on all the features of the PlayStation 5 and what they mean, but for our general thoughts on the platform itself, check out our PS5 review.

PS5 Specs

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: 12 November 2020
PS5 Slim Premium price: AUD$799.95
PS5 Digital Edition Slim price: AUD$679.95
DualSense controller price: AUD$109.95
Estimated dimensions: 26cm(d)×10.4cm(w)×39cm(h)
Estimated weight: 4.5kg
CPU: 8-core AMD Zen 2, 3.5GHz variable frequency
Power: 10.28 teraflops
GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU
Storage: NVMe M.2 1TB SSD at 5.5GB/s (RAW) to 9GB/s (compressed) read speed
Memory: 16GB GDDR6 256-bit with 448GB/s bandwidth
Controller: DualSense, PSVR
Features: 3D Audio, ray-tracing, 8K ready, HDMI 2.1
Optical: 4K UHD Blu-ray (premium model only)
Compatible: PS5, some PS4, some PSVR
Predecessor: PlayStation 4

Where to buy a PS5 in Australia

Is the PlayStation 5 any good?

Below, you will find an overview of our thoughts about the PS5. However, we also have a more detailed PlayStation 5 review you can access for a deeper analysis.

Sony cleaned up in the previous generation of consoles, with the PS4 more than doubling the sales of the Xbox One. With that in mind, the company could have played it safe and kept on going in the same direction. But it hasn't; it's taken a risk and looked to innovate. It pays off.

Unlike the Xbox Series X, the PS5 feels like a much different machine than its predecessor. The new user interface brings with it a new way of interacting with the worlds of gaming – one that feels organic and connected. The console is lightning fast while being super quiet, and the 3D Audio brings with it a more realistic experience for your ears.

But it's the DualSense controller that really helps set the PS5 apart. Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are true game changers, bringing the controller and – by extension – the player into a game's world. It doesn't hurt that the controller also brings great new speakers, a touchpad, a mic and more to the table as well.

The new design is a bit of a shock, but it's a grower. Especially now we know you can customise it with third-party faceplates.

There's no doubting that Sony has the first-party quality to really deliver with exclusives games, too. And while the launch line-up wasn't amazing, Sony boasted significantly more day-one exclusive experiences than its rival. It has since built on that with consistent, varied releases that can satisfy multiple demographics. It also stands the console in good stead that major middleware solution Unreal Engine is in the PS5's court. Plus, the compatibility and functionality of PS VR2 is still a huge win for the PlayStation.

Its biggest issue is the lack of a service as compelling as Xbox Game Pass. That is slowly changing and since launch Sony has closed the gap with it's PlayStation Plus subscriptions, but there's still a gulf.

Yet if we look at the PS5 strictly through the lens of whether it delivers a next-gen gaming experience, the answer is a resounding "wow!"

The PS5 Slim explained

Depending on when you read this, the original PS5 models may be tough to come by. In November 2023, Sony replaced the original model with a new PS5 Slim variant for both its Premium and Digital Edition consoles.

It's important to note that these are not a PS5 Pro upgrade that improves the console's power. In terms of the specifications, the only notable difference is a slight - but welcomed - increase in the internal SSD storage space. It has grown from 825GB to 1TB.

Outside of that, it's all about creating a more svelte design. The volume of both consoles is down 30%. The original model was a behemoth, so this is a good thing. Although even in its new form, it's still bigger than the Xbox Series X.

The Slim variants can be determined from the black horizontal bar across its front plate. The top portion now takes on a glossy look, too, even if the bottom remains matte. You can swap it out with new PS5 covers, with white giving way to Black, Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue or Sterling Silver depending on your taste.

Intererstingly, the HD Ultra Blu-ray Disc Drive is now sold separately. If you buy the Digital Edition Slim console, you can now at a later date add the disc drive back in for $159.95 in Australia.

When was the PlayStation 5 released in Australia?

The PlayStation 5 released in Australia on 12 November 2020. A thursday! The PS5 launched two days after rival console the Xbox Series X.

What's the difference between PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition?

At the initial reveal event of the PlayStation 5 console, two versions of the system were announced: the PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Unlike the two Xbox consoles (Series X and Series S), the only difference between the two PS5 consoles is the existence of a Blu-ray disc drive in the premium model. They have the same power inside.

As a result, the price difference isn't as great, but it's still compelling. Do you really need a Blu-ray drive in 2023 and beyond? If you stream all your music and TV and download all your games, then you may as well save yourself the money.

The only thing you really need to consider is whether you have a lot of PS4 games on discs you still want to play. Obviously, you cannot play them on the Digital Edition console. In fact, even if they're games that come with a free PS5 upgrade, you can't access that upgrade with a Digital Edition PS5 as the game must first be installed.

As mentioned above, you can now choose the Digital Edition console, and install the HD Ultra Blu-ray Disc Drive later if you like. And it's worth noting that patents have also been filed for what would appear to be a mid-generation PS5 Pro console.

How much is the PlayStation 5 in Australia?

The premium PlayStation 5 model (original and Slim) costs $799.95 in Australia. The PS5 Digital Edition Slim is $679.95, while the Digital Edition original is $649.95, if you can find it.

Having to release a console head-to-head with its rival means Sony was somewhat cornered on price with its premium model. There is no advantage to gamers either way when it comes to the top-line models. They're the same price. It means a comparison of features and between games (PS5 games list | XSX games list) is where decisions will be made.

When it comes to the Digital Edition, Sony has been caught out by the Xbox Series S. Microsoft decided on a secondary model that cuts down on power so it can significantly cut down on cost. It means you can play next-gen games, albeit not in all their glory, for a more affordable price.

With the Digital Edition, you can save $120 by ditching the Blu-ray drive, which, as mentioned, is certainly worth considering. But it will still look, on store shelves, like a less compelling option than the Xbox Series S at a glance. Even though, when you compare the power of the PS5 DE and XSS, the former offers significantly more than the $180 price difference would suggest.

How much is a PS5 game?

PlayStation 5 games are more expensive than PlayStation 4 games – at least, when you look at the highest end premium blockbusters. For these titles, you can expect a $10 price jump from old-gen games. For example, the PS4 version of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is $109.95, whereas it's $119.95 on PS5.

Design: Does the PS5 look good?

  • Bold new look
  • Designed to stand vertically, but can sit horizontally
  • Type-A and Type-C USB ports
  • UHD 4K Blu-ray disc drive on premium model only
  • Customisable faceplates
PS5 console small

The DualSense controller

  • Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are awesome
  • Controller has a built-in mic, speaker and headphone jack
  • Touchpad retained and Share button evolved into Create
  • The PS5 controller will not work with PSVR
  • Expensive at $109.95 each
DualSense

Experience: The PS5 user interface

  • 100% overhaul of the PS4 UI for PS5
  • Will be much more customisable
  • To offer Netflix-like speed and integrated store
  • PlayStation Activities brings faster loads
  • Picture-in-picture mode lets videos overlay game
  • Multiple accessibility options
Sony UI

Performance and specs

  • Eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU
  • Custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU
  • 10.28 teraflops of power
  • Support for ray-tracing
  • 1TB SSD is tight
  • 8K capable, 4K at 120fps and 3D Audio enabled

What games are on the PlayStation 5?

  • New Gran Turismo, Spider-Man, Horizon, God of War and Ratchet & Clank games
  • Backwards compatible with the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games
  • Free backwards compatible games offered at launch via PlayStation Plus
  • Japanese studios supporting the PS5
  • Motion control and virtual reality game support
Horizon Forbidden West

PlayStation 5 peripherals

  • New Pulse 3D headset revealed
  • DualSense charger is a boon
  • New HD camera is cute
  • Will support PlayStation VR headset, kind of
PS5 Peripherals

What are the best games on PlayStation 5?

Well before the PlayStation 5 launched, we already knew about hundreds of games coming to the system. However, what are the best PS5 games? Below we've picked out the most likely top sellers on the next-generation console. Click on the title to open the details and see the trailer.

Sony announces PSVR 2.0 headset

On 24 February 2021, Sony finally confirmed the rumours of a PSVR 2.0 headset. No image has been revealed, and Sony stopped short of offering a release date outside of saying it won't come in 2021. Many of the rumours were confirmed, however. The upcoming headset is said to offer:

  • A higher resolution
  • Wider field of view
  • New controllers with Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers
  • Only one cable connecting the device to the PS5 (no separate box).

With details so thin on the ground at the time of writing, we won't speculate further. However, Sony said in the announcement that as of January 2021 over five million PSVR headsets had been sold.

What is Suspended Gameplay and how is it helping climate change?

Sony has long been partnered with Playing for the Planet, an initiative charged with aligning video gaming with the goals of the UN Environment committee. As part of that, Sony has been working first on the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and now with the PS5, to implement hardware that can reduce power consumption.

We have made substantial commitments and efforts to reduce the power consumption of the PS4 by utilizing efficient technologies such as System-on-a-Chip architecture, integrating a high-performance graphics processor, die shrink, power scaling, as well as energy saving modes such as Suspend-to-RAM.”

Jim Ryan, Sony CEO

For the PS4 generation, Sony claims its efforts have reduced carbon emissions by over 16 million metric tonnes.

For the PlayStation 5, Sony has revealed that its new Suspended Gameplay feature will make the console even less power-hungry than the PS4. The company has not detailed how this feature will work, but it would be fair to assume that when a game is paused, the console will not stay running at full operational power, but will instead micro-sleep in some way.

Sony has said that for every 1,000,000 players that implement this feature, the equivalent carbon emissions of 1,000 homes will be saved. Considering it will also save players money, it would seem like a no-brainer.

Sony buys stake in Fortnite and Unreal Engine creator, Epic Games

On 10 July 2020, just a handful of months before the launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony made a huge move to help bolster the fortunes of the PlayStation 5. The Japanese giant acquired a US$250 million (approximately AUD$360 million) stake in Epic Games.

Epic Games is arguably the biggest third-party entity in the video games industry. In part, that's due to the success of Fortnite and Rocket League, but also to IP like Gears of War (now owned by Microsoft), Unreal Tournament, Shadow Complex and Infinity Blade.

However, perhaps more important is the Unreal Engine middleware that is at the heart of thousands of video games. By holding a stake in Epic Games, Sony is ensuring that Unreal Engine 5 – revealed so spectacularly alongside the PlayStation 5 – will work more organically with the console. This could help not only first-party games but many third parties making titles for the PS5, too.

If that wasn't enough, the Epic Games Stores has also quickly become a major force in the PC retail space. Sony titles have been more frequently appearing on PC, giving the IP a greater market to connect with. Epic also has had success in the mobile market.

We can also see a future here where Sony can use Epic Games' strengths with cloud and server technology as well as its blockchain-driven marketplace to bring the PS5 up to speed with the XSX and perhaps to even create rival services to xCloud and Game Pass. This partnership could also see more Sony IP appear on PC and mobile platforms.

List of first-party PlayStation developers

Sony has always kept under its watch a large posse of first-party developers. By first party, we refer to developers who are owned by Sony, and who are charged with making video games specifically and exclusively (ignoring PC) for the PlayStation consoles. It's only since 2019 that Microsoft has made a concerted effort to catch-up in this regard, meaning that for decades the number of quality exclusives on PlayStation have seen it get a huge advantage in the market.

First-party developers tend to make the best games on a platform. This is because they have intimate access to the actual hardware maker, ensuring that their code can be perfectly optimised and that console-specific features are fully utilised.

Sony also tends to get a lot of other exclusive titles from second-party (developers making games subsidised by Sony) and third-party (independent studios), too. This is largely due to Japanese publishers (Capcom, Sega, Namco-Bandai and FromSoftware) having an affinity to the Japanese-based Sony. But also due to large brand awareness established with the PSOne and PS2, both of which dominated their generations with exclusive titles.

Here is a list of the 13 first-party PlayStation developers and the games they're known for:

  • Bend Studio (Days Gone, Syphon Filter)
  • Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn, Killzone)
  • Insomniac Games (Marvel's Spider-Man, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance)
  • Japan Studio (Astro Bot, Everybody's Golf, Knack, The Last Guardian)
  • London Studio (SingStar, Blood & Truth, The Getaway, Wonderbook)
  • Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet, Dreams, Tearaway)
  • Naughty Dog (Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, Last of Us)
  • Pixelopus (Entwined, Concrete Genie)
  • Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo)
  • San Diego Studio (MLB: The Show, ModNation Racers)
  • San Mateo Studio (Farpoint, Helldivers, SOCOM)
  • Santa Monica Studio (God of War)
  • Sucker Punch Productions (Infamous, Sly Cooper, Ghost of Tsushima)

PlayStation Indies program coming to PS5

The PS4 had a very strong indie library, but in terms of Sony's continued support of up and coming developers, it wasn't as strong as the Xbox One. Short on its own first-party developers for most of the last generation, Microsoft put plenty of funding into the indie scene. The ID@Xbox program was the conduit through which many aspiring developers found the support they needed to get seen.

On 2 July 2020, Sony announced it would match the Xbox program with its own indie-focused initiative. It's called PlayStation Indies and will look to nurture, support and showcase indie games on the PS5. Nine games were revealed alongside the PlayStation Indies announcement.

  • Worms Rumble (PS5, PS4)
  • Haven (PS5, PS4)
  • Carto (PS4)
  • Recompile (PS5)
  • Where the Heart Is (PS4)
  • Maquette (PS5, PS4)
  • Heavenly Bodies (PS5, PS4)
  • Creaks (PS4)
  • F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch (PS4)

Our goal is to make PlayStation the best place to develop, find and play great indie games. I have been working closely with all departments at Sony Interactive Entertainment to elevate our efforts to help make indie developers' lives easier and their titles shine in this super competitive videogame market.”

Shuhei Yoshida, Sony president

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