12 Things We Wish the PS5 Did a Little Better

Oliver Pretl-Drummond

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Depending on who you ask, the 2020 rollout of the PlayStation 5 could be described as anything from “making the best of unfavorable circumstances” to “an unmitigated supply chain disaster that exposed the delicate, convoluted mechanism of capital and technology.” We have no comment on any of that, but here’s a handy guide on tracking online restocks for those still waiting to get their hands on Sony’s latest creation.

Ultimately, we are in the business of envisioning what the future of PlayStation gaming can look like. There isn’t any news on if or when the PS5 Pro will be released, but Sony’s previous console release trends suggest a potential upgrade by 2023.

While the triumphs and limitations of the PS5 are still fresh in our collective memory, this is a great time for Sony to identify missing features that left users wanting more from their latest console. Here are some of our top considerations for the Playstation 5 Pro:

1. Expandable Space

ps5 controller
Credit: iStock.com/Girts Ragelis

With such stiff competition in the next-gen console arena, the lack of expandable storage in the PlayStation 5 remains a glaring omission on Sony’s end. It is possible to manually crack your new console open and add an SSD or USB drive, but new games may suffer performance issues due to hardware incompatibility. On top of that, it feels wrong to crack open a $500 device after spending months trying to track one down. The next major PlayStation release should try to address this issue — isn’t “people buying and playing more games” integral to Sony’s business model?

Related: The PS5 Has a Storage Problem, Here are the Best Current Solutions

2. Color Variety

Twenty years after the release of the PlayStation 2, Sony decided to shake up their black console tradition by switching to an all-white design for the PS5. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s hard to get excited about “the future of gaming” when buyers are still limited to a single console color. The PS5’s faceplates are easy to remove and customize, but Sony put a quick stop to third-party faceplate manufacturing — and doubled down on their single color option.

Given the assortment of first-party color options available for the Nintendo Switch and the dazzling technicolor possibilities of a homebuilt PC rig, Sony could stand to get a leg up on the competition with more color options for the PS5 Pro.

3. Streamlined Shape and Size

PS5
Credit: Sony

The avant-garde oblong shape of the PlayStation 5 remains a polarizing topic among PlayStation users. On one hand, it’s an encouraging step away from the “giant block box” silhouette of yesteryear. Otherwise, we need to accept the fact that Sony replaced that big black box with an even bigger white… structure. If you need to store it vertically, the need to use an even more unwieldy detachable stand presents logistical and aesthetic issues that make it difficult to integrate the new console into your media center. As they hash out the design of the PS5, let’s hope that Sony takes console hoarders and tiny apartment residents into consideration.

4. Overheat Protection

When a brand new PlayStation 5 overheated in front of an audience at a Best Buy one week before the console’s release, prospective buyers were alarmed. Since then, Sony and the PlayStation community have provided assurance that this isn’t a common occurrence — but the trends still don’t look great. When analyzed with a thermal imaging sensor, the console hit a peak temperature of 95.1 F (35.1 C) while it was running Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a PS5 launch game.

This is decent compared to past models, but upcoming developments in cutting-edge graphics and features will absolutely push the limits of a new console.

5. Improved PS4 Data Transfer

ps5 and ps4
Credit: Sony

It is possible to transfer your saved data from PlayStation 4 iterations of your PS5 games, but the process has been touch-and-go throughout the new console’s rollout. Users trying to import data from the older version of Marvel’s Avengers were met with crashes, error messages and other missing information. This is just one of many instances where users were expected to acquire a patch and manually transfer all of their data from one console to the next, often with unclear instructions that result in lost data and a giant headache for dedicated players.

Hopefully, Sony will take a page out of Microsoft’s book and develop their own version of the Xbox Smart Delivery service, which streamlines the data transfer process without too much work on the user’s end.

6. Improve Graphics Mode

Now that 4K technology and other dynamic range options are the norm for new devices, game developers can really push the limits of reality and surreality alike. Many buyers were excited about the PS5’s two new modes: Graphics Mode (which utilizes ray tracing) and Performance Mode (which operates at 60fps). Users seem generally satisfied with the speed and low latency of Performance Mode, but many found Graphics Mode lacking in terms of… well, performance. The differentiation makes sense, as different games and players have their own preferences, but Graphics Mode may not be quite ready for primetime.

7. More New Original Series

spiderman game for PS5
Credit: Sony

The enduring issue of agitated console war participants crying “Not enough games!” has plagued the PlayStation brand since the release of the PS3, so this issue is not exactly new. Sony played up its incredible new developments in gameplay and atmospheric elements during the PS5’s pre-release press run, but the dearth of truly new titles that show off these features has put off a number of potential buyers. The focus on re-releasing classic titles is a logical and decently popular decision, but it’s difficult to get excited about the updated graphics in Final Fantasy VII when they are compared against blunt polygons that clip through the floor.

8. The Latest Processing Power

The whole “massive disruption to the global supply chain” thing didn’t make things easy for Sony, but the decision to push the new console without the latest RDNA 2 technology remains questionable. Microsoft delayed production on the Series X in order to incorporate AMD’s latest processor into the console, but PlayStation users have to hold out for an upgrade to the base system. Hopefully, it will come baked into the PS5 Pro.

9. An Answer to Quick Resume

xbox resume play
Credit: Microsoft

Xbox gamers have fully embraced the Quick Resume feature on the Series X, the ability to suspend multiple games and effortlessly switch from one to another. Sony has built a great deal of its legacy on single-player offline games, so importing Microsoft’s great concept should not pose any major performance concerns — and yet here we are, turning games on, off and on again like cavemen.

10. Controller Life

The PS5 DualSense controller has been lauded for its sleek, modular design, but it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to battery life and durability. Similar to the issue with storage space, this issue begs the question — Sony, do you want for people to play your games for a long period of time? Broken and oft-depleted controllers are counterintuitive to this goal.

11. First Party Pro Controller

ps5 controller
Credit: Sony

Aside from a handful of third-party options, there is no official pro controller for the PS5. Back buttons and paddles are a must-have quality of life consideration for a subset of gamers, and Sony is missing out on easy customer trust and satisfaction by not releasing their own version.

12. Scalable Games

Prior to the release of the PS5, Sony patented a “scalable games console” that offers a CPU and GPU interface designed for home console and cloud gaming. This would massively enhance the console’s processing power and output capabilities (and even round out some of the other issues mentioned above), but the timeline and potential obstacles for completion remain to be seen.

Are you still waiting for a regular PlayStation 5 to become available? If you’re looking for a deal on a console, game or accessory, you can always set up a Deal Alert. We’ll let you know when it goes on sale within your price range.

More to consider:

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