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The PS5 runs Cyberpunk 2077 well enough for me to make the perfect man

The PS5 runs Cyberpunk 2077 well enough for me to make the perfect man
PHOTO: AsiaOne, PS5 screengrab

As a (predominantly) console gamer, I'm well aware of the controversy surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 and how it performs poorly on the base PS4 — bugs and glitches notwithstanding.

I bought the PS4 version of the game, and frankly, what irked me the most was that the graphical fidelity was astonishingly low to the point that I had trouble discerning the different colour palettes and textures for my hair and beard. The colours all just blended together on the PS4 version; especially when they're just varying shades of blue, pink and purple.

There were definitely other problems with the PS4 version of Cyberpunk 2077 but that's a story for another time.

In the end, I just picked what I thought looked best to me then, thinking that I will get a PS5 a few months down the road and it will be good enough for me to carefully navigate character creation to make the perfect man (who bears a strong resemblance to a generic resident of District 1 in Hunger Games).

Well, we've gotten our hands on the coveted standard edition PS5 and after testing it out, I can say that the next-gen console did not disappoint me on that front. Before we get to how stunning games are on the PS5, let's start from the basics.

A chonky but understated beauty

This is probably something everyone is aware of, but the PS5 is big. All the jokes about it looking like an atas air purifier?

Completely justified.

It's just over 38cm tall — so tall in fact, that it couldn't fit comfortably into the space where my PS4 used to occupy. I had to place it horizontally, and even then, some things had to be shifted to the side to accommodate that big boy. The PS5 also weighs 4.5kg and I definitely had a mini workout trying to pack the console on my own.

Despite its considerable heft for a console, the PS5 looks rather sleek and so aesthetically pleasing that it sticks out from the rest of my early-2000s furniture like a beautiful lotus growing in mud. At this point, I'm sure the tacky '90s interior design — think lots of wood — of my room is screaming in humiliation as well.

With its white-on-black colour palette and the curvy faceplates, the PS5 is classy and modern. I won't even blame you if you decided to splurge just to get it as a piece of furniture. It's like Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 where she attends a gala in a long, flowing white dress and commands the attention of the room in an understated manner.

The only blemish, though, is the stand. When the console is placed vertically and sits upon it, the stand complements its look. However, when the console sits horizontally, the stand has to be clipped onto the bottom faceplate from the back and it's not only flimsy, it feels cheap.

The world looks better, brighter, and it loads faster

One of the things I was really looking forward to during my review of the PS5 was to see how well it would run Cyberpunk 2077. At this point, fans and people who are looking to pick up a copy of the game are probably aware that it runs best on a high-end gaming PC — this might very well explain Henry Cavill's newest project involving the GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card.

But with the PS5 essentially a "real-deal" gaming PC (as Polygon wrote in their review), and with console specs inching closer to gaming PC specs (as a technologically savvy friend told me), I didn't think it would be a tall order for the PS5 to run Cyberpunk 2077 decently.

True enough, the graphical issues I faced with the PS4 version of the game during character creation were mostly gone. The colours were more vibrant — allowing me to discern between the two hues used in the various ombre dyes — and the graphics look sharper and clearer.

Character faces also loaded instantly, as opposed to the PS4 where there was a significant texture load-in time and characters would appear blocky until their face finally appeared.

You can easily find the PS5 specs with a simple Google search but being technologically illiterate, I can't do a deep dive on the fancy new hardware. What I can tell you is that it walks the talk on providing near-instant load times and supporting ray tracing — the latter being a revolutionary feature for console gaming that creates true-to-life shadows and reflections in supported games.

In a nutshell, the ray tracing feature makes light behave as it should in real life. The reason it's revolutionary for console gaming is that it is a feature only available with the next-gen consoles (due to its improved processing power), and as a whole, has only been available on PC gaming rigs in the last one to two years.

At the moment, nothing showcases the PS5's technical strengths more than Spider-Man: Miles Morales (which also says a lot about the current stable of PS5 games but more on that later). Loading up my saved game from the main menu took me about two seconds, a far cry from the two-minute wait I endure while loading up my Assassin's Creed: Valhalla saved game on the PS4.

Previously, Spider-Man: Miles Morales only offered either Fidelity (30fps with ray tracing) or Performance (60fps) mode, making you choose between gorgeous graphics or super smooth and responsive gameplay. However, they recently added a Performance RT which means you can have the best of both worlds — super smooth and responsive gameplay with gorgeous graphics.

Let's just say that swinging through the streets of New York and beating up baddies has never looked that beautiful and fluid. It's almost enough to make this grown man cry.

I even let out a brief shriek of joy when I could see all the little details on a character's outfit that I've not noticed before — like the fingerprints on a headphone to the scratches on an armour. Frankly, it's these little details that elevate the level of immersion in a game, especially when they have those intimate close-ups during a cutscene.

However, there is always a trade-off; and though the PS5 boasts an impressive cooling system with a 120mm fan and "omnidirectional" cooling, the air vents at the back were feeling pretty hot after a five-hour gaming session with Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

It's unclear whether the heat will cause any technical issues on the PS5 — unlike the PS4 where overheating can cause a disc to eject itself — so it's probably best to put the console in a place that has good ventilation.

PS5 controller is one of the best things about the console

Speaking of immersion, it's time to touch on the controller which has haptic feedback (the use of the sense of touch to communicate with users). It's most obvious in its adaptive triggers, which are a game-changer. Simply put, the controller's adaptive triggers provide tension and resistance when you push down on it, say while drawing a bow or compressing a spring before releasing it. If you're interested in a detailed breakdown on how it works, you can find it here.


By simulating real-life conditions, the adaptive triggers further enhance the level of immersion for gamers. Honestly, it might just be one of the best things about the PS5 because, among the next-gen consoles, this feature is unique to the PS5.

Unfortunately, none of the launch titles fully demonstrate it in all its glory except for Astro's Playroom, which comes with the console and serves as a technical demonstration of the controller and its features.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my experience in Astro's Playroom and how the adaptive triggers provide tension when your character turns into a loaded spring. However, I would have liked to experience a deeper immersion by feeling that same resistance when nocking an arrow on my bow while desperately fighting for my life in a game like Tomb Raider or The Last of Us 2.

As mentioned earlier, aside from underutilising the adaptive triggers, the launch titles for the PS5 are also a little disappointing in the sense that there's no one standout game that made me go "Oh my god, I really want to get a PS5 for that". Like, if The Last of Us 2 were to be a PS5 launch title, you can bet your paycheck that I would have fought like mad for a set at launch despite the fact that they apparently all sold out in seconds.

Unfortunately, not even Spider-Man: Miles Morales was enough for me to feel FOMO, especially when you consider the inevitable teething problems and bugs faced as an early adopter and the potential for Singapore gamers to get a better deal if they’re willing to hold out just a bit longer.

That said, as a base PS4 owner, the PS5 is definitely a huge upgrade for me and it's a must-buy without a doubt.

Yes, we know that everyone will eventually need to get a PS5 once they start rolling out those sweet, sweet Sony exclusives, but from a graphical and technical standpoint, there are enough reasons to get a set of your own.

From a practical standpoint, though, with the PS5 Digital Edition (the one without a disc drive) going for a recommended retail price of $599, while the standard PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive retailing for $729, it might be better not to be too hasty so you don't break the bank while trying to get it.

But, it's not as if you've got a choice as the PS5 is currently sold out in Singapore. Though, we all know that the PS5 will eventually be restocked anyway so it's only a matter of time.

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