If you subscribe to the idea of console wars, you’ll be very aware that Sony’s PlayStation 4 was a huge success compared to Microsoft’s Xbox One—it sold more than twice as much. In fact, the PS4 is one of the top-selling consoles of all time.
However, we can’t see the PS5 reaching those dizzy heights, at least not for now. Here are all the reasons why we don’t think you should buy a PlayStation 5.
1. Not Many Exclusive Games
It’s not uncommon for many gamers to own multiple platform, like a PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X/S. That’s why it’s so important that a console has amazing exclusive games; those that you can only experience on that platform.
The problem is that the PS5 only has but a handful. While games like Astro’s Playroom, Returnal, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are great, it’s not enough to plunge hundreds of dollars into a console.
This will change over time. However, at the time of writing, it’s been nearly two years since the PS5 launched and you’ll be hard-pressed to point to a single game that’s a system seller.
2. Most Games Are Available on the PS4
Compounding the issue is that many of these “exclusives” use that term loosely. That’s because they are also available on the PS4 or PC. Granted, if you don’t own either of those then it’s irrelevant, but millions of people do.
Many of these exclusives are upgrades of PS4 games anyway. For example, Death Stranding Director’s Cut, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales all look fantastic on the PS5, but they’re great on the PS4 too.
Not to bemoan Sony for this too heavily, mind. It’s great that the company hasn’t immediately cut PS4 owners off in a bid to force them to upgrade to the PS5. It just means if you’re purely interested in the gameplay experience—rather than the PS5’s graphical prowess or the controller’s haptic feedback—then there’s not much incentive to ditch the PS4.
3. The PS4 Is Still Great, and Still in Production
The Xbox One stopped production in 2020, but Sony is likely to continue producing PS4s into 2023. It’s a testament to the quality of the PS4 that people still buy them nearly a decade after they first released.
When was the last time you played a PS4 game and felt the console was hampering your experience? Chances are the answer is never, or rarely. That’s because the PS4 remains a powerful and excellent console.
If your PS4 still works well, and you still enjoy playing games on it, there doesn’t seem much point upgrading to the PS5. While the PS5 is capable of improving the performance of some PS4 games thanks to a feature called Game Boost, for most people the difference isn’t drastic enough to consider upgrading.
4. Other Consoles Are Cheaper
In August 2022, Sony announced that the PS5 was increasing in price in many regions due to the challenges of the “global economic environment”. In the US, a PS5 costs $500, though you can shave $100 off that if you buy the Digital Edition (which has no disc drive).
To compare, the Xbox Series X also costs $500. However, the Xbox Series S and Nintendo Switch both cost $300. That’s $200 cheaper than the retail price of a PS5.
Granted, neither of them pack the same punch when it comes to performance, and they host different games. But if you’re simply in the market for a fun games machine and need to save your cash, they make for optimal alternatives.
5. No Game Pass Equivalent
If Sony wants to stay relevant, it needs to provide a killer alternative to Microsoft’s superb Xbox Game Pass. This is a subscription which gives you access to a huge assortment of games, playable on both Xbox and PC. And these aren’t just old games—brand-new Microsoft exclusives arrive on Game Pass the day they launch.
PlayStation Plus, Sony’s subscription service, is available in three tiers. At the cheapest tier you get a few games each month; pay more and you gain access to a wider back catalog (a mixture of new and old games). It’s a large step in the right direction, but still not as generous as Xbox Game Pass.
As the games industry evolves, and the individual cost of new games only continues to grow, we’ll likely see more movement towards this subscription-based model.
6. They’re Not in Stock Anyway
Even if you did want to buy one, Sony can’t manufacture the PS5 quickly enough to meet demand. Due to the ongoing global supply chain issues, including shortage of fundamental chips used in the production of the console, any PS5 stock is snapped up immediately—and probably by scalpers.
However, let’s say you are lucky enough to get your hands on one. If you love playing multiplayer games with your friends, chances are they don’t own the console. So unless the game is cross-compatible, you’re not going to have anyone to play with anyway.
7. Wait for the Inevitable PS5 Slim
At 390mm x 104mm x 260mm in size and 4.5kg in weight, the PS5 is one hefty beast. If you usually keep your consoles beneath the TV, you might find that the PS5 physically doesn’t fit. And while the console’s design is fine, it’s not exactly a centerpiece; you don’t really want it dominating the room.
As such, why not just wait for the inevitable revamp? The PS4’s Slim version released three years after the main console, bringing a much-needed sleeker form factor. Then there’s the PS4 Pro, capable of 4K gaming over the main console’s 1080p.
Nowadays, the PS4 Slim doesn’t exist in name; it’s simply the PS4. The same thing is bound to happen with the PS5, as it has done every console cycle. Plus, it’ll probably be cheaper. Patience pays off.
Should You Buy a PS5?
Ultimately, only you know the answer to whether you should buy a PS5. If none of these reasons sound like a dealbreaker to you, that’s great—go ahead and buy the PS5, and hopefully you’ll get hundreds of hours of entertainment from it.
However, many people might want to pause. Perhaps wait until there are more PS5 exclusive games, until it drops in price, or for the second iteration… or for all three. At that point, it’s likely that the PS5 will be in a stronger position and become a must-own games console.