With just one month to go until the PS5 is finally here, you’re probably wondering what should be the first thing you do with your new, next-generation console when it arrives at your doorstep this November. Sure, Sony has made a big deal about the PS5 launch games, DualSense haptic feedback tech, and its 3D audio, but the system has plenty of other cool features that, frankly, not enough people are talking about.
In fact, some of these PS5 features may be completely unheard of to you, but they’re absolutely worth knowing about if you want to make the most out of the hardware, especially before you get stuck into all of those upcoming PS5 games releasing at the end of this year. Here, we’ve listed 11 PS5 tips that you probably didn’t know about, and why you should try them out as soon as next-gen kicks off next month.
Detach the stand, or swap it around
Unlike the Xbox Series X, the PS5’s positioning stand is actually detachable, and for good reason. While your boxed console will come with the stand fixed at the bottom for positioning upright, that set-up may actually be too tall for your home entertainment feng shui, especially given how big the PS5 is.
With that in mind, you can switch the stand to the PS5’s base panel instead, allowing you to position it horizontally. All you need is a screwdriver, a delicate pair of hands, and five minutes of patience.
Make use of your old DualShock 4s
While PlayStation had originally stated that the PS4’s DualShock 4 controllers wouldn’t be forward compatible with PS5, you can use them when playing backwards-compatible PS4 games on the next-gen hardware.
This means that you shouldn’t throw out your DualShock 4s just yet, especially if you can’t afford a second DualSense controller right now, and find yourself looking for a good couch co-op game in the back catalogue to play with the family this Christmas. Simply delve back into your PS4 library, hand DualShock 4s around, and your Holiday lockdown evenings are sorted.
Use Game Boost to auto-enhance PS4 games
Similar to the Xbox Series X’s HDR machine learning tech, the PS5 is capable of automatically remastering backwards compatible PS4 games without any developer input, via something that Sony is calling Game Boost.
This will advantage PS4 titles with reduced loading times, improved frame rates and resolutions, and even the ability to “take advantage of some of PS5’s new UX features”, though Sony has not clarified what it means by that last feature. Either way, Game Boost is a great excuse to replay your old favourites with a facelift, and a perfect opportunity to keep you occupied during those annual gaming summer droughts.
Save storage by streaming your backwards compatible titles
Speaking of PS5 backward compatibility, there are a number of ways to bring your PS4 games onto your PS5’s hard drive, the easiest being simply accessing your digital library from the main menu and downloading them directly from the PSN Store.
If you’re tight on memory, however, PlayStation’s Remote Play feature allows you to stream PS4 games onto your PS5 without taking up a single bit of data. You’ll need to have your PS4 running on the same wi-fi network, of course, but otherwise this is a great way to enjoy your backwards compatible games without having to worry about the memory they’ll be taking up in your PS5’s hard drive.
Skip straight to the good stuff with selective installs
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Right back when Sony first started sharing details about its next-generation plans, PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny confirmed that the console will allow users to install only select parts of games onto the system, thus bypassing the high memory requirements of many AAA titles.
This is something that some games already allow for on PS4, but Cerny has promised its successor will offer a “finer-grained access to the data”, such as the ability to delete sections of a title without removing the entire application from your system. We don’t have the clearest picture of what this selective installation looks like on PS5, but at least we know it’s confirmed ahead of launch.
Customise your console with detachable panels
In a recent PS5 breakdown, Sony’s VP of mechanical design Yasuhiro Ootori revealed that the console’s gleaming white panels can be rather easily detached, already making way for a number of third party replacements which will allow users to more openly express themselves via the next-gen system.
While we’d recommend holding off from buying any of these personalised panels before the dodgy dealers are distinguished from the respected manufacturers (or indeed until Sony start selling its own), this definitely opens the door for a market of colourful, vibrant custom PS5 designs. Check the swathe of PS5 custom concepts on the internet, and have a think about what you might want your console to look like.
Join parties without a headset using the DualSense mic
In a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the DualSense controller features an in-built microphone that can be used to chat to friends in your party without the need for an external headset.
It’s unclear how good this microphone is at isolating your voice from external noise, including that of the game audio and the DualSense’s own speaker, but this does at least mean you can enjoy chats with party mates without sealing your ears off from the rest of your living room. Better still, those in your household who aren’t playing can also join in the camaraderie, finally free from having to only listen to one side of the conversation.
Use PS5 Activities to jump into specific game modes straight from the main menu
Sick and tired of having to boot up GTA 5, to then log into GTA Online, to then join a friend’s lobby, before finally reaching your favourite PvP playlist? Your new PlayStation should offer a way to cut through all of that preamble, via a new UI option called PS5 Activities. This will allow PS5 users to access a specific part of a game straight from the system’s main menu, as Mark Cerny explained last year.
“Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time,” says Cerny. “Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them – and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”
Hit the Create button to commemorate your greatest achievements
The DualShock 4’s Share Button has been replaced by the DualSense’s Create button, and although Sony hasn’t revealed much about its utility just yet, we do know that it’ll offer “new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves”.
What this hopefully means is a more customisable and seamless capture recording, editing, and sharing experience; one that’ll encourage you to share your gaming feats with the rest of the world on your next-generation console.
Set up couch co-op with ease using the DualSense’s light bar
Another new feature of the DualSense controller is its revamped touchbar, which now sends more information to the user through its in-built lighting system. One such piece of information is your Player Status during couch co-op sessions, with the number of lights at the top of the bar telegraphing which player you are in the game.
No more having to figure out which controller isn’t working, who Player Three is, or which cheeky teammate keeps accidentally hitting the PS button. Just turn on the controllers, look at the lights, and pass them round respectively.
Play P.T. (if you already own it)
After finally revealing its full list of PS5 backwards compatible titles, the internet was able to put two and two together, and discover that, technically, Hideo Kojima’s P.T. (a.k.a. the “playable teaser” for Konami’s now cancelled Silent Hills game) can be transferred to, and played on, PS5.
That also means that P.T. could also be a viable candidate for Sony’s Game Boost tech, and thus might be about to get remastered with better framerates, resolutions, and loading speeds. The one catch is that you have to already own P.T. on your current PS4 library, as there’s no way to download the game from the PSN Store, even if you previously downloaded it and deleted it from your hard drive. Sorry!
For more, be sure to check out all the biggest upcoming games of 2020 on the way, or watch the latest episode of Dialogue Options below.