10 Reasons A PS5 Still Isn't Worth The Money In 2023

It has been almost a decade since Sony first released the PlayStation 4, so it should not come as much of a surprise that the console is now starting to show its age. With the launch of the PlayStation 5 in November 2020, Sony ushered in a new generation of consoles alongside Microsoft's Xbox Series X|S. These new systems are vastly more powerful than their predecessors, include a host of new features, and support higher performance and graphical options than ever before.

Still, even with all that, is it worth buying a PS5 right now? Having been on the market for more than two years, Sony has given potential customers plenty of time to look at the platform and see what it has to offer. Yet, even with all the impressive specs, there are still plenty of reasons why players might be better off looking elsewhere for their gaming needs or waiting for the inevitable price drop and hardware revisions before jumping in. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why the PS5 doesn't justify its expensive price tag quite yet.

A PlayStation 5 Pro could be on the horizon

Just because the PlayStation 5 is still a relatively new console doesn't mean that a new iteration couldn't be released in the near future. This would follow a pattern that Sony has demonstrated in the past, as the company unveiled the PS4 Pro in 2016 — just three years after the original PS4 hit store shelves. This allowed games to be played in higher resolutions and at faster frame rates, improving the performance and presentation of most titles. Microsoft followed a similar strategy with its Xbox One, releasing the more powerful Xbox One X just a few years after the launch of the first system.

Since the PS5 arrived at the end of 2020, many gamers feel it is likely that an enhanced version of the console could well come in 2023. This would follow the same three-year cycle as its predecessor and help create more interest for the console ahead of the holiday season. There's been no official word from Sony that a PS5 Pro is even in the works — but that hasn't stopped persistent rumors about when it will be released and what kind of improvements it might bring to the table, such as more advanced hardware and a larger SSD for storage.

If a PS5 Pro is announced in the next few months, then anyone considering purchasing a PS5 would probably be better off waiting, even if the newer version does come with a price hike. After all, getting access to the better features is likely worth any delay in getting the system.

The internal storage for the console is still very low

In an age where more and more people are downloading games rather than buying physical copies, hard drive space is more important than ever. Even gamers still picking up physical copies of new titles need plenty of storage space since modern consoles don't play games directly from the disc and instead require them to be installed. While installing games allows faster loading times and is necessary due to the way these systems are configured, it does mean that gamers can only have so many titles available at once.

This is particularly problematic on the PS5 as the console utilizes an advanced 825 GB SSD for storage, although only 667 GB is available to users as a significant portion is reserved for the operating system and firmware. That really isn't that much more storage space than the PS4 came with by default. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X has 802 GB of usable space on its 1 TB SSD.

With the ever-increasing size of games, the small size of the SSD effectively prevents users from installing more than a few high-profile releases on the PS5. Typical blockbuster titles can easily surpass 100 GB in size, and "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War" even exceeds the 200 GB mark. It takes only a few games of that size to completely fill the SSD, forcing players to constantly uninstall and reinstall the games they want to play.

Hard drives are still very expensive

For those who still want to get a PS5 despite the storage limitations, there are some options available to expand the amount of space available to install games. However, this is not as easy as just plugging a USB drive into the console, as was the case with the PS4. Due to the type of storage the console utilizes, a custom solid-state drive, only M.2 SSD devices are compatible with the system and even those were not initially supported at launch.

These types of storage drives are much more expensive than most other storage solutions due to the high cost of manufacturing these complex products and a shortage of parts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the cheapest options will typically cost more than $100, making it an expensive endeavor for anyone who wants to have extra space to install more games. Some larger M.2 SSD drives will even set buyers back as much as half the cost of the PS5 console itself, dramatically increasing the overall cost of owning the system.

Even after purchasing a new SSD that will work with the PS5, installing will actually require some assembly. In fact, users need to remove the cover of the console and then use a screwdriver to screw the additional storage into space and then put the cover back on the PS5.

All the best games are still available on PlayStation 4

A defining reason to own any console is its exclusives. The PS4 had plenty of impressive games — including "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End," "Bloodborne," "Horizon Zero Dawn," and "Days Gone" — that made gamers want to go out and buy the console. After all, this was the only way that people would be able to play those games, and if that meant paying for the PS4 that was something they would have to do. The same cannot really be said for the new system.

Sure, the PS5 does have some great exclusive games. "Gran Turismo 7," "God of War Ragnarök," and "Horizon Forbidden West" are just a few examples — but all three of those are also available on the PS4. Sure, they might not be quite as impressive in terms of presentation and performance, but they work perfectly fine on the older console. Even enhanced titles such as "Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered" and "Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut" aren't necessarily worth buying a brand new console for when they look and play great on the PS4.

The future doesn't look all that bright, either. Only a few high-profile exclusives, such as "Final Fantasy XVI" and "Marvel's Spider-Man 2," have set release dates. The release dates for "Death Stranding 2," the remake of "Knights of the Old Republic," and "Marvel's Wolverine" all remain unannounced. For now, gamers can still access much of Sony's library of exclusives on the PS4.

The price of the console has actually risen

When the PS5 launched in 2020, it was priced at $499, which put it on par with the pricing structure of the Xbox Series X|S. However, that made those consoles some of the most expensive ever released. The PlayStation 4, for example, cost $399 when it was released, and today gamers can get a brand new 1 TB PS4 directly from Sony for just $299.

The $499 cost of the PS5 seems particularly high when you can get a new PS4 for $200 less. The savings made by buying the older console would even be enough to buy four or five games. Further, owning a PS5 was already an expensive undertaking even before taking into account the pricier $70 games that Sony has been pushing since the launch of the console. 

Somehow, things are now a whole lot worse than they were when the console was first released. Sony revealed in August 2022 that it was increasing the price of both editions of the PS5 in every market other than the United States due to the global economic environment. In Europe, the price climbed €50 to €549.99, while in the UK the price increased by £30 to £479.99. The new price makes the PS5 an even harder pill to swallow.

Xbox Game Pass offers great value compared to PlayStation Plus

In 2017, Microsoft launched its video game subscription service Xbox Game Pass. This service initially offered players a catalog of older games from various Xbox consoles but soon expanded to give subscribers day-one access to first-party Microsoft games and other select titles alongside the benefits of both Xbox Live Gold and EA Play. The service has proven to be a huge success, and Xbox Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. Many developers have even spoken about the positives of including their games on the service.

Sony offers a similar service for its PlayStation consoles in the form of PlayStation Plus. This subscription was revamped in 2022 and now gives users access to a variety of classic games and current releases depending on the tier, with the more expensive PlayStation Plus Premium offering the most games. However, it lacks some key features compared to Xbox Game Pass that makes the Xbox Series X|S a more attractive option. For instance, the mobile and cloud gaming support on Xbox Game Pass is much more sophisticated and accessible, while the addition of first-party games at launch also gives Microsoft's service the edge. 

Overall, PlayStation Plus does not provide a great incentive to buy a PlayStation 5 –- at least not yet.

PlayStation exclusives are now coming to PC

For a long time, Sony has focused on crafting blockbuster single-player games exclusively for its PlayStation consoles. As a result, franchises such as "God of War," "Uncharted," and "The Last of Us" have only been accessible on Sony consoles, and anyone who wanted to play these games would have to buy the latest PlayStation system. It's a strategy that seemed to work, as it kept the brand as a market leader by making the consoles must-buys for those who want access to some of the best games.

However, things are now starting to change. Sony's decision to send "Helldivers: Dive Harder Edition" in 2015 began a trend that has now seen a variety of high-profile first-party Sony releases come to PC. That shift really picked up momentum when the high-profile PlayStation exclusive "Horizon: Zero Dawn" was ported to PC in 2020. Since then, titles such as "Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered," "God of War," "Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection," and "Returnal" have all been made available to purchase on PC.

Sony has committed to porting more of its library to PC in the future. This has obvious benefits for the company as it opens up its games to a much bigger market. However, it also makes the PS5 a less necessary product. Those with powerful enough PCs have no real reason to buy a PS5 — other than the fact that PlayStation games won't come to PC for at least a year after they initially release.

It is missing Quick Resume and a number of other features

One of the major problems with the PS5 that makes it a less attractive purchase at this moment is its lack of features. A great example of a game-changing feature on the Xbox Series X|S is Quick Resume. This essentially saves the state of games so that players can quickly switch between multiple titles and get straight back into the action where they left off. It is a neat feature that means gamers don't have to completely reload games when playing different titles. The PS5 does have a feature known as Switcher, although it isn't as effective as Quick Resume since the PlayStation cannot run more than one application at a time — meaning that it more or less just lists the last few games and apps that have been used.

The console is missing some other features that gamers have assumed would be standard — especially since many were included with the PS4. Some of these are relatively small, such as Pins or a web browser. However, there are aspects missing from the PS5 that are much more important, including full backward compatibility and support for Bluetooth audio devices such as headphones or microphones. The fact that things are missing from the PS5 makes it much harder to recommend at its current price point.

The Xbox Series X has a slight advantage in terms of hardware power

On the face of it, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are very similarly matched in terms of specification. They have similar RAM, can both support up to 120 FPS, and output at resolutions of up to 8K. The only real differences come with the CPU, GPU, and storage solutions. Microsoft's system is technically a little more powerful than its competitor, with a GPU that is capable of 12 teraflops compared to the 10.3 teraflops of the PS5. The CPU also has a slight boost, operating at 3.8GHZ rather than 3.5GHz.

While there was some initial evidence of the PS5 outperforming the Xbox Series X when they both launched, this was likely due to developers getting their hands on the Xbox platform later. As studios become more accustomed to using the architecture of both consoles, the Xbox Series X should pull ahead due to its extra power, giving it a small but noticeable advantage.

The Xbox Series X can also do quite a few things that the PS5 cannot. For instance, the Xbox Series X has full compatibility with Xbox One controllers, while PS4 controllers will only work with the PS5 while users are playing a game developed for the PS4. Microsoft's top-tier system also has support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Great exclusives are coming to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox

One of the best things about PlayStation in the last few years is that it has had some killer exclusive games. Just look at titles such as "God of War Ragnarök" and "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" as good examples of that. However, the near future isn't looking particularly exciting for PS5 owners in terms of exclusive games and even those that do come to the console will eventually release on PC or will also be available on PS4. If it comes to a choice between getting a PS5 and a rival console, the best option might be to look outside of PlayStation.

That's because both the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X are getting some very highly anticipated games in the next few months and years. Nintendo has titles that include "Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp" and "Pikmin 4" coming to the Switch, alongside the eagerly awaited "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," which is likely to be a contender for game of the year.

On the other hand, Microsoft's upcoming offerings are just as enticing. There's "The Outer Worlds 2," "Fable," and "Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2" as just a sample alongside upcoming Bethesda exclusives like "Redfall" and "Starfield." Meanwhile, Microsoft's potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard also throws up questions about the possible exclusivity of future games from the publisher.