Giri: PS5 is a better deal than gaming PC

Saurav Giri, Staff Columnist

The title of this column alone has probably irked a lot of the gaming purists out there, and I can already sense the pitchforks drawing out, but please first hear me out. While it’s obvious that gaming PCs are superior both graphically and performance wise, you might just want to consider the PlayStation 5 (PS5) if what you are looking for is the best value for your money.

The PS5 comes in with a 3.5 GHz 8-Core AMD Zen 2 processor, a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU, 16GB RAM as well as a 825GB SSD. These improvements have resulted in significantly shorter load times for games. It has shown a drastic decrease in the load times for PS4 titles and up to a whopping 90% improvement in games optimized for the PS5. For instance, Spider-Man: Miles Morales only takes 2 seconds to load on the PS5 compared to 20 seconds on the PS4. We can only see this number improving as more developers start optimizing their games for the PS5. 

Other notable specs include the ability to play media at 8K resolution and at 120 frames per second (fps). However, it must be said that realistically, most games will operate at 4K resolution with 60fps. The PS5 also includes 3D audio, a 4K Blu-Ray disc drive and, of course, the next generation DualSense controller with amazing haptic feedback. The haptic feedback alone is worth buying the PS5 as it allows players to feel the difference between walking on surfaces such as glass and water from the vibrations in the PS5 controller alone. If it is raining in game, you can actually feel the raindrops fall on the character you are playing. You really cannot understand how impressive this is until you experience it yourself.

Apart from the controller, you may be asking yourself at this point, what is so special about the specs I just listed? 8K gaming at 120fps was available on high-end gaming PCs ages ago. The secret lies in the value for money that the PS5 packs. If we were to compare the PS5 to a gaming PC with similar hardware components and specs, then we could expect this PC to cost upwards of $1,200. The graphics card itself should set you back $700, an equivalent processor would be around $300, the 16GB RAM would cost $70 and a 1TB SSD normally costs around $150. This is not to mention that the PS5 also includes a Blu-Ray disc drive (unless you buy the discless version), and if we were to add a Blu-Ray player to this custom PC, the cost would rise even higher. If we compare this to the price of the PS5, with the disc version coming in at $499 and the discless coming in at $399, we can easily see who wins. 

The value of the PS5, however, lies in more than just the price. The PS5 may be massive when compared to the Xbox Series X, or even its predecessor, the PS4; however, when compared to a gaming PC central processing unit (CPU), it is significantly smaller.

Another underrated aspect about buying a PS5 is that it will stay relevant for longer. The PS5 is going to continually receive software updates and patches. If your hardware encounters any problems you will only have to be in contact with Sony. Assuming that you built a custom PC, you likely used parts made by various companies, making maintenance more difficult. Furthermore, if you previously owned a PS4, you can still play all of your PS4 titles on your PS5, so you save some money on that front, too. But, of course, this is all assuming that you want to play games available both on the PS5 as well as a gaming PC. If you wish to play World of Warcraft for instance, you have no choice but to buy a PC.

Considering the difference between PS5 and a gaming PC is important because it often goes unnoticed how much you can save by buying one over the other. Although admittedly, you might not get the absolute best graphics and performance, if you are a broke college student like myself looking to salvage every penny, then you might want to give the PS5 a proper look.