I bought a PS5 after only owning Nintendo consoles

Oh man. Look, listen, I know. I write for a game site, and somehow, all this time, I never touched nothing beyond the realm of Nintendo? Yes really. No, I don’t even have a gaming PC. I have no excuse, and yes, I’m a little ashamed.

However, dear reader, a new era is upon us – and by us I mean me in particular. In 2022, after 16 years of only owning Nintendo handhelds and consoles, I finally bought a PlayStation 5. A miracle in so many ways – one, given my lifelong allegiance, and there’s also the fact that I was able to get a unit despite being out of stock. A very proud achievement, I’m not going to lie.

Anyone who owns a PS5 will undoubtedly have experienced the adorable Astro’s Playroom has to offer, but it also has some amazing Easter eggs. Check them out below.

Let me tell you, making the switch (ironically) was an experience. From the minute I took the console out of the box, I was surprised in so many ways I didn’t even know was possible. Here’s a little insight into my experience so far – the things I don’t know how I’ve lived without so far; stuff that’s way cooler than it has any right to be; and the stuff that, frankly, confused me a bit.

First of all, since this is the first thing that (almost literally) hit me in the face, can we talk about the height of this boy? Absolute unit. I know people already thought the PS5 was big compared to its predecessor, but let me tell you, it’s an even bigger leap from the Switch to that big boi. Sitting next to my white OLED Switch, it gives off major “don’t ever talk to me or my son again” vibes. I would also like to note here that the enormity of this thing meant that after all these years I finally had to unplug my Wii U, which I really feel pretty guilty about. Sorry, my old friend.

As the saying goes, size doesn’t matter (unless it requires you to unplug your Wii U), and obviously the main event is what the console can actually do – but before I even can go this far, I fell at the first hurdle of trying to put it in place. After spending a lifetime having my trusty A and B buttons, which meant “forward” or “back” respectively, having two buttons in the same places on the controller means the exact opposite was incredibly disorienting, and I got it immediately mixed. This resulted in a very polite pop-up in the settings menu, letting me know that maybe I was pressing the wrong thing. It was good.

The first chance I had I mapped the commands back to what I was used to, although I still have to press them in their original order to select my PS profile when I turn on the console , which continues to surprise me. Also, the fact that one of those buttons is “X” (and yes, I know it’s the “cross” button, but that’s what it looks like) always throws me off, because everything what I’ve ever experienced tells me it should be the top button. Every time a game tells me to press it, it’s all wrong, because not only is it do not up, but it’s no longer where it appears to be on the controller, thanks to my button mapping. I get there though. Just, slowly. Very slowly.

Speaking of controllers, let me talk about the DualSense for a moment. Because I’m a woman of culture, I started my PlayStation experience with the adorable pre-downloaded platformer Astro’s Playroom (actually, mainly thanks to the recommendation of Ewan from GAMINGbible – thanks, Ewan), and this initial presentation of what the controller can do? Saint Molly. I realize I’m in danger here of looking like a boomer who can’t figure out the tech behind one of those fancy vidya games they never had in their day, but wow. Those haptics! These little robots are really into it! I thought the JoyCon vibes were good, but that’s on a whole other level. Also, I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t know there was a touchpad on this thing – the moment it asked me to swipe on it blew me away more than it should have .

Astro’s playroom is both adorable and truly breathtaking in the way it uses the DualSense. Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

One of the things I knew about that was the massive file sizes of some of these games – compared to the Switch, they’re gigantic. What I does not have realizing was that even with the console disc edition, you still have to download everything – I thought having the physical games would eliminate the need. So is it a bit frustrating? It’s not a big deal, but I love that with a physical Switch game you can just pop it in and be good to go, so that’s something I can’t say I’m fan.

But once I finally managed to get into a game? Oh man. Despite getting my hands on it Forbidden Horizon WestI started my first real PlayStation adventure (sorry, Astro) with its predecessor, zero dawn. Got to play things in order, you know? But anyway, even though this is a five-year-old previous-gen game, I can’t believe how gorgeous it looks. I immediately became more understanding of some of the digging some people do about the graphics of some Switch games, because some of them are truly worlds apart. Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t think realistic visuals are the be-all and end-all of any game, but it sure is impressive to see.

But you know, dear reader, even with all the fancy things this big chunk of console can do, it’s a very simple feature, which I know isn’t new to anyone who’s dabbled in anything other than the hardware from Nintendo, which turned out to be a game-changer for me, literally. Trophies.

I like to finish games. I love seeing the collection pages fill up. I love seeing percentages increase, stars appear next to save files, and all the other goodies that come with finishing anything a title has to offer. Now, are you telling me that every game I play has a bunch of achievements to complete? Who are linked to my PlayStation profile? This shows how many people have them before me? ! Sign. Me. At the top. That little “ding” that happens when you do any of these things? Gorgeous. A truly unprecedented dopamine rush. Right, *chef’s kiss*.

Not only was buying a new console a bad idea for my already overflowing backlog in general, but now having all these extra achievements tempting me? Getting this thing may be the worst idea for my productivity I’ve had in a long time. But you know what? I love every minute of it, and while my heart will probably stay with Nintendo until the end of time, they definitely have competition now.

Timothy C. Mayo