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Earlier this year, I had to upgrade my TV. Because Roku TVs are fire on a budget, I blessed myself with the 55-inch 4K HDR option, not even thinking about the next-gen era dropping later in the year. After unboxing Sony's PlayStation 5 and getting it hooked up to my TV, I marveled at the bright lights and sound emitting from the PS5 via my television. The future of gaming was literally in my living room. I may have cried a bit.
Those are my true first impressions; it actually took me back to when I was a kid, and got the first PlayStation for Christmas. That felt like the future—it was—but it also feels like lightyears behind what Sony's done with this beast of a console. You can tell just by looking at it; Sony wanted to make a statement. It's a statement I wish I knew was coming when I planned out my living room set-up. Compared to the squat PlayStation 4, this PS5 is an elegant spaceship of a console that won't fit in the nook the PlayStation 4 was occupying. That (plus the PS5's design compared to its main competitor) told me everything I needed to know from Sony about this phase of their gaming universe: the PlayStation 5 is to be a beacon for the future of video gaming, which, again, is right here in your living room. It's a statement piece—there's no denying that YOU OWN A PLAYSTATION 5 because this monster will need to occupy some space in your domicile, either standing vertically or laying horizontally. (I went for the former, primarily because the aforementioned cubby in my entertainment center just wasn't having it. That said, I probably need a new entertainment center to better accentuate the PS5's size.)
It's also interesting to note that while this massive rig does take up some more space, it doesn't make its presence that known. You barely hear a peep out of this thing; sure, it's new, and things like fans turning on periodically to cool own the machine are always a thing, you wouldn't notice anything in terms of loud(er) noises coming from the console itself. It's almost like a piece of pop art on your mantle that also plays fire video games.
After booting up you're greeted by a much cleaner UI experience. The tabs are still there, but gone is all of the clutter that could clog up the different sections of your PlayStation experience. A quick tap of the PS button on the DualSense controller (which we'll get to in a bit) brings up a menu that lives on the bottom of your screen, allowing you to switch between games/apps, check notifications, configure your audio and mic settings, and more. All of that stuff that used to reside above the tabs in the UI are tucked away for convenience. You can also access all of that in the main Settings icon at the top of the screen, but again, those aspects of the PS4 UI always bothered me, and are much more welcoming on the PlayStation 5.