When Is the Right Time to Upgrade From PS4 to PS5? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’re a video game fan, the allure of a shiny new console is hard to resist. If you own a PS4, you’ve likely had many years of happy gaming—the first iteration of the console released way back in 2013—and you might be thinking about upgrading to the PS5.
However, before you hand over your hard-earned cash for the PS5, you need to ask yourself a series of questions to determine whether now is the right time to upgrade your Sony console. We’re going to list out these questions to help guide your decision.
1. Can You Afford It?
The number one question you need to ask yourself is whether you can afford to buy a PS5. It’s not a cheap machine. In the US, the recommended retail price is $499.99, though you can save $100 by getting the Digital Edition (without a disc drive) instead.
While products usually get cheaper over time, the opposite happened for the PS5 in many regions. In August 2022, Sony announced that the PS5 was increasing in price due to the challenges of the “global economic environment”. Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada all saw a price hike.
You must also consider the hidden costs of buying a PS5. You’ll probably want to subscribe to PlayStation Plus, for example, or buy a second DualSense controller. Many triple-A games retail for $69.99. It all adds up and can quickly break the bank if you’re not careful.
2. Do You Have Uncompleted PS4 Games?
If you’ve had your PS4 for a while, chances are you’ve built up a decent collection of games. Whether it’s God of War, Spider-Man, or Horizon Zero Dawn, the PS4 is packed with amazing must-play games.
Take a look at your library and see how many games remain uncompleted. Assuming you still intend to play them, there’s no rush to upgrade to a PS5. You might get distracted by the PS5’s games and leave your old ones behind—that’s not only a waste of money, but you might miss out on some fun experiences.
That said, the PS5 offers a feature called Game Boost which improves the performance of many backward-compatible games thanks to higher resolutions and frame rates. This means your PS4 games will likely run better on the PS5.
3. Does the PS5 Have Enough Games?
At the time of writing, the PS5 doesn’t have many truly exclusive games—most are also available on the PS4. There are some exceptions, like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Returnal, but they are few and far between. While the PS5 versions may offer additional content and better performance, that might not be enough to convince you.
More importantly than the number of games available on the PS5, you should assess how many you actually want to play. If you love first-person shooters or puzzle games and the console doesn’t have enough to satiate you, maybe you should wait before buying the PS5.
4. Do You Crave Improved Performance?
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to a PS5 from the PS4 is that the former offers a giant performance boost in every aspect, like graphics, audio, and loading times. The PS5 also has unique software features like Game Help and a DualSense controller with haptic feedback and dynamic adaptive triggers.
There’s no doubt that playing games on a PS5 is an incredible experience and it’s only going to get better as developers get to grips with the power of the PS5. If performance and visual fidelity is important to you, you’ll want to upgrade to a PS5. While the PS4 is a strong machine, it’s old. Games look and run better on the PS5.
If the types of games you typically play aren’t technically intense, like visual novels, upgrading to a PS5 may not be worthwhile; you won’t notice the difference as much as you would in a fast-paced, high-budget action or racing game.
5. Do You Have a Suitable Gaming Setup?
The PS5 is a massive machine. The base model’s dimensions are 390 x 260 x 104mm, while the Digital Edition is 390 x 260 x 92mm. You need to check that you have the physical space to store the console. It might not fit on your shelf.
It’s likely that Sony will release a slim version in the future, as all console manufacturers do, but for now you’ll need to clear ample room for the PS5.
You also need to ensure that you have a TV that can take advantage of the PS5’s power. While the PS5 will run well on most TVs, you ideally want a large 4K TV which supports HDR10, 120Hz, a variable refresh rate, and has low input latency. This will be expensive, but it means you’ll be able to fully appreciate your games.
6. Do You Have Enough Spare Time?
If you’ve got this far and you think upgrading to the PS5 is the right decision, ask yourself one final question: do you have enough spare time to enjoy it? There are many reasons to upgrade from a PS4 to a PS5, like improved visuals, a new DualSense controller, and 3D audio. But all of this is meaningless if your PS5 is just going to collect dust.
While many of us remember childhoods full of endless gaming, the unfortunate reality is that adulthood often leaves little time for it. If that describes your situation, now might not be the best time to splash out on a PS5. Keep enjoying your PS4 when you get the chance, then perhaps upgrade to a PS5 when you’re more time-rich.
However, if you have plenty of time to relax on the couch with the PS5’s excellent games, then go ahead and buy Sony’s console.
Or Should You Buy an Xbox Series X?
Have you decided it’s time to upgrade from your PS4 to a PS5? It’s a console that’s only going to get better with time, so enjoy it. You could sell your PS4 for some extra cash or give it to a friend in need.
Alternatively, are you unconvinced by the PS5? If so, consider the Xbox Series X instead. Microsoft’s console offers a different experience with its own exclusive franchises. Or simply stick with your PS4—new games continue to release on it.