Words by Max Cowie, Staff Writer

For those looking for a new tech investment for this coming academic year, the age old question of when to take the video game console generational leap has returned…. Stay true to the consistent Playstation 4 or take an expensive leap of faith with the all new and hard to find Playstation 5?

The PS4, released in 2013 is a true favourite for gamers. The console is justifiably the most popular globally. It is affordable, reliable and does the good for a great entertainment console. At a price of only £250, with both games and accessories also being reasonable, this is a games console which is viable for the majority of student budgets. Because the PS4 has been on the market for so long, you have plenty of options for gaming. Whether it is old favourites or new releases which manage to push the boundaries of this console’s catalogue, there is something for everyone. It also works just as well as an entertainment hub for a student flat, with apps for entertainment/streaming needs. The PS4, although older, is a reliable favourite for a reason. 

This is not to say it is flawless. Thanks to the release of the PS5 last November, the PS4 shall inevitably be phased out within one or two years. With its value also expected to greatly decrease. Due to its age, this console is not the fastest anymore. It can run slow and have issues in regards to its cooling system. Issues which can overheat and potentially crash. It is undeniable there are issues with the fan mechanism within the console, which result in a loud accompanying noise when in use. As stated before, this console has issues, but has served its purpose well for nearly a decade within the gaming economy. 

Enter center stage, the brand new all singing all dancing, PS5. This game’s console release last year took the gaming world by storm. The new console is simply better. Better graphics, with a focus on 60 frames per second on all major titles, making the best observational game play physically possible. This console is smooth, with next to no loading times, it makes games consoles which have come before look prehistoric in comparison. Personally, now I can clearly see the difference in gaming experience, I am unsure if I could go back. With purchase you automatically get access to plenty of the most popular titles from the PS4 generation. Such as The Last of Us and God of War. This makes the eye watering expense a touch more bearable. If you decide to purchase a PS5, you are buying into gaming for the next decade, which when you think about it, is a solid investment if gaming is one of your passions. 

Although this new generation of gaming sounds both impressive and endearing, good luck getting one. The PS5 is almost impossible to get a hold of globally. Thanks to the pandemic, production was unable to keep up with demand, as the world turned more gaming to entertainment through lockdowns. I actually pre-ordered my PS5 before its release in November of last year and actually only got a hold of it in March 2021. Although it was worth the wait, the wait was agonising. If you are lucky enough to get the chance to purchase one of these, the price is steep for students. Sitting at £449 to buy legitimately, but with a long wait time or to buy quickly from scalpers, with prices more commonly over £800 on sites such as EBay. It is not an easy console to get your hands on, which infringes on all of the excitement of this new age of gaming. 

Overall, for students in my eyes, the PS4 wins. Although it is an older model, with some issues, it serves and does it well, for a far more accessible price. Especially considering at the moment you can buy one and get it almost instantly. Yes PS5 is exciting, and given more time shall be easier to obtain and therefore to enjoy. This is not the current case. 

For now, waiting on the generational gaming jump is best. Make the most of the PS4 and all that it has to offer as an entertainment hub before it is gone. 

Image: Pixabay

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