The biggest issue with the Playstation 5 that anybody without one can tell you is that the console hasn’t shipped in nearly enough numbers to meet with demand, especially with scalpers buying up large numbers of them. The Playstation 5 launch, to some devs, even felt more like the Playstation 3 launch.
While the Playstation 5 still had a great launch, selling more platforms on launch day than the Playstation 4 did in its first week, that doesn’t change the fact that due to the pandemic, production numbers were crippled and thus the console launched with far fewer units than it would have normally. Keith Lee of Counterplay Games brought it up in the Official Playstation Magazine:
It’s hard to compare against previous launches given the dramatically reduced initial PS5 hardware supply due to the events in 2020. That said, my experience setting up the PS5, navigating the new UI, and linking all my PS4 games felt seamless and intuitive; it’s much better than previous iterations.
This also extends to the way that the console felt on launch. Much like when the Playstation 3 launched, the Playstation 5’s launch isn’t exactly something groundbreaking. Instead, even with the added tech, it still feels more like an evolution, since players can take their Playstation 4 games over to the Playstation 5 without any loss of progress.
Supplies for the Playstation 5 launch even now are still plagued by scalpers, people who buy out large numbers of the console and sell them for much higher markups online. Even with the internet calling them out on being terrible people, it’s unlikely that scalping will stop until production has picked up.
On the upside, the console’s launch being more an evolution than a completely new thing isn’t a bad thing. Even with the supply difficulties the transition from Playstation 4 to Playstation 5 has been very smooth for many developers and gamers. Developers were able to make games able to transition between generations, and gamers don’t have to give up their games thanks to the console’s backwards compatibility functions.
Even if the Playstation 5 launch wasn’t as big as many people would like, however, hopefully it won’t be long until Sony can send out enough consoles to cover demand, though that will likely take a sizable amount of time even when the pandemic ends.