Top 10 PS5 Controversies



Top 10 PS5 Controversies

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
The PS5's launch was not without its problems! For this list, we'll be looking at various public controversies surrounding the release of the PlayStation 5 and the console itself. Our countdown includes Supply Issues, Pre-Order Debacle, Price Concerns, The Physical Design and more!
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 PS5 Controversies

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 PS5 controversies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various public controversies surrounding the release of the PlayStation 5 and the console itself.

Have you been enjoying your PS5 (if you’ve managed to get a hold of one)? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Backwards Compatibility

This has always been a big selling point for new consoles. Unfortunately, Sony totally bungled backwards compatibility when it came to the PS4 with the atrocious PlayStation Now. And it looks like the PS5 may be following in its predecessor’s footsteps - albeit to a lesser degree. Upon launch, it was discovered that upwards of 150 PS4 titles were not fully compatible with the PS5. And it’s not like these are obscure games that no one cares about. No, various high profile games like “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate,” various “Call of Duty” titles, “Mafia III: Definitive Edition,” and various sports games like “MLB The Show” and “NBA 2K” did not make the cut.

#9: The Physical Design

You know what they say - big risks yield big rewards. But also big failures. For upwards of twenty years, the PlayStation has been a solid black brick. The PS3 played with the design a little bit by introducing sleek silver and a rounded top, but it still looked like a PlayStation. Sony threw all conventions out the window for the PlayStation 5. Not only is it white, but the unique angles makes it look like something from the future. The change didn’t go over well for some. Sony unveiled the PS5 back in June of 2020, and it was immediately memed. People turned it into modern buildings, popped collars, binders, modems sandwiched with paper, and even Sauron’s tower from “Lord of the Rings.”

#8: Different Cooling Fans

It didn’t take long for the noise complaints to start flooding in. As it turns out, different cooling fans were installed inside random PlayStation 5s, resulting in some louder-than-average consoles. It was a total luck of the draw if a consumer received a loud PS5 or a normal one. A French tech website called Les Numériques took apart various consoles and discovered that the review unit that Sony had sent out contained a better quality cooling fan than the one they purchased at retail. With that said, both fans are still quieter than the PS4, and there should be no additional problems provided the cheaper fan is still doing its job.

#7: Recording Voice Chats

People don’t like to be spied on, and this has become a recurring problem as technology has advanced in many amazing, albeit creepy and obtrusive, ways. In October of 2020, it was revealed that the PlayStation 5 would be recording player conversation to use as evidence in cases of verbal harassment. It was claimed that someone could rewind up to five minutes of the conversation and send a forty second snippet to PlayStation moderators. This naturally caused some controversy, and Sony was quick to clarify that it would not be listening in on conversations. This didn’t really help much - especially when it was revealed that this function could not be disabled.

#6: Criminal Activity

The PlayStation 5 is a hot commodity, and its frustrating lack of presence on store shelves is a primer for criminal activity. Robbery, including armed robbery, has been reported throughout North America, including instances in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Toronto, and New Rochelle. This is also happening overseas in the United Kingdom, with deliveries being marked as “delivered” when they hadn’t been, packages mysteriously going missing, and even consoles being replaced with items like cat food and air fryers. Amazon was quick to allay duped customers and said that they would be given priority when a new batch of consoles arrives. Small consolation to the person receiving cat food for Christmas.

#5: Price Concerns

All things considered, the PS5 was surprisingly cheap - especially considering the absolute lunacy that was the PS3’s $600 launch. That said, $500 is still a lot of money for people to float - especially at a time when millions are out of work. And once again, places like the United Kingdom are shafted, as the PS5’s £450 price is akin to $600 USD. But perhaps more upsetting is the game price increase. Many new games are now costing upwards of $70, with places like the United Kingdom paying more than $90 USD. With tax, a brand new game will run millions of PS5 owners up to $100 USD, which is simply insane. It’s no wonder that cheap and free-to-play games are becoming more popular.

#4: Pre-Order Debacle

Needless to say, the PlayStation 5 pre-orders could have gone a little smoother. Pre-orders are absolutely essential when it comes to new consoles, as they are guaranteed to be in low stock upon launch - resulting in the aforementioned robberies. Which is why Sony’s pre-order debacle was so frustrating for some. Pre-orders were opened after Sony’s State of Play event in September 2020. However, a specific date for pre-orders was never given, the list of retailers was muddy, and some retailers even opened their pre-orders the day of, resulting in many frustrated buyers facing a “sold out” screen or a crashed website. Naturally, those who did manage to secure one instantly went to eBay and put them up for insane amounts of money.

#3: Technical Issues

If it’s not crashing websites, it’s crashing consoles. Even those who managed to secure a PlayStation 5 weren’t very happy, as the internet was inundated with crash and bug reports. The controllers weren’t charging, game downloads were stopping, games were crashing and showing a green screen, graphical artifacting plagued various consoles, and the entire consoles were hard crashing and completely shutting down. Unfortunately, some of these issues aren’t simple fixes, and many were forced to send for a replacement - a particularly difficult challenge considering the low supply. This might be the Red Ring of Death all over again...

#2: Supply Issues

Speaking of low stock, the PS5’s supply issues is one of its biggest and most frustrating problems. Now, this isn’t exclusive to the PlayStation 5, as the Xbox Series X is experiencing the same problem. In fact, console launch supply issues have been a problem for decades. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying. And it’s not just annoyance that people have to deal with - it’s also the millions of disappointed children who don’t get their Christmas present, rampant price gouging, and even armed robberies. And it’s not like this is resolved in a few weeks - no, Xbox’s Tim Stuart estimates that the shortages will continue until April. We don’t know what the solution is, but we would certainly love one!

#1: Scalpers

But perhaps the worst thing of all are the scalpers. It’s one thing to fairly snag a PS5. It’s another to set up a bot to ensure a console and then instantly put it up on eBay for $2,000. Walmart implemented a form of bot prevention and blocked twenty million bots in just thirty minutes. It just goes to show how rampant they are. Scalpers don’t just hurt consumers - they hurt the company as well, because scalpers don’t buy games. A typical ratio is one game per console sold, but Famitsu’s sales data indicates less than one game per three PS5 consoles sold in 2020. So, they’re not only ticking off millions of people, they’re also impacting necessary software sales and long-term profitability.