So you can't decide between getting a PS5 or a gaming laptop? You wouldn't be the only one; both Sony's new console and gaming laptops, current and upcoming, offer an impressive and promising gaming experience.
Before you commit to one, however, it's worth getting to know a bit more about each. To help you decide which is best for you, here's a head-to-head between the two gaming platforms.
PS5 Vs. Gaming Laptops
Sony's next-gen console is proving to be an impressive offering, if you can get your hands on one. The PS5's much-improved features over the PS4 make it a worthy upgrade if you're looking to dive into the next generation of gaming.
However, it's the same case if you buy a gaming laptop.
This is not a bad thing—it just shows how much gaming laptops have improved. Especially in the last few years, gaming laptops have come a long, long way with 2021 onwards being a truly exciting time. Like the PS5, the pandemic has also affected gaming laptops with stock shortages and delays.
Despite the frustration that comes with not being able to acquire these coveted devices, the silver lining is that you've got some time to make an informed decision about which one you should get.
Here are a few different areas which you should consider before you finally decide to take the plunge.
How Does the PS5 Compare to Gaming Laptops?
These are the four areas that we're going to cover:
- Customization and Convenience
Let's dive in.
PS5: The PS5's RRP is at $500 for the standard PlayStation 5 and $400 for the PS5 Digital Edition. When it comes to the PS5 vs. the PS5 Digital Edition, the main difference is that PS5 Digital Edition does not have the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Drive.
For the hardware alone, the value both PS5s offer is simply outstanding. You're getting a most-likely 4K/60fps performance, up to 4K HDR/120fps, and also 8K support. At that price point, you can't complain.
One thing to note, however, is the added cost that will come if you decide to buy new games—which are rising to $70—as well as recurring payments to subscription services such as PS Plus and PS Now, the former of which you need to access online features (such as multiplayer).
Also, if you haven't got a 4K display, you're missing out on the full potential of the PS5's combination of resolution and performance; buying one will set you back a few hundred dollars.
Gaming Laptops: If you're looking at gaming laptops with roughly PS5 specs (due to the PS5's custom architecture, a 1:1 comparison is not possible), it's going to cost you over $1,500 easily. Even though upcoming gaming laptops may reduce the price of current ones, you're still not going to find a gaming laptop equivalent to a PS5, price-wise, for a while.
You can buy gaming laptops with lower specs and manually upgrade certain components which is a little cost-effective, but it still won't bring you anywhere close to the cost of a PS5.
A big pro, however, if you buy a gaming laptop is the abundance of sales, which can prove very cost-effective. Yes, there's the PS Store sales, but they aren't comparable to the epic Steam sales, as well as the slew of discounts and free giveaways from other launchers, sites, and developers.
You'll find endless gaming deals if you buy a gaming laptop.
PS5: The PS5 is backwards compatible with 99% of PS4 games, meaning that you can play essentially all of your existing PS4 library on your PS5. The PS5 also provides some welcome improvements such as quicker load times, performance boosts up to 60fps, and increased resolution in some games.
In addition to this, you've got Sony exclusives. Throughout the PS4's lifetime, Sony has put out some incredible PS-only titles that really push what games can do, in terms of gameplay, narrative, and presentation. With the PS5, you can be sure to expect the same level of quality.
You've got a strong case here if you buy a PS5, with the combination of backwards compatibility with PS5-enhanced features, incredible Sony exclusives, and a promising future of upcoming games.
Gaming Laptops: If you buy a gaming laptop, there are 1000s more games available than the PS5, spanning multiple generations. All the acronyms are here: FPSs, RTSs, MMOs, RPGs, etc. There are also loads of PC exclusives and early access games for you to play.
If there are any games you've missed over the years or genres you want to explore, you can find them on a gaming laptop.
You can also take advantage of a wide variety of community mods available game-to-game. You won't have to just wait for additional content/fixes by the developers, instead using a vast range of mods made by fans of the game to build upon, tweak, and improve your experience.
Customization and Convenience
PS5: It's safe to say you won't find much customizability with the PS5. Maybe a few years down the line, there could be a PS5 Pro, but for now, you can buy either the standard Console Edition or the Digital Edition, with both editions featuring upgradeable SSDs.
With games, you've got a few options to tweak and some performance/fidelity modes, but that's about it. You've just got to hope that the developers optimize their games well for your console.
In terms of convenience, we could see this as a good thing—you just plug in the console and play. It takes care of everything else for you. However, if you're the type of person who likes to fine-tune their gaming experience, this might not be the best choice for you.
Gaming Laptops: Although not as customizable as their PC counterparts, there's still a lot more choice here for you, both hardware and software-wise, than if you get a PS5.
You can find a range of different gaming laptops at different specs, price-points, and by different brands, meaning that whatever you're looking for, there'll be something on offer. You can manually upgrade some components, such as storage space and RAM, and, with most games, you can use either a controller or a mouse and keyboard.
When it comes to customizing your games, there's really no competition between a PS5 and a gaming laptop. You're going to find a lot more options here, with a plethora of in-game settings that come with most PC games, allowing you to create the best possible gaming experience on the hardware that you have.
Convenience here is a double-edged sword. Finding the right gaming laptop for you requires research, learning how to tweak and improve your laptop, and finding the best in-game settings for your machine. That being said, you can find an incredibly rewarding experience here and one that will give you the best setup suited to your needs.
A big plus in terms of convenience is also that gaming laptops are a lot more portable than a PS5. That being said, gaming laptops rarely have the best battery life, so regardless of where you are, you're going to want to play plugged in.
PS5: Though Sony might discontinue the PS4, its support for the last-generation console is going to continue for a few more years after the PS5's release. For the PS5, this could be the same case, giving it a life cycle of roughly 10 years, in line with its predecessors.
This doesn't mean that games will run consistently during these 10 years: already the PS4 is showing its age with some newer titles. You should expect the same for the PS5.
Gaming Laptops: The average lifespan of a gaming laptop depends on a lot of factors, but mainly on the manufacturer, specs, and how well you look after your machine.
However, you can expect your laptop to give its best performance for at least 3-5 years and though you could take it up to 10 years if you wanted, your tech will essentially be obsolete by that point.
Gaming laptops are, with a few exceptions, known to lack a decent battery life as well heat up massively because of their demanding components. You should aim to clean your laptop's internals regularly, removing any dust buildup.
Also, despite its name, you should never put your laptop on your lap, or any soft surface. This obstructs airflow and traps hot air, resulting in overheating which could shorten your device's lifespan.
An Exciting Future Ahead for Both the PS5 and Gaming Laptops
There are pros and cons to both sides whether you're looking at getting a PS5 or a gaming laptop. However, one thing that is true for both is that whichever one you go for, you're in for a good time.
If you buy a PS5, you'll find that Sony's next-gen console is an enormous step up from the PS4. With much-requested backwards compatibility finally included and the games in the next few years likely adding to Sony's already incredible list of exclusives, your PS5 will serve you well.
Gaming laptops this year onwards are coming in full force, with MSI already revealing powerful new gaming laptops. With new CPUs and GPUs coming at the same time, if you buy this year's gaming laptops, you've built at a device that is going to last awhile.
Whether you're looking to get a PS5 or gaming laptop, it's an exciting future ahead for gamers.
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