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The first PS5 hands-on impressions are very promising

(Image credit: Sony)

For months we've heard about what the PS5 is capable of on paper, but now we're finally finding out what the powerful new PlayStation is like in action - and it sounds pretty impressive. 

A limited number of publications and YouTubers in Japan have been granted hands-on time with the PS5 (and a few of its games), and have gradually been publishing their thoughts on key aspects of the new console, including its (mammoth) size, super-fast SSD, immersive DualSense controller features, and near-silent performance. 

This is the first time we've gotten a look at the PS5 hardware outside of leaks and Sony's own promotional material, with publications publishing detailed videos, photos and impressions of the new console - as well as gameplay from the upcoming PS5 console exclusive Godfall and Astro's Playroom.

It's a chonk - but a well-ventilated chonk

We already knew the PS5 was going to be Sony's biggest (and heaviest) console to date, measuring in at roughly 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) and 4.5kg. But it's only when you see the console in hands-on images, next to a TV, that we get a real sense of how big the console actually as.

Several publications have published close-up images of the PS5 hardware, including the ones below from Dengeki Online, which highlight the size of the console.

4gamer goes into detail in its report about the hardware and design of the console, stating that the PS5's curves make it "feel slimmer than the actual size from almost any angle". According to 4gamer, this is the case whether you stand the console horizontally or vertically - with a stand being provided for those who want to sit it vertically.

4gamer also praised the PS5's cooling system and shed a bit more light on how exactly this works. According to the publication, the console takes air from the ventilation vents you can see in the images above and pushes it out the back of the machine. However, the publication wasn't allowed to post images of the back of the console.

But what's most interesting here is that 4gamer, and the other publications which post hands-on impressions, all reported that the PS5 was essentially silent when it was running and that minimal heat was emitted. However, 4gamer does suggest that players will need to leave enough room for their PS5 to intake and exhaust heat - suggesting a gap of 10-15 cm on the front, back, left, and right of the console.

You can check out Famitsu's hardware close-up video of the PS5 below:

It's as fast as we expected

While the publications that got hands ons didn't get to examine all aspects of the PS5 - such as the UI and dashboard - they did get to play a few upcoming PS5 games as part of their preview, including Godfall and Astro's Playroom.

While videos show gameplay of these titles, which we've seen before, there's some focus on the PS5's super-fast SSD and load times. However, Famitsu has praised the amount of time it takes to restart after dying in-game and how quickly the highly-detailed next-gen visuals loaded in and the video. 

"It can be said that the load stress has finally disappeared," Famitsu writes."it is amazing how these data are read and a different world appears on the monitor in a blink of an eye."

DualSense sounds immense

The hands-on impressions go into a fair bit of detail about the new DualSense controller, explaining how the gamepad's haptic feedback and built-in audio let you feel the different environments Astro is experiencing

"When you walk on the metal, a very slight strong vibration is transmitted with a unique metallic sound and you can hear a slightly slippery feeling on the glass," Famitsu writes.

"Haptic feedback predicted that the feel would change in 'real' places, such as underwater or swamps, but I was surprised to see even the subtle differences in flooring materials."

In addition, 4gamer posted images of the DualSense with various colored lightbars.

It's also been revealed that Sony is moving into using 'X' as the confirmation button rather than 'O' with the PS5 - something which will no doubt take some getting used to.

These first impressions may only cover the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the PS5, but it's a good start and - from what we've heard so far - it looks like the new PlayStation is shaping up to be just as powerful (and fast) as we're expecting. 

Hopefully it's not long until we get to have a look at the console's new UI, but we're expecting more impressions to trickle in over the coming weeks.