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The PlayStation 5 is nearing its launch date and, if you were lucky enough to snag one on preorder, you’re likely chomping at the bit to get your hands on the next-gen console. I’m here to tell you that your PS5 is not only for gaming and netflix, but actually has quite a few features that you might want to take advantage of once it arrives.

It’s very likely that some of these PS5 features may be completely unheard of to you, but you’re going to want to know about everything your new PS5 can do if you hope to make the most of the hardware.

1. Don’t Throw Away Your DualShock4s

If you already own a PS4 then you probably have at least one DualShock4 available to you. PS4’s DualShock 4 controllers won’t be forward compatible with PS5 games, however, you can still use them when playing backwards-compatible PS4 games.

For anyone who enjoys a good couch co-op around the holidays with family and friends, it’s imperative that you hold onto previous generation controllers. This is especially the case if you find yourself unable to afford the $70 price tag on an additional DualSense controller. At least the family can keep busy in the backwards-compatibility catalogue of your PS4 library without needing to spend a fortune.

2. Easy Couch Co-op Setup With DualSense’s Touchbar

Those less thrifty and anxious to nab additional DualSense controllers, will be pleased with the revamped touchbar. The new touchbar now sends more information to the user through its built-in lighting system. 

Player Status during couch co-op sessions is one such piece of information readily available to the player. The number of lights located to the top of the bar let you know which player you are. Just turn them on, check the lights, and get your game on.

3. Game Boost Will Auto-Enhance Backwards Compatible PS4 Games

Game Boost gives the PS5 the capability of automatically remastering backwards compatible PS4 games void of any developer input. This means older games should run faster, with improved frame rates, loading screens, and resolutions, and something called the PS5 UX features, which Sony has not yet clarified. PS5 will give all compatible PS4 games a much needed facelift.

4. Stream Backwards Compatible Titles To Save Storage Space

Keeping with backwards compatibility, you can bring your PS4 games onto your PS5’s hard drive in quite a few ways. Downloading them from your digital library via the PSN Store is likely the easiest. But this would take up precious real estate on your PS5 SSD very quickly.

Luckily, PlayStation’s Remote Play feature allows you to stream PS4 games onto your PS5 without sucking up available data. Make sure that your PS4 is running on the same wi-fi network as the PS5, and enjoy your backwards compatible games without utilizing PS5 disk space. 

5. Reconfigure The Stand

Moving onto the more physical side of things, Sony recently revealed that the PS5 stand is detachable. This is very good news, especially for those who have already laid eyes on the rather large console and may be wondering where you’ll be able to put it.

By default, the console will come with the stand fixed at the bottom for upright positioning, which is great for those who have room for it. Some may find the console to be too tall in this regard and will be able to switch the stand to the PS5’s base panel instead, allowing for a horizontal position. A screwdriver and patience is required.

6. Potential Panel Customization

In the recent PS5 teardown video, Sony’s VP of mechanical design Yasuhiro Ootori revealed that the console’s white panels can be detached rather easily. This opens up the doors for third-party replacement panels providing users with more personal expression via the next-gen console.

There are already plenty of custom concepts out there on the internet but I’d recommend waiting until officially released Sony replacement panels become available. Which will hopefully follow soon behind the console’s initial launch.

7. Join Games At Specific Points Using PS5 Activities

According to Mark Cerny, “Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with a set of joinable activities in real time.” He goes on to say, “Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them – and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”

PS5 Activities should provide you a way to jump right into the action with your friends. You’ll be able to access a specific part of a game straight from the system’s main menu. This will be an incredibly awesome feature if done right, as you can bypass most screens on your way to teaming up in-game.

8. Save Storage With Selected Installs

Mark Cerny confirmed a while back that the PS5 will allow users to choose and install select parts of games onto the system, providing a way to bypass most AAA high memory requirements. Considering the limited capacity of the system’s SSD, this may be a godsend.

Some games on PS4 already allow this feature, but Cerny promises that its successor will offer a “finer-grained access to the data,” which means deleting parts of a game without removing it completely from the system. You should be able to snip away portions of a game already completed or simply those not needed.

9. Make Memories With DualSense’s Create Button

The DualSense’s Create button replaces the DualShock4’s Share button, offering players “new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves”. Hopefully, this means more customization when it comes to content creation and sharing.

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