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Got a PS5 for Christmas? Here’s everything you need to know

Did Santa manage to get you a PS5 this Christmas? You’re not alone. In fact, the jolly old fat man has been hoarding these things pretty solidly. I’m not sure how we move forward knowing St Nick is a dirty scalper, but it’s not the only horror of 2020, so let’s move on.

PlayStation 5

The important thing isn’t how you got it, but that you got it at it. Take in its awesome size. Take in its white, plasticky sheen. Look at its… boy, it really is big isn’t it?

With that over and done with, the wires connected and the power on, it’s time to start enjoying your new console. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of it.

Get On The PlayStation Plus Collection

There’s nothing more satisfying than getting new games, except maybe getting new games at a really awesome price. Let me tell you, there’s no better price than free*.


The PlayStation Plus Collection is a set of awesome titles across a number of genres, all included in your PlayStation Plus membership. Now, if you let that lapse, you lose access to the games until you subscribe again, so plan accordingly. But this set alone is probably worth a couple of months.

Included games are:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Bloodborne
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie’s Chronicles Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
  • God of War
  • Infamous Second Son
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Until Dawn

That is an amazing mix of games. If you missed PlayStation this generation, this goes a long way towards catching you up. Personally, there were a few latter-day Sony exclusives that couldn’t fit into my backlog at the time, but which now play improved on PS5 and are on this list. Perfect.

Now, there’s no indication that these are going to disappear any time soon, and I wouldn’t expect them to. There’s also no indication that they’re staying for any length of time either. They could remain forever, they could disappear on January 1 and so my advice is to add them all to your account the second you can. It should be the first thing you do when you get online.

*Not technically free, but nobody cares about technicalities.

Check Out Astro’s Playroom

I’ve been pretty vocal about not loving the triggers on the Dualsense remote. Mileage may vary. But there’s one thing I can say with very little expectation of contradiction: Astro’s Playroom is bloody good fun.


For what it is, it’s the perfect introduction to the PS5 and it won’t take you a million hours to finish either. It’ll give you a quick tour of the features of your new device, from fast loading, to haptic feedback and, yes, to those finger-aching triggers.

The point is, you’ll be able to make your own mind up in an environment completely made to do just that. It helps that it’s a fun platformer, a nostalgic wink at PlayStation past and pre-installed. No waiting!

The REAL MEN™ might want to spend their Christmas day showing off their unquestionable talent in Demon’s Souls. The REAL MEN™ don’t know what they’re doing though. Astro definitely does. I mean, look at that picture. Look at it.

Don’t Sleep on Backwards Compatibility

So, you’ve been excited for Demon’s Souls and Spider-Man and… that’s where the list kind of dies. There’s some third party cross-gen stuff, but nothing that’s quite pushing any of these systems to their limits right now.


What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

Listen, despite what internet trolls will tell you, the only reason to get the PS5 and Xbox Series X right now is because they have enormous back catalogues of games which play best on these systems. If you’ve got a PS5 and expect to be fully entertained for the next year by things only available on PS5, you’re going to have a bad year.

This isn’t a negative. It’s very much the opposite. It adds value to your new present and, not only can you now complete your backlog, you’ll see the games load faster and potentially play better. Go through your backlog, see what you’d like to play and set yourself up for 2021. Hell, we’ll probably all be locked indoors for the next sixty years anyway – might as well finally play a few of those games you bought.

Hints and Tips

A few non-linked hints and tips to make your life easier going forward – because you’ll need them.

  • Yes, it’s annoying how far away the power off button now feels, but you can make it a shorter trip by pressing left once on the tool bar, rather than right 50 times.
  • If you enjoy sharing images or video, go into the settings and edit how the create button works. There are a variety of options which may suit you better than the default.
  • Yes, those people you’re playing with can hear absolutely everything you say and do. All the time. Press the button just below the PlayStation button and you can swear, mock the elderly or make embarrassing noises without any fear of reprisal.

You can mute it permanently in the settings. It’s in the sound menu, although this also cancels the meta “God damn, everybody HEARD that?” mini-game that feels like a mix of Chinese Whispers and Russian Roulette.

PS5 Newbies Guide – Conclusion

The PS5 is a great bit of kit, and it’s only going to get better. If you’re lucky enough to have one at this stage of the game, make sure you make the most out of it.

Have a very merry Christmas – and happy gaming.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott    Google Plus: matgrowcott