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A parent's guide to buying a PS5

Ps5 Angle
Ps5 Angle (Image credit: Android Central)

We're a year into the new console generation, but systems are still incredibly difficult to come by. This means that many will be getting ahold of the PS5 for the first time over the holidays. If you're unfamiliar with PlayStation or Xbox, the setup can be an intimidating process. And even if you know your way around a gaming console, there are still a few things you may want to know beforehand. We'll walk you through everything you'll need to know about buying a PS5, setting it up, and more.

Finding a PS5

The PS5 was released alongside the PS5 Digital Edition in November 2020, priced at $499 and $399, respectively. If you haven't been able to pick one up yet, be on the lookout at retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. Stock is coming and going in waves, so it'd be smart to sign up for email or text notifications at whichever website you're looking to buy from.

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PS5 is the place to be for exclusives like Spider-Man and Horizon Forbidden West. Get yours before they sell out. The standard PS5 boasts a disc drive so that you can play 4K Blue-ray DVDs and use your physical PS4 games through backward combability. This comes at a higher price tag than the Digital Edition.
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Cheaper than the standard PS5 but lacking a disc drive, the PS5 Digital Edition can still deliver the very best exclusives entirely digitally. You may not be able to play physical games, but the future is digital anyway. The PS5 Digital Edition features an 825GB SSD.

Setting up a PS5

Setting up a PS5 is fairly straightforward once you get it out of the box. We have a few guides to make it even easier on you:

When it comes to physical space, you'll want to have a relatively large open area for the PS5 to fit. Its dimensions are 15.4 x 4.1 x 10.2 inches, so it's not exactly the smallest. Thankfully it can stand up vertically or lay on its side horizontally, so you have some room to work with. The PS5 shouldn't be wedged anywhere; it won't receive a decent airflow. I'd recommend having a couple of inches of space on either side of it and above when you place it on your entertainment center.

Transferring data to PS5

PS4 With DualShock On Top

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The PS5 will allow you to transfer your data over from PS4 with a Wi-Fi connection or external hard drive. Because PS5 games can only be played from the console's built-in SSD storage or another supported internal SSD, we recommend keeping your PS4 games on an external hard drive when playing them on PS5 that way, so they don't take up space. The PS5 has around 667.2GB of usable storage.

How to transfer PS4 games and save data to PS5

Why you should get PlayStation Plus

PS Plus screenshot

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

PlayStation Plus is a premium subscription service Sony offers with one-month, three-month, and 12-month memberships. Subscribers get access to online multiplayer, free games, cloud storage, exclusive deals, Game Help on PS5, the PlayStation Plus Collection, and a lot more.

Game Help is a new feature for PlayStation Plus on PS5 that will allow them to access hints and guides for specific parts of games. The PlayStation Plus Collection is another new benefit coming to PS5 that grants members access to a library of PS4 titles for free.

Upgrading your PS5 storage

Firecuda 530 Ssd Hero

Source: Jennifer Locke / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

Sony designed the PS5 so that people can take off the side panels and swap out the SSD internally. Though this feature wasn't supported at launch, it was added in a firmware update. You can now use compatible SSDs to upgrade your storage, provided that they meet Sony's required specs. You will also be able to connect external hard drives using a USB cable, but these will only play PS4 games.

How to upgrade your PS5 storage with an SSD

SpecRequirements
InterfacePCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD
Capacity250GB – 4TB
Cooling structureHeatsink (single or double-sided)
Sequential read speed5,500MB/s or faster
Module width22mm width
Form factorM.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110
Socket sizeSocket 3 (Key M)
Length30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm
HeightLess than 11.25mm
Total size w/cooling structureSmaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H)

What to do when the PlayStation Network is down

PSN status

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Just like when your internet goes out, the PlayStation Network can go down as well. When this happens, you probably won't be able to play any online multiplayer, access your digital games, or browse the online store. Usually, the situation is out of your hands, and you'll need to wait until Sony fixes it, but there are a few steps you can take to mitigate any potential problems.

On days like Christmas and the release of the PS5, the number of people trying to log in to their new consoles at once puts a strain on the system, and you may be unable to create or sign-in to your account. All you can do when this happens is wait it out.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.