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Got (or giving) a PS5 for Christmas? Here’s all you need to know.

Strap yourself in -- you're in for a wild ride.

If you’re here, it’s likely because you’ve been gifted (or you’re gifting) a PS5 and/or PlayStation VR for Christmas. First off, congratulations! Second, we’re here to help you get the most from your new pressie.

(And a reminder to those giving the console as a gift: it’s not a bad idea to open the console and set it up before hand, installing all updates prior to repackaging it, wrapping it and putting it under the tree!)

The console

Technically, there are two types of PlayStation 5 consoles available: the smaller, disc-less PS5 Digital Edition and the larger PS5 that comes complete with a disc drive. Users can now insert a compatible SSD into the PS5 to expand storage; read more on that here.

Apart from the disc drive (or lack of disc drive), the PS5s are exactly the same can can run current games at up to 4K and 120 FPS.  The consoles use HDMI to connect to your TV or monitor; the cable included with your console is capable of the HDMI 2.1 standard (which can support up to 4K and 120 FPS), but you’ll need to check if your TV supports that as well. We know for sure that the LG CX range is a good choice, and the slightly older C9 and B9 range works as well (but for more on that, head here).

The PS5 makes use of a new controller called the DualSense. It’s biggest features are haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. A pack-in game called Astro’s Playroom shows off the controller’s new features exceptionally well.

Unlike the Xbox Series S & X and its predecessor the Xbox One, the PS5 features a UI that’s quite different than that of the PS4. We’ve got you covered with the biggest differences thanks to a series of helpful guides as follows:

Interface and console-specific features

To get the most of your console, you’ll need to connect it to internet and sign-up for a PlayStation Network account. Doing so will give you access to the PlayStation Store (and its games and apps) and other goodies like Trophies. You can upgrade to a PlayStation Plus account to gain access to multiplayer play, free games each month and cloud-based saves.

PS5 owners with PlayStation Plus also gain access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, a series of PS4 games that are playable on PS5.

Popular apps include Netflix, Stan and many more. You can also stream television and movies from Sony’s in-built service.

PlayStation VR

The PS4 and PS5 both support virtual reality play. If you want in, you’ll need to purchase a PS VR unit; new ones should come with the appropriate adapter, whilst units used on PS4 will require a special adapter for PS5.

A PlayStation Camera is required, and two PlayStation Move controllers are recommended to get the full experience. You can also use the PlayStation Camera to control your console via voice commands or as a motion controller for myriad titles.


The disc-enabled PS5 plays PS4 and PS5 discs, and it — alongside the PS5 Digital Edition — plays PS4 and PS5 and digital games.

Sony’s PlayStation Plus program also provides free titles each month.

Additionally, here are links to the biggest PS4 and PS5 exclusive titles of the last few years:

Enjoy your new hardware!

Got a PS4 or PS4 Pro for Christmas this year instead? That’s fantastic — we can help you out with that here.

This article first appeared in December 2019 and was refreshed for 2020 and 2021.

This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent outlet and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.