In an alternate universe, Nintendo and Sony’s partnership would have spawned the Nintendo PlayStation, but instead we live in a world where these two companies have become eternal rivals instead.
Despite that, the PlayStation 5 still managed to learn a lot from Nintendo’s previous innovations, with most of this next-generation console’s new features being indirect callbacks to what the house of Mario had introduced before.
So let’s take a look at how the PlayStation 5 essentially became a greatest hits collection of Nintendo’s past innovations, essentially aping the Sega Genesis and doing what Nintendon’t.
One thing that Nintendo has always excelled at is the championing of their varied IPs, with the Super Smash Bros. games being the perfect example of this. PlayStation, on the other hand, has not been the best at representing their backlog in newer hardware.
Right off the bat, it seems that Sony is aiming to celebrate the entire history of the PlayStation for once through Astro’s Playroom that comes installed with every PS5. This game is basically like Super Mario 64, only it takes place within the player’s console and has them collecting historic PlayStation artifacts instead of stars.
Speaking of Astro’s Playroom, platformers seem to be at the forefront of the PlayStation 5’s marketing strategy, with the console launching with two 3D platformers. Both Astro’s Playroom and Sackboy A Big Adventure are fun romps and we certainly can’t wait for more.
Despite being their bread and butter, the Nintendo Switch did not launch with a first-party platformer at all, let alone two. It did receive Super Mario Odyssey seven months after its launch, with the PS5 getting Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart in the same time frame on June 11.
While it doesn’t have a dedicated screen on it, the Dualsense does a lot of what the Wii U Gamepad was supposed to do, but a hundred times better. It also shed off the iconic Dualshock look for a more ergonomic and comfy controller body.
Compared to the Joycons and the Nintendo Pro Controller, the Dualsense’s touchpad can allow for Nintendo DS-like touch controls, as seen in the ball rolling sections in Astro’s Playroom.
There’s also gyroscopic motion controls in the Dualsense, which can open up the floodgates for almost mouse-like aiming for first-person shooters, which is something Splatoon is known for thanks to Nintendo controllers’ gyroscopic capabilities.
A New Metroid?
We have not seen a mainline, console entry to the Metroid franchise since Other M on the Wii, and with Metroid Prime 4’s delay, it doesn’t seem that we will be able to play an all-new entry to the series on the Nintendo Switch anytime soon.
The PS5 already has a worthy Metroid successor with Returnal, which is not only a shooter with H.R Geiger-like alien enemies and a female protagonist, but is also a roguelike to boot. Its sheer difficulty and the risk-versus-reward combat system makes it one of the best exclusives on the system.
For a while, Nintendo was the king of backwards compatibility, with the Game Boy Advance being able to play games from the previous Game Boys and even the Wii letting you play GameCube games and use its controllers.
Nowadays, the Xbox Series X|S is unbeaten when it comes to backward compatibility, as it can play games from even the original Xbox, but with the PS5, it seems that Sony is making even bigger strides than Nintendo in this department. With its native PS4 compatibility, it’s only a matter of time before the PS5 is upgraded to be able to play games from across its history.