Expected at the end of the year, Sony’s new-generation console already has dozens of games announced, but other details such as its price remain unknown.
The Playstation 5, or PS5, is the next generation console from Sony, following the PS4 released in 2013. Announced in June 2020, its release is expected for the holiday season.
If the price of the PS5 is still unknown, Sony has already unveiled its design, accessories, and several games. Here’s an update on what we know and what we don’t yet know about this console.
What is the release date of the Playstation 5?
The release date for the PS5 is set for the end of 2020, without further details at the moment. In 2013, the PS4 was released on November 29th in Europe. Should we fear a shortage? This is obviously Sony’s concern.
According to the Bloomberg agency, Sony has decided to increase its production of consoles to reach 10 million units. Instead of the six million initially planned, by the end of the year. Sony is expecting higher than expected demand at the release of the console (probably in November) and at Christmas, but also during the first months of 2021.
In 2013, for the launch of the PS4, 4.5 million units had been produced by the end of the year. Despite these efforts, it is not certain that Sony will be able to deliver all these consoles on time, due to logistical constraints (shipping from China) complicated by the coronavirus epidemic.
What is the price of the PS5?
The price of the PS5 has not yet been announced by Sony. This has fuelled a lot of speculation among gamers about a higher price than the PS4. When Sony unveiled its previous console in June 2013, its price of 399 euros (and 399 dollars) was immediately revealed. According to Bloomberg, citing internal sources, the manufacturing cost of the PS5 is $450. This would require selling the console at $470 to achieve the same margins as the PS4.
But again according to Bloomberg, Sony plans to sell the console at a loss in order to match the prices of Microsoft. This latter is preparing to release the Xbox Series X and is counting on subscriptions to its network gaming service and game sales in its online store to make a profit. In June, an Amazon product sheet for the PS5 with Blu-Ray drive was accidentally put online. It announced a price of 499 euros and a release date of November 20, 2020.
The PS5 Controller
As with every console release, Sony also updates its controller. Called DualSense, the PS5 controller is lighter and will have a better autonomy than the PS4, according to Sony. Its rear triggers should allow different pressure intensities, which may find applications in some games. For the first time, the “triangle”, “round”, “square” and “cross” buttons, unchanged since the PS1, are losing their colours.
The joystick has a built-in microphone, which will allow you to talk without a headset. Sony has also designed a station that allows two controllers to be connected vertically for charging, although it is not yet known whether it will be sold separately from the console. Its selling price is not yet known (only one joystick is provided with the purchase of the console). Note that the PS4 controllers will be compatible with the PS5.
According to Geoff Keighley, the PS5 controller is slightly heavier but easier to handle thanks to its larger size. He also points out the quality of the famous haptic return of the controller, a kind of improved vibration that provides different sensations depending on the actions performed (on Astro’s Playroom, he could feel the difference between going through a sandstorm and a snowy ground).
The PS5 Digital Edition is a version of the console without a Blu-Ray player. This means that all games on the console will need to be purchased in the digital version and downloaded. Less expensive to produce, we can assume that this version of the console will be cheaper.
All the more so as Sony also sees an economic benefit: the absence of a Blu-Ray player will make it impossible for players to lend games to each other and to buy new and used games. It will also increase the incentive to buy games from the Sony online store from the console.
The PS5, available for pre-order ?
The PS5 is not yet available for pre-order and Sony has not given a date for the start of advance purchases. There are no retailers in the UK offering to pre-order the console at the moment, but several of them, such as Amazon and Micromania, are preparing to do so. On July 17, 2020, Sony had to deny rumors of the imminent arrival of the PS5 in pre-order and promised to give advance notice of their date.
“We’ll let you know when the pre-orders arrive. It won’t be at the last minute,” Playstation marketing director Eric Lempel told YouTube The Game Awards channel. “We’ll let you know when you can pre-order, so please don’t feel obligated to line up in front of the stores until you receive an official indication of the process,” he added.
In addition, users have found elements in the source code of the Playstation website indicating that sales will be limited to one console per person, in order to prevent some people from buying multiple PS5s and selling them for more money later on.
Is the PS5 compatible with PS4 games?
Sony has explained that games from PS4 will be compatible with the PS5, both physical and digital games. However, each game will have to be adapted individually by its publisher and at its own discretion.
PS5 VS Xbox Series X
The PS5 will face competition from Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X console, which will also be released in late 2020. The first point of comparison: price. The disadvantage to being confirmed (once the official prices are known) for the PS5, which will probably cost more than the Xbox Series X, due to more expensive components.
We’ll also have to wait to know the price of the two discounted versions of the consoles, the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S. But here again, the advantage could be on Microsoft’s side. Because where Sony has only removed the Blu-Ray player, Microsoft has done the same but has also chosen to curb the performance of this more affordable version, which greatly reduces the cost of its components.
In terms of performance, there are differences between the two consoles. The PS5’s processor (3.5 GHz) is slightly less powerful than the Xbox Series X (3.8 GHz). The same goes for the graphics card: 12 TFLOPS in raw performance for Xbox, 10.28 for Playstation. Their RAM (random access memory), on the other hand, is the same, at 16 GB.
The PS5 has a smaller hard disk than the Xbox (825 GB compared to 1 TB), but it is faster, which should allow shorter game loads. As far as the game catalog is concerned, the advantage is on Sony’s side, as the PS5 already has many exclusives, whereas Xbox is content with its flagship franchise developed by Microsoft, Halo.
Playstation 5 games
Several dozen games have already been announced by Sony. Some are re-releases of titles already released on PS4, while others will be developed specifically for the PS5. Many of these games will be exclusive to the PS5 (not available on competing platforms), either because they are developed by Sony or thanks to exclusive agreements signed with publishers.
Others will be available at the launch of the console, others later. The price of PS5 games is expected to rise: some publishers such as 2K Games have already announced titles at 70 or 75 euros, compared to 60 on PS4. Ubisoft has committed to maintaining the price of its games on PS5 at 60 euros.
This will be the case for Ubisoft’s next flagship title, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However, the publisher has only committed to maintaining the price of its games during its next releases. Nothing will prevent the publisher from increasing prices in the future.