Following months of teasers and events, Sony has finally disclosed the price of its upcoming Playstation 5 video game console.
Sony announced that the Playstation 5 will cost $499, the same price point for Microsoft’s flagship video game console, the Xbox Series X. The PlayStation 5 will be rolled out on November 12 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Gamers in other countries will be able to purchase the console on November 19 while the company said the release date for China is still “under exploration.”
Pricing and sales forecasts
The rival Xbox Series X will be launching two days earlier on November 10 although Carolina Milanesi, a tech analyst at research firm Creative Strategies, argued that the difference in the release dates won’t make much impact on sales.
She said: “I think people are pretty much set on which camp they are in. Most people are upgrading from an existing console. It feels like the smartphone or PC market. You are either an Android or an iPhone user.”
A “digital edition” of the PS5, which will not include the console’s disc drive, will also be sold, but at a lower price of $399.
Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis, forecasts Sony to beat Microsoft again in terms of sales, with the PS5 reaching 67 million units sold by the end of 2024 over an estimated 44 million for the Series X.
PlayStation 5 launch timeline
In October 2019, Sony announced that the PS5 will be launched globally at the end of 2020 in time for the holiday season.
The firm said that it will be sporting a new controller which used enhanced vibration technology. It will also include a solid-state drive (SSD) that will enable faster boot up of games and reduced loading times.
A new technology will also be used to upgrade the console’s graphics for better lighting effects.
In a blog post on the PlayStation website, Jim Ryan, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that the company wanted to “deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games” through the new controller. He claims that Sony focused on making the games feel more realistic “so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field.”
Ryan added: “You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.”
Sony then revealed in March of this year the technical specifications of the new console, including 3D audio and support for older PS4 games. The company said it will continue to test and add more games from its library of over 4,000 PS4 games.
The PS5 have also been upgraded for higher screen resolution and to support ray tracing, which adds more realistic shadow and lighting effects. It can support 4K gaming and even 8K, although 8K has yet to gain traction due to problems with loading graphic-intense games during fast-paced, interactive scenes.
The console’s audio feature will be capable of making virtual raindrops sound like they’re falling from different directions and can help players pinpoint where an in-game enemy is located.
A showcase event for games in development for the PS5 was scheduled to be held last June but Sony decided to postpone it due to ongoing protests in the US that time.
In a statement, Sony said: “We have decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4. While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”
Several video games correspondents who were slated to cover the event welcomed Sony’s decision.