PS5: How much is it and when will it launch?

17 Sep 2020

Still from ‘PlayStation 5 showcase [English]’. Image: PlayStation/YouTube

The PS5 made its full debut to a global audience online with Sony revealing how much it will cost and when it will launch.

Just over a week after Microsoft revealed details of its new series of next-gen gaming consoles, Sony has announced the key details of its upcoming PlayStation 5 (PS5), which will launch seven years after the PS4.

The Japanese tech giant first revealed some PS5 specs during an event in March this year, including a custom GPU for higher-resolution games, ray tracing and an ultra-high-speed SSD for better loading times. In June, the company then revealed the new look for its upcoming console and details of games that players can expect.

Now, Sony has confirmed the PS5 will hit shelves on 12 November in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. The global roll-out will then start on 19 November – except for China, with Sony saying a launch date there is “still under exploration”.

In terms of pricing, the entry-level PS5 digital edition will cost €399.99 at launch, while the PS5 with an additional Blu-ray disc drive will cost €499.99. Pre-orders will be available starting today (17 September) at select retailers.

Sony said both models will be equally matched in terms of performance and capable of playing in 4K resolution.

“Since we first announced our next generation console last year, we have received astounding support from developers and gaming fans all around the world and it’s truly humbling,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

“Now we are just a couple of months away from launching PS5, which will offer a new generation of experiences that go beyond players’ expectations of how games can look, feel, sound and play.”

Legacy of the PS4

Backwards compatibility – that would allow for PS4 games to be played on the new console – was also highlighted during the presentation. A new PlayStation Plus Collection, including some of the top-selling PS4 games, will be available to download on the PS5 for existing members of its monthly subscription, PS Plus.

Speaking with The Washington Post, Ryan said that “99pc” of PS4 games will be playable on the PS5, with expectations that the soon-to-be-replaced console will have a remaining lifespan of up to four years.

“Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4,” he said.

Microsoft’s pricing structure for the new Xbox console is noticeably different than that of the PS5, with the entry-level Xbox Series S costing €299 when it launches on 10 November, a couple of days before the PS5. However, unlike the two versions of the PS5, the Xbox Series S will be “around as powerful as the Xbox One X” and geared towards 1080p monitors with better frame rates.

Meanwhile, the more powerful Xbox Series X – priced at €499 – will allow for 4K resolution and 60 frames per second as standard, with some games featuring 120 frames per second in multiplayer.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic