- Sony revealed the design of the PS5 on Thursday, but didn’t talk about the price or the release date or show us how the console will actually function when we turn it on.
- Ahead of the Future of Gaming event, Sony made it clear that this would be one of several PS5 updates ahead of the console’s launch this holiday season.
- If preorders are going to open any time soon, Sony needs to tell us more about the PS5.
Sony finally gave fans what they wanted during Thursday afternoon’s Future of Gaming event, showing off gameplay from dozens of games that will be coming to the PlayStation 5 over the next few years. It was just what Sony needed to do to draw the spotlight back in its direction after Microsoft dominated the headlines for the first several months of 2020, but as exciting as the presentation was, it wasn’t exactly a comprehensive breakdown.
Yes, we were introduced to the design of PS5 (and the PS5 Digital Edition), but there’s still a ton we don’t know about the next-gen console coming out this fall. Below, we’ve enumerated the five most important details about the PS5 that Sony has yet to reveal, and which we hope to hear more about in the coming weeks.
The most important detail about the PS5, without question, is how much it costs. The PS4 ran away with the previous generation for a number of reasons, but the $399 price point compared to the $499 launch price of the Xbox One was at the top of the list. Reports are suggesting that Sony will struggle to keep the price under $499 this time around due to the manufacturing costs, but it’s hard to imagine Sony making the mistake it made with the PS3 ever again. At the very least, the Digital Edition should be at least $50 cheaper than the PS5 with a disc drive.
2. Release Date
Sony has refrained from being more specific than “holiday 2020” when referencing the launch timing of the PS5, but looking back, the PS4 launched on November 15th, 2013, while the PS3 launched on November 17th, 2006. If Sony follows the same formula in 2020, the PS5 will make its debut on November 20th, 2020.
3. Backwards Compatibility
This has been a subject of controversy since before the PS5 was even revealed. Microsoft made playing old games on its latest console a top priority halfway through the Xbox One’s life cycle, while Sony failed to prioritize backwards compatibility for most of the last seven years. Microsoft’s approach to backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X sounds even more impressive, but Sony has failed to adequately explain how we will play older PS4 games on PS5, how many games will be compatible at launch, and whether or not there will be any way to play PS1, PS2, or PS3 games. All we know for sure is that a bunch of the 100 most-played PS4 games will be playable on PS5.
4. Launch Lineup
As a fan of games, I was impressed with Sony’s presentation on Thursday. Many of the titles had been rumored for months, but seeing them in action was a joy, especially Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and the Demon’s Souls remake. But few if any of the games Sony showed off this week will be available on day one, or even year one. In terms of exclusive next-gen games, we know that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is coming to PS5 this holiday season, but that’s about it. Yet another reason why backwards compatibility is so important.
5. UI and UX
Finally, while we did get the briefest glimpse of what appeared to be the PS5 boot-up screen, we still don’t know how the console actually works or what it looks like after you power it on. The PS4 UI was serviceable, but not especially interesting, and the PlayStation Store is a huge pain in the ass to use. There’s a reason that this is at the bottom of the list, but I’m hopeful that the team can make some major upgrades to the UI and UX this generation.