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Sony’s unexpected PS5 release plans might’ve been leaked by the new ‘Call of Duty’ game

Published Sep 6th, 2020 1:35PM EDT
PS5 Release Date
Image: Sony

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  • The PS5 release date might actually be staggered rather than a simultaneous international launch this fall, with North America set to receive the console ahead of the holidays.
  • Other regions might get the console in “late 2020,” which seems to be an indication that the PlayStation 5 might not ship before Christmas in all markets.
  • The information comes from Sony’s localized PS5 product pages, but also from launch plans for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the debut of which seems to be aligned with the PS5.

We already know that the novel coronavirus has impacted the launch of the PlayStation 5. From development and manufacturing to marketing events, COVID-19 ruined everything. It’s not just the PS5, but also the Xbox Series X, Apple’s new iPhone 12 handsets, and plenty of other products that are expected to launch this year. It was only a few months ago that we learned Sony was going to stick to the original PS5 launch schedule and hit that “holiday 2020” release window the company announced last year. That was all thanks to a regulatory filing that indicated the PS5 launch would go forward as planned.

At the same time, reports said that Sony will make up to 10 million PS5 units this year, which would be higher than initial estimates but still not enough to meet demand. Even if the pandemic has impacted the economy and many gamers postpone a new console purchase to 2021, there will still be plenty of buyers ready to pay whatever Sony asks for the PS5 — the price is also an undisclosed mystery. Then, a few weeks ago, Sony emailed PSN account holders to tell them that PS5 preorders will begin soon, without specifying any dates or pricing. What Sony made it clear was that the initial stock might be very low, and not everyone will be able to buy a console this year. This brings us to the latest developments in the industry, which seems to suggest the PS5 release might spread out over a few weeks, and this staggered launch might make it impossible for some people to score the console before Christmas.

Sony has yet to reveal the PS5 release date and price, but a rumor says the company might hold a surprise event on September 9th, at which point it will reveal all the PS5’s remaining secrets. Sony has not announced anything and the closer we get to that date, the less likely the event seems to be. But here’s where the coronavirus pandemic comes into play again. The event is not going to be an in-person launch. This gives Sony a lot more freedom, as it doesn’t have to account for the logistics involved with getting the media to attend.

A leaker keeps saying that the PS5 will be released on November 20th, which qualifies as “holidays 2020.” But Games Radar has found evidence that indicates Sony might honor that launch timeframe only in specific markets. North America could get the console in time for Christmas shopping, while other regions might have to wait for a very late 2020 launch.

A Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer uploaded to the PlayStation YouTube channel earlier this week said the PS5 version of the game will hit the US and Canada for the holidays, with the “rest of the world” to get it in late 2020. The original version of the trailer was set to private, and a reuploaded clip makes no mention of the launch periods.

But the Black Ops Cold War website still says “the PlayStation 5 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is scheduled for release Holiday 2020 in the US and Canada, and in late 2020 for the rest of the world.”

Some might say that a game’s launch window doesn’t necessarily reflect Sony’s PS5 release plans. However, Sony’s PS5 product page for Great Britain saw a recent update that changed the release window so that it’s in line with the Black Ops Cold War delay. Instead of holiday 2020, UK buyers should expect a late 2020 launch date. The PS5 pages for France, Germany, and Japan also say the console is coming out at the end of 2020, according to Google translations. The US PS5 page still has that original “holiday 2020” estimate.

That said, it still looks like the PS5 will ship to buyers by the end of the year, even if it doesn’t arrive in time for Christmas.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.