Are you curious about the Playstation 5? You're definitely not alone. Fasten your seatbelts as we dig deeper into official info, historical data, and rumors concerning the next impending console war. Our analysts estimate the release date and the release price based on Sonys presumed marketing plan, the Japanese inflation and the cost of components.
Sony's Playstation 5 or the PS5, is slated for release at the end of 2020, around the time the Xbox Series X will also be unleashed to be its primary competitor.
Sony has to date been quite frugal with releasing information regarding their newest game console and an official unveiling of the console as of right now has till not taken place like Microsoft has managed to push out for their Xbox Series X at the start of the year.
Some general information has been released and of course this goes hand and hand with a fair share of rumours. We've summarised what we know, what's been rumoured and what we think about Sony's coming gaming console.
At PriceRunner we love prices and as such, we've let our price analysts have a field day in taking a deep dive into the historical data, official announcements, rumours and a pinch of Japanese superstition.
Our analysts believe the Playstation 5 will be released at 2:20 PM on Friday the 20th of November 2020 and cost £399.
Our assumptions are based off of official documents from Sony, along with historical release dates with their previous consoles. According to Sony themselves, the PS5 will come before Christmas and many prior console releases have occurred within November. Both the PS4 and PS2 were released in November in the UK and both were undeniable successes. Even the PS3 was slated for release in November in the UK, but due to a lack of component parts for the Blu-Ray reader in the console meant the release was pushed back to March of the following year.
Sony has a tradition of releasing consoles on Fridays and in 2020 the following dates fall on Fridays this November: the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th. In Japan, the number 13 is not considered to be an unlucky number. However, since PS5 is a global product and the Japanese are a superstitious bunch, releasing a flagship product on Friday the 13th seems highly unlikely. Black Friday will land on November 27th in 2020, which is likely to be a logistical nightmare.
That leaves the 6th of November, which seems just a bit too early in the calendar and finally, the 20th. In order to maximise the market offering, we'd reckon Sony is hedging their bets hard on the 20th.
Depending on the availability of components and the like, the release date can vary a bit depending on the are of the world you live in. Sony's home base, Japan and the important American market are guaranteed to be among the first to get a release date. It could be that the PS5 release date for the UK and the rest of Europe may actually come at the start of next year - if they want to be mean, that is.
At the same time, consoles tend to sell out very quickly when first released to the market, so even if the are released in the UK and Europe during the autumn, it still might be difficult to get your hands on one.
Sony hasn't announced an official price yet, but historically the data points towards the Japanese home-market as the key driver of the base price for Sony's consoles. Sony is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and their revenues are reported in Japanese Yen, which is something important to take not of when discussing the release price. Historically speaking, the PS consoles, with the exception of the PS3 have costed between 38,980 and 39,800 Yen at the time of release. Considering that the PS3 had a sluggish start, we assume the pattern is likely to hold true.
Our analysts estimate the release price for the Playstation 5 to be 39,800 Yen when released in Japan. This is the same price that both the Playstation 1 and 2 had when they were released.
When the Playstation 4 was released on November 29, 2013, 1 Yen was worth £0.0059614828. 39,800 Yen on the same date was worth around £240, however, the actual release price in the UK ended up being £349, which is a significant add-on of 45% to cover taxes, freight and probably some extra overheads as well from local stores.
The daily exchange for 1 Yen to GBP was recorded at 0.0070488874 (as of Feb 27th 2020). The Japanese Yen price of 39,800 translates today into around £284. If we apply the same 45% addition to the cost we saw for the previous console, we get a value around £410. This seems like an unusual sales price though, so we reckon it will be rounded downwards to make it more marketable and communicable.
We speculate that the release price of the Playstation 5 will be £399.
When calculating historical prices, inflation must be taken into account. The figures in the brackets show the price at release translated to 2020's monetary value.
Note that the 20GB model was never released in the European Market.
According to Bloomberg News the components in the PS5 cost around $450. Console manufacturers are conscious that they can take somewhat of a loss on the initial price of the console to pick up profits later from game sales, exclusives, accessories etc. Sony initially took some significant losses on the release of the PS2 and PS3. With the PS4 however, Sony adopted a slightly different strategy and opted to sell the console for a higher price than the sum of the manufacturing costs.
Playstation 4: $381 ($422 adjusted for inflation in 2020 ) Source: Informa PLC
Playstation 3: $805.85 ($1031 adjusted for inflation in 2020 ) Source: Cnet
Playstation 2: $488 ($731 adjusted for inflation in 2020 ) source: Bloomberg
Playstation 4 got a Pro re-release, so will the same happen for the PS5? There are some rumours that Sony intends on releasing a PS5 Pro and that it will be released around the same time as the regular version. We stress that these are only rumours at this stage, nothing official.
There was quite the disappointment at the CES convention this year where Sony had promised to showcase something big. Many expected it would be the Playstation 5, but in the end all we got was... a logo.
The logo typeface is fairly similar to the PS4, but it at least capitalises on that familiarity.
Even if there isn't an official price set on the PS5 at this point in time, you can still pre-order the console. Several stores already offer preliminary pre-orders of the PS5. In most cases these are listed at a heavy price-tag, however, these are usually just placeholder prices that are held until official prices are officially announced, at which point they are automatically reduced to the "correct price".
Sellers of the Playstation 4 have already been waiting in anticipation for the new console. Leaving that aside, the PS4 is more affordable now than ever and since it's been around since 2014, there are load of games to enjoy on it.
During 2020 it seems games are still being passed on to the PS4, but that will all come to an end once the PS5 is officially out on the market (just as it has been with previous transitions to a new generation of consoles). However, if you want to get a huge collection of fairly cheap games and don't feel a burning need to play the latest game out there, you still stand to gain from getting a PS4.
In October 2019, the first details of the Playstation 5 started to leak relating to its hardware. They were presented by Playstation's divisional chief architect Mark Cerny in an interview with the magazine Wired.
On the 18th of March this year, Mark Cerny presented even more details about the Playstation 5 and its specifications during a live-stream. You can read more about this below.
Sony has not released any official pictures showcasing the Playstation 5 as of yet. What is out there however, are rendered mock-up images that have been made based off the development kit that game developers have had access to.
Kits like these, especially the early iterations, don't necessarily reflect how the actual console will look. They often tend to resemble a regular computer, or in the case of the PS5, a retro-futuristic gizmo.
The primary processor in the Playstation 5 will be made by AMD and this is built upon their Zen-2 architecture. From a practical standpoint, this means the processor is made with modern 7 nanometer technology and will consist of eight processor cores with 16 threads. The clock frequency for the processor is 3.5GHz.
The graphics architecture comes from AMDs upcoming Radeon DNA 2 (RDNA 2) with 36 units that run up to 2.23 GHz and deliver 10.28 TFLOPS computing performance (compared with 4.2 TFLOP for the PS4 Pro). Support for ray-tracing comes on the form of hardware accelerated via their "Intersection Engine", which Cerny states is "based on the same strategy as AMD's upcoming graphics card for PCs". Ray-tracing is a rendering technology that makes light effects such as mirror shades and shadows look better in the games by calculating how light rays are propagated and reflected.
The Playstation 5 comes with a 4K UHD Blu-ray-player and a video output that can handle native 4K 120fps and has 8K resolution support. However, you should not expect that all games will be run at this resolution, especially in the very beginning of the console's lifetime. In part this is because it's very taxing on the hardware to carry out and also partially because this would make games and their respective file sizes huge.
Currently, there are only a handful of TVs that can support 8K resolutions, so it seems having support for these graphics capabilities is in the PS5 is a consideration for the future.
With a specially engineered SSD of 825GB, which can load 2GB of data in a quarter of second, Cerny states "as gaming manufacturers, we've gone from trying to distract players from how long fast travel takes, like the subway sequences in Spiderman, to being so fast that we may even have to slow down the transitions."
Along with this, the SSD-device contains a control circuit with twelve channels connected to the NAND memory. The data transfer rate can then reach 8-9GB/second. If you want to increase your storage volume, this can be done but the new device must be at least as fast as the existing one and certified by Sony.
Audio on the PS5 comes from Tempest Audio, Sonys new audio system for simulating surround sound without the need of special speakers or sound systems. This sound very interesting for the players that just use the built-in speakers of the TV but still want to enjoy a more breathtaking audio experience.
You will of course be able to buy physical games, just as you have been able to to date. These games will therefore need to be installed on the hard-drive before you can start playing them, so you can enjoy the shortened loading times properly.
Backwards compatibility will be available for PS4 games. Cerny states that, "nearly all" of the top 100 games for the PS4 will be playable on the PS5 when released and they're working on adding more backwards compatibility for games moving forward.
The PS5 will also come with a built-in HDMI 2.1 port, which is part of what allows for the aforementioned 8K resolution support. The HDMI standard also allows the Playstation 5 to take full advantage of technologies like variable refresh rates for the screen, if needed. At the moment there are some TV manufacturers build TVs with HDMI 2.1 ports and support, but unfortunately they are far from being the majority.
With every new generation of consoles, we of course expect to see improvements in the quality of graphics. The only thing we've seen thus far regarding graphics capabilities for the PS5 is the release trailer for "Godfall". The trailer features actual in-engine footage of the game and it looks very impressive. This will be something we'll get to know more about as we get closer to the release of the console and see a few more release title announcements.
Whilst we speculate there will be a whole bunch of games that will be available for the Playstation 5 once its release date looms nearer. However, the only official launch title announced for the console is the action RPG and Playstation exclusive, "Godfall" from Counterplay Games.
Sony themselves have stated that there will be a soft transition from the PS4 to PS5, meaning that many of games released on the PS4, including VR games, will also be compatible with the PS5.
Whether that means all PS4 games or just a select few remains to be seen. However, both options seem reasonable.
Sony has not officially released any images of the controller yet. The image above is a rendering of the controller that comes with the developer's kit, but it goes without saying the controller will look very similar to the DualShock 4 that comes with the PS4.
On the same token, it will come with several new features and tech. The trigger buttons will be more adaptive, meaning that the resistance in them can change depending on what takes place in the game. For example, there would be slower reactivity the harder you string a bow and arrow.
The controllers will also contain better built-in speakers that give a better in-game experience. They'll also have significantly improved battery that will be charged using the USB-C cable and port.
Virtual reality has faded somewhat out of public consciousness but still has a fairly healthy following on the sidelines. Sony's own VR headset, Playstation VR (or PSVR) for example, has already passed three million units sold.
According to Bloomberg, Sony is developing a new VR headset for the Playstation 5 with updated specifications (PSVR was released in 2016, so it's likely necessary). We won't likely see a release date for this until a while after the console is released.
Rumours are also circulating that Sony's current VR-headset will also be compatible with the PS5.
PC gamers claim the combo of mouse and keyboard they use is critical for their success in games like FPS-based games, among others. Even though there has been support for mouse and keyboards with the PS4 and older Playstation models, most games have been very controller oriented, making playing with a mouse and keyboard a bit of a drag.
History would lead one to believe that this will also be the case with the PS5, since Sony wants to focus heavily on their controllers (and give all players the same conditions to work with) but nothing official on this front has been unveiled yet.
Sony's premium service for playing against others online and even getting some free games, has been a part of the Playstation framework since the Playstation 3 days. Even if there's no official news regarding this out there as of yet, we can anticipate this will also be the case for the PS5.
If the arrangement will look exactly the same is another question, however. It may be the case that Playstation Plus and Playstation Now will merge together much like how Microsoft consolidated their two services on the Xbox.
Sony's subscription service for games has had a bit of a shaky start since its initial release on the PS4 and has continued to have some issues with streaming of games, games on offer etc. That, said the interface is really promising and it is rather doubtful that it would disappear from the new PS5.
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