Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

Everything to know about the new PlayStation: From what it costs to its release date

There's a reason why Sony is seen as king of the gaming console landscape – and this year, it may prove it yet again

In the current generation of videogame consoles, Sony has cemented itself as the dominant force.

According to the company’s 2019 Q1 results, PlayStation 4 has sold 100 million units. For comparison, analysts believe Microsoft’s Xbox One, which launched at the same time in 2013, has sold between 30 million and 60 million units to date.

This marks a turnaround for the Japanese company. Though the PlayStation 3 eventually found its feet after it was released in 2006, it was deemed ­­a failure at launch.

It was expensive at $599 (Dh2200), had a distinct lack of great games because developers struggled to come to grips with its architecture and its online service wasn’t user-friendly ­­­­­at all.

Reflecting on the debacle at a conference in 2018, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, was philosophical. He blamed the lack of games on not allowing developers to see PS3 until it was finished and described the pricing as a “horrifying event”. Quite.

But all that changed with PlayStation 4. Sony went on a charm offensive with gamers and developers alike to come up with a console that catered to their every need.

With the next generation of consoles looming large on the horizon, Sony will look to repeat its recent success rather than make the mistakes it made with PS3 again. And with the current leaks and rumours that are doing the rounds within the industry, it’s fair to say the electronics company is well placed to rule again.

Here’s everything we know about the new PlayStation.

Check out our in-depth look at the new Xbox here.

When will it be released?

In 2020 according to Sony, who confirmed the console will release in time for the holidays during consumer technology conference CES on Monday, January 6. the company also unveiled the new PS5 logo, which bears a lot of similarities to that of its previous console:

With Microsoft announcing a 2020 release for its new Xbox, Sony can’t afford to be left behind. And it absolutely won’t launch a whole year later – like when PS3 came up against Xbox 360.

What will it be called?

The logical choice for Sony’s coming console is “PlayStation 5/PS5”. But in an interview with tech publication Wired, Sony’s lead architect and producer Mark Cerny refused to ­commit to the moniker.

Sony is unlikely to kill the PlayStation brand name as it is instantly recognisable, but it could ditch the numbering system completely.

What are the key features?

Next-generation 8K visuals, speedier load times and an enhanced PlayStation VR experience have all been confirmed. The custom AMD processor that will power the new PlayStation will allow for ray tracing (read: impossibly realistic graphics) and 3D audio to further immerse the player in gaming worlds.

Backwards compatibility will allow you to play all your PS4 games. Even better, you’ll still be able to play multiplayer with those using the old consoles.

And Remote Play – Sony’s service that lets you use PlayStation games on tablets or smartphones – will be greatly improved for seamless transitions.

The PlayStation 4 Pro video game console. Produced by Sony and launched worldwide in November 2016, the Pro is an enhanced model of the original PlayStation 4 that offers extra capabilities through an upgraded GPU, faster RAM and a CPU with a higher clock speed. Wikipedia Commons
The PlayStation 4 Pro video game console. Produced by Sony and launched worldwide in November 2016, the Pro is an enhanced model of the original PlayStation 4 that offers extra capabilities. Wikipedia Commons

Will it include cloud gaming?

Very much so. Sony has put a lot of resources into its PlayStation Now streaming service.

Right now, it’s patchy at best – occasionally losing its smooth connection and leaving some games unplayable. But the new PlayStation is rumoured to fix all of this.

As a result, expect the subscription service to be far more prominent with the new PlayStation. And with physical game sales dropping off rapidly and digital sales continuing to rise, it’s no wonder Sony is looking to strengthen this area and meet consumer demands.

What games have been confirmed?

In the early demos of the new PlayStation’s hardware, current PS4 smash hit Spider-Man has been used to show off the machine’s capabilities, so expect a remastered version of that. Cyberpunk 2077 is also set to arrive on launch day.

Annual titles such as Battlefield, NBA 2K, Madden NFL and Pro Evolution Soccer will no doubt be included, too. God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and a new Fifa game are all rumoured to be day-one exclusives.

So too is the highly anticipated The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding, which stars Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) and Guillermo del Toro (director of The Shape of Water).

How much will the new PlayStation cost?

Now this is the tricky bit for both Sony and Microsoft. A hundred dollars either way swings the consumer vote in the other’s favour.

After the disaster of the $599 price point of the PS3, market analysts predict that the next PlayStation will cost about $499 (Dh1,840) at launch.

A “Pro” version of the console is being pegged at around $599 (Dh2,200).

This more powerful version is rumoured to be packaged with the PSVR headset and PS Now account.

Updated: January 7, 2020 12:21 PM

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