Sony peeled back the PlayStation 5 curtain a fraction more today, confirming the PS5 price and PS5 release date, as well as its selection of launch games and more. It was a strong showcase overall, with plenty of major announcements and gameplay demonstrations. However, the highs of the event were quickly dragged down by the lows of some of the organisation’s post-show shenanigans. In this article we’re going to consider the good, the bad, and the ugly of the latest next-gen news.
While we’re still not sure about the physical appearance of the PS5 and some of the policies that the Japanese giant is introducing around it, the company is absolutely firing on all cylinders when it comes to software. The launch lineup – which includes Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls – is vastly superior to the PlayStation 4, and the first year lineup is even more impressive. While we’re confident delays will occur, we’re potentially looking at a 2021 featuring Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Gran Turismo 7, Returnal, Horizon Forbidden West, and God of War 2. That’s, frankly, flabbergasting.
We reckon the new PS Plus Collection is a step in the right direction as well; Sony’s subscription service has felt stale for some time, but a launch day vault of some of the PS4’s biggest titles – available to download free-of-charge – should be an appealing value add for next-gen players, even if many will own the games already.
To add to that, we think the hardware pricing is pretty reasonable – even if there are no major shocks in this department. $399.99 feels right for the PS5 Digital Edition, while the standard PS5 also seems fair at $499.99. We’re also pretty happy with the DualSense’s price at $69.99 considering how much new tech is packed into it, and the accessories seem agreeably priced as well. It’s a shame that there’s a week between the initial 12th November launch in the United States and other select regions, but the rest of the world will only have to wait seven days, so it’s just something we’ll all have to get used to.
While the PS5 picture is becoming clearer, it’s still frustratingly out of focus. Sony failed to demonstrate key features of its next-gen console during its livestream, including the Create button and the entire user experience. While we’re confident the company will follow up on these details in due time, it’s irritating to have the product available for pre-order with some of its key functionality still shrouded in secrecy.
While we fully appreciate the business implications, too, we can’t help but feel a little misled by the “generations” rhetoric. Few would have been surprised to learn that games like, say, Sackboy: A Big Adventure are also coming to the PlayStation 4 – but learning that Horizon Forbidden West, a tentpole title, is targeting 2013 hardware as well is a huge kick in the teeth. While none of us would have predicted it from the jaw-dropping reveal trailer, it will undeniably result in compromises, regardless of what the company’s top brass say.
We’re obviously not against the company’s continued commitment to the current generation; the so-called “10-year life cycle” has long been a staple of the PlayStation experience, and we’d always expected PS4 to have a few more years of life left in it yet. But we’re beginning to question just how deeply Sony’s cross-gen strategy runs; is the new God of War game, for example, also targeting the PS4? What about Gran Turismo 7? We wouldn’t need to ponder these things if the company got its messaging right from the start.
We’re very concerned about the price of next-gen games – and Sony’s strategy in particular. While we’re happy with the price of the hardware, titles like Demon’s Souls will retail for €79.99 in Europe – that’s almost $95 based on current exchange rates, a frankly outrageous increase. And this isn’t just an isolated example: Destruction AllStars, a game we know practically nothing about, will also carry the same price sticker.
When taken in isolation, the pricing looks bad, but when you consider what the competition is doing with Game Pass, it looks practically astronomical. Now the situations can’t be compared 1:1 because Microsoft isn’t offering the same kind of launch lineup on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S that Sony is for the PS5, but when your primary competitor is pledging all of its first-party games as part of a relatively inexpensive subscription fee, it’s difficult to justify such radical software costs.
What’s making you happy about the PS5 right now, and what’s left you disappointed? Share your reactions in the comments section below.