The Sony Playstation 5, or simply PS5, is fast approaching it's Winter release and the anticipation for the latest in digital-era consoles is gaining strong traction. It's time to take a look at what we will be getting with Sony's latest iteration of their gaming flagship and see whether it will bring digital dread, or be a digital dream for Sony PS5 players.
In the midst of a year overflowing with Covid-19 talk and a damning global economic depression, Sony finds itself needing to be deeply prepared to attract consumers in more innovative ways than usual. With the competition this season being light, they will have the opportunity to gain the lion's share of the gaming market before Microsoft suits up and releases their flagship Xbox Series X console igniting the flame of the Console Wars once more.
Above: PS5 consoles and accessories (Source: Sony)
PS5 Announcement Event
On June 11th this year, the PS5 announcement event took place and Sony duly announced that we would be getting the PS5 this holiday season with a price discriminatory offering of two editions: optical and digital-only. We have already seen Microsoft test the market with a digital edition of the Xbox One S, a low-key way for the corporate giant to gain insight into the market without releasing as the company's top console model and risking outright failure or poor performance. But Sony it may seem, are putting their eggs into two baskets from the off and are spreading their risk.
Naturally, the cost of manufacturing the digital-only model will be lesser than the optical version, a saving which Sony should pass onto the consumer and ultimately reflect in it's price of the console.
The PS5 announcement event appeared to be somewhat lackluster and predictable given the Coronavirus interupption and that this is the 5th iteration of Sony gaming consoles where graphics upgrades are no longer the complete selling point of gaming. We witnessed the introduction of new platformer games such as Black and White and also the sequel to the astronomically popular Spider-Man game by Insomniac Studios, Spider-Man Miles Morales (below.)
Sony is certainly in the heavyweight category for exclusives and absolutely blows Microsoft out of the water after recent PS4 releases such as Ghost of Tushima and Death Stranding.The Japanese corporate handles its platform for gamers excellently and it's clear that putting platform-leading games into the hands of their players remains high on the agenda.
You can only recycle the Halo series so many times Microsoft, and we all know that it's never truly been Halo since the Bungie days... Ah Halo 3 how we miss you.
Recap the full PS5 reveal below, courtesy of IGN.
Nevertheless, it's great to know that we can witness great ray-tracing processing (lighting effects) on Ratchet & Clank characters and the like, thanks for that breakthrough Nvidia...
The expected retail price of the editions are yet to be announced, but it can be thought to be between £350-£475 if we consider the PS4 release and a now discounted Covid-19 economy. If anyone remembers how incredibly expensive (£450) the PS3 release was back in 2006 (£635 adjusted for inflation in today's money), then we can only hope we don't get another glorified grill with the unwanted Easter-egg of the infamous yellow light of death problem.
Do you remember?
Disclaimer: Your PS3 is not a grill.
Credit: El Tadasi via YouTube
Digital Dread or Digital Dream?
With digital games outselling physical copies since 2013 according to stats company Statista.com, it's safe to say that the digital-only era of gaming is now a mainstay of the gaming market. Take a look at the exponential success of the battle-royale genre as we find ourselves 'dropping in' on a regular basis. The convenience of being able to download a game directly into your collection is akin to the convenience of streaming and a contributing factor in the demise of the CD/DVD market.
Once upon a time...
The days of game rental are long gone (source: guaranteedrental.org)
However, we can't forget that optical alternatives are still here to stay and Sony clearly care about games being available on disc hence the option of an optical PS5. Admittedly, the days of games including instruction booklets are long gone, but the trade-off for overall convenience is slowly becoming more enticing for those with stable internet connections and the ability to adjust to never owning a tangible collection which can be resold. Power to the player? I think not.
Cloud computing is a platform-infrastructure which is here to stay and will likely be the next step development of the gaming environment, thus pushing us further into the interconnected digital world that some of us dread. The sphere of speculation already contains rumours of a 'high-end PS5' which may include the features of cloud computing. If this is the case, then the possibilities of what may happen with collaborators are endless. Throw cross-play into the mix, and the potential for success grows even further as developers can bridge many gaps of compatibility. Meanwhile, we patiently await the PS5.
- Ray tracing
Immerse yourself in worlds with a new level of realism as rays of light are individually simulated, creating true-to-life shadows and reflections in supported PS5™ games.
- 4K-TV gaming
Play your favorite PS5™ games on your stunning 4K TV.
- Up to 120fps with 120Hz output
Enjoy smooth and fluid high frame rate gameplay at up to 120fps for compatible games, with support for 120Hz output on 4K displays.
- HDR technology
With an HDR TV, supported PS5™ games display an unbelievably vibrant and lifelike range of colors.
- 8K output
PS5™ consoles support 8K Output, so you can play games on your 4320p resolution display.
Enjoy the nostalgia.