After the opening of hostilities by Microsoft, Sony revealed the launch prices of its upcoming PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition at a keynote on Wednesday, September 16th. The new consoles will be released on November 12th starting at $399.99 in the United States and £359.99 in the United Kingdom.
We were still waiting for the official release date and price of Sony's new next-gen consoles, while those for the Xbox Series X and Series S were unveiled last week ($299 and $499). The mystery was lifted on Wednesday, September 16th. Sony's consoles will not be cheaper than its competitors.
At $399, the PS5 Digital Edition (without Blu-ray player) will be $100 more expensive than the Xbox Series S, while the "normal" PS5 will be sold at the same price as its rival, the Xbox Series X. The consoles will be released on November 19th in Europe and the rest of the world except in some countries (United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia) where they will be released earlier, on November 12th.
This console war will be fought over games, not prices
To "compensate" for this announcement, while more preferential prices could have been expected, Sony has put the emphasis on its exclusivities, which will be the main differentiating feature compared to Xbox. So much so that Sony has even teased God of War 2: Ragnarok for 2021, to appease the fans, the fanboy
that I am.
The manufacturer also seemed to confirm the backward compatibility of its next-gen consoles with PS4 titles. And, feeling the wind turning with the nice announcements around the Xbox Game Pass, Sony tried to emulate its competitor with the PS Plus.
Thus, subscribers will have a catalog of games such as God of War, Uncharted, Batman Arkham Knight, Days Gone, Ratchet & Clank, Detroit, The Last of Us, etc. In short, the full library of games from the PS4 era that will be accessible on PS5. An asset of choice to highlight its PS5 Digital Edition.
It's a good start and Sony is starting to ask the right questions, but we're still far from Microsoft's tempting offer with the Game Pass/Xbox Series S combo.
Final Fantasy XVI
Sony begins strongly by flattering the eyes of the fans of RPG with Final Fantasy 16 which is an exclusive Playstation title. One finds a medieval decoration, a little retro-futurist, and the "magic" of a sorcerer.
This is the first major title of the cult saga in quite a few years. The trailer blew my mind, but it was captured on a PC emulating the PS5 experience so take it with a grain of salt.
No release date has been confirmed and it is unclear whether the exclusivity will be only temporary or not. For some fans, Sony has won the war with only this one trailer for sure.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
We had already seen the trailer a few months ago, but last night we got some gameplay captured on PS5 and we learned more about the history of the game.
The rest of the PS4 episode will take the form of a spin-off. The story takes place one year after the end of the previous episode when Miles moved to Harlem. The first gameplay demonstration shows new powers and new outfits, but the gameplay system looks pretty much the same (a la Batman Arkham if you know it) in a very scripted open-world.
The intro scene is really nice, Miles Morales crosses Harlem (without his costume) with a friend, and you can really see the small details, the neon light beams in this New York night with very busy sets that seem thin enough at first glance.
Still, nothing is more precise than a "late 2020" release date and the game will be a Playstation exclusive. But what's surprising is that it won't be exclusive to the PS5 but also available on the PS4. In reality, it would only be an extension, somewhere between DLC and a full game, what we call a "stand-alone". A really strange choice from Sony...
Harry Potter: Hogwart's Legacy
Avalanche Studio's Harry Potter shows up again in a trailer announcing a 2021 release. The game looks like an RPG, at least that's the impression I got from it since the character we play (a Hogwarts student) looked pretty impersonal, I guess we might be able to customize it.
The game takes place in the late 1800s, long before Harry went to Wizards' School and it seems that players can visit Hogwarts and other key locations in the Harry Potter franchise. It's coming in 2021.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
The Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War trailer had its world premiere. We've already seen a lot of gameplay, mostly multiplayer, and it looks like the classic formula started with the redesign of CoD: Modern Warfare.
There are also clearly new mechanisms in play for COD, such as the ability to use enemies as a human shield - before they unplug their grenade, as well as even more powerful melee attacks.
The good news for PS4 players is that they can play a free multiplayer alpha from September 18th to 20th - where there's a new Zombie mode experience (FINALLY!) to try. We can expect more temporary or partial exclusions for in-game content as in the past, but the game itself will not be a Playstation exclusive.
Resident Evil: Village
The trailer for Resident Evil: Village was already unveiled during the previous keynote, and shows us a game very inspired by the survival horror genre, punctuated with the horror images of werewolves that we can expect from this horror saga.
For the rest, no gameplay has been shown and the only one a release in 2021 has been announced.
The games at the end, in bulk
Finally, I'm going to list here some games that are not new or that we've already seen in the previous keynote without anything new being revealed tonight. Here they are:
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 will be available at the launch of the PS5. The kinematics of the game were already sublime on PS4, they are only flattering on PS5. I won't comment on the gameplay since it's really not my favorite game series and because there are already a lot of reviews from journalists more competent than me online.
Another trailer for Deathloop was shown during this keynote. It shows how the game's time-loop mechanism can give players an advantage over certain characters, learning more about their weaknesses and strengths with each loop. In short, die and retry revisited.
I like the concept that reminds me of a similar power that could be used in Dishonored. This trailer shows how to use the loop mechanism to bring two enemies to the same place at the same time to "kill two birds with one stone".
These original gameplay mechanics in an FPS that looks very nervous make me quite anxious. The game is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2021. This is a PS5 exclusion which could also be temporary.
We find Abe in the latest opus of this cult Playstation saga that is Oddworld and that Sony has already unveiled during the last keynote.
Soulstorm seems to stick to the original formula, but with gameplay more focused on action than reflection and a "kino" side that emphasizes cinematics.
I don't like Souls games, I don't play them. I know, it's wrong. But this new trailer for the remake of the cult remake Demon's Souls looks pretty good on PS5.
During the trailer, I found the particle and light effects particularly fine, the very old game really seems to be up to next-gen (console) standards graphically speaking. Still, no release date was announced.
What do you think, not of the games presented, but of the prices of the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition?