Sony unveils its plans for the holiday season… and beyond
After leaks forced Microsoft to unveil the Xbox Series X’s price point and release date ahead of schedule, Sony had the benefit of releasing that information about the PlayStation 5 at its own pace, and it did so in a recorded PlayStation 5 Showcase event aired last Wednesday. Aside from announcing the launch details, though, Sony continued with its games-first ethos, using the platform to share some new announcements, as well as some further information about some of the titles we already knew about.
It’s a little later than we’d have hoped, but here’s our recap of the things you need to know from the event!
At long last, we have a release date and price point!
Of course, the most significant of the many major announcements Sony made during this event was the PlayStation 5’s release date and pricing. Unlike this generation, where the company left two weeks’ worth of breathing room between its own release and that of the Xbox One, Sony has opted to release the PS5 on November 12 — just two days after the Xbox Series X — in “seven key markets”: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States. The rest of the world (with the exception of China, where the release date is still “under exploration”) will start seeing the PlayStation 5 a week later, on November 19.
Continuing the theme of relative parity with its competitor, the PlayStation 5 “with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive” will set you back AU$749.95/US$499.99/CA$629/¥49,980/€499.99/£449.99. The Digital Edition, on the other hand, will run you slightly more than an Xbox Series S (which is justifiable by the fact that the PS5 Digital Edition is much closer to the other model in terms of specs): AU$599.95/US$399.99/CA$499/¥39,980/€399.99/£359.99.
Pre-orders were supposed to go live the next day, but some retailers jumped the gun and forced a mass-release of pre-orders within hours of the event itself, so if you don’t already have a pre-order… you won’t be seeing your console until 2021 unless you’re really, really lucky. Sony has since apologised for the absolute mess that was its PS5 pre-order initiative, but that hasn’t stopped rival Microsoft from making jokes about it.
Sony also revealed how much it’ll cost you to kit your PS5 out with its official accessories:
- DualSense Wireless Controller: AU$109.95/US$69.99/CAD$89.99/¥6,980/€69.99
- PULSE 3D Wireless Headset: AU$159.95/US$69.99/CAD$89.99/¥6,980/€69.99
- HD Camera: AU$99.95/US$59.99/CAD$79.99/¥5,980/€59.99
- Media Remote: AU$49.95/US$29.99/CAD$39.99/¥2,980/€29.99
- DualSense Charging Station: AU$49.95/US$29.99/CAD$39.99/¥2,980/€29.99
There were some new announcements to get us all excited:
Final Fantasy XVI goes medieval:
Four years after it released Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix showed off a teaser for the series’ next mainline entry, which looks to have a more medieval setting than we’ve seen before. There’s not much more information available about it, though; producer “(that’s right, just producer)” Naoki Yoshida noted that the “next big information reveal is scheduled for 2021,” so we’re in for a bit of a wait. We do, however, know that Square Enix has assigned Creative Business Unit 3, which is better known for its work in the MMORPG space and is responsible for Final Fantasy XIV and its expansions, to develop the title.
Although the trailer Square Enix displayed at the event indicated that Final Fantasy XVI would be a “PlayStation console exclusive” and “also available on PC, that information has since changed; the company asked IGN to “remove mention of PC from [its] initial [Final Fantasy XVI] news story” and explained that it “[has] no further information on if Final Fantasy XVI will be released on platforms other than the PS5.”
Hogwarts: Legacy is an open-world RPG set in the Wizarding World:
Right in the midst of series creator JK Rowling’s latest transphobic tirade (in the form of a published book, no less), Warner Bros. showed off an official trailer for Hogwarts: Legacy, an immersive, open-world action role-playing game set in the Wizarding World of the late 1800s. Players will not only explore the magical halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but they’ll travel through the wider wizarding world in Avalanche Studios and Portkey Games’ latest adventure. Based on the trailer, we can see that Hogwarts: Legacy will have a strong focus on combat both against magical creatures of all shapes and sizes and other witches and wizards.
After myriad social media users declared that they would refuse to purchase the game based on Rowling’s involvement and continued stake in its success, Warner Bros. supplemented the game’s announcement by launching an FAQ page which, among other things, states that the Harry Potter author “is not directly involved in the creation of the game” and that it is “not a new story from J.K. Rowling.” However, given that she created the series and the world in which the game is set, Rowling will receive royalties from its sales, which unfortunately means that she will still profit from the game.
Hogwarts: Legacy is set to be released at some point next year on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is set to look and sound amazing:
Set to release digitally at launch (and also on Xbox Series X), the Special Edition will feature a Turbo Mode that brings the whole game to 1.2x speed and a Legendary Dark Knight difficulty level. It’ll also feature real-time ray tracing, and offer three different output modes: 4K resolution at 30 frames per second or 1080p resolution at 60fps with ray tracing enabled; and a High Framerate Mode that turns ray tracing off and brings the target frame rate up to 120fps.
The Special Edition will also take advantage of the DualSense controller’s new features, and also the console’s improved audio capabilities: “Just wait until you get into a situation where you’re surrounded by a bunch of Hellbats – you’ll be able to pinpoint specifically where they all are in relation to the camera based on their cries,” the studio explained.
Finally, the Special Edition will include Dante’s brother, Vergil, as a playable character with “even more interesting twists to his gameplay in addition to the return of [his] Concentration Gauge.” Those who own the original version of Devil May Cry 5 will be able to play as Vergil, too — in the form of a Playable Character: Vergil paid expansion that will be “available at a later date.”
There’s a new God of War title on the way:
We only saw a brief teaser for it, and it only revealed that it’s set for release next year, but we do know that Kratos will be back. Based on his brief dialogue in the teaser, “the time draws near, you must prepare yourself,” and the fact that it ended with the phrase “Ragnarok is coming,” we can quite safely assume that it’s rooted in the same Norse mythology as the 2018 reboot.
… And that’s all we know. We’ll likely hear more information about the next God of War title once the PlayStation 5 is in the wild.
The PlayStation Plus Collection looks like Sony’s answer to the Xbox Game Pass:
Available at launch to anyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription, the PlayStation Plus Collection is a “curated library” of the PlayStation 4’s first- and third-party classics that PS5 owners will be able to download and play at any time.
As of this writing, Sony has announced Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield 1, Bloodborne, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human, Fallout 4, God of War (2018), inFAMOUS: Second Son, The Last Guardian, Monster Hunter: World, Mortal Kombat X, Ratchet & Clank (2016), Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Until Dawn for the PlayStation Plus Collection; time will tell whether we’ll see more of the PS4’s best releases added to the list, but there’s a whole hell of a lot of content there to start us off.
The best part is that, so far, Sony hasn’t announced an increase in the PlayStation Plus subscription price to go with this new benefit.
We also learned more about already-announced titles:
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales gets new trailer, release date, PS4 version:
The newest trailer gives us a look at New York City in the winter, as well as a scene where Miles — as Miles, not Spider-Man — walks through a pop-up street fair in Harlem to an election rally for his mother, Rio, with his best friend and confidant Ganke Lee (which you might remember from Into The Spider-Verse). Insomniac Games Creative Director Brian Horton then introduced us to the game’s main opponents: a “high-tech criminal army” known as the Underground, led by an reinvention of one of Spider-Man’s oldest enemies, the Tinkerer. The Underground is locked in a war with the energy corporation Roxxon, looking to take the latter’s new energy source for itself while Miles aims to protect Harlem from further destruction.
The gameplay segment of the trailer shows off the camouflage abilities and bio-electric “venom” that set Miles apart from his mentor, Peter Parker, and also features an interactive cutscene loaded with quick-time events.
In a follow-up post on the PlayStation Blog, Insomniac Games Community Director James Stevenson revealed that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also coming to PlayStation 4 (albeit without some of the improvements that only the PS5 makes possible), and will have “a next-gen upgrade path” that will allow later PS5 adopters to bring the game with them when they do upgrade. The PlayStation 5 version, meanwhile, is getting an Ultimate Edition that contains a “voucher code” for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered — a major update to the original title that also includes all three instalments of the City That Never Sleeps DLC expansion.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is set to release — along with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered — on PlayStation 5 at launch, and on the same day on PlayStation 4.
Demon’s Souls gets a release date and gameplay demo:
We finally saw real gameplay of Bluepoint’s newest remake, Demon’s Souls, and we were left vastly impressed. The game continues to look spectacular as every single shot keeps the original game’s vision in mind and every corner of the kingdom of Boletaria is as chilling and grandiose as ever. Sure, there are some design changes that have already divided hardcore fans but by and large this looks like another success for the team over at Bluepoint.
Demon’s Souls is set to be available day and date with the PS5. As with Final Fantasy XVI above, it was originally advertised as a timed exclusive for the PlayStation consoles that would also be available on PC, but Bluepoint has since retracted that statement, informing IGN that “the text stating the remake would be coming to PC and ‘other consoles’ was included in error.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War gets a release date, Fast & Furious-esque trailer:
Treyarch shared “Nowhere Left to Run”, a teaser for Black Ops Cold War’s single-player campaign that was captured on PlayStation 5 and features (among other things) a Fast & Furious 6-style runway chase. The trailer, which is embedded below, wasn’t the only piece of news to come out of the event, though: the company announced that PlayStation 4 owners would have exclusive access to the multiplayer “alpha” that took place over the weekend, and that pre-ordering the game would grant players early access to an open beta that begins on October 8.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is set to be released on November 13, the Friday after both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch, on those consoles as well as PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Resident Evil Village:
After having debuted its eighth mainline Resident Evil title at the PlayStation 5 reveal event back in June, Capcom continued to work with Sony by showing off a second Resident Evil Village trailer at the PlayStation 5 showcase. Again, the trailer didn’t give much away about the game itself, but we did meet a very different version of Chris Redfield, a cult-like group and a number of ferocious-looking enemies. The trailer ends with a mysterious man smoking a cigar and saying “if it’s just looking, window shop away” — calling to mind the merchant from Resident Evil 4.
Resident Evil Village is set to be released at some point next year on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X; Capcom has yet to say anything about a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version.
We still don’t know much about Deathloop, but it looks fun:
We still don’t have too much information to go on, but the latest trailer to come out of Arkane Studios showed off some more of the gameplay that’s set to make Deathloop so unique. It shows off some of the powers that protagonist Colt has at his disposal in his work as an assassin, as well as the obstacle that stands in his way: a deuteragonist named Jules whose sole mission is to kill Colt, which appears to reset him to the start of the time loop he’s trapped in. In the live game, random players will be able to take control of Jules, invading Colt players’ games and attempting to foil their plans before they can succeed.
Deathloop is currently scheduled for release on PC and PS5 in the second quarter of 2021.
Oddworld: SoulStorm is looking as zany as ever:
Presented by Creative Director Lorne Lanning, the latest trailer genuinely doesn’t give too much away, except for the fact that the Mudokons have burned their own hideout down and that Abe’s adventures are going to be “a whole lot bigger, badder, more brutal [and] bolder” than ever before. Following up on the PlayStation Blog, Lanning revealed that players would “loot, pickpocket and search through locks, even going off the critical path to find tools and items that can be used to create supplies and weapons”, and that your every action will “have real time consequences and accrue throughout the game in immediately noticeable and conscious ways.”
Oddworld: SoulStorm currently does not have a release date, but it’s set to be a PlayStation-exclusive, releasing only on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach:
It’s been quite a while since Steel Wool Studios originally revealed Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, but we’ve got a brand-new look at the neon-soaked PizzaPlex and some of the… misadventures players can look forward to within. The trailer also introduces a new Animatronic with a Majora’s Mask-esque grinning moon for a face, before revealing that the game will be a PlayStation console exclusive for three months after its release on PC, PS4 and PS5 — at this point in time, Steel Wool Studios has not announced when that will be..
That’s all the major information we got out of the PlayStation 5 Showcase event and the days that surrounded it! Now that it’s well and truly in the books and we’ve got all the relevant information about the next generation of console gaming, we turn to you for the discussion: which console are you picking up, and why? Jump into the comments section below, or join our community and let us know!
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Also published on Medium.