It finally happened. On June 11th, 2020 we finally got a look at the PlayStation 5 design, and a few of its games. Even better, the game trailers released included gameplay – unlike the Xbox reveal trailers which showed everything but. With hardware and software possibilities abounding, there’s a lot to cover.
One of the biggest takeaways from the physical model renders on show was the announcement of two different versions of the new PS. While otherwise identical, one of these contains an optical drive, and one does not. In other words, one of the consoles will rely entirely on digital downloads, which could be better suited to some users. Examining this more deeply, however, raises questions as to real use-cases.
In terms of cost, the 4K Blu-ray player of the optical model probably won’t significantly affect pricing. External versions of such drives for PC can currently be bought for around $15. Given how internal drives tend to be cheaper, and how Sony will be buying in bulk, we can’t see this increasing production cost by more than $10.
More important questions about these versions relate to how physical games will be handled. Some games are now sold in empty physical boxes, only containing download codes for the PlayStation Now service inside. In new instances on PS5 where a disk is included, there is the question of the possibility of a download code printed in attached documents or on the disk itself, like PC CD keys of old.
This would allow digital download enthusiasts to still collect boxes for physical display, but it also could generate issues with second-hand sales. Asking gamers to pay full price for second-hand games was something tried out by major developers before, and it’s not an idea that was well-liked.
Looking at the Roster
The official list of games announced for the next-gen PlayStation includes the following:
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales
- Resident Evil 8: Village
- Gran Turismo 7
- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Demon Souls Remake
- GTA 5 (now on three generations!)
- Oddworld: Soulstorm
For a full list of games slated for arrival, readers can click here. Most of these aren’t really surprising, though there are a couple that stand out in what they are showing, and what they could mean for early adopters.
The first is that GTA 5 Online will be offered for free for all PS5 owners, which could prove a significant driver for early adopters and those looking to upgrade. The standout for us was the Ratchet and Clank gameplay trailer. While we’ve seen a lot of claims about the capabilities of the PS5’s storage drive solution, the gameplay trailer showed us this potential in action, quickly loading through entire areas in ways not possible on older drives.
Also exciting are new possibilities that the PS5 could relay in terms of browser gaming. The internet browsers of older systems could manage some Flash games but ultimately the limitations of the Flash platform held this form of console gaming back. With the PS5 being built with an understanding of HTML5 from the start, it could be possible that the thousands of browser games long available on mobile and PC could come to consoles.
This is especially exciting for online casino enthusiasts, who will be able to play land-based staples such as blackjack and roulette, as well as more niche games like teen patti, also known as Indian poker, for the first time without issue. All the bonuses and selection that console players have been wanting for years could finally arrive – at least that’s the hope. This focus could offer other advantages too, in terms of web navigation from PS5 connected displays.
Begging the Query
The big question left on everybody’s lips is, of course, the cost. So far, Microsoft and Sony are playing a cat and mouse game to see who will show their hand first, that the other might undercut or at least better judge their starting position. It’s quite likely that, as with prior generations, developers will be willing to take a loss with launch units, but how much of a loss is yet to be determined. Whatever the case, stay tuned, and start saving.