At Sony’s PlayStation 5 Showcase this afternoon, the final (and much awaited) pieces of the puzzle with regards to the console’s launch have dropped: pricing and a release date.

Sony’s next-generation console will launch on Thursday, November 12th. The full version of the console, which includes a Blu-ray disc drive, will launch at $499. Meanwhile the “Digital Edition” of the console, which foregoes optical storage entirely, will release for a surprising $399, a full $100 cheaper despite only giving up a disc drive.

This will put Sony’s launch 2 days after Microsoft’s own Xbox Series X/S launch, which is taking place on Tuesday, November 10th. The $499 price tag for the two companies’ respective flagship consoles will put them in direct competition, while the PS5 Digital Edition/Xbox Series S divide should prove far more interesting – if not a bit frustrating for consumers trying to make the best choice. The discless PS5 is every bit as powerful as its disc-capable sibling – making it a spoiler of sorts at $399 – whereas the Xbox Series S gets a significantly weaker GPU than the Xbox Series X. However at $299 the slimmed down console is cheaper still, and still gets to run next-gen games.

Next-Gen Console Specs
  PlayStation 5 PlayStation 5
Digital Edition
Xbox Series S Xbox Series X
CPU 8 Core AMD Zen 2
@ 3.5 GHz w/SMT
8 Core AMD Zen 2
@ 3.6 GHz
@ 3.4 GHz w/SMT
8 Core AMD Zen 2
@ 3.8 GHz
@ 3.6 GHz /wSMT
@ 2.23GHz
@ 1.565 GHz
@ 1.825 GHz
GPU Throughput (FP32) 10.28 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS 12.15 TFLOPS
Memory 16GB GDDR6
@ 14Gbps
@ 14Gbps
@ 14Gbps
Memory Throughput 16GB@448GB/sec
Storage 825GB PCIe 4 x4 SSD 512GB PCIe 4 x2 SSD 1TB PCIe 4 x2 SSD
Storage Throughput 5.5GB/sec 2.4GB/sec
Storage Expansion M.2 (NVMe) Slot
PCIe 4 x4
Xbox Storage Expansion Card (1TB)
Disc Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray No No 4K UHD Blu-Ray
Manufacturing Process TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm
Launch Date 2020/11/12 2020/11/10
Launch Price $499 $399 $299 $499

Or if you’re in the mood for a PC (a platform we’re particularly partial towards), over the next couple of months we will be seeing new hardware launches there as well, including NVIDIA’s $500 GeForce RTX 3070, and AMD’s new RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 video cards. So there is no shortage of gaming hardware to be had this fall – at least if you have the cash.

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  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Developers are complaining about the 10 GB of RAM in the Xbox Series S.

    Meanwhile, stomaching the $500 for full PS5 or XSX is probably worth it just so you can pick up more used and on-sale disc games over the console's lifetime.
  • Molor1880 - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    It's worth it to me just for an all-in-one device. Games, video streaming and discs. A decent standalone Ultra HD Blu-ray player alone will set you back $200-300.
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    If they are smart about use of the SSD it should be OK. NVMe can shore up shortages in RAM. But given how much more you get with the X in other areas, it is hard to justify not paying the extra. You get a much more capable system. For the PS5 this is not the case and I wonder if it will get users looking for a cheaper but still 4K solution as a result.

    I have a sneaking suspicion Microsoft pulled the specfs as far apart as they did because they want to be sure game developers have a reason to build for less-capable systems so it can provide a general Windows baseline for a gaming PC outside consoles.

    They may be making games for this for the next decade, so if you can get hardware that matches it in a PC you can hope to have support.
  • schujj07 - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    "NVMe can shore up shortages in RAM."
    No SSD can shore up being short on RAM. As soon as you have to traverse the PCIe bus to the SSD, due to lack of RAM, you add on latency and have a massive bandwidth bottleneck. The Xbox S' SSD only has the bandwidth of the old PC-2700 DDR RAM from the early 2000s and the PS5's SSD only has the bandwidth of DDR2-5300, all be it both at a latency multiple order of magnitudes higher.
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    The point of the SSD as stated by Sony is that instead of keeping several seconds of gameplay padding in RAM like you would have to in a lesser system, you can just keep 1-2 seconds worth of gameplay in RAM. By the time you turn around, you can practically re-fill the entire games RAM capacity. No replacement for RAM you have to do multiple fast operations on, but used as a streaming system it could be very effective at increasing effective memory.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    That's a heaping load. Streaming that much data, even from NVMe SSD, is goign to take more then a single second. Bandwidth transfer rate isnt the only factor, as has been pointed out latency is a serious problem. SSDs couldnt fix the megatexture issue with rage, they helped, but the "stream all your data from storage" plan has never worked well, for good reason.

    This is all from the same company that sang the praises of the CELL architecture only to be BTFOd by the cheaper slower xbox 360 for the majority of the generation.

    And lets leave streaming systems on the dirt floor where they belong. No matter how many times its tried, this thing called "latency" shows up and obliterates the service. Seems game companies cant grasp how important latency is.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, September 20, 2020 - link

    Cell would have been a lot better if two of its cores hadn't been disabled to improve yields.
  • schujj07 - Sunday, September 20, 2020 - link

    If cell was so good it would have been used later on in things other than the PS3. I remember there was talk of IBM using cell for supercomputers, but it never was used for that.
  • beginner99 - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    These consoles don't have a pcie bus and especially the ps5 had a dedicated chip for IO that can load from ssd directly into ram.
  • schujj07 - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    They do have a PCIe bus. The SSDs are NVMe with PCIe 4.0 x2 (Xbox) or x4 (PS5) connections. That IO "chip" you are talking about is actually a feature call DMA (direct memory access) it has been around since the 90s. The last time I can remember having to enable DMA was on the HDD for my 1996 IBM Aptiva running Windows 95. Otherwise it has been enabled by default for storage every since.

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