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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  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Surely they can just set the LOD lower for the Series S and have the console intelligently load in lower-res versions of the textures? That should sort them out - most people who buy it will be playing at 1080p anyway.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    It will take more time to figure out the full implications of it. Consider that the RAM available for games (7.5 GB? XSX reserves 2.5 GB for the operating system) is just low. Lower than XSX, PS5, Xbox One X, and many PCs.
  • Falloutboy - Monday, September 21, 2020 - link

    A lot of value being able to use last generations controllers for the new Xbox though.
  • Pinn - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Drive adds maybe $10. They got scared by the series x, and maybe hoping to make it back by breaking up the used game market. $400 for what you get is the best deal in hardware EVER.
  • bsd228 - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    UHD players are still pricey, at least ones that support Vision.
  • Hul8 - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    No, the reason is they want to push people into digital game purchases (really "licensing"). Since the only way to get games in the digital edition is thru PS Store, Sony and game publishers will get to sell the games new to every customer and don't have to compete with physical stores. Also, no used games for you!
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Pretty much - but as you noted, you're stuck to their licencing, so it's not such good deal in the end.
  • Tams80 - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    $10 BOM for an UHD Blu-ray player? I'm calling malarkey on that.
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    BoM is closer to 30 dollars, and Sony does actually pay licencing for UHD Blu Ray despite popular belief. If it saves them 50 dollars a pop, that's an easy subsidy since the digital edition can't play used games, higher margin digital sales, etc.
  • Pinn - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    What's up with the m.2 upgrade? It must only allow PCIE4, but that still can't rule out slower drives. How does the heatsink attach? What about double sided drives?

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