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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  • SirDragonClaw - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    It actually doesn't let you use slower drives. They said a drive would have to have 7-8GB/sec for it to be used in the ps5, so it will probably cost as much if not more than the Xbox's expansion drive.
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Sony will publish a list of qualified drives. Anything else won't work.
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    It tests an installed SSD for performance before allowing it. Sony will publish a compatibility list
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Sony said that they would test drives and publish a compatibility list, but I don't think they said anything about the console itself running a SSD performance test, nor have they stated that the console will reject unapproved SSDs.
  • SirDragonClaw - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    This makes the PlayStation 5
    Digital Edition look pretty decent, and the non Digital Edition look terrible.
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Yes. I would bet they were aiming at $449 for the Digital Edition and trimmed it by fifty bucks at the last minute.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    You can probably save $100 if you buy several used or on-sale disc games. Average number of games bought per PS4 console was around 9.5, apparently.
  • Sttm - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    The bolted on drive is an ugly eyesore, and it costs an extra $100. Who is going to buy that in an era where Sony is going to have massive games that dont fit on the disk on purpose because of the new SSD tech.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Actually, new SSD tech can allow game sizes to shrink. There's no more need to duplicate assets for a slow HDD. Something else could cause game sizes to grow, like higher resolution textures.
  • Samus - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    As odd as it sounds, I think Sony may have intentionally kept the price high for the disc edition (or depending how you look at it, the digital edition low - they're probably selling it at a significant loss.)

    It's clear they are launching a price-attack on physical media in order to eliminate the used game\rental market. There is precedent to this. They tried this with the Vita (and technically the UMD-less PSP) to go all digital, but a decade ago the market wasn't ready for such a radical shift.

    Maybe this time will be different.

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