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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  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, September 20, 2020 - link

    Maybe this time consumers won't be willing to pay Sony more for less hardware.
  • Sttm - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    RIP Physical media. Better looking cheaper digital edition going to become the norm now.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    Physical media will survive for at least a decade because they put disc drives in the top models. Although maybe some developers will not bother publishing a disc version of their games.

    If there is a mid-generation refresh of these consoles, or another generation of consoles (PS6/XXX), then disc drives might be ditched forever. There is a slight chance that we could see a consumer version of 300 GB to 1 TB Archival Discs make it into a new console, but it's more likely that broadband internet satellites ensure that almost no potential console customers don't have a fast internet connection, so Sony and Microsoft go discless or consoleless with game streaming.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    Those satellites have been promised for yonks yet still dont exist.

    Perhaps we should see if they can actually function before deciding to base gaming's future on them.
  • SaolDan - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link

    I would never buy a digital only console. I like selling the games or letting my friends borrow them once im done with them.
  • wr3zzz - Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - link


    I don't mind digital only if the download has no DRM like GOG that I can store and transfer at my discretion. I also like the fact that digital means a game will never be out of print and one can always pick up a top selling game really cheap like $10 years after release.

    However, having the only option is to "rent" digital only with device locked DRM without a second hand market to push down retail price is a terrible norm for the future.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    100% agreed.
  • webdoctors - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    A lot of games have massive downloads after purchase and/or require some online component.

    Great prices by Sony, and even MS in this time. Surprised, based off the specs I would've expected it to cost much more.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Not sure I really have anything against digital only. Yes, it does eliminate gray market disc sale and resale which can offer some excellent value and there is the potential to lose out on long-term usage as well if the software distribution servers become unavailable so there are certainly good reasons to keep physical media. However, lots of games sold on disc now basically require online access anyway since large portions of the game are downloaded and then there are updates to fix various bugs as well which, if not fixed, could be game breaking (looking at you Bethesda - always looking at you) if they are not available for download. Also first party digital shops routinely offer discounts and deals. I think that discounts would continue to be offered even in the absence of competition from physical media mainly to compete with other distribution platform discounts.
  • Samus - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    Exactly. But I suspect a lot of people are going to eat the long-term savings of having a disc-based console (where you can recoup investment in games by reselling them) in order to save up-front on a cheaper console.

    And Sony is betting on this. Because we all know Sony, Microsoft and ESPECIALLY Nintendo despise the rental and resell market. Nintendo has effectively made renting games borderline illegal in Japan and they have tried everything they can in other regions to minimize economic impact of used games by devaluing games after "Nintendo Codes" have been claimed by the original owner on the cartridge serial number, etc. Sony isn't new to this either. They axed UMD with the PSP and made the Vita entirely download-only (yet it still needed a proprietary form factor SD card which is probably the single thing that killed it)

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