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

    Nintendo's best console was the Famicom because it didn't have DRM. It learned its lesson when 3rd party games became common. Also, Nintendo didn't manage to figure out, with the Famicom, that hardwiring controllers is an extremely stupid idea. It's funny how such a games juggernaut made half-baked decisions like that and the ZIF slot in the NES. Fairchild managed to make a ZIF work properly in the mid 70s and Nintendo should have learned from its mistake about hardwired controllers.

    Since the Famicom, Nintendo has tried to be ruthless about controlling the games allowed on its machines. One of the sad things about copyright and the NES DRM chip is that Metroid was never given a Famicom/NES sequel. That's one of the company's bigger blunders. If 3rd parties had had the ability to put games onto the system and copyright weren't so strict then a 3rd-party Metroid sequel could have been something, especially if Nintendo would have bought it and refined it.
  • San Pedro - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    This is going to make it hard for me to justify a new graphics card. I live in Japan and the price of the PS5 is actually cheaper here than in the States (by like $10 at current rates), but the new Nvidia cards are about $300 more expensive here (RTX 3070 and RTX 3080). I could buy a lot of games with that price difference.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    RTX 3080 is confirmed trash anyway, you're not missing out right now.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    That's kind of an overstatement. They massively oversold it, but it's not trash - just not the second-coming of GPU Christ, either. I did find it quite funny that people are hailing its value when it provides almost exactly the same FPS-per-dollar as the RX 5700.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    AMD will beat RTX 3070, and will have one or more GPUs with 16 GB VRAM. If they can also beat RTX 3080 while using less energy, they have a winner. If not, there's pricing to fall back on.
  • Eliadbu - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    Stop being a fan boy throwing claims without solid proof. Next gen AMD GPUs might be faster and more competitive but they are not out yet, anything you claim is based on rumors or speculation so just stop please.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    30% faster then the 2080ti for $700.

    Sure, "trash". What a joke.
  • callmemusashj - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    What I'm more curious about it the dubious prospect of registering on PSN for a preorder. I've spent literally thousands of dollars on game, this year alone; probably closer to tens of thousands considering years of PS4 ownership. My hope was that would buy me a spot in line for pre-order; quid pro quo, right? But what: its's just a fucking free-for-all? Slap in the face...
  • twotwotwo - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    I almost wish it were a controlled experiment with identical games and everything, because the strategies are so different: put a *lot* of separation between your models, with a higher high end and lower low end, or make them nearly identical.

    (I also wonder about the cost structure -- how much more each digital PS5 costs Sony than each Series S costs Microsoft, and what Microsoft paid upfront to get two SoCs and two more radically different designs. All that, of course, we'll probably never hear about.)
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Microsoft have definitely made the larger up-front investment, but every Series S unit they build will save them some money. From the lower RAM and storage to the smaller SoC and less-elaborate cooling, their losses are probably fairly low on that unit, and they'll likely eliminate them entirely with the inevitable 5nm refresh in 18 months to 2 years time. It's a smart move.

    Sony, by contrast, have done a rather odd thing - they're already losing money on the standard PS5, so if the digital-only variant sells well it'll then it'll hurt them financially. They'll make money back from the digital-only sales, but so will MS with the Series S, so the only advantage they have is the lower development cost. I suspect they'll regret that by the end of this generation.

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