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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  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    It would be odd for Sony to not also benefit from a 5nm refresh and falling prices of other components over time as well. I would think that technological advancement cost benefits would be equally useful to either company if the business elects to make use of them.

    Also, lets not forget that both companies offer subscription-based services for their platforms and either have or are building out cloud-based gaming services. There are certainly places that lack network capacity and people that will opt for locally positioned gaming hardware for various reasons such as latency concerns, but we are inching closer to a world where game streaming is a realistic alternative. I would argue that for non-reflex based games, we are very much there already.
  • watzupken - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Pricing looks decent. The digital only version is indeed more attractive especially if you don't need the drive.
  • Zizy - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    XSS is the cheapest, PS5D has the best price/performance, XSX is the fastest and has a drive, PS5 is for fanboys. Pretty reasonable lineup from both, I find all 3 relevant consoles to be a sensible purchase.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Even if you ignore the GPU performance, nobody should be buying XSS. ~300 GB less storage, but the lower RAM is the biggest problem:

    PS5 DE is OK if you're willing to give up potential savings from discs.

    Assuming the teraflops numbers are even equivalent (because they might not be using the same RDNA2 and raytracing feature set), 15% less graphics performance in PS5 doesn't matter much. The SSD/expansion situation should be more interesting.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    It makes perfect sense if you don't have a 4K display and have no intention to upgrade, though.

    Also, those clocks/TFLOPS on the PS5 are clearly a peak measurement - the real sustained performance deficit is likely to be 20-25%. It sounds like they're having difficulty getting decent yields of chips that will even hit those peak clocks.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Sony denied reports of a chip shortage related to bad yields.

    The performance situation should become more clear once people actually have the consoles in their hands and developers start talking more.
  • eddman - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Why would XSS need to run X1X enhanced games if it doesn't support 4K?

    MS has already stated that although it'd run X1S version of games, it'll be with better texture filtering, better frame-rate, etc. 10GB is enough for that.

    They haven't mentioned this, but IMO XSS might also run X1S games at 1080 minimum too, since it has the horsepower. X1S barely manages to hit 1080, let alone maintain it, in a lot of games.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    I know a few people who don't plan to upgrade their TVs yet - they're still rocking Full HD models - for whom the Series S is an absolute steal. Microsoft did a smart thing there: People can buy a Series S now, and then if they replace their TV in a few years' time they can upgrade to the Series X for 4K gaming and keep the same games library.
  • cknobman - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    I think my biggest issue with Sony PS5 is their performance metrics are max theoretical and not sustained.
    Unloke Xbox with locked clockes the Sony will vary depending on thermal headroom and load.

    Not to mention Xbox game pass, crossplay, etc....
  • isthisavailable - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Sony is definitely making a lot less on the digital version and n00bs are gonna fall for it and get sucked into the "ecosystem". Personally i'm more in favor of MS's Game Pass model.

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