Electronics giant Sony has finally taken the lid off its much-anticipated successor to the popular PlayStation 4 game console.
On Thursday, the company showed off a sneak peak at its upcoming lineup of titles for its next-generation PlayStation 5 (PS5) console, along with a look at the console itself and some accessories.
“Today’s the day we’ve been looking forward to for years, when we get to show you just some of the games that demonstrate our belief that PlayStation 5 marks the biggest generational transition our industry has yet seen,” said Jim Ryan, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, at the start of the company’s streamed event. Surprising basically everyone, the new console cuts a distinctive figure when it comes to industrial design, making competition like Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Series X and its gray boxy aesthetic look downright bland.
Sony’s stream began with a showcase of upcoming PlayStation 5 titles from classic Sony franchises like Gran Turismo 7, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Horizon: Forbidden West, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, appeasing longtime fans with familiar versions of popular characters. Among its new titles, games like the surreal and stylized adventure game Solar Ash, time-shifting shooter Returnal, and knight-heavy fighting game Godfall show off the console’s graphical fidelity, but only offered glimpses of gameplay that made it difficult to discern just how much a graphical leap it is from its PlayStation 4 predecessor.
The star of the show, the console itself, diverges from Sony’s previous understated designs and goes for broke in the looks department. Its white and black color scheme features sweeping curves on either side, with exhaust cutouts hidden on the interior of the white shell encasing its body, which features both USB-A and USB-C ports. On the right side of the console (or bottom, depending on orientation) is the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive. While shown standing vertically, the console can also be placed horizontally, a feature found in past Sony consoles beginning with the PlayStation 2.
In a nod to gaming’s eventual disc-free future, Sony also revealed a nearly identical PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, which omits the disc drive, giving the console a slimmer profile compared to its counterpart.
Inside the PS5 is custom-designed hardware powered by processor and graphics card company AMD, along with an internal solid-state drive (SSD) for faster load times and seamless transitions that Sony says will allow games to take up less space despite using 100GB Blu-ray discs to store physical versions of the games. While offering faster read and write times than the current hard disk drives used in consoles today, solid state drives are still relatively expensive at larger sizes, meaning increased storage capacity could be quite costly, a problem many console users run into as they amass a greater library of titles installed on their device.
“While there are some slight differences in the look of each model, for the overall design, we wanted to deliver a console that’s bold, stunning, and unlike any previous generation of PlayStation,” the company wrote in its hardware reveal trailer.
Sony also revealed an extensive array of accessories for the console, including the HD Camera, the DualSense Charging Station, which can charge two PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers at once, its Pulse 3D wireless headphones, and its Media Remote, all sporting a similar white and black color scheme, and reminiscent of accessories available for the current PlayStation 4.
Sony is claiming the PS5 will be available this holiday season, around the same time Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is set to launch. What the company hasn’t revealed is a definitive launch date or price, although it’s probably safe to assume the disc-free digital version may be slightly cheaper than its Blu-ray-reading brother.
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