The cheaper model will come without a disc drive.
Sony announced via a prerecorded livestream on Wednesday that they would be releasing their upcoming PlayStation 5 models for $399 and $499; each will be available starting November 12th. The only functional difference between the two models that has been announced is the inclusion of a disc drive in the standard model, and the lack of a disc drive in the digital version.
Pre-orders for Sony’s next generation console will begin on September 17th.
Along with the long-anticipated hardware announcements Sony unveiled a slew of new game announcements as well as more detail on games that have already been announced.
The show started off with an official announcement for Final Fantasy, detailing the game through cinematic trailers as well as gameplay. The game will feature an entirely new cast of characters. From there, the livestream went straight into a gameplay demo for Spiderman: Miles Morales, featuring some exciting context into the direction of the story. From there, the long-leaked, never fully understood game based in the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was announced as Hogwarts Legacy along with a release window for 2021.
Prior to the announcement of console pricing, Sony revealed that PlayStation Plus subscribers would have immediate access to what they are calling the PlayStation Plus collection, a lineup of PS4’s best titles, as soon as they get a PS5. These games are available free of charge and must only be downloaded to begin playing.
Sony’s presentation come on the heels of Microsoft’s own announcement of a decidedly cheaper alternative to their fluid generation of console releases in the $299 Xbox Series S. The standard, disc-version of the PS5 will be equivalent in price to the Xbox Series X.
Despite its release just two days before the release of the PlayStation 5, it has been clear for months that Microsoft and Sony are running two different races in the next generation of consoles.
The tangible excitement for gamers began this month when Nvidia announced their new series of graphics cards on September 1st, promising considerable performance increases over their predecessors at an equivalent price point to where the previous generation is now.
The competition between Microsoft and Sony has been lessening over the last year, but perhaps the presence of Nvidia’s high-quality graphics card will sway typical console users to the world of PC gaming. Although several informal Twitter surveys would say otherwise, the timing of all announcements would seem to point to each company’s awareness as the other as a competitor.