Sony revealed more games, details, and a release date/price for the PlayStation 5. What reveals left the biggest impressions and will it be worth getting? Our team discusses.
Sony finally revealed the price of $499 (Disc) and $399 (Digital), and a release date of November 12th for major markets, and November 19th for the rest of the world. Along with the announcement came several game announcements, and a few follow up game trailers for previously announced games. What did we think of it all? Well glad you asked.
One thing that stuck out to me almost instantly was the text “console exclusive” on pretty much every game in the showcase. Not only third party titles, but a few first party titles had it as well. Following the showcase Sony also confirmed with some sources that games like the follow up to Horizon are also getting tagged with “console exclusives” and will be hitting PC too. To me this is a bit shocking considering Sony overall benefits very little from PC releases, and my question is why they are not utilizing PS Now or some type of service to do it.
The Price – We all were sitting through 40 minutes of trailers for one thing, and one thing only, to get a price and pre order details. We got it and it came in cheaper than expected. $499 seems more than reasonable for a new console, and we can assume a “pro” edition a few years down the road will make up for some of the cost. I personally wouldn’t spend much more than that considering decent gaming PC’s start kicking in around $800. I also don’t want Sony to pull a “Series S” gimmick with a half done console at a cheap price because honestly it’s just going to hurt the quality of games.
Sony’s GamePass Answer – PS Plus line was also a cool announcement for Sony fans with Sony including several titles for free on launch with a PS Plus subscription. The nice thing is they are all downloadable games and seem to be part of a growing collection, which should be added in with a revolving 2 games per month subscribers already get. This honestly feels like a patch for two issues with Sony though. The first being PS5 is obviously a new console so the selection of “free games” will be slim unless Sony plans to hand out some rather new releases right away, or use the PS4 backwards compatibility to keep it fresh.
The second issue is Microsoft clearly is walking down the games as a service list and is pushing GamePass rather hard. The service lets you download and play a library of games with a low monthly fee, along with all the features of Xbox Live Gold. The service works on Xbox and PC, and now even includes the EA library from EA Play. Sony’s response? Nothing. We get a cool collection of old games with PS Plus, but nothing tied directly to PS Now which is the closest thing Sony has to compete with GamePass. PS Now functions similar to GamePass by offering a library of games, and it’s the only way to play old titles (such as PS1 and PS2 games) on new consoles. Why hasn’t Sony tied PS Now in with PS Plus, and even expanded its features? Who knows.
Lastly the games – The new games shown off for PS5 were pretty amazing for the most part. Final Fantasy got me hyped right off the bat, but a majority of the showcase was games we had already seen before with some new details. It’s a little frightening to see that beyond the initial launch window Sony isn’t really showing off much. Typically Sony is announcing and showing games off years ahead, so this is a bit of a change for PS gamers. I’m honestly still waiting for a game that really gets me excited for next generation in general, nothing looks too jaw dropping at the moment beyond the excellent Final Fantasy visuals. I mean, I’m not buying a PS5 just to play Fortnite and Oddworld…
Final Fantasy XVI – Leading up to the Sony PlayStation 5 Showcase, rumors began swirling that Square Enix would reveal Final Fantasy XVI. It’s kinda hard to really take a lot of rumors seriously when it comes to events such as these. You can just look at the fact that we still haven’t had a Silent Hills reveal as a clear indicator. However, I’ll attest that I bought into this rumor a bit hard and was REALLY hoping it was true.
So, suffice to say, as soon as I saw those chocobo on the battlefield, I was beyond thrilled. What really has me excited about Final Fantasy XVI is how it feels very different from the iterations that came before. It’s got a big Witcher feel to it in everything from the gameplay to just the overall story. You fight monsters in a visually stunning environment, movesets allow you to skip and attack in ways that are similar to what we played in Witcher, and even the story with the medieval, yet mystical feel serves to enhance that Witcher recollective.
The game also just feels bigger, more dangerous. The opening scene where two Gods are fighting each other, while the main characters are ants really evoked that idea. Although, I had downright goosebumps in the end when the Phoenix was summoned and I’m almost certain either Ifrit (maybe Bahamut) rose to fight it. Just a lot of WOW moments. Now, I will say the graphics didn’t seem as high-quality to me, just yet. That said it is a trailer and I’m sure it’ll be some time until the game finally releases on PlayStation 5. So, there’s a lot of time to clean things up and make it even more spectacular.
The Price – I said leading up to the Showcase that the two things I wanted to see were Final Fantasy XVI and a $399 price tag. Well, I asked and Sony delivered. They announced that the Standard Edition will be $499, while the Digital Edition (the one I really want) is to be priced at $399.
This was the perfect move by Sony. There was no way that they could match the price for the Xbox Series S ($299). That would’ve meant that they would’ve taken a loss with each product sold. Furthermore, while the Series S is a remarkable value, it’s not a 100% next-gen console. It’s a bit held back in its performance in the name of savings. On the flip side, there is nothing different about the Standard Edition and the Digital Edition for the PS5, outside of a disc drive. For $399, $100 less than the Xbox Series X, you’re getting a fully-powered next-gen console. That’s where Sony wins for me.
The most disappointing aspect of the showcase was the lack of Bugsnax, but I won’t put y’all through my misery.
Overall, I was impressed most by Hogwarts: Legacy. I’m not sure if it’s because the announcement came as a shock to me or that the game is not focused on the Golden Trio (to which I’m very pleased) and we get to delve into an open world. J.K. Rowling controversy aside, I have enjoyed the Harry Potter series and universe since I was in grade school and have always taken any chance I could to immerse myself more in the world. Hogwarts: Legacy aims to be the game I didn’t know I was missing.
I’m not a huge fan of playing the Soulsborne genre of games, but I greatly enjoy watching them be played and the remastered Demon’s Souls will be no exception. The trailer showcased a beautifully updated Boletaria and am looking forward to seeing the excitement around the game as it releases again after more than 10 years since its initial launch.
I’m happy to see so many fantastic titles included in the PlayStation Plus Collection, like God of War (which we got a teaser for the sequel of tonight), Monster Hunter World, Ratchet and Clank, Batman Arkham Knight and more. I’m hoping this means we may see more titles get added as time goes on.
Presentation – From kicking off with a brand new, mainline, Final Fantasy game to ending with a new God of War teaser, Sony definitely brought the goods to their latest PS5 showcase. While there are still plenty of questions, watching the showcase felt much like sitting down to enjoy one of their E3 presentations.
Frankly, after the impressive showing they had earlier this Summer, I figured this event would be more low-key. I kept my expectations lower for reveals, only really hoping to see that release date and price point. I wasn’t expecting them to blow me away, while keeping the presentation interesting without any lag.
Not Much Backward – I know the next-generation consoles are all about moving forward, but I have to confess I’m still underwhelmed with Sony’s answer to backwards compatibility. PlayStation 4’s lack of any backwards gameplay was incredibly frustrating, so I’m glad to see Sony allow for some PS4 play, as well as the addition of the PlayStation Plus Collection.
While that adds a great heap of value to the PS Plus subscription, it’s still a far cry from Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. We still can’t play any PS3 or PS2 games, while Xbox owners will be able to go all the way back to the original Xbox games. Ultimately it feels like baby steps rather than going as far as gamers want.
Cross-Gen – Again, I know everyone is all about moving forward, but I think one of Sony’s smartest decisions (which we didn’t find out until after the presentation technically) is allowing for cross-gen games. Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, and other key titles will also be available on the PlayStation 4.
While some contend this lessens the initial value of the PlayStation 5, it’s great news for gamers who are unable to make the upgrade initially. This ensures everyone is able to get in on these great titles while saving up for the PS5. In a time where many are struggling due to the pandemic, gaming is about the only outlet available. Ensuring more people can enjoy it without extensive upfront costs is a good thing overall.
What did you think of the PlayStation 5 showcase? Will you be picking one up this November?