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PlayStation 5: Sony Outdoors PS5 Console And Games

The PlayStation 5 has a black core surrounded by curved white edging, and a blue glow.

Two sequels to bestselling PS4 releases were among the standout games announcements – Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Horizon: Forbidden West.

Sony’s machine will launch alongside Microsoft’s rival Xbox Series X before the end of the year.

spiderman playstation 5 - PlayStation 5: Sony Outdoors PS5 Console And Games
Miles Morales takes over the lead role from Peter Parker in the latest spin-off for Marvel’s crime-fighter

“While there’s still a lot of unanswered questions about the PS5, namely price and release date, I think Sony did exactly what they needed to with this reveal event,” commented Laura Kate Dale, a freelance games critic.

“It showed off an hour of games, mixing sequels to popular titles, and new franchises from its biggest first-party studios, for a solid hour.

“People on Twitter are very split on whether they like or hate the look of the box, but overall Sony spent an hour getting people excited.”

So many people remarked that the console looked like a “wi-fi router”, that the term trended on Twitter shortly after the event.

More than two dozen new games were shown off in total.

Other highlights included a first look at Sony’s racing game Grand Turismo 7 and a brief look at Capcom’s zombie horror game Resident Evil 8.

It was not always clear during the event which titles were PS5 exclusives and which were not.

Pre-recorded show

The PlayStation 5 is set to go on sale later this year, seven years after the PS4.

In addition to being able to deliver improved visuals, the new machine also has a customised hard drive that will make it possible to radically reduce load times.

Sony is building a library of launch titles that will only be available on its next-generation machine. This contrasts with Microsoft’s approach, which is to initially release new first-party games on both its current and next-gen consoles.

Sony opted to stream a pre-recorded video rather than a host a live event because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The video was broadcast at 1080p resolution, much lower than the PS5 is capable of.

The PS4 outsold the Xbox One globally by more than a 2:1 margin, although the gap was much closer in the US.

In advance of Thursday night’s event, one industry insider said there were two things he was most excited about.

“The first is the new controller – the adaptive triggers offer deeper and more meaningful feedback for gameplay,” explained Robert Karp, development director at UK developer Codemasters.

“The other is the super-fast loading. On PS5, waiting to get into the action is a thing of the past.”

Coronavirus challenge

Sony also highlighted new features of the PS5’s hardware including 3D Audio and a 4K Blu-ray player. It also said the the new console would be released in a version that lacked a disc drive.

While Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles will battle for sales, they both face the challenge of launching at a time when the coronavirus pandemic may not be over.

Although both firms have said that production is on track for winter 2020 releases, it is unclear what level of demand there will be.

“Console gaming has proven to be resilient to economic downturns because it continues to offer good per-hour entertainment value,” Piers Harding-Rolls wrote in a research note for Ampere Analysis.

“Even so, the recession and growing unemployment in key sales territories will undermine adoption – less so at launch [but] more significantly after mid-2021.”

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Leo Kelion & David Molloy

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