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  1. Sony thinks the PS5 shortage could continue into next year Sony has reportedly warned that it could struggle to meet PS5 demand next year too. The news comes after Nintendo warned of possible Switch shortages later this year. Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority Getting a PS5 is a rather tough challenge right now due to the ongoing industry chip shortage. But there’s bad news for those hoping the console becomes easier to find. Sony held a private briefing with analysts after reporting its recent financial results, Bloomberg reported, and it purportedly told attendees that PS5 shortages could stretch into next year. “I don’t think demand is calming down this year and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units of the PlayStation 5 next year, our supply wouldn’t be able to catch up with demand,” chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki said, according to several attendees who asked not to be named by the outlet. The news means those wanting to buy a PS5 a few days or weeks before Christmas or a birthday might have to buy the console months in advance if they can find it. There’s also no guarantee that those eyeing the console next year for whatever reason (e.g. waiting for more games) will actually be able to easily get their hands on one. Sony isn’t the only gaming company forecasting struggles with console demand, as Nintendo recently warned that the chip shortage could affect the supply of Switch units for the rest of 2021. Looking for more PS5 coverage? We’ve got a PS5 versus PS5 Digital comparison, as well as a rundown of the best PS5 games. Source: Sony thinks the PS5 shortage could continue into next year
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition Giveaway on PS Store Sony Interactive Entertainment has released the following game, as part of its Play At Home program, which is now free to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 users. Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition CONTENTS: • Game Horizon Zero Dawn - an action game in the world of the post-apocalyptic future, in which the world is inhabited by robotic dinosaurs that destroyed modern civilization. • The plot add-on The Frozen Wilds. • Storm tracker costume and powerful bow of the Karha tribe. • Set of the merchant of the Karha tribe. • Pioneer costume and armor-piercing bow of the Banuk tribe. • Set of the traveler of the Banuk tribe. • Set of the Keeper of the Nora tribe. • Digital album with illustrations. • Theme for PS4 ™. PS Plus is not needed. https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA10237_00-HRZCE00000000000 Pick up free until May 15th.
  3. First PS5 update adds USB system storage for games, new social features Free up SSD space with external storage for PlayStation 5 software Photo: James Bareham/Polygon The first major system update for PlayStation 5 arrives Wednesday, April 14, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Tuesday. That update will add new features, including external USB storage support for PS5 games and new social features that enable cross-generation Share Play between PS5 and PlayStation 4. The biggest new feature coming in Wednesday’s software update is support for external USB drives for PS5 game storage. The option will let PS5 owners move installed games from the internal SSD to a compatible USB drive, and vice versa. The update will not enable the option to play PS5 games directly from external USB storage, nor will it enable the ability to upgrade the PS5’s internal SSD storage. Here’s Sony’s description of the new feature from the PlayStation Blog: Store PS5 Games on Compatible External USB Drives.* With this feature, you can now transfer your PS5 games to USB extended storage from your console’s internal storage. It’s a great way to extend the storage capabilities of your PS5 console, and you can seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play. It is faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc. Because PS5 games are designed to take advantage of the console’s ultra high-speed SSD, PS5 titles can’t be played from USB extended storage. PS5 titles also cannot be directly downloaded to USB extended storage. However, games that you transfer or copy back to internal storage will automatically update when applicable. In addition, you can select which game modes you want to install (such as campaign or multiplayer) for select titles that support the option. PS5 will also soon be able to Share Play together with players on the previous-generation PlayStation, PS4. Here’s Sony’s description of the new feature: Cross-generation Share Play. PS4 and PS5 players can now Share Play together while chatting in parties. This means PS5 console users can let their friends on PS4 consoles view their game screen, or even try out the PS5 games through Share Play, and vice versa. Options include the ability to share your screen with a friend, pass your controller virtually to a friend, or pass a second controller virtually to play co-op games together. Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment Finally, Sony promises new features for the PlayStation App for mobile devices. “Recently, we introduced the ability to save products in a wishlist, get notifications when your friends are online, and change your console online status,” Sony said. “In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out even more, including the ability to join a multiplayer session on PS5 from the app, manage your PS5 console storage, compare trophy collections with friends, and sort and filter products shown in the PlayStation Store.” Source: First PS5 update adds USB system storage for games, new social features
  4. The Last of Us PS5 remake reportedly in development Naughty Dog is apparently working on a remake of their 2013 hit (Image credit: Naughty Dog) A The Last of Us PS5 remake is reportedly in development at Naughty Dog. That's according to a new, extensive report which was published earlier today by Bloomberg. Chiefly, the report claims that a small development unit was set up at Sony Visual Art Services Group to work on a remake of The Last of Us, but that the development unit has since ceased being the lead developer on it, with the project being turned over to original developer Naughty Dog. The report details how the smaller studio, which usually provides assistance to other Sony studios such as Naughty Dog or Insomniac, was denied additional funding by Sony to recruit for the project. The report also claims that this was because approval for the project was only granted on a probationary basis, with head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios Hermen Hulst allegedly unconvinced by the project. Furthermore, it appears the development schedule of The Last of Us 2 impacted the remake project, as members of Sony Visual Art Services Group were assigned to help Naughty Dog according to the report. After that game shipped, and Naughty Dog staff members were sent to work on The Last of Us remake, several key members of the original remake team, including Sony Visual Arts Services Group founder Michael Mumbauer, left the company. The report alludes to the reasons why: "Mumbauer’s team saw this as their short-lived autonomy being stripped. Dozens of Naughty Dog staff were joining the project, and some had actually worked on the original The Last of Us, giving them more weight in discussions about T1X’s [the project name for the remake] direction." It goes on to state that members of the team who wanted "more independence" were left disappointed by the change in dynamics and that towards the end of 2020 "most of the T1X team's top staff had left." Right now, we know little else about the remake of The Last of Us, aside from the report claiming it's still in development at Naughty Dog with Sony Visual Arts Support Group providing assistance. Source: The Last of Us PS5 remake reportedly in development
  5. Huge PS5 restock from Amazon expected soon This could be your best chance to get your hands on Sony's elusive next-gen console TL;DR: Amazon is expected to offer a huge PS5 stock drop in the immediate future, offering gamers their best chance yet to secure a next-generation PlayStation console. If you're part of the majority who've yet to bag a PS5, keep a close eye on Amazon's product page over the coming hours and days. Sony's PS5 might have broken launch records, but its release was marred by scalpers who rapidly bought up stock to resell at inflated prices. While I was one of the lucky few who managed to buy a PS5 on launch day, I know countless friends and colleagues who've tried time and time again, with no luck. The good news today is that according to range of PS5 restock sources, Amazon preparing for a huge restock in the very near future. Tom's Guide collected the information, which suggests that Amazon could offer some 46,000 PS5s in the coming days – or hours. This could be the best chance gamers have had to pick up a PS5 since its launch. If you're hoping to bag a PS5 yourself, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the stock drop. First, if you don't already, make sure you have an Amazon account. Then check that your credit card and shipping details are up to date – the last thing you want to be doing amid the frenzy of the stock drop is search for a credit card number, or have your PS5 shipped to an old address. Finally, adding the PS5 to your Amazon Wishlist could allow you to add the console to your basket from there, instead of via Amazon's PS5 product page (which will be overwhelmed with traffic come launch). It's a useful trick that helped me bag a PS5 last year, when the console launched in the UK. All that's left for us to say is good luck – for those about to order a PS5, we salute you. Source: Huge PS5 restock from Amazon expected soon
  6. Sony reveals next-gen PlayStation VR controller for PS5 PlayStation 5 VR controllers will incorporate DualSense tech Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment Sony gave PlayStation fans a peek at the next generation of its PlayStation VR controllers on Thursday, promising “stronger immersion with adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, [and] finger-touch detection” for the PlayStation 5 virtual reality system. Hideaki Nishino, senior VP of platform planning and management at Sony Interactive Entertainment, described the next-gen PSVR controller as orb-shaped and offering a high degree of freedom for players. The PSVR2 controllers will incorporate technology from the PS5’s DualSense controller, Nishino said, touting “an iconic design that will change how VR games are played.” Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment Here are the first details from Sony’s PlayStation Blog: Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level. Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. When you’re traversing through rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR. Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay. Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller. Action buttons / analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example. Sony announced first details on PlayStation VR for PS5 in February, saying the next-gen virtual reality headset will offer “dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity” and “an even greater sense of presence.” PSVR for PS5 will require only one cord to connect to the system, Nishino said at the time, a major improvement over the PlayStation 4 VR headset. Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment The next generation of PlayStation VR won’t launch in 2021 (Sony hasn’t announced a launch date yet), but developers are currently working with early hardware. The original PlayStation VR launched in 2016 for PlayStation 4, and a more streamlined version of the hardware was released the following year. The headset, originally priced at $399, was a comparatively low-cost, but good-enough solution for consoles, and Sony has continued to support the platform with new games over the years. PlayStation VR is currently supported on PlayStation 5, but requires an adapter to use. Source: Sony reveals next-gen PlayStation VR controller for PS5
  7. Modders improve Sony's PS5 design by adding a water block and LED lighting The custom faceplates and detachable controller holder are nice touches, too Cool (pun intended): The first thing that most people want to do after receiving their extremely hard-to-get PlayStation 5 is hook it up and try it out. Modding Cafe had another idea for its unboxing. The Vietnamese modding team had a plan from the start to rig up the world's first water-cooled PS5. Modding Cafe started its project by completely disassembling the PS5. Pretty much everything not soldered to the motherboard went in the trash bin. Then the team designed a custom Mini-ITX chassis and water block. "It take a long time [sic]," the designers remarked about the CAD process. Although Sony insisted that liquid metal was necessary to maximize heat transfer in the PS5's design, Modding Cafe ditched the liquid metal (staining its workbench in the process) and used standard PC thermal paste. The overall final chassis ended up being significantly smaller than the stock PS5 since they were able to trade-in that huge 120x45mm fan and gigantic heatsinks for two lower profile fans. Adding some wickedly altered faceplates and some LED accents gave the final design a look wildly different from Sony's concept. Best of all, the water cooling not only worked but also ran quieter for obvious reasons. If you have some skills, Modding Cafe's start-to-finish video (above) can get you started on creating your own water-cooled design. The rest of us, will have to wait until the team releases the commercial kit it has in the works. Source: Modders improve Sony's PS5 design by adding a water block and LED lighting
  8. Death Stranding PS5 & PS4 Extended Edition is “Ready and Done”, Insider Says; Expected to be Announced Soon The rumored extended edition of Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding for both PS5 and PS4 has been ready for quite some time now and is expected to be announced soon, an insider has said. Earlier this year we reported that an extended edition of Death Stranding for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 should be on its way. Although not officially confirmed by either Sony or Kojima Productions in any way, this version is said to pack new story content as well. At least, that’s what reputable ResetEra insider ‘Navtra’ said back in January of this year. Unfortunately, to date, we’re still waiting for Sony and Kojima to announce these extended PS5 and PS4 versions of the game. From the looks of it, with the above-mentioned rumor making its way around the web, we weren’t the only ones expecting it to be announced during last week’s PlayStation State of Play broadcast – in a different thread on the ResetEra forums, ‘Navtra’ writes to have fully expected an announcement last week as the extended version of the game has been “ready and done” for quite some time now. The same applies to the rumored new Life is Strange installment, which is said to be titled Life is Strange: True Colors. As again pointed out by the insider, an announcement should follow shortly. “Who knows? It has been ready and done for a while now, though”, ‘Navtra’ wrote on the ResetEra forums when asked about it. “Genuinely expected it to be revealed today. Same goes for LiS: True Colors.” “I'd give it one more month maybe.” As with all rumors, please take the information above with a grain of salt for now. 'Navtra', however, has proven to be quite reliable in the past when it comes to PlayStation-related information. Death Stranding was released for PlayStation 4 back in 2019. Hideo Kojima's game was later also released on PC. Source: Death Stranding PS5 & PS4 Extended Edition is “Ready and Done”, Insider Says; Expected to be Announced Soon
  9. PS5 DualSense teardown reveals potential causes of controller drift No easy fix. A new PlayStation 5 DualSense teardown has revealed the potential causes of controller drift. The YouTube video, below, from iFixit looks inside the DualSense to find out what is causing the drift that some users have reported. According to iFixit, the DualSense as well as the DualShock 4, the Xbox One and Xbox One Elite controllers all use off the shelf joystick hardware "with a long history of predictable, preventable issues". iFixit's investigation found the components in these sticks "could easily exceed their operating life in just over 400 hours of game time". But what's causing drift in the first place? It appears to relate to wear to the potentiometers. A potentiometers is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact (rotating, in the DualSense's case) that forms an adjustable voltage divider to measure your position. Most modern game controllers have these under the hood. There are other potential causes of drift, too. As you move your joystick around, the spring-loaded, self-centering mechanism can stretch slightly, creating a new neutral point. This stretched spring can trick the potentiometers into thinking your thumb is on the stick even when it's not. And finally, contaminants can cause drift. Over time, plastic dust can accumulate in the mechanism from the components grinding together. iFixit offers advice on how to fix a drifting DualSense controller, but it involves opening it up and getting stuck into its innards. Alternatively, you can pay someone to have a stab at it, send it back if it's under warranty, or buy a new one. iFixit ends by calling for console controller makers to make it easier to replace joysticks. "It's bizarre to us that console makers don't consider joysticks to be consumable parts, and design them to be easily replaced. No device created for a finite number of actions, especially one that lives near so much contamination and takes so much abuse, can maintain perfect performance forever." Eurogamer News Cast - Nintendo Direct special This week, Eurogamer reported on a US law firm that has filed a class action against Sony over alleged DualSense drift. Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D), the firm behind the ongoing class action against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a plaintiff called Lmarc Turner, of Virginia, and other affected customers in the US against Sony Corporation of America and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Sony has yet to comment. Source: PS5 DualSense teardown reveals potential causes of controller drift
  10. Sony May Be Working on a Back Button Attachment for PS5's DualSense Controller Bringing it back. Sony is seemingly looking at developing its back button attachment for the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller, according to a new patent. A new 'controller add-on device with customizable presets' document was published on the World Intellectual Property Organization database on February 4, which suggests that Sony wants to develop the accessory to function with the PS5's gamepad. According to the patent, Sony filed the required paperwork on June 29, 2020, and the document's publication would seemingly enable Sony to begin production on a DualSense back button attachment. Images (below) seem to show a near-identical peripheral to the PS4 back button attachment released last year. We called that attachment "easy to recommend", despite being "a little on the weird side" in a 7/10 review. At the time, we even wondered if it meant the DualSense would have in-built back buttons, but that wasn't to be – it seems Sony is now offering an option for that. Source: World Intellectual Property Organization Like the PlayStation 4's DualShock controller peripheral, the DualSense gamepad accessory would couple onto the input slots at the base of the PS5's controller. The buttons on the accessory would also be fully customizable, which would allow users to map command pre-sets based on each button press. The patent indicates that the back button add-on would allow more buttons to be "within the reach of the user while using certain functions" as some button prompts "may be out of reach for the average hand while using certain functions". It's unclear if Sony will press ahead with production on its DualSense back button add-on, or if this is the company merely covering themselves against third-party accessories. Sony has previously pressured Customize My Plates, a third-party PS5 plate maker, into canceling its custom-created orders, and the PS5 back button patent may be a way to prevent other companies from creating their own back button accessories. News of this PS5 back button add-on patent comes after Sony revealed that the DualSense controller would not come automatically fitted with such a device. In September 2020, Sony confirmed that the gamepad would not have back button or trigger functionality, but this patent document suggests that it may not be long before the peripheral is official. Source: Sony May Be Working on a Back Button Attachment for PS5's DualSense Controller
  11. PS5 is officially launching in China in Q2 The PlayStation 5 will officially be sold in China before the second half of the year. Sony’s Chinese arm has announced that the PS5 will be made available in the country at some point in the second quarter (March-June). The news was revealed in a Chinese New Year greetings video. As pointed out by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, Sony actually got hardware approvals back in December, for both the standard PS5 as well as the Digital Edition. Sony is currently working on getting software approvals. The PS5 can, of course, be purchased in China today. However, those are imported units from Japan and other regions, and exist in a grey area. When the PS5 officially launches in China, it will have its own PlayStation Network, separate from the one used by the rest of the world. Beyond that, only the games approved by Chinese regulators will be permitted to go on sale, a similar arrangement to the one Nintendo currently has with Switch. All that said, this is already a faster launch compared to the PS5, which debuted in the country about a year-and-half after its worldwide launch. Sony China has confirmed that it plans to officially launch the PlayStation 5 in Mainland China during Q2 2021. Tatsuo Eguchi, the president of SIE Shanghai and Soeda Takehito, the vice chairman, confirmed the new today in a special Chinese New Year greetings video. pic.twitter.com/nhFzbZQTGx — Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 8, 2021 Source: PS5 is officially launching in China in Q2
  12. 'Final Fantasy XIV' PS5 beta starts on April 13th The 'Final Fantasy' MMO will come to its third generation of PlayStation consoles with 4K and improved performance. Square-Enix More than ten years after its troubled PC and PS3 launch, Final Fantasy XIV is coming to yet another PlayStation console. During a reveal event Friday night, Square-Enix announced an open beta for PS5 will start April 13th. On the new system, the MMORPG will run in 4K resolution, and promises vastly improved performance. It’s already playable in backwards compatibility mode, but the new version will be fully optimized, and is playable at no extra cost for those already registered in the PS4 game. The company also announced a new expansion pack for the game, Endwalker, which is set for release this fall with a new jobs, new areas, and a level cap that goes to 90. It’s also set to end the storyline that began when the game relaunched. That’s right, the game’s first go-round went so poorly that Square Enix shut it down before relaunching Realm Reborn as version 2.0 and eventually transitioning to PS4. Now the game claims over 20 million players, and is coming to PlayStation 5 ready to take its quests to a new level. Source: 'Final Fantasy XIV' PS5 beta starts on April 13th
  13. Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles last year A similar figure to the PS4 launch Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Sony shipped 4.5 million PlayStation 5 units worldwide in 2020, as revealed by information published alongside the company’s latest earnings report. The number highlights Sony’s current ability to mass-produce the console, which has been extremely difficult to buy since its launch in November. Demand for the PlayStation 4 dropped dramatically year-on-year, with 1.4 million units shipped in the October-December quarter — a 77 percent decrease from the previous year. Sony actually managed to sell fewer PS4s in the holiday quarter than it did from July to September. Sony’s gaming business overall performed much better than a year ago, with analyst Daniel Ahmad noting that it was actually the best quarter in PlayStation history. Revenue increased 40 percent to 883.2 billion yen ($8.4 billion), partly driven by PS5 sales. Operating profit was up by 50 percent to 80.2 billion yen ($763.3 million) because of higher game sales, PlayStation Plus subscriptions, and better margins on PS4 hardware. Sony does note, however, that expenses related to the PS5 launch offset some of its profit gains, and also confirms that the PS5 hardware itself is being sold for less than it costs to make. A loss was incurred due to “strategic price points for PS5 hardware that were set lower than the manufacturing costs,” the company says. There’s not much to read into PS5 sales numbers until people who want to buy one are actually able to do so. But at the very least, the console’s launch seems to be broadly comparable in size to the PS4’s; the PS4 also shipped 4.5 million units in its launch quarter. Microsoft didn’t release specific sales figures for the Xbox Series X or Series S with its earnings report last week, but the company did say that Xbox hardware revenue was up 86 percent year-on-year. Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles last year
  14. God of War PS5 Patch With 60 FPS and 4K Coming Tomorrow Kratos never looked so good. Santa Monica Studio has officially announced that God of War's PS5 patch will be released tomorrow, February 2, and will bring a 4K/60 FPS mode to the PlayStation exclusive. Announced on Santa Monica Studio's blog, this free update will replace the current video graphics mode option with a new default setting that "will offer the best of both performance and resolution to our PlayStation 5 players." On the PlayStation 4 Pro version of 2018's God of War, players would have to make a choice between a graphics mode that favored performance and one that favored resolution. Now, no sacrifice needs to be made. God of War's Enhanced Performance Experience offers the following; Syncs to 60 FPS 4K Checkerboard Resolution 2160p There will also be an Original Performance Experience that can be selected at any time and will represent the PlayStation 4 'Favor Resolution' video graphics mode. This mode offers 4K Checkerboard Resolution synced up to 30 FPS. Source: God of War PS5 Patch With 60 FPS and 4K Coming Tomorrow
  15. Police called as Tokyo PS5 sale descends into chaos Staff pushed and cash registers knocked over: "I've never seen that kind of insanity in japan" Police were called to a popular Tokyo department store on Saturday after the intended sale of new PlayStation 5 consoles descended into chaos. Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo’s Akihabara shopping district had promised to sell several hundred PlayStation 5 consoles via a first-come, first-served policy. However, according to personal accounts on social media, the whole process was cancelled after hundreds of consumers swamped the store. As shown in multiple social media videos, huge crowds formed inside Yodobashi as staff planned to handout numbered tickets for the PS5 consoles. The situation appeared to be fairly calm until staff began distributing the tickets, causing the crowds to begin pushing, shoving and shouting. “They cancelled the sale due to people being insane,” wrote Creatures Inc’s Dave Gibson, who was at the store. “[They] pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards. I’ve never seen that kind of insanity in japan before…” He added: “People paying at the registers were pushed out of the way. Cash left on trays. Registers and staff pushed all the way back into storage area.” Tokyo is currently under a State of Emergency due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in the city. As part of the order, companies are encouraged to work remotely and residents urged to avoid non-essential outings. As noted by PSU, Saturday’s event was likely popular due to its first come, first serve policy, which is unusual for PS5 sales. To date, most Japanese retailers have been running lotteries for their PS5 stock, which is thought to be more fair considering the huge demand for consoles. The Yodobashi retailer also usually requires customers to have active credit accounts in order to purchase in-demand items such as PS5. However, the Akihabara location is one of a few stores that do not. With this context taken into consideration, Saturday’s PS5 sale likely would’ve been attractive to both consumers and also re-sellers looking to sell the consoles on for profit. Gibson wrote: “I would estimate about 70% of that crowd to be resellers. Hope to god I didn’t get corona because I got caught up in that insanity.” A report recently suggested that re-seller targeting of PS5 consoles is so high that the long-term health of PlayStation 5 in Japan could be under threat. Like many other regions, PS5 shortages in Japan have been exacerbated by scalpers reselling large quantities of the console at significant mark-ups, keeping it out of the hands of consumers and in turn damaging pivotal software sales. The knock-on effect is an unusually low software attach rate in Japan, reports Bloomberg. As noted by the publication, a healthy ratio for a new console is around one game sold for each console bought. But based on Japanese sales data from Famitsu, as of mid-December Sony had sold around 213,000 PS5 consoles in the product’s first month of availability and just 63,000 physical games. There are other factors that could be impacting early physical PS5 software sales, most notably the shift to digital. PS5 also comes pre-installed with a game, Astro’s Playroom, and is backwards compatible with PS4 titles. Source: Police called as Tokyo PS5 sale descends into chaos
  16. It's 2021, and scalpers are still buying up PS5 inventory for huge profits Bots continue to be a headache for legitimate shoppers Editor's take: Experienced scalpers use software supplied from firms like Carnage to quickly buy up stock of in-demand items such as the PlayStation 5, then turn around and sell them for a profit on third-party marketplaces like eBay. Slowing them down has proven difficult, and really, do manufacturers and retailers even care? Sony promised to deliver additional PlayStation 5 stock late last year ahead of the holidays but ultimately, the console remained next to impossible to find at retail. More positive news came early this month when insiders claimed Sony was planning to boost production of its next-gen console to help cater to demand. And when UK retailer Game announced it had fresh stock of the PS5 this week, eager buyers were ready to do business. Unfortunately, so were scalpers. According to a Twitter post from one popular bot maker, their buying software completed over 2,000 PlayStation 5 checkouts from Game’s restock. “Just keeps getting easier every time,” the firm added. Carnage bots doing better than ever from @GAMEdigital's PS5 stop drop this morning. Really sad. I want a PS5 badly but refuse to fund scalpers so will just have to wait it seems. pic.twitter.com/BsvMOwSyQZ — Rachel Dacre (@Stingrach_) January 19, 2021 Carnage has since made its tweets private, no doubt in response to all of the negative feedback from disgruntled buyers. A spokesperson for Game told GamingBible that all orders are subject to checks. “At the present time these orders are still pre-orders and as such no payments have yet been taken from customers,” the retailer said. “Payments will commence once our order checks have been completed,” the spokesperson added. As of writing, PS5s are commanding anywhere between $750 and $850 over on eBay. A digital-only PS5 sells for $399 at retail while a model with a disc drive goes for $499. Source: It's 2021, and scalpers are still buying up PS5 inventory for huge profits
  17. All black PS5 orders have been cancelled after team received 'threats to their safety' Full refunds on the way (Image credit: SUP3R5) The black PS5 from SUP3R5 officially sold out after going on sale on January 8, but all orders have now been cancelled after the team behind the nostalgic makeover apparently received "credible threats" to their safety. In a statement via Twitter, the SUP3R5 team said: "Last night, our team began receiving credible threats to their safety. We take these threats seriously. We aren't willing to risk the safety and well-being of our team, or the potential impact this would bring on your order." It's unclear whether the threats have been issued by disgruntled customers who missed out on securing a console or whether Sony has stepped in and threatened legal action, but we'll be searching for more answers in the coming days such as whether customers are indeed receiving a full refund and why users seemingly can't delete their payment information. Last night, our team began receiving credible threats to their safety. We take these threats seriously, and as a result, we're not proceeding forward. All orders are being cancelled with full refunds. pic.twitter.com/gUjDIX41rcJanuary 9, 2021 Unfortunately, for those who did manage to snag one of the 304 PS2-themed PS5 consoles on sale, all orders have been abruptly cancelled. "All existing orders will be cancelled and fully refunded in the coming days," SUP3R5 said. "We intended this to be a fun way to celebrate a shared nostalgia. As it turns out, there are people out there who are willing to interfere with that." Hard reset Perhaps unsurprisingly, the black PS5 launch did not go smoothly. Many users encountered payment issues and were charged for pre-orders that weren't actually available. Production of the black PS5 was limited to just 304 units, and demand far exceeded expectations: a trend that has become all too familiar whenever PS5 stock has appeared. Before cancelling all orders, SUP3R5 previously apologized on Twitter for the frustration some users faced, and vowed to do better in the future. The team also clarified what will happen to those who were charged mistakenly, though now everyone who placed an order will be refunded. "If you were charged today, but received no confirmation email, your order did not complete," the statement reads. "Charges for orders that did not complete will be reversed back to you. This usually happens within one day." We're sorry about today. This will not happen again. Please be patient with us as we go through every order. pic.twitter.com/97hpLdp89fJanuary 9, 2021 Despite the disastrous launch, SUP3R5 said: "If we determine that it's safe to try again, we will." Any future launches, will be spread out into smaller batches to avoid the same "strain on our systems". If you have placed an order and would like to contact SUP3R5, you can do so here. We are processing all cancellation requests tonight. If you sent us one, you should receive a cancellation and refund notification sometime this evening. Thank you for being patient with us. We aren't pleased about these issues.January 8, 2021 The custom console and accompanying DualSense controller were due to ship in late spring 2021, and the design reflected the look of the iconic PS2, which still remains the best-selling PlayStation console to date with 155 million units sold worldwide. But why were only 304 units made? Well, it's because the PS2 was originally released on 03/04/00. If you only wanted the DualSense controller, you had a slightly better chance of getting one, as there were 500 units up for grabs. It was easy to predict that the launch wouldn't go exactly to plan on the morning of January 8. A staggering 54K were already on the waitlist for the console, and that number continued to rise before preorders went live. Although they say you should never be told your chances, we also want everyone to have expectations in check for tomorrow. Right now, we have just under 54k on the "waitlist".We're horrified at that number. We're rooting for each and every one of you.January 8, 2021 If you wanted the black PS5, you had to pay a premium of $99 for the DualSense controller (usually $69) and $649 for the PS5 console (usually $499). But when you compare it to the garish gold PS5 that costs over $10,000, it almost seems reasonable. Risky business It goes without saying that if you ordered the PS5 or a DualSense controller from SUP3R5 or plan to do so in the future, you do so at your own risk. There is always a chance things can go wrong, especially when dealing with an unknown retailer or in a case where a project could be shut down by the copyright holder. Sony already shut down a retailer that was selling custom PS5 faceplates last year, however, popular skin maker dbrand challenged the company to stop its attempts at selling black PS5 faceplates. If you’re still searching for a standard PS5, we’re helping you find where to buy PS5 by checking all the major retailers for any new stock updates. Source: All black PS5 orders have been cancelled after team received 'threats to their safety'
  18. The latest PlayStation 5 news for PS4 gamers (Image: SONY) Sony PlayStation remains the market leader with their PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles. However, things could change rapidly in the coming years, and it will require a lot of work for the company’s dominance to remain. Both Sony and Microsoft will be looking to release their next-gen gaming machines by 2021. Many believe that the PS5 release date will be set for 2020, setting up for another large battle with Microsoft’s Xbox Two. Meanwhile, Nintendo will ramp up the pressure with their highly successful Switch games console. Both Microsoft and Sony will need to provide features that will help their new console stand out. And a new report suggests that the PlayStation 5 could offer a massive games upgrade over the PS4. This will be done through the company’s PlayStation VR feature, which was first released on the PS4. Industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that Sony PlayStation may look to offer a serious upgrade in a new PSVR 2 product. This could include 4K support, as well as a lift in FPS currently offered in the base PlayStation VR headset. “Whether Sony does it [follows a multiple console strategy], I think they will probably have that 4K and 240 FPS device that'll support PSVR," he told Gamingbolt. "Whether they have a PlayStation Now device that is streaming only, I don't know. “Maybe there will be two each for PlayStation and Xbox, but I would be surprised if there were more than two, and I'm not sure whether Sony is committed to doing that." A brand new PSVR 2 headset is also expected to offer a built-in camera and upgraded controllers. A new PlayStation VR headset that will be compatible with the PS5 is expected to be announced alongside the new gaming machine. But so far, Sony has not confirmed any plans for either product ahead of a crunch 2019. One online source claims that the PSVR 2 will be a serious upgrade on the current model. This same person revealed PlayStation’s plans to not attend E3 2019 before it was announced, so what they have said has been given a lot more weight. This includes news on the PS5 and the PSVR 2, with the source confirming on Reddit: “Only thing I can tell right now for specs is Ryzen 8 core, Price is 500$ “PSVR 2, on the other hand, will have no breaker box this time around it’ll be inside the console.” That would be a huge change for PlayStation fans and would certainly help boost ownership of VR headsets. There are also reports that the new headset will come with upgraded controllers, while Sony may also be testing new glove interfaces. Specs are currently unknown for the PS5, but some are claiming that the PS4 successor will offer stable 4K at 60fps. There have also been some other surprising hints dropped by Sony this month that might prove interesting for fans. One comes from a conversation on Twitter and is in connection with the lack of first-party PlayStation announcements during The Game Awards. Sony PlayStation’s Shawn Layden was added into a comment regarding the lack of PS4 news and the hope that something is being primed for an announcement soon. Layden replied to this by simply adding: “See you in the new year.” PS4 fans are hoping for new PS5 news in 2019, however, until we learn more from the company itself, much will remain as PlayStation rumour. source
  19. PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: a complicated battle of SSD and GPU speeds Sony has opted for SSD speeds, while Microsoft has gone for raw GPU power Sony has finally unveiled its PlayStation 5 specs today, and there are some surprisingly big differences between the PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Both consoles are still arriving at the end of the year, and we’re now starting to get a better idea of what both Microsoft and Sony have prioritized for next-gen games. Sony has picked different CPU, GPU, and even SSD speeds that will impact how next-gen games are developed for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. On the PS5 side, the console has eight AMD-based Zen 2 cores clocked at 3.5GHz each, compared to eight AMD-based Zen 2 cores clocked at 3.8GHz each on the Xbox Series X. With simultaneous multithreading (SMT) enabled on the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s CPU cores drop to 3.6GHz each, so the difference here seems relatively minor on paper. It’s the GPU and SSD sides where the PS5 and Xbox Series X really differ. Sony has opted for a custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU inside the PS5, which provides 10.28 teraflops of power with 36 compute units running at 2.23GHz each. Microsoft has picked a custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU for the Xbox Series X, but it can hit 12 teraflops of power with 52 compute units at 1.825GHz each. PS5 vs. Xbox Series X Categories PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X Xbox One X Xbox One S PlayStation 4 Pro PlayStation 4 Slim Nintendo Switch Price TBA TBA $499.00 $249.00 $399.00 $249.99 $299.99 Processor AMD Zen 2 (3.5GHz, eight-core) AMD Zen 2 (3.8GHz, eight-core) AMD Jaguar (2.3GHz, eight-core) AMD Jaguar (1.75GHz, eight-core) AMD Jaguar (2.1GHz, eight-core) AMD Jaguar (1.6GHz, eight-core) ARM Cortex A57 (1.02GHz, quad-core) GPU AMD RDNA 2 (10.28 teraflops, 36CU) AMD RDNA 2 (12 teraflops, 52CU) Integrated AMD (6 teraflops, 40CU) Integrated AMD Radeon (1.4 teraflops, 12CU) Integrated AMD Radeon Polaris (4.2 teraflops, 36CU) Integrated AMD Radeon (1.84 teraflops, 18CU) Nvidia Maxwell (0.5 teraflops, unofficially) Memory 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6 12GB GDDR5 8GB DDR3 8GB GDDR5, 1GB DDR3 8GB GDDR5 4GB LPDDR4 Storage 825GB (NVMe SSD) 1TB (NVMe SSD) 1TB 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 1TB 500GB, 1TB 32GB Optical drive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Blu-ray Blu-ray N/A 4K support Yes Yes Yes Yes (video only) Yes No No 8K support Yes Yes No No No No No HDR support Yes Yes HDR10 HDR10 HDR10 HDR10 No Ports TBA Three USB-A 3.0 ports, HDMI (out), optical audio, proprietary memory slot Three USB 3.0, HDMI (in), HDMI (out), IR, optical audio Three USB 3.0, HDMI (in), HDMI (out), IR, optical audio Three USB 3.1, one Aux, HDMI (out), optical audio Two USB 3.1, one Aux, HDMI (out) USB-C, microSD, 3.5mm headphone Weight TBA TBA 8.4 pounds 6.4 pounds 7.2 pounds 4.6 pounds 0.88 pounds Dimensions (in.) TBA 5.94 x 5.94 x 11.85 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4 11.6 x 9.1 x 2.5 12.8 x 11.6 x 2.1 11.3 x 10.4 x 1.54 9.4 x 4 x 0.55 Sony is using variable frequencies on both the CPU and GPU, which we’d normally refer as to boost clocks on PCs. It’s slightly different, though. In an interview with Eurogamer, Sony PS5 system architect Mark Cerny reveals the console has a set power budget that’s tied to the thermal limits of the system. That means the PS5 performance will vary depending on how much it’s being pushed by games. Sony is hoping that by offering developers less compute units running at a variable (and higher) clock rate, the company will be able to extract better performance out of the PS5. The reality is that it will require developers to do more work to optimize games for the console until we can find out how it compares to the (more powerful on paper) Xbox Series X. Storage is where the Xbox Series X and PS5 differ radically. Sony has created an impressive proprietary SSD solution that provides 825GB of storage and 5.5GB/s of performance. The Xbox Series X includes a custom 1TB NVME SSD, but its raw throughput is less than half at 2.4GB/s. That could mean load times differ massively between the PS5 and Xbox Series X, depending on what game developers optimize for. Sony is also allowing PS5 owners to expand storage with regular NVMe PC drives, but there’s a slight caveat. We’re still waiting to see PCIe 4.0-based drives that will match the bandwidth of what Sony has implemented in the PS5, and compatibility could be complex given that Sony will need to validate that drives will be fast enough and compatible with the PS5. Sony’s expansion does mean that PS5 owners should be able to pick up a fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive and increase the storage of the console with relative ease. Microsoft is using a proprietary expansion card format for the Xbox Series X, and it has partnered with Seagate to produce 1TB expansion cards for launch. We still don’t know the price of these proprietary cards, nor how much fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives will cost later this year. Sony hasn’t revealed any further details about the software side of the PS5 today, nor how games will take advantage of the promised real-time ray tracing. On the Microsoft side, we’ve seen a demonstration of Quick Resume that lets you quickly switch between Xbox Series X games even after the console has been rebooted for a system update. Sony’s PS5 GPU We’re also still waiting to see what the PS5 actually looks like. Sony continues to keep the design of the console a closely guarded secret, while Microsoft provided a first look at the Xbox Series X last year. Microsoft also revealed the exact dimensions of the Series X earlier this week. Ultimately, how the next-gen console competition will pan out will depend greatly on two things: games and price. Sony took an early lead in PS4 sales thanks to being priced $100 less than the Xbox One. Microsoft has committed to not making that mistake again with the Xbox Series X, but neither company has provided any hints at pricing just yet. Games and the underlying ecosystem will define the success of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Sony has had a run of great exclusives on the PS4, and the momentum has left the Xbox One struggling. We’re still waiting to hear what types of games will be available at launch for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Microsoft has committed to launching Halo Infinite alongside the Series X, but it will also be available on PC. Xbox Series X processor Microsoft’s answer to games may come in the form of Xbox Game Pass and its subscription strategy. It’s clear Microsoft has been pursuing a Netflix-style game service, and the company is even planning to tie Xbox Game Pass and xCloud game streaming together later this year. Microsoft has also been acquiring studios to create exclusive Xbox games, but there won’t be any exclusive first-party Xbox Series X games at launch. How game developers respond to the power of both consoles will be important in the coming months. Games need to make use of this new power, especially for load times, frame rates, and real-time ray tracing. We’ve only seen tech demos of how load speeds will work so far, but even if existing games get a big boost to performance, that might be a big enough selling point alone. It’s now all eyes on the months ahead as game developers prepare to unveil next-gen titles that will really show what the PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of. Source: PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: a complicated battle of SSD and GPU speeds (The Verge)
  20. Sony reveals full PS5 hardware specifications Begun, the console wars have Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge After months of anticipation and drips of details, Sony has finally revealed the specifications and hardware details for the PlayStation 5, its next-generation home console that’s planned for release this holiday season. The PS5 will feature a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5GHz (variable frequency) and a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture hardware that promises 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz (also variable frequency). It’ll also have 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and a custom 825GB SSD that Sony has previously promised will offer super-fast loading times in gameplay, via Eurogamer. One of the biggest technical updates in the PS5 was already announced last year: a switch to SSD storage for the console’s main hard drive, which Sony says will result in dramatically faster load times. A previous demo showed Spider-Man loading levels in less than a second on the PS5, compared to the roughly eight seconds it took on a PS4. PlayStation hardware lead Mark Cerny dove into some of the details about those SSD goals at the announcement. Where it took a PS4 around 20 seconds to load a single gigabyte of data, the goal with the PS5’s SSD was to enable loading five gigabytes of data in a single second. The PS5 won’t just be limited to that SSD, though. It’ll have support for USB hard drives, too, but those slower expandable storage options are designed mostly for backward-compatible PS4 games. It’ll also feature a previously announced 4K Blu-ray drive and will still support discs, but those games will still require installation to the internal SSD. The custom SSD inside uses a standard NVMe SSD, allowing for future upgrades, but you’ll still need an SSD that can meet Sony’s high-spec standards here — at least 5.5GB/s. For a quick comparison, the recently revealed Xbox Series X — Microsoft’s competing next-gen console — appears to beat out Sony’s efforts on raw numbers, despite the fact that both consoles are effectively based on the same AMD processor and graphics architectures. Microsoft’s console, however, will offer an eight-core processor at 3.8GHz, a GPU with 12 teraflops and 52 compute units each clocked at 1.825GHz, 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. In a major difference, though, Sony’s CPU and GPU will be running at variable frequencies — where the frequency that the hardware runs at will vary based on CPU and GPU demand (allowing for, say, unused CPU power to be shifted to the GPU, allowing for Sony’s higher maximum speed there). That does mean that, eventually, when more demanding games do arrive in the coming years, the CPU and GPU won’t always hit those 3.5GHz and 2.23GHz numbers, but Cerny tells Eurogamer that he expects downclocking to be minor when it does happen. Sony has already announced a fair amount of technical details about the PlayStation 5 over the past few months in a trickle of smaller announcements. The company is already promising that the new hardware will add support for both 8K gaming as well as 4K gaming at 120Hz. There’s also a plan to add “3D audio” for more immersive sound, an optional low power consumption mode to save energy, and backwards compatibility with PS4 titles. Source: Sony reveals full PS5 hardware specifications (The Verge)
  21. $500 ain't what it used to be. — Is the US market ready to embrace a $500 game console? A look at history, and inflation, suggests it might be. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 5 images. Last week, a Bloomberg report about PS5 component costs suggested the upcoming system would cost no less than $450 for Sony to manufacture. Add in costs for packaging, shipping, and retail markup, and Sony would likely need to charge about $500 per PS5 just to break even on the hardware at launch (though taking a loss on hardware has also been an option, historically). The prospect of a $500 PS5 got industry watchers chattering about whether such a price point could be broadly acceptable to the US console-buying market. A look back at console-pricing history suggests that, while a $500 launch would be at the high end of nominal prices, it actually sits right near the middle of the pack when inflation and median buying power are taken into account. Inflated expectations? In the history of the game industry, only two game consoles have launched at an MSRP above $500: the $650 Neo Geo in 1991 and the $700 3DO in 1993 (Fig. 1). Both of those consoles sold for way more than the contemporary competition and became instant niche products, as well as cautionary tales for anyone who might decide to price a console too high in the future. More recently, a few consoles have seen a $500 starting price at launch: the PlayStation 3 in 2006, the Xbox One in 2013, and the upgraded Xbox One X in 2017. In each case, the price was roughly $100 (or 25 percent) more than the closest competition at the time, and that price difference was often cited for the relative underperformance of the high-priced console in question, in terms of sales. That said, both Sony and Microsoft managed to sell millions of systems at that $500 price point relatively recently, and consoles launching at that price managed to remain relevant thanks in part to relatively quick price drops. But discussing nominal prices can be quite misleading when looking back at over four decades of console launches. Adjusted for inflation (using the BLS CPI calculator), a $500 console launching in 2020 would actually be below the mean historical console launch price of $550.36 (Figs. 2 and 3). While that number is skewed somewhat by a few high-priced console launches in the late '70s and early '90s, the median launch price of $460.50 (in 2020 dollars) is a mere rounding error from a $500 MSRP in 2020. Things look a bit different if you limit yourself to more recent history, though. For consoles launched since 2000, the inflation-adjusted median launch price for a US console dips to $444.50, and the mean drops down to $461. That doesn't make a $500 launch seem ridiculous or anything, but it does place it a bit above the recent "average" for TV-based consoles. Of course, lumping all TV consoles together can be a bit misleading, too. When you arrange historical prices by console-maker (Figs. 4 and 5), it's easy to see that Nintendo and Sega consoles tend to be priced well below the inflation-adjusted average (with a few notable exceptions). Microsoft's consoles, meanwhile, are clustered a bit above the historical average, with a median inflation-adjusted launch price of $535 across four Xbox systems. Sony, on the other hand, has played its PlayStation launch pricing closer to the middle. The PlayStation 2's inflation-adjusted price of $459 dollars represents the median launch for a Sony console, and it hits the historical median for all game consoles almost precisely. If you take the PS3 out of the mix (which even Sony now seems to concede was overpriced at launch), every PlayStation console has fallen in a sweet spot between $436 and $516 inflation-adjusted dollars. A $500 PS5 would be near the high end of that range but wouldn't be out of the ordinary by any means. Comparative buying power First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 4 images. While comparing prices in constant 2020 dollars is useful, we can also look back at how previous console launches would show up as bottom-line expenses for an "average" American household over the years. To do that, we compared console launch prices to the median household income reported by the US Census for that launch year (for systems launched since 1984). We also estimated how a $500 console launched in 2020 would impact an estimated median household income today. (Though census data is not yet available for 2020, we projected inflation-adjusted growth since 2018 to come to a reasonable guess. The actual number may change the percentages reported here by a few hundredths of a point. Using median incomes also obscures a wide range of households at the extreme ends of the scale, but it serves as a good baseline.) Looking at pricing this way shows that a $500 asking price is far from unreasonable in 2020 America (Figs. 6 and 7). While the median console historically has represented 0.73 percent of the median household income at launch, a $500 console in 2020 would represent about 0.74 percent of a median household income today. Sorting by console maker, we can see that Sony's consoles are usually right in the middle of the pack when it comes to raw income-relative impact as well (Figs. 8 and 9). With the pricey exception of the PlayStation 3, Sony's systems are all clustered very close to the overall median on this metric, though Sony's price-to-income ratio has been coming down a bit over time. As always, the market reception for a new console depends as much on the competition as the absolute price. That's especially true if that competition delivers an overall similar gaming experience at a significantly lower price (see: Xbox 360 and PS4, respectively). The rising popularity of free-to-play mobile games, cheap portable hybrid options like the Switch, and even high-end game streaming on low-end hardware could make a pricey new console seem less appealing. But don't dismiss the idea of a $500 console just because that sounds like a higher price than normal. Measured on equal terms, that launch pricing would be well within historical norms. Listing image by Flickr / Phillip Taylor PT Source: Is the US market ready to embrace a $500 game console? (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  22. Report: Sony can’t build a PS5 for less than $450 Sony may be waiting for Microsoft to blink first before it names a price tag. Enlarge Aurich Lawson Video game enthusiasts worldwide are looking forward to Sony’s PlayStation 5 launch this fall, but a new report says challenges in sourcing affordable parts may mean that the console comes with a higher price tag than players want to pay. Sony so far is unable to get the manufacturing cost for a PlayStation 5 below $450, Bloomberg reports, which may result in difficulty for the company. The consoles are slated to hit shelves within the next ten months, but apparently a few parts for it are not yet finalized. "We must keep PlayStation 5’s bill of materials under our control, and we need to make the correct number of units in the initial production," Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said in a recent earnings call. Sources tell Bloomberg the problem is basically good old-fashioned supply and demand. Sony isn't just competing with console rival Microsoft for parts; other device-makers are also in the mix. Prices for DRAM and NAND flash memory are reportedly running high amid high demand from businesses, such as Samsung, launching new generations of high-end flagship mobile phones. Sony is also reportedly spending more than usual on the console's cooling system in order to prevent overheating. The promised hardware, including an eight-core AMD Ryzen CPU built on the 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture and an AMD Radeon-based GPU with ray-tracing support, can probably use it. That tracks with what we know about Xbox Series X, which is reportedly built with nearly identical AMD architecture. Late last year, Microsoft revealed how huge its console will be, possibly indicative of its own complicated cooling design. We don't yet know what the final PS5 hardware looks like, but its V-shaped development kit inspired almost as much discussion about its own cooling requirements as it did jokes about the console's use as a pizza holder. A difference of a dollar here and a dollar there does indeed add up. Sony could theoretically decide it's worthwhile to sell the consoles at a loss and make up the cash elsewhere. Far more likely, though, is that whatever Sony has to pay in order to get a console manufactured, consumers will pay more than that to buy one. The current-generation PlayStation 4 reportedly cost $381 per unit to manufacture originally. At launch in 2013, units sold for about $20 more than that—a thin margin, to be sure, but a margin nonetheless. If Sony took a similar tactic this time around, the expected launch price for a PS5 would be around $470. We asked Sony Interactive Entertainment about the report but have not yet received a reply. Playing pricing chicken Sony, of course, is not the only player in the console gaming market. Whatever the PS5 costs will no doubt be informed by the price point Microsoft sets for the next iteration of the Xbox line. The Series X, like the PS4, is planned to be in stores for holiday 2020, which means someone will have to blink first. Industry-watchers expect Microsoft to present additional details, including pricing, for the Series X console (or consoles) at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Sony, however, recently confirmed that it will not be attending or presenting at E3. Without a known press conference on the calendar for months in advance, Sony has more flexibility to determine when and how it will announce a price point, as well as other details. Going second decidedly has its advantages. Holding fire certainly worked out well for Sony at the start of the previous (current) console generation; its announcement at E3 2013 that the PlayStation 4 would retail for $399 came a scant few hours after Microsoft announced a $499 price point for the Xbox One. The reveal was a mic drop moment for the ages, as these things go, and set the tone for the fall launch. (Sony pulled a similar move in generations past when it blew the Sega Saturn out of the water.) Of course, launch price isn't everything. A console generation in the 21st century seems to last about seven years, and various price drops and refreshed SKUs are now standard mid-cyle developments. Shortly before the PS4 and Xbox One launched, Ars took a look at historical pricing data and found price drops two to three years after launch to be common. The PS4 and Xbox One were no exception: the PS4 dropped to $349 in 2015, and the original Xbox One dropped to $249 in 2016 ahead of the launch of the smaller, cheaper Xbox One S that summer. From what we know of the Series X so far, its specs seem similar enough to Sony's that both consoles could just end up launching at the same price point. Microsoft may have another wrench to throw in Sony's plans, however. Reports indicate that Microsoft is also working on a lower-cost, digital-only gaming box to be sold alongside the Series X this fall. There are conflicting reports on precisely what kind of digital experience Microsoft has in mind. Some reports say the mid-range console, codenamed Lockhart, was scrapped in favor of working on a streaming-only device that would work more like a gaming Roku (or Google's still-challenged Stadia) and be priced in a similar, under-$100 range. Other reports, however, indicate that Lockhart is still on as a lower-powered disc-less console and that developers will be expected fully to support it alongside the Series X—similar to what Microsoft did with the Xbox One S. Either option, if they pan out, could fall into the sweet spot where Microsoft has something to sell at half or less of whatever the PS5 price ends up being. Source: Report: Sony can’t build a PS5 for less than $450 (Ars Technica)
  23. Sony confirms PS5 will have exclusive games playable only on next-gen hardware A strategy that stands in contrast to Microsoft’s Xbox approach Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The PlayStation 5 will have one selling point Sony thinks might be important to fans who are on the fence about upgrading to a new generation of gaming console: exclusive titles, playable only on the new hardware. Speaking with Gameindustry.biz in an interview published Friday, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said his company’s upcoming device — which, as of today, has its first official reveal event scheduled for next week — will have games you cannot play on existing PlayStation 4 devices. Of course, that's been true of pretty much every past console generation of the last three decades. But it’s notable now because Sony and its primary competitor, Microsoft, have gone to great lengths over the last few years to create new system architectures that bridge current and future generations of gaming hardware. That means, in theory, Sony could release new games for both the PS5 and PS4, as Microsoft plans to do with its Xbox One platform for at least the first couple of years after the release of its more powerful, next-gen Xbox Series X. But Ryan says he wants to give PlayStation fans “something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.” “We have always said that we believe in generations. We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features,” he said. “We do believe in generations, and whether it’s the DualSense controller, whether it’s the 3D audio, whether it’s the multiple ways that the SSD can be used... we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.” This is, of course, less of a technical debate about platform capabilities and more of a conversation around marketing strategy. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility, meaning you’ll be able to play most, if not all, of your current game library on a next-gen device. But only Microsoft has so far committed to supporting cross-generation support for first-party games, like its upcoming launch title Halo Infinite, that will be playable on PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One. (Third-party developers, like Madden and FIFA owner Electronic Arts and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla maker Ubisoft, are also far more likely to continue supporting current and future generations simultaneously for quite some time.) That makes sense: Microsoft’s entire platform strategy going forward is about deemphasizing what device you’re playing on and focusing instead on letting players move purchases across platforms with, in some cases, cross-save and cross-buy features. This started with Xbox Play Anywhere, and it’s now extending to a new initiative the company calls Smart Delivery, which will ensure you don’t have to buy copies of games twice when you move from, say, the Xbox One to the Xbox Series X. You’ll simply get the enhanced version of the game on whatever platform you choose. It’s important to remember as well that Microsoft is investing heavily in technologies, like its Xbox Game Pass subscription service and its xCloud platform, that might make unit sales and other traditional financial metrics less important to its business in the future. That will be especially true if Microsoft successfully bridges the console and PC platforms in ways Sony could never pull off. But it also makes sense then that Sony doesn’t want to follow suit, as Ryan’s comments confirm. Sony had the best-selling console of the last decade in part by focusing heavily on exclusives like Bloodborne, God of War, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Even now, in the last few months of the PS4’s life cycle, Sony is continuing its strong track record with The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, two exclusive titles likely to be big sellers this summer. The challenge for Sony going forward will be in making the case that its new hardware justifies the jump from the current generation and that the company isn’t just gating new titles behind a pricey console upgrade. That will mean really selling the PS5’s capabilities, like its supposed ultra-fast solid-state drive and its upgraded CPU and GPU, and doing so in a way that makes consumers feel justified in spending hundreds of dollars on new hardware. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft positions its Xbox Series X against the PS5, and whether Microsoft can successfully win over consumers with its argument for more cross-platform, cross-generation support. We don’t know what the PS5’s launch slate will look like. Presumably, the company will have more to show next week. And it could be the case that at least some first-party Sony games do see concurrent releases across both PS4 and PS5. Sony is also clearly building out a multiplatform strategy, starting with Horizon Zero Dawn, which involves bringing its exclusives to PC. But Ryan’s comments strongly suggest that Sony isn’t abandoning its trued and true console-first strategy. That means PS5 exclusives will, at least at launch, be a big selling point Sony will use to try to convince people to stick with its platform come this fall. Sony confirms PS5 will have exclusive games playable only on next-gen hardware
  24. Sony announces PS5 event for June 4th It’s time for some PS5 games Sony is officially confirming its next PlayStation 5 event will be held on Thursday, June 4th. The event will begin at 4PM ET / 1PM PT, and Sony is promising “a look at the future of gaming on PlayStation 5.” It will run for “a bit more than an hour,” and feature “a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday,” according to Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware,” says Ryan. “This digital showcase will run for a bit more than an hour and, for the first time, we will all be together virtually experiencing the excitement together.” Recent reports suggested Sony would hold a PS5 event a day earlier on June 3rd, focusing mainly on games. Sony is not expected to reveal every detail of the PS5 console at this event, and further events are rumored to be planned for the coming weeks and months. “This is part of our series of PS5 updates and, rest assured, after next week’s showcase, we will still have much to share with you,” explains Ryan. Sony has so far unveiled PS5 specs, a logo, and a new wireless controller for its next-gen console. Sony has not yet shown off the PS5 console itself, and it’s not clear if that will change at the June 4th event. The PS5 will feature a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5GHz (variable frequency) and a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture hardware that promises 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz (also variable frequency). Sony’s PS5 controller. Image: Sony A significant part of Sony’s new PlayStation 5 is the proprietary SSD, and it provides 825GB of storage with 5.5GB/s of performance. Epic Games recently provided a stunning Unreal 5 tech demonstration running on the PS5, showing off the loading of cinematic 8K assets and dynamic lighting effects. Sony announces PS5 event for June 4th
  25. Sony reportedly boosts PS5 production by 50 percent Oculus also increasing orders for new headset Sony is ordering at least 50 percent more PlayStation 5 consoles than it had originally planned to ship this year, according to reports in the Japanese press. While the company was expecting to produce around six million consoles in 2020, Nikkei says that the figure is now at about nine million, while Bloomberg says it could reach 10 million. Both publications put the raised expectations down to increased demand for at-home entertainment in the age of the coronavirus. If Sony could sell anywhere near that total number of PS5 consoles through the end of the year, it would mark a major increase on its predecessor; the PS4 launched in November 2013 and had sold through 4.2 million units by the end of the following month. Facebook is also ramping up production of Oculus VR headsets, according to Nikkei, with a similar goal of pushing growth up to 2 million units in the second half of 2020 — this would reportedly be up 50 percent on its output for the whole of 2019. The company is said to be starting mass production for a new headset this month, though Nikkei doesn’t say whether it’s a standalone system like the Quest or a tethered headset like the Rift S. Gaming hardware has often been difficult to buy during the pandemic. Oculus has experienced severe supply constraints, with its Quest headset frequently selling out as soon as it’s restocked. Nintendo, meanwhile, has experienced difficulty meeting demand for the Switch and its home fitness game Ring Fit Adventure. With several major launches happening in the second half of the year, it’s no surprise that platform owners want to make sure there’s enough stock to go around. Sony reportedly boosts PS5 production by 50 percent
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