The second week of November could be a busy time for gamers.
After what feels like years of anticipation, Sony announced the PlayStation 5 will hit shelves on November 12th. Well, it will hit those shelves briefly as a unit shortage is also rumored to be in the making. The console will retail for $499 with a disc drive and $399 without. At launch, the console will feature the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales game and a selection of PlayStation 4 games for PlayStation Plus subscribers.
The new Sony console will debut just two days after Microsoft unleashes the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. And like the PS5, the new Xbox Series comes with a strange selection of new titles and old favorites with real console-selling, next-gen titles due for release in the new year.
Which makes both manufacturers’ decision to force a new console generation for this holiday season a bit odd. Besides the lack of a title one could call a “killer app” — to use a very old phrase — the worldwide pandemic and consequential recession makes it unlikely consumers will be compelled to trade up to new hardware when the current generation does the job just fine. We’ll admit we’re more inclined to pick up a PS5 when the sequels to God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn launch sometime next year.
Then again, both companies have launched consoles with less-than-compelling starting lineups before. And the loyalty of the hardcore gamer typically helps these product launches float through the first year.
As mentioned earlier, the pandemic may lead to a shortage of units for both consoles with Sony going as far as to open up a pre-order signup sheet and pre-selecting a group to buy the limited amount of stock they will have on hand. It remains to be seen if Microsoft or retailers like Best Buy and Amazon will go with exotic lotteries to sell products. But the limited supply may help gamers make their console decision when the next generation of video games begins in November.
Pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 are expected to go live at various retailer websites tonight.