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Monday, August 10, 2020

PS5 Price, Release Date, Pre-Order Listings And Rumors: What We Know

There was a moment there when I actually thought Sony was going to reveal the price and release date for the PS5 yesterday. It hasn’t happened yet, but we’re slowly making our way. Here’s what we know about price, release date, pre-order listings and rumors.
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It was a wild hour or so yesterday. Credible-ish rumors had stated that Sony was set to reveal the price and release date for the PS5 at 3:30 PM, and there was a moment there that I actually thought they were going to do it. It’s a bit odd to get this ginned up for the pricing strategy of a piece of consumer electronics, but that’s the world of video games for you. It turned out to be for naught, and the clock ticked by without any new news. Sooner or later, one of these rumors will turn out to be true. Just not this one.

We are making gradual progress towards eventual pre-orders, however. Placeholder listing pages have been going live for a little bit, and now they’re all over the place. Here’s the Amazon US page, which some said went live yesterday but seems to be older than that. You can see similar pages for Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and more. There’s nothing all that interesting on them, save the fact that both Sony and the associated retailers would very much like you to be excited about the PS5.

The main question for the reveal right now is: before or after? Microsoft has a big first-party games showcase scheduled for July 23, and while we don’t expect to see pricing details at that event, Sony could still steal some thunder by announcing before that and opening up pre-orders. We assume that stock will be limited on any sort of pre-orders, both because this is always how things go and because the company is reportedly making fewer PS5s than it did PS4s, which were sold out for months. That could push a few worried consumers to make the leap and order one before Microsoft has a chance to respond.

I was a little surprised by yesterday’s rumors, however, because I still don’t think we’re going to know the prices of either of these things before August. For a long time it seemed like Sony hadn’t even settled on a price, and for all we know that might still be the case.

It’s a question of who goes first, and it has been for a while. Arguably the most important piece of information either company can have when pricing their console is the one they can’t have: the competitor’s number. So whichever company goes first gets to open pre-orders first, and whichever company goes second gets to use that information to craft a response.

It’s an interesting kind of cat and mouse game, though all the most interesting parts of it happen behind closed doors. Sooner or later, however, they’re going to have to actually tell us what’s happening.

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