Almost a full year after the first tease, Sony is finally ready to lift the curtain on the PlayStation 5: A presentation unveiling the console's specs, similar to what Microsoft did for the Xbox Series X on Monday, will be held on Wednesday, March 18. While we don't know what exactly will be revealed during the event, which will include a livestream presentation, there's one thing Sony could confirm that would give the PS5 the upper hand in the console war against Xbox Series X.
Sony announced over Twitter Tuesday morning that this major reveal was scheduled for Wednesday. "PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny will provide a deep dive into PS5’s system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games," the tweet reads, confirming that it will happen on Sony's official PlayStation Blog at 12 p.m. Eastern on March 18. Microsoft has seeming taken an early lead in the console war by revealing almost all the details for the Xbox Series X, and the one power move Sony should make at this point is to reveal the PS5's price this early in the game.
Price is something that both console manufactures seem hesitant to talk about, and revealing a modest price point would give Sony bonus points for transparency considering how little we know of the PS5 thus far. We'll know for sure when the presentation happens.
The presentation will be hosted by Mark Cerny. In a now-removed Tweet relayed by Nibel, PlayStation Japan revealed that this presentation was initially planned for Game Developers Conference (GDC), but was reworked after that event was postponed due to coronavirus. The tweet also confirmed that the presentation would only be in English.
If nothing else, we will definitely learn about the system's specs and how it can support advanced development tools like ray tracing in order to get games to look more like Pixar movies. We'll also be able to assess a side-by-side comparison of PS5's hardware to that of the Xbox Series X. Still, it's worth considering that a reveal of the PS5's price would really help in Sony's promotion efforts. Fan polls indicate that price is one of the most important factors for consumers going into the next generation of gaming.
Revealing how much the PS5 will cost would undercut Microsoft's clear efforts to be transparent about the Xbox Series X. While Microsoft has been an open book regarding its ethos with the early Xbox Series X specs reveal, the company is still dodging the question of cost. Meanwhile, features like expandable memory could drastically increase the system's price for gamers in the long-term, but we don't know for sure because Microsoft is being so secretive about pricing for the base console and for the expandable memory.
PlayStation could take the high ground and reveal the pricing sooner rather than later, making its unveiling all the more notable. That being said, there is a chance that Sony will stay secretive like Microsoft and not discuss the PS5's price tag just yet.
"What is not very clear or visible is because we are competing in the space, so it’s very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this point of time," Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in a January earnings call. "Depending upon the price level, we may have to determine the promotion that we are going to deploy and how much costs we are prepared to pay."
Bloomberg previously speculated that Sony could be waiting for Microsoft to reveal the Xbox Series X's price before confirming its own due to how expensive the PS5 will be to produce. Still, plans can change over time, and price may now be seen as the one thing — other than confirming a release date — that could give the PS5 an edge.
PS5 should still be released sometime in late 2020.