First of all, a quick recap of what the PlayStation 5 showcase brought to the table. The console will release on the 12 and 19th of November consecutively. The former date is applicable for select locales and the latter is for the rest. On the other hand, the recommended retail price will be $399 for all-digital and $499 for the standard edition (USD).
In addition, the console will have some accompanying titles on launch-day:
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Destruction All-Stars
- Demon’s Souls
Consequently, the PlayStation 5 showcase gave us the relief we needed: There will be lots to play even on the launch day. Furthermore, there is a diversity among the titles with lots of genres. It appears that Sony paid attention to the console’s appeal. On the other hand, this approach has proven powerful with the pre-order propensity. With this, there are some ambiguous points that raise some questions.
The preorders are good, but will there be more?
Major retailers around the world took pre-orders in a limited window, right after the PlayStation 5 showcase. Especially, countries that will see the release on 12th of November ran out of consoles pretty quickly. Geoff Keighley had reported there would be plenty of notice before the preorders started.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) July 17, 2020
However, this tweet didn’t seem to age well:
PS5 pre-orders will be available starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 16, 2020
The preorders have started earlier than what Sony initially reported. Furthermore, customers who signed up for the notification services of their favorite retailers got caught by surprise. It appears that there has been a miscommunication. Therefore, the early blast of the stocks created an angry and frustrated group that heavily criticized the turn of events. Currently, the question of whether there will be more preorders or stock in the future remains ambiguous. For instance, EB Games Australia has even run out of its early 2021 shipment. Consequently, people won’t be able to purchase PS5 from EB Games for quite a while after November 12. Unless there is a stock replenishment.
Backwards Compatibility – What’s the true nature of things?
According to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan, 99% of the games are backwards compatible. Yet, neither Jim Ryan nor the PlayStation 5 showcase has clarified how this will work. For instance, if someone has an all-digital PS5, will they be able to download their PlayStation 4 games immediately? If so, then how will the dual entitlement policies such as EA’s and Activision’s work? Unfortunately, there is an ambiguity around this feature and its main reason might be the differences between third-party and in-house arrangements Sony has. In the upcoming days, the studio might reveal a roadmap or a list of games that are backwards compatible.
PlayStation Plus Collection – It won’t grow or evolve into a game pass
PlayStation 5 showcase has revealed a new benefit for the console: PlayStation Plus Collection. Indeed, it offers a great opportunity to test the backwards compatibility. Furthermore, it will present a warm welcome to those who are new to the PlayStation world. It will include PS4 games such as The Last of Us and God of War. Again Jim Ryan, this time to Gameindustry.biz, said that there won’t be an Xbox Game Pass competitor from Sony. He said PlayStation Plus Collection is a “separate offering” that just presents a set of games. Also, he stated the following: “We are not going to put new releases into a subscription model. These games cost well over $100m to develop. We just don’t see that that is sustainable”.
Surely, in the future, both Ryan and Sony’s opinion might change. At the moment though, they don’t seem to partake any part in the game pass competition directly. They will still allow EA Play though, which is a sign that UPlay+ and other services might arrive later. With the increased game prices, players might look for alternative solutions like waiting for sales or account sharing. Therefore, Sony might have to re-evaluate their strategy in the future.
PlayStation 5 still offers a bright future
As a game console, PlayStation 5 showcase made us believe in the brand again. Despite all the ambiguities, titles like God of War: Ragnarok and Hogwarts Legacy are surely convincing enough to make us buy the console. If Sony manages to clarify all the stuff that demands answers effectively, PlayStation 5 will offer another great generation of consoles. So, don’t take my words as hostile towards PlayStation as I want both them and Xbox to be successful. In the end, we will all benefit from “healthily” fierce competition.