Welcome back to The A.V. Club’s ongoing coverage of E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where Sony has just announced the highly anticipated PlayStation 5 at a flashy, star-studded event with all sorts of cool trailers and optimistic teases about just how much better this system will make your life than the old system did. Now…wait a minute, isn’t it October? E3 happened months ago, and yet, Sony really did just announce a lot of new information about the PlayStation 5—including a release window. There was no flashy, star-studded event, nobody from the Call Of Duty team came out and said “boots on the ground,” and the actual PlayStation 5 console wasn’t raised up on a pedestal so a Sony executive could fawn over its use of sharp angles and black plastic (that’s what we assume, at least, since the physical system hasn’t been shown yet).
Instead of that fun stuff, we got… a Twitter thread and a blog post. It’s not necessarily bad, since everyone gets all of their news from Twitter and blogs anyway, but it’s certainly strange. Even Nintendo puts together nice videos explaining what it’s doing and why, but on the other hand Sony has never tried to sell something like the Wii U. It just has to say: “Here’s the PlayStation 5, you’ll buy it because you bought the PlayStation 4 and you bought that because your Xbox 360 caught on fire.” Sony didn’t just do that, though, as the aforementioned blog post had some real information about the PlayStation 5.
For starters, it’ll be “launching in time for Holiday 2020,” which we’re going to assume means mid-November. We don’t know how much it’ll cost (set your expectations at “lots”), but Wired has the scoop on some of the guts inside the thing. There’ll be a solid-state drive that should make load times a breeze, plus users will be able to personally tune how much of a game they want to install (in cause you only want the multiplayer mode or whatever), and there will be a “completely revamped user interface” that will offer new information about a game before you even have to start up the game (like active missions or details on multiplayer servers).
The controller will also be updated, naturally, but it doesn’t sound like Sony has any intention of swapping the placement of the left stick like every other video game system. What it will have are Xbox One-style “adaptive triggers,” which give different feedback based on what you’re doing (Wired mentions feeling the tension in a bow string or a shotgun feeling different from a machine gun). Also, Sony is doubling-down on one of the dumbest features of the existing PlayStation 4 controller by putting an “improved” speaker in it instead of removing the speaker entirely, but maybe some of the new PlayStation 5 games will actually find good reasons to use it. Weirder things have happened.
Sony will presumably announce the price and show off some launch games in a future Twitter thread.